Ikigai: Happiness in always being busy

Everybody wants to be happy but not everybody have the same way of achieving that. Some think that war is the right answer, others prefer peace. And no matter how different their means of reaching happiness are, they have a common goal. To be happy.
According to Blaise Pascal, French philosopher, people believe that the happiness can be only found in resting. When we are resting, when nothing stressful is going on, we are happy. But then there is another instinct—the one that pushes us to seek amusement. We are bored when we can just rest and enjoy and when nothing is happening. We have these two instincts that are contradicting each other and the vicious cycle from amusement to rest and back is what is keeping us from happiness.

Japanese people have found happiness and long life in Ikigai. They say that happiness can be found in always being busy and never stop working. Ikigai is about finding something you like doing and never stop doing it. The word “retirement” which we love in English, doesn’t even exist in Japanese. Most of the people there never retire, never stop working all together. They keep living their purpose until the day they die.
Their goal is different from ours, they don’t want to rest, they don’t’ want to find happiness, they want to find purpose and never retire from it.
Other things that centenarians in Okinawa claim are their secret to long life are: smile a lot, healthy diet full of various kinds of food, eating until they are 80% full, social ties with family and community, exercise (both mental and physical), plenty of sleep and no stress, positive attitude, and resistance to keep living Ikigai forever.

Check out Quick Fix channel.

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Love through Time

Finding a perfect partner, get married, have amazing sex and be super in love. That is the dream not just girly ones but in general. With some minor adjustments but we all want to be happy and being happy means having a great relationship. Funny enough, in the past, there was never any attempts in combining romantic love, sex, and marriage with one single institution as we do it today. Why? Because it is not so easy (as we can see it today).

So what were they doing in the past? In traditional societies, it was common that the parents decided and agreed on who their children will marry. Who a person is going to marry depended on their social status, health state and reputation of both families involved. Marriage was first and most importantly a union of two families and not two individuals. Getting married had nothing to do with romantic love, marriage was not about a fairytale. It was simply a way to ensure the conservation of the family name and the property, all the children were raised according to their social status and knew what to expect in life. The traditional societies weren’t concerned with the feelings of an individual, love was not a feeling that would be enough to build a strong relationship between a man and a woman. Loveless marriage so to speak, even if love could and did often develop later on.

Greek culture was combining sex and marriage between a man and a woman under one roof, but no romantic love. That one was reserved for relationships between adult men and teenage boys, a mentor, and student. Sometimes this romantic love also included sex, but never marriage. For some, it sounds like a nightmare, for others it totally looks more modern than what we have for a fairytale of today.

The ideas of romantic love as we know it today originates from 17th century—troubadours and the courtly love. Man (most commonly a knight) would declare noble love for a woman (which would usually be married to someone else) and he would do heroic deeds to win her heart. This kind of romantic love was mostly literary and had nothing to do with marriage. Both hearts were longing for the other but not doing anything.

In Victorian times of 19th century, the first marriages based on love took place. But sex was not a part of the equation. A woman who was enjoying sex or showed any sexual desires was considered sick. Sexual pleasures belonged to the brothel and had nothing to do with marriage. There was a strict line between women as homemakers, pure beings, and dirty, disposable prostitutes.

Only recently we became sure that romantic love, sex, and marriage could and should exist between just two people. We are the first ones in the history of humanity, who are trying to combine all three of them with one single agreement. We raised the stakes really high and now we are barely holding onto them. With 40 % of first marriages ending in divorce, are we fooling ourselves?

So, is there hope? Certainly. But we should say goodbye to fairy tales, waiting for the perfect person and expect to live happily ever after.

The wedding is not the end, it is the beginning. Beginning of a journey to know yourself, an opportunity to grow as a person. But this can only happen if we realize and are aware of one thing: the partner is not here to make us happy, solve our problems and give meaning to our life. The real power of love is the power of our inner change. Our partner is here to accompany and support us on our path to personal growth.

Romantic love, sex, and marriage can walk hand in hand but only when we accept that the point of is not salvation, it’s meeting. Meeting with your partner and meeting with yourself.

Check out Quick Fix channel here.

 

The Big Diversion (ft. Blaise Pascal)

The world’s second biggest fear is fear of death, misery, being helpless and sick. Just thinking about it is enough to make us feel bad at the very least. Therefore, we choose not to think about it. It is just easier this way. But French philosopher Pascal claims that never mind what we think about, our last thought is about death. The more we think about things and the longer our train of thoughts is, the final thought is eventually going to be death.

And since that is the case, we turn to diversion. We distract ourselves with other things, so we don’t have to be alone with our thoughts. In the past kings had their own entertainers and servants, there was always somebody to keep them distracted and worst case scenario, they started a war J The women had to take care of their house, children, cook, clean, keep the husband happy, or they read, went for walks, balls and pose for portraits. The peasants had to keep the family alive, growing enough food and working like crazy to make the ends meet.

