Posted: July 25th, 2011 | Author: Him | Filed under: Life | No Comments »
There’s a balance in life. They say when you’ve found the balance is when you’re going to enjoy life the best. But really, this balance doesn’t come from what you do or have on the outside. It’s more from the way we see things.
I’ve learned from a great friend to emphasize being fair in the objective instead of subjective when it comes to making tougher decisions, and know the actual purpose for our actions. We can try hard to do what we do, but if we already know that we’ll be serious for situations that call for it, we can keep away the tense facade and allow life to take a more courteous, if not elegant appearance.
It doesn’t mean that we don’t have fire in our hearts. It just means that we direct the flame in the right directions. Usually, life tends to show better manners as we keep things fair and remember the real reason in why we work so hard in having a better life. It’s all done for the sincere appreciation of living. While we can do that, why not allow it?
Posted: July 15th, 2011 | Author: Him | Filed under: Life | 6 Comments »
My friend Barron recently asked, “If you could be anywhere right now, doing anything you want, where would you be? And what would you be doing?”
And my answer was, “I’m always where I want to be, doing what I want to be doing.”
I’ve notice that in the past, like many people, I was always wishing I was doing something different, thinking about what I would do in the future, making plans for my life to come, reading (with jealousy) about cool things other people were doing.
It’s a fool’s game.
Many of us do this, but if you get into the mindset of thinking about what you *could* be doing, you’ll never be happy doing what you actually *are* doing. You’ll compare what you’re doing with what other people (on Facebook and Twitter, perhaps?) are doing. You’ll wish your life were better. You’ll never be satisfied, because there’s *always* something better to do.
Instead, I’ve adopted the mindset that whatever I’m doing right now is perfect. If I’m writing a post, that’s amazing. If I’m reading blog posts on the Internet, that’s interesting. If I’m doing nothing but hanging out with my family, that’s incredible. If I’m walking outside, enjoying the fresh air, that’s beautiful.
There’s nothing I’m ever doing that isn’t the most incredible thing on Earth. If I’m doing something sucky (I can’t remember doing that recently), maybe that’s an invaluable life lesson. If I’m with someone boring or obnoxious, it’s a lesson in patience, or empathy, or in learning to understand people better.
The Now Mindset, In Practice
Let’s say you’re washing the dishes. Wouldn’t you rather be having a delicious meal instead, or talking with your best friend? Sure, those things are great, but they’re only better if you believe they’re better, and more importantly, the comparison is totally unnecessary. Why should you compare what you’re doing now (washing dishes) with anything else? Wouldn’t almost anything lose out if you compare it to something you like more? Will you ever be happy with what you’re doing if you always compare it with something you like more?
Washing dishes can be as great as anything else, if you decide to see it that way. You’re in solitude, which is a beautiful thing. If you do it mindfully, washing dishes can be pleasant as you feel the suds and water in your hands, pay attention to the dish and its texture, notice your breathing and thoughts. It’s meditation, it’s quiet, it’s lovely.
You can say the same of anything. Driving to work? Enjoy the solitude, the chance to be alone with your thoughts, or to listen to music you love, to see the world around you. In a meeting with co-workers? Pay attention to how people talk and interact, learn about the human mind, see yourself in everyone around you, learn to love anyone no matter who they are, practice giving up expectations of who people should be or what this meeting should be like.
I’m always happy with what I’m doing, because I don’t compare it to anything else, and instead pay close attention to the activity itself. I’m always happy with whoever I’m with, because I learn to see the perfection in every person. I’m always happy with where I am, because there’s no place on Earth that’s not a miracle.
Life will suck if you are always wishing you’re doing something else. Life will rock if you realize you’re already doing the best thing ever.
(To learn more from Leo, please kindly visit: http://www.zenhabits.net.)
Posted: July 2nd, 2011 | Author: Him | Filed under: Life | No Comments »
‘Act without expectation.’ ~Lao Tzu
How much of your stress, frustration, disappointment, anger, irritation, pissed-offedness comes from one little thing?
Almost all of it comes from your expectations, and when things (inevitably) don’t turn out as we expect, from wishing things were different.
We build these expectations in our heads of what other people should do, what our lives should be like, how other drivers should behave … and yet it’s all fantasy. It’s not real.
And when reality doesn’t meet our fantasy, we wish the world were different.
Here’s a simple solution:
Take your expectations, and throw them in the ocean.
Picture all the expectations you have for yourself, your life, your spouse, your kids, your coworkers, your job, the world. Take them from inside you, and toss them in the ocean. A river or lake will also do.
What happens to them? They float. They’re carried around by waves. The current takes them out, and they drift away. Let them be washed away by the cleansing waters, and let them go.
Now live your life without them.
What’s a life without expectations like? It means you accept reality as it is, without expectations, without trying to force people into the containers you have for them, seeing things as they are. It’s a life where you don’t need to be disappointed or frustrated or angry — or if you are, you accept it, and then let it go.
That’s not to say you never act — you can act in a way that’s in accordance with your values, and influence the world, but never have an expectation of how the world will react to your actions.
If you do something good, you won’t expect praise or appreciation. Let those expectations of reward and praise float away with the waves. Do good because you love doing good, and expect nothing beyond that.
Pay attention to your thoughts. Don’t beat yourself up if you have expectations. Just see them. Then toss them in the ocean.
Notice if you start to wish things weren’t the way they are. If you wish someone else didn’t do something, notice that. You have expectations, and you wish people or the world could have met them instead of doing what they actually did. Toss those wishes in the ocean too. Now accept things, and move on.
Let the waters of the world cleanse us, and let us walk lightly in a world that is already wonderful without our fantasies.
‘I am open to the guidance of synchronicity, and do not let expectations hinder my path.’ ~Dalai Lama
(Him: To learn more from Leo Babauta, please kindly visit: http://www.zenhabits.net. I highly recommend Leo’s teachings for their practical application in daily life. Please do visit his site when you have time – thanks.)