When navigating Class 8 rapids on the Colorado River, we were taught to position the prow of the raft at a certain angle to the current just prior to whitewater taking over. From that point on, we are one with the river, relying on grace and balance.
What follows are five essential attitudes to personally adopt while positioning oneself to navigate the rapids of intense collective volatility — like NOW!
Also good to develop techniques to shield the self from incoming whirlwinds. Like the 12D shield meditation, for example.
And above all, to practice “self-discipline” (eat well, exercise daily, plenty of sleep, etc.) which, as the Dalai Lama says, is, after all, just “looking after one’s own long term interest.”
And, guess what? Looking after the self, while it must come first, is meaningless unless we also recognize our place in the whole, and that we are each responsible for our part in the process of healing humanity from the mind-controlled miasm of the past 26,000 years.
Most people have no control over their emotional well-being. They feel ecstatic when good stuff happens and depressed when things go wrong. Their lives are roller coaster rides: sometimes up, sometimes way down.
But what if you could be happy no matter what happens?
You’d stay calm when your car breaks down and your boss shouts at you. You’d stop feeling lonely when there’s no one to talk to on a rainy day. You’d never lose sleep over a relationship that isn’t working out.
If being in command of your emotional state sounds good, take charge of your life with these 5 easy tips.
1. Stop Chasing and Start Living
Many people feel they need something – more money, new clothes, better relationships – to make them happy. They think: “If only I had that other thing, I would be complete”. Instead of enjoying life, they chase a vague idea of happiness.
But even when you get everything that’s supposed to make you happy, life will have ups and downs. Today your car breaks down; tomorrow you pull your calf muscle. If you look hard enough, you’ll always find reasons to be miserable.
So stop chasing; start living. Wanting more is fine, but don’t forget to relax and enjoy life for what it is – in the present.
2. Assume Responsibility
We often blame other people, circumstances and even objects for our problems. “I’m this way because my dad didn’t love me enough”; “I hate my stupid car for breaking down all the time.”
But life is full of different people and situations: some are good and some are bad. Unless you assume responsibility for your life, you’ll always be at the mercy of those circumstances.
Instead of blaming others for what’s wrong in your life, focus on what you can do to make things better. Never sulk and try not to feel sorry for yourself too often. It’s your responsibility to make yourself happy: nobody else’s.
3. Stop Seeking Stimulation
We live in a world of endless stimulation. Between movies, video games and the internet, something exciting’s always going on. Sometimes, this makes us feel bored and restless when we run out of stuff to do.
If you want to be happy, overcome this addiction. Develop the ability to enjoy life in its entirety – even when the stimulation stops.
Appreciate the sky you see on your way to work each day. Cherish each moment you spend with the people you love. Savor every bite of food you get to eat. Enjoying every experience will give you many new reasons to be happy.
4. Take Action
Taking action is the logical consequence of assuming responsibility for your life (Point #2).
When you want to lose weight – start jogging. Someone’s being rude to you? Tell them to stop. If you’re unhappy with your job, start looking for a new one. Get behind the steering wheel of your own life!
This site has plenty of advice that will help you take action the smart way. Educate yourself and commit to find happiness no matter what it takes. With enough hard work and dedication, you really can create the life you want.
5. Expect Nothing
We expect others to treat us better than we treat them. We work out a few times and stress because we don’t instantly look like models. We want to live like rockstars, ignoring the fact that only a few people reach that level of success.
In short, we tend to have unreasonable expectations. The difference between what we feel entitled to and what we actually get is the source of much misery.
Accept life in its entirety; stop thinking in terms of what should be and accept what is. When you live without entitlement, every good thing becomes a wonderful surprise. Even better, expecting nothing means never being disappointed.
At the end of the day, bad things will happen to you. You will have highs, lows and lots of mediums in your life. You’re only human, just like everybody else.
But follow the 5 tips in this post and you’ll be well on your way to staying happy – no matter what happens.