Today we have no problems like that (at least most of the people in the Western world). So we came up with other kinds of distractions like the Internet, social media, movies, books, drugs, alcohol, video games, fashion and so on. There is always something to do and we don’t even have a chance to get bored as long as there is some Wi-Fi.

What does Pascal say about distractions?

The only thing, which consoles us from our miseries, is the diversion, and yet this is the greatest of our miseries. For it is this which principally hinders us from reflecting upon ourselves and which makes us insensibly ruin ourselves. Without this, we should be in a state of weariness, and this weariness would spur us to seek a more solid means of escaping from it. But diversion amuses us and leads us unconsciously to death.

Is there a solution? Sure, everything has a solution, but sadly, not the one we want. There is no immortality, at least not yet. Nevertheless, there is the possibility to accept death. Accept that we are all going to die eventually and not just that. Our friends, family, our partner, children, dog and even forest behind the house is going to die, disappear altogether.

It sounds horrible, but it doesn’t have to be. Dying is the worst thing that can happen to us. That is it. You die, end of the story. Therefore, any problems we are dealing with right now are not as scary as the thought of dying. And knowing this is kind of liberating, don’t you think?

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Q&A Thyself

Answers are such an important part of our life because they determine how our life is going to develop, are we going to progress or not and how far we can go.

But the problem is that answers seem to be far more important than the questions. Answering vital questions is not about long, hard thinking, as it should be. Questions make us uncomfortable, so we ask others: friends and family, social media, internet, and books. And that is ok for a start, but the problem is that more often than not, this is also the end.

We are uncomfortable when we are asked a question we don’t know the answer to. We feel ashamed, angry, we feel like we don’t know enough, we are not smart enough or not educated enough. Questions make us feel weak, confused and unstable. But questions are also the ones who push us to look, to think, to understand ourselves. Questioning and answering vital questions (and less vital ones) is the way to know who we are. Think about it, if all of our answers are coming from other people, how can we know who we are and what we want?

The only way to progress is to start questioning. Ask yourself questions, look for answers, enjoy in the search for your own meaning, your own progress. Because questions might be unstable, but they are also keeping us young, energetic and active. Progress and self-growth are not about answers that are all the same, it is about authenticity. Only you know what your answers are. Because answers are the end, they are closing us in a box. They are safe, they are routine, but they are also closure. Once there are no more questions, there is no more vitality, no more passion.

The worst thing that happens to all of us is that we adopt other people’s answers without even realizing it. Our surroundings are influencing us, and us, being so keen to please everyone, take their answers. We adopt their point of view and stop answering for ourselves. Maybe we never had. Parents, family, then friends, school, tv and advertisement, social media and our idols. They are all offering us their answers and so very often we take them without questioning.

But these answers are the ones that form our identity. They are vital to who we are but they are not even our own. So we are not really who we are… Paradox. This is why we have to start asking ourselves questions and answering them for ourselves too. It is not a race, it is ok if you don’t know. Take your time. Just don’t give responsibility to other people. It is your life and it is your progress that is on the line. Make it count!

Check out our video here.

The Incarceration Taboo

Prisons are overcrowded, expensive, bad for human rights and are increasing the incivilities. So maybe it is time to talk about it here 🙂

PROBLEMS
To get to the bottom of any problem, the most important thing is to understand it. And other than prisons being expensive, prisons are also a crime school. An innocent person in prison becomes a criminal, and criminal stays a criminal. The cruelest and the strongest one is the one who is in charge; peaceful guys have a bad future ahead of them once in prison. Whatever the values are outside the prison, they are canceled once a person is imprisoned. And prison is one big mixture of people; no matter what we did wrong, as long as we did something illegal, we are locked up with other criminals.

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The researchers and plain logic show that prisons do not reduce incivilities, they actually increase them. The more prisons we build, the more prisoners and crime we have. We lock them away for some time, but we don’t help them, so once they are out, they go back to things they know, which is the crime for most of them.

When it comes to human rights, it is pretty obvious. A lot of human rights that prisoners should have are not really there. Such as the right to dignity and freedom, or to be treated with respect at all times. They shouldn’t be tortured, humiliated or punished, they should have good food, water, clothing, private toilet, proper medical care, they should feel safe at all times and it should be taken care of their safety at all times.

WHY?
Why do we even have prisons? Because we are afraid of criminals, that is one. And it is normal, we are afraid for ourselves, children, family and friends, we don’t want criminals around. But even bigger and sadder reason is revenge. We want to see them pay for what they did, we want to see them suffer, get hurt and feel exactly how they made us (or other people) feel. An eye for an eye. But are we any better than they are if we do that?

