Start by asking yourself how much you know about this planet you inhabit. Its people. Its animals. Its problems. How much do you know about yourself? It is easy to assume that you know everything there is to know about who you are, since you are the one who has lived with you since birth, but in each of us there remains the unknown. There are aspects of ourselves that lie dormant, waiting patiently for the push it will take to wake them up. That push comes from facing adversity. From loving with everything you have. From procreating. From creating. We are all creators. Take pleasure – and pride – in your creation: your life. If you cannot feel pride about your life then you understand you are on the wrong path, wasting your potential. If you cannot feel positive about your days and the place you find yourself in them, then you realise you need to adjust your thinking. You cannot avoid having to modify your thoughts when you want to take yourself out of a mediocre situation. There is not one of us who should accept mediocrity. If your life is mediocre, fix it. It has the potential for excellence. You should want to find the best in yourself. If you do not feel that need, you should perhaps question your purpose on this planet. If you cannot define your purpose, you need to find one. You cannot go from dawn until dusk each day without true purpose.
Others are helpful when it comes to making us aware. Be willing to take another’s opinion on board, sometimes it will be your saving grace. If a person is brave enough to tell you what you don’t want to hear, respect their courage and do your best to impact the assessment. If you do not trust the person who is giving you their opinion, then do not bother taking their words to heart. Use them as exercise, emotional exercise. It is easy. You will know if someone is criticising you, or giving you feedback. You cannot mistake the feeling of being criticised. Be grateful for feedback when it is objective, honest. Do not accept insults, accept the truth.
In your awareness, make space for further awareness. Expand your capacity. Know that your mind is eager to stretch itself to accommodate the new. Be curious about who you are in relation to other people. We are not all the same, but we are a collective. Your differences are your distinction. Similarities are sweet, comfortable, routine. They make us feel safe. A difference makes a difference. Find your best in your distinction. You will not find your best when you sit in the ditch with the rest of humanity whining about the world owing you a living. The world owes you nothing. You owe you. It is important to realise that giving in this world is what is required right now. Giving is vital for a person’s well-being. Until every single person on this planet is in a position to give (something back), we have a problem – an imbalance. When you give nothing, you get nothing. When you have nothing, you cannot give. It’s a vicious circle.
The thing to know is that the world does not pick up man’s mess. The world moves along at a pace unchanged. Time ticks as fast as it always did, we only have twenty-four hours in each day. Make sure you use your hours for the betterment of yourself, of others. Be aware of your wants, your needs. Be aware of what you say, to whom. What you have to say for yourself, tells.
If you do not have it, you must cultivate the will to face all things. That means facing your fears. Fears are deceptive. Realise that before you realise anything else. They give the impression that they are material because they feel as real as any feeling you may have. Fear – as a feeling – is a powerful motivator. There is a lot of news about giving your feelings a miss, that they are not to be allowed to dominate your everyday. I put it to you that you are a human being. How can you not be dominated by your feelings? Even serial killers are under the control of their feelings. It is the rush of death that keeps them doing what they do. That rush is within. A feeling. The same rush you or I might feel when we succeed at something that is important to us. To complement will, you need courage. Fortitude. Courage comes in many shapes and sizes. Feelings, too.
You cultivate will through pointing out to yourself the positives in any given situation. The positives engender hope, and we all work well when we allow ourselves to hope. We can find the will to strive towards something that is better than where we find ourselves now. Hoping for the best outcome for yourself in whatever predicament you might find yourself is one of the simplest things you can do to change your patterns of thinking. Instead of dreading an impending disaster (even if there is one coming), or imagining the worst possible scenario that could present itself – try imagining for once that things are going to work out the way you need them to. I am talking about the big picture. You need to practice focussing on the big(ger) picture. The realities you are a part of are stepping stones across a wide, strong river. You can choose to see this and use the stones to cross over or you can stay back on the riverbank for eternity. I would suggest that you do not stay on the bank. Take a step into the river and stand for a moment, feel the movement around you. That is who you are in this world.
The unexpected can weaken our will. When we are faced with surprises in life we tend towards a brief panic and then a desperate clinging to anything in the vicinity that is familiar. We cling to our conditioning, to our behaviours, to our beliefs. To other people. We must learn not to cling to other people. That is like a drowning man drowning his rescuer. We need to learn that life surprises (of the startling variety) all contain learning. Step back when they happen and see where your instincts take you. We are forced to use our initiative when dealing with the new. Initiative is valuable, nurture your nature.
Remember, too, that our will needs to get us through adversity. It needs to take us through our worst, when it comes. And it always comes. The thing to remember is that it always goes. That come and go, ebb and flow, is life living for you. Appreciate its miracle. Appreciate that your worst is only ever as bad as your good is good. The higher your highs, the lower your lows. That is equilibrium.
The wise thing to do when faced with adversity is to accept it. That is the first thing to do. After you have accepted it, you can decide how to proceed through it. Adversity is not averse to confrontation. Learn to hit back at it. I think resistance is the most common reaction when it comes to adversity. Accept that you will resist it. It’s natural. Then watch it for a while, work out how best to penetrate its shell. Adversity always carries heavy armour. If you can see at the outset how to get beneath this armour then you will save yourself time and you will save yourself pain. You will expose at its core its purpose – to challenge, strengthen you. To bring you to a new understanding. Adversity is a worthy adversary. If you understand its lesson before it turns your life inside out then you can transcend its negativity. It’s possible to rise above your trials while they’re happening. This is a skill you can cultivate and you can put it to good use in your everyday.
Do you tend to your troubles with a dedicated mind or a mind distracted by every other thing? The problem is when you are distracted by every other thing. Troubles, when they come, like undivided attention. It is important, however, that you do not give them undivided attention for too long. Then they become bigger than they were when they arrived. The challenge is to keep them from growing and escalating. It takes mind control and a deep faith in the power you hold over yourself to receive adversity in good faith and prevent it from swallowing you whole. Do not allow your mind to wander down dark alleyways all day, unsupervised. Be aware of what you are thinking, when you are thinking it. Keep the negatives in perspective. They are a part of your day, that is all. Do not allow them to be more than a part of your day.
Your mind is particularly helpful when it comes to mapping your actions, if you bother to ask it why it makes you do what you do. I do believe in mind over matter. I think the power of the mind should never be underestimated. Not in adults, and most certainly not in our today-children. Are you aware how fast their synapses are firing? Their little brains are eager, ready for their world. We need to trust that they have evolved, ready. We need to defer sometimes to their judgement. This world is theirs to inherit.