Square Root of Suffering

The Immutable Nature of Reality

The formula of life, as initially understood, was Actual / Expected = Reality. However, upon deeper reflection and guided by Byron Katie‘s philosophy, it becomes evident that Reality and Actual are always 1, immutable and unchangeable. They represent the unalterable state of what is.

Expectation: The Movable Component

In contrast, the Expected variable serves merely as a projection, a figment of imagination attempting to predict the Universe’s next move. It is the only component in the equation that we have the power to adjust. Yet, paradoxically, the true mastery lies not in adjusting our expectations but in fully accepting the ‘Actual,’ the ‘Reality,’ as it is.

The Self-Inflicted Suffering

The suffering emerges when we cling stubbornly to our expectations, refusing to accept the Reality that unfolds. It’s not the Reality that causes suffering; it’s the resistance to it. In essence, suffering is a self-inflicted wound born out of a discord between what we expect and what actually is. The tighter we hold onto our expectations, the deeper we dig ourselves into the pit of suffering.

The Liberation in Acceptance

Byron Katie aptly puts it as being “a lover of what is.” Accepting Reality as it comes is not defeatism but liberation. It’s about acknowledging that the ‘Actual’ is unchangeable. The moment it arrives, it becomes a part of Reality, and there’s no reason, nor is it possible, to argue with it.


The ultimate formula for life becomes simplified to Reality = 1 and Actual = 1. The Expected Result is not a component that needs adjustment but one that requires relinquishment. The square root of suffering lies in our unwillingness to accept this simple, yet profound, equation. Once we grasp this, the pathway to a life less burdened by suffering becomes clear. Acceptance of what is, without the need for it to conform to our expectations, is the true formula for a fulfilling life.

Author: John Rector

John Rector, a former IBM executive and co-founder of e2open, has an impressive portfolio of leadership roles across a range of companies and industries. In the realm of digital marketing, he has successfully led Social Media Target, ensuring its competitiveness in the ever-evolving digital landscape. He has also served operationally at Rainbow Packaging, focusing on the delivery of farm-fresh produce. John's creativity and vision for web technologies shine through at Bodaro and Palm ❤️, the latter being a graphic design studio founded in June 2023. He has also ventured into the education sector with Nextyrn, a tutoring startup that leverages AI for personalized learning experiences. His entrepreneurial spirit has also seen the founding of Potyn, an innovative project that uses AI to create bespoke art. The newest additions to his extensive portfolio include Nozeus, Infinia, Blacc Ink, and Maibly, further expanding his influence across various industries.

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