WHO?
Who do we put in prison? Everybody who did something against the law. So criminals. But we forget that those criminals are firstly and most importantly humans. They are people just like we are, with feelings, needs, with family and friends, maybe even a dog.

These people did something wrong, but why? The biggest problem we came up with is because they are (or are feeling) excluded from the society. All the other problems and reasons are secondary. They might have been neglected as children, didn’t get education, love, friends, home and as adults, they are still (or newly) excluded. Maybe they were or still are poor, have mental issues, were tortured, never had a real social connection, belong to a minority. Maybe they don’t know how to deal with their feelings, how to make friends, how to find work, where to turn to for help. Maybe they feel like nobody cares what happens to them. We are all social beings and we need social contacts. When we lose that we are also losing a part of our humanity.

This is why we should try to keep them in the society or try to include them as much as possible to the community and not through them away. Because by doing what we are doing today we are just increasing the problems that caused the criminal activity in the first place.

ALTERNATIVES

I do agree that something has to be done, we cannot just let them do whatever they please. And there are alternatives to prisons.

–     Open air prisons: prisoners work outside, maybe a farm or building something (they learn new skills and have something to show for at the end of the day and imprisonment).

–     House arrest: being held at home, the police is checking up on you, you are with your family in your own comfort zone.

–     Open ward: prisoners can go out during the day, look for work, go to school… And the results are good: prisoners who can go out and move more freely, they present minimal risk to commit a crime. This is not a theory, this exists and it is proving to be more efficient than “traditional” prisons.

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–     Referral to an attendance center: you can sleep at home and every morning you come back to prison.

–     Suspended or deferred sentence: you do not go to prison now, but next time you do something, you go to prison and both of your punishments combine.

–     Probation and judicial supervision: earlier release from prison and supervision after being realized

–     Confiscation or an expropriation order: the state can take your money, goods or property if they can prove that you got it thanks to your illegal activity.

–     Restitution to the victim or a compensation order: payback, come up with a plan to make it up to the victim.

–     A community service order: working, volunteering to do something good for the community.

–     Status penalties: you can no longer be a doctor, priest, lawyer, politician, teacher, pharmacist if you did something to mess it  (intentional murder or inadequate treatment of patients, raping and any kind of abuse…)

–     Economic sanctions and monetary penalties, such as fines and day-fines: day-fines mean you have to pay a certain percentage of your daily income, like 2% – this way we avoid rich people not going to prison because they can pay and poor have to.

–     Conditional discharge: if you do this, we do not charge you (if you pay back, if you do community work, if you fix what you broke, if you stop dealing drugs, if you get help with your addiction)

–     Verbal sanctions, such as admonition, and warning: basically telling people not do that anymore and to tell him what his actions caused, how he can improve.

THE END
What can we do today? Firstly, we should try to change the way we think. Instead of being afraid and wanting revenge, we could try to understand them. Try to help them and be there to offer them guidance when they need it. And try to keep them in the society as much as we can instead of locking them up. Maybe we could get inspired from how we teach children: being patient, be a positive role model, offer them guidance but constant surveillance, rewarding the good and not punishing the bad. And maybe this way we could create a bit better society than it is today. Because once we can accept that nobody perfect, we can cut some slack to ourselves too and allow ourselves to take a chance.

Check out our YouTube video here.

 

 

The Technologies Mind Rape

2 billion people use the internet everyday and internet today is the larger source of influence on such a huge group of people, on their daily thoughts and beliefs, religions and governments only dream about it!

But with great power comes great responsibility which big internet companies don’t really worry about. Our time and attention are their money and they have no ethics when it comes to persuading us to give them our time. To get as much of our attention as they can, they are employing experts, who know exactly how to take advantage of our cognitive biases and create systems that are way better at hijacking our instincts than we are at controlling them. To recognize whether we are being manipulated or not all the time, all 150 times a day we reach for our phone, would demand a huge amount of energy we simply do not have to spare.

The first person who warned us about this problem of big internet companies hijacking our brain and not having any ethics behind their actions was Tristan Harris. He used to work at Google as design ethicist and is now known as the conscious of the Silicon Valley. He is warning that science is coming up with new and new ways how to get even more of our time, more than what we are willing to give, but there is nobody taking care of our best interest. So we should do it on our own!

How does it work? When we receive notification and reach for our phone, we usually end up spending good 10-20 minutes of our time without planning too. And that is ok, if we have time, but what if we are at work or we are planning to go to sleep early that evening, when social media suddenly sucks us in the internet world?

We are trapped more often than we think we are and everyday experts are working harder to get our attention and keep it on their web site for as long as possible. And this is not going to change as long as our attention and time equal their money.

