“Life is not the way it’s supposed to be, it’s the way it is. The way you cope is what makes the difference.” — Virginia Satir
Life is a series of peaks and valleys. Sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down. But sometimes, it’s in learning to do the simple things that get us out of difficult times.
To live, we must learn to suffer and through suffering, we find our real self.
Where there is no pain, there is no growth. Artist puts in thousands of hours to get a result. Sportsman put in long hours of practice to come out victorious. Entrepreneurs put in a lot of sacrifices to scale their company for growth. All these involve suffering and suffering for the right thing means sacrificing for the greater good.
When you can improve your ability to navigate the difficult times, you not only live a happier life, but you also grow as a person. And It’s in doing the simple things of life that makes our mind tranquil when faced with difficult times.
These simple things will help you anytime you’re facing a hard time.
We must cultivate mental stillness to succeed in life and to successfully navigate the many crises it throws our way. It will not be easy, but it is essential writes Ryan Holiday.
Much of human living starts from the mind. When our mind is messy, our living becomes messy. When our mind is cluttered with dirt, our lifestyle becomes a clustered lifestyle. Meditation helps put our mind in order. And our mind as we know is littered with endless of thought.
Only when our mind is in order can we be able to see reality clearly. Therefore, through meditation, we see reality clearly.
Meditation frees the mind of any burden by giving it full concentration on your breathing or whatever you choose to focus on. By this, meditation helps you become more mindful of your thoughts, giving you the opportunity to catch negative thoughts and release them rather than allowing them to snowball. Your ability to do this will strengthen with practice and will be particularly helpful when a challenge comes your way.
Marina Abramovic put it best when she said: “people don’t understand that the hardest thing to do is actually doing something that’s close to nothing.” And that’s what you get when you meditate.
The less comfortable you are with solitude, the more likely it is that you won’t know yourself.
Our minds are less “thinking machines” than they are “avoiding machines.” And the incredible thing is that we aren’t even usually aware that we’re avoiding thinking about something writes Leo Babauta. Our minds want to run from whatever discomfort, pain, or difficulty we’re facing… and this is a good strategy for temporarily not having to deal with difficulty and pain. So in the present moment, we might feel some temporary relief.
But what it does is relegate us to a life of running. A life of distraction and never facing what ails us. We keep ourselves busy, but never learn to deal with what’s inside us, what’s in front of us.
Thinking in this context doesn’t mean thinking about your past or future. It means listening to your inner dialogue. And trying to listen to yourself can be difficult in a world where we are not comfortable with solitude. The less comfortable you are with solitude, the more likely it is that you won’t know yourself.
Thinking is an internal dialogue between two or more different views of the world says Jordan Peterson in his book 12 rules for life. But in a world where our opinion and views are all that matters, hardly do we ever learn to think what’s right from wrong.
If you learn to think for yourself, you will be a good listener. And when you can listen to your inner-self, you will find a healthy way to interact with the world around you.
In a world where we are connected to everything except ourselves, it isn’t far fetched to see why we find it difficult to think anymore. To find yourself Socrates writes think for yourself.
The ability to think gives us the ability to judge. The ability to judge means that we can learn to make decisions over the course of time accounting for first, second and third-order effect of our choices, rather than just reactively responding to stimuli in our environment writes Zat Rana. True thinking is rare just like true listening. But if you learn to think clearly and listen to yourself well, only then can you understand the message life is trying to pass across to you.
To see what matters, you really have to look. To understand it, you really have to think.
Let go of attachment
“Most of our troubles are due to our passionate desire for and attachment to things that we misapprehend as enduring entities.” — Dalai Lama
This is by far the biggest problem as to why most people find life difficult- they can’t let go. When you live your life based on the expectation of others and holding dearly to things, you set yourself up for failure and disappointment.
Having expectations isn’t the problem but not letting go of the expectation is. When you stop trying to grasp, own, and control the world around you, you give it the freedom to fulfil you without the power to destroy you. That’s why letting go is so important — letting go is letting happiness in writes Lori Deschene.
The more you cultivate the ability to do the things you want with maximum effort simply because you want to do them, regardless of what anyone thinks — and somehow detached from the outcomes themselves the easier life becomes.
True freedom is about uncertainty and uncertainty is the very thing we must learn to thrive on. But as humans, we aren’t wired to tolerate uncertainty.
Of course, not all problems will just evaporate by doing these things, but I can tell you that you’ll be able to face many more things as you do these things.
You’ll get better at dealing with discomfort, instead of running from it as most people do.
You’ll get better at doing uncomfortable tasks.
You’ll be more present and more willing to stay in the moment rather than needing distractions all the time.