The Pitfalls of our mind – Part 1
Mind altering habits which take you nowhere
We can choose whoever we want to be in any situation. The situations are never in our control, however, the way we react to the situation is totally our choice. This is what differentiates people who are happy in the most difficult situations from the people who are unhappy even if they have everything.
It’s the choice you make of how to define your happiness in life. And this choice can be made wisely, only if your mind is on the correct track.
Mostly for people who are always unhappy, their minds work in a way that even if they want to be happy, they get sucked into the melancholic syndrome without even realizing it. They have been into this practice for so long that it is just a normal way of life for them. Now, this could be because of various reasons, and everyone would have a predominant one, however what is more important is that can we recognize these habits which alter our minds and ensure that we move towards happiness and bliss? Only if we know, can we do something about them.
These habits – You can call them the “Villains” for your happiness–affect your mental health subtly, over a period, so much so that you don’t even know that you have entered a state of depression, or living in a state of stress, and are always anxious. These Villains, if not known and checked, can lead you to diminished logical thinking and decision making.
For the people who really think this is a state where they do not want to be, the discussion below would help you go through your mind, yourself, and understand what you can do to be on the brighter side.
The Pitfalls of our mind: You can relate the habits with the set of people as we go along.
Binary – How often have you seen people who have a habit to say, “This is good, that is bad” or “This is right, that is wrong” or “I will only take this if I have everything on the plate or I don’t want it”? You get what I am hinting at here, right? This is a typical type of behavior which trains your mind to think in a binary manner. Whereas the truth of the world is that as you grow up, the major area to manage between the black and white is the Gray. Like one of my superiors always said–“as you grow up the ladder in the career, learn to manage the gray. The better you learn this, the more you develop as an individual and a professional.” Now what does this really mean? You can’t always have things your way. Learn to be with people, prioritize and share with others. Anyway, you will take nothing with you when you die and you might have everything in the world on your terms, but the fundamental question to ask is, are you still happy?
It’s me – Now there are some folks who are so obsessed with themselves that whatever the situation is, they would put themselves in it or somehow ensure that they feel they were a part of the cause. You would have some faces in front of you by now. Yes, I am talking about the group of people whom you would hear saying “If I would have not been late to the group meeting, it would have ended on time” or “It’s all my fault that my kid did not get good grades” or “I can’t forgive myself to not be there when he/she needed the most”. They are in such a hurry to attribute things which other people do to their actions that they often forget to look at things holistically and cannot find the root cause of the issue, forget rectifying it. Eventually, they keep on blaming themselves for all external circumstances which are out of either their circle of influence or circle of control. These people are “It’s all because of me”. Now the only thing to ponder here is that if you are the center of the world and everything revolves or happens due to you, then would you be in the place you are?
Must – Then there is another set of people who are an extension of the “It’s all because of me” group. They are unable to sleep till they have gone on a guilt trip. For example, they say “I must look attractive” where they actually mean “I am not attractive enough and people won’t love me if I am not attractive” whereas they could be better than Miss Universe. Somehow, they feel that if anything is not done in a particular manner as they perceive, be it by them or anyone else, then it’s not perfect. And slowly and unknowingly, they reach the heights of unrealistic expectations, to the extent that I have heard people say, “The earth is not a perfect sphere, it should have been perfectly shaped.” Exactly this quality then manifests in their personality and thought process where they blame everyone for things or situations. “He did not share his food with me. He should have.” “People don’t regard me for the help I provide. They should thank me for all I do”. And slowly this habit then turns into the “Entitlement” syndrome. Slowly and steadily, you can see this group frustrated, angry and getting bitter over time. This group of people just need to take a deep breath, and a step back, to understand that they can’t control situations, or people and of course, nothing is perfect. The more they stop beating themselves about everything, the better they can accept everything and everyone around.
In the next article we shall explore a few more. Stay tuned.
Read | Appreciate | Share