Even sitting still with eyes closed, my mind is racing so fast. From the past to the present and future, millions of thoughts running through my head.
I couldn’t help but following my thoughts back to the past, ruminating about past relationships, events, and experiences. The next second, I found myself worrying about what might happen in the future. These are all problems that don’t even exist in real life. It happened all in the minds.
“Who Am I”, this is the little mantra that I learned from Zen Master Hui Men at ViriyaChan Monastery back in 2011.
By uttering this 3 words, it helps me to stop this train of thought, bring me back to center and focus on the “Now” moment.
Well, this happened to all of us, regardless of your life circumstances. We’re pretty good at creating problems.
Everything we do and know, all our feelings and emotions, thoughts and questions about our very existence on earth – all are the products of the brains.
Unlike other animals, we as human have the brain capacity to think for ourselves. But why can’t we just stop thinking and creating problems for ourselves?
What Human Are Built For
So, are our brains wired for negative thinking?
Why we can’t just be happy with our life now?
Why do we like to imagine the worst and worry too much?
So they say because we’re built to survive. We’re not built to be happy.
Our brains are designed in such a way to constantly explore the unknown, uncover new knowledge and find the next big thing to solve.
It’s a good thing. Discovering new ways to reach Mars safely, finding better methods to increase food supply, working to improve the educational systems, in almost every aspect of life imaginable. It enriches and improves the quality of our life. It helps us to continue to evolve as a species.
If it isn’t for some sort of fear, anxiety or worries about the threats to our very existent on earth, we won’t have achieved substantial advancement in major sectors like health, agriculture, education and technology.
Working much based on Yin and Yang principle, part of our brains that’s responsible for thinking is also controlling creativity too.
As human are still evolving, now we’re born not merely to survive. We’re born to thrive.
We consume to survive, but we create to thrive.
So the next time you catch yourself trapping in this cycle of endless thought, remember that you’re not alone. In fact, there’s nothing wrong with you.
But there’s something that you’ll need to understand about human brain and happiness.What is happiness?
To have a better understanding of the subject matter, let’s go back to the history. According to the ancient Greeks, there’s a word to describe the concept of happiness: “Eudaimonia”.
To translate this word exactly as possible, we break it into two parts, “Eu” means “good” and “daimon” means “self” or “spirit”.
Unlike the way we think of happiness: joy, contented, grateful, Aristotle defines eudaimonia as “doing and living well”.
To put it simply, it’s about living a fulfilling and good moral life.
How do you define happiness?
Achieving goals like own a luxurious house, buy a faster car, get a better paying job, and go for a longer holiday at exotic place will make you happy forever?
No, our desire for things will only grow bigger and bigger.
And there’s always cravings to satisfy and problems to solve, no matter what stage of life you’re in right now.
How we wish we could reach a permanent state of euphoria.
But we can never stay in the same mood forever as our emotions ebb and flow.
All our human emotions, anger, disappointment, sadness and excitement are just temporary. They’re so intense yet fleeting.
A happy life isn’t a perfect life. Yet you can choose to keep working hard, master your craft and improve the lives of yourself and others around you.
Buddha once said, “There is no path to happiness: happiness is the path.”
We’re born to thrive, which is to create.
And you have a choice.
Remember, We consume to survive, but we create to thrive.
You can spend your time ruminate or magnify the unproductive thought continuously. Or you can start focusing on creating.
Rather than delving deep into the feelings, focus on creating the results that you want.
Once you shift your focus on creating, struggle dissolves and everything will fall into place.
There’s no good or bad, no right or wrong and there’s no limit when the focus isn’t “What can I get?” but rather “what I can create?”
Instead of being a victim of circumstance, you’re striving for excellence.
Obstacles become the way. You’ll see problems as opportunities. Life becomes a wonderful journey with endless possibilities.
Consuming is rest and creating is work.
Most often than not we prefer to just consume because it’s easy and doesn’t require much work from us.
But the truth is, being creative requires work, but it isn’t as hard as you think.
Everyone is both consumer and creator.
As you’re reading this, you consume oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. You use energy to create thoughts and even problems in your head.
We get nutrients from food to help our body to build new cells. We read books, attend courses and consume different form of materials to acquire new skills and knowledge.
We’re consuming the electricity while browsing the Internet, but what are we creating?
The whole idea isn’t about stopping consuming and just focusing 100% on creating. It’s about create more than you consume.
It isn’t about living in a state where there are no problems. But it’s about how you create opportunity out of adversity.
Guess what? Once you stop creating, suffering will follow. Rather than moving on, you ruminate on thoughts of regrets. Rather than creating a new chapter in life, you hold on tight to anger that ultimately consume your life. Rather than taking charge of your own life, you let society dictates the way you live your life. You become powerless. You suffer for nothing.
But once you focus on creating, you’ll discover your purpose in life. You’ll find opportunities to create. And pain is inevitable yet it’s an essential part of the process.
You’ll start searching for things that are worth working for rather than things that appeal to your senses.
You do not merely exist to consume the natural resources, deriving pleasure at the expense of others or reaping benefits of other people hard work.
To create more, you’ll search inward, uncover your talents, passions and strengths.
You’re on a lifelong journey to become the best version of yourself.
This is how we unleash our full potential, live the best life and make a lasting impact. This is how we find fulfillment, satisfaction and long lasting happiness- searching inward and creating outward.
This is why we love creating problems – because problem is the way to personal growth.
Oprah Winfrey said, “The whole point of being alive is to evolve into the complete person you were intended to be.”
Also, a hat tip to Brianna Wiest because I’m pretty sure she’s the one who has inspired me to look inwards, think better, write better and ultimately creates this very blog post.
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