So what can we do to protect ourselves? First thing is to understand the problem, to know how does the hijacking of our brain works. Second thing is to admit that we have a problem, we are not excluded because we are too smart and have the best self-control ever. We are just one little brain with cognitive functions that leave us vulnerable. The thousands of scientists working against us, we don’t really have much luck to stand up. What we can do is to become aware of what is happening and limit the time we spend on the internet and from time to time find some other source of entertainment. Or use one of the apps and websites that help us control the time we spend and help us claim our attention back:

Here is the list of them:

  • Adblock (speaks for itself: it blocks out all the adds)
  • Mozilla Focus (allows you to delete your history right away)
  • Facebook purity (you decide what you want to see and what you don’t)
  • Rescue time (tracking time on each app and setting boundaries for certain apps of your choice)
  • Flight mode (during the night, when at work, with friends, family, studying…)
  • Ergonomy of the phone (delete apps from your home screen, place them in different folders so you don’t see them. Far from the eyes, far from the heart)
  • Consider apps you have (do you need FB app or twitter app on your phone—maybe use it only on your computer—this way less notification and better use of your free time).

Do you know any other ones? Please, share them in the comments!

Thank you in advance!

Check out Tristan Harris and his TedTalk.

The Minorities’ Revolution

All around the planet the LGBTQ situation is kind of awkward. In some countries, they’re killed, in some others kinda accepted, but everywhere they are asking for more rights and recognition. And this situation is not the only one of its kind. There are a lot of minorities struggling to have more rights, and everywhere they have or had to face (sometimes violent) opposition.

So how do minorities get their rights and how can we as majority react to actual minorities concerns?

The problem arises when a group of people that we never saw before demand recognition. How should we react? Should we give all kind of rights to everybody just because they ask? Or should we never change the laws because they are good the way they are.

In all civil rights movements, we can observe at least two sides: The minority and The majority.

  • The minority is the group of people who require more rights
  • The majority is pretty much everyone else

Why does a minority want more rights? People, who share a culture, an ethnicity or a religion want to express themselves more freely and be equal to everybody else. There is probably a lot of these minority groups in your region or country without you noticing them. We usually notice them only when they ask for more recognition. Or more accurate: they DEMAND it! This was the case for African-American in the USA, for Slovenians during Yugoslavia, for Irish under the UK and for the LGBTQ movement right now.

What all the minorities have in common is their struggle before acquiring equality or independence. Most of the time a minority will struggle silently during years, decades or maybe even centuries. Eventually, their requests might be heard, but this doesn’t mean they will get what they want. Sometimes they have to persist during years, while sometimes the war will last ten days. Sometimes they will reach their goal and sometimes they will have to settle for less.

But why do minorities even want rights at this cost? Mostly so they can be who they are and have the same rights no matter who they were born to be. Because it is easier to change the society than it is to change your own identity.

PAST

On top of recent history stands African-American people who obtained their civil rights after a long struggle. They went from being slaves to free people and from free people to having equal rights as everybody else. At least on paper.

Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Martin Luther, are just some of the names. We can read all about it in a couple of pages but the struggle for equality and rights of African-Americans is more than words and names we can read in a book. It is a puzzle of millions of people of all colors struggling.

In eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe, same-sex sexual behavior and cross-dressing were totally unacceptable and were serious crimes sometimes ending with death. In the 20th century, there were many individuals and groups who wanted gay rights, but it wasn’t until the period after the war that the real fight began in the western world. The new social movements of the sixties, such as the Black Power and anti-Vietnam war movements in the US, the May 1968 insurrection in France, and Women’s Liberation throughout the Western world, inspired many LGBTQ activists to become more radical.

1973 was a big breakthrough: homosexuality is no longer mental disease in America.

minority VS majority

TODAY

In America today African-American and white people are supposed to be equal in the eyes of the law and have same opportunities.

Sadly, the researches show that this is not the fact in real life. African Americans who are arrested are seven times more likely to be imprisoned than whites; they are sentenced to death four times more often than whites, and the average prison sentence is 10 months longer for African-American men than for white men. It is also least likely for an African-American person to own a home compared to all the other ethnic groups in America.

Since 2001 a lot has changed for the better for LGBTQ. In 2001 the same sex marriage was legalized in Netherlands. Since then most of the countries in the western world have either legalized gay marriage or legal union of gay people. However, in some of the countries in Africa and Asia homosexuality is still illegal and gay people can face prison time, life in prison or even death penalty.

On the bright side, 2017 was a good year for transgender community as Denmark became the first country in the world to officially remove transgender identities from its list of mental health disorders.

FUTURE

Major changes do not happen overnight, but change is the only constant thing in our lives. Black people have come a long way since being enslaved but they still have a long way to go. Same goes for LGBTQ community. Things that are acceptable today could earn you a death sentence in the past. For some (minority) things are moving too slow, while for others (majority) things are moving way too fast.

MAJORITY POINT OF VIEW

Why is the majority so conservative, so slow to change their minds and so hard to convince?

Black people were brought from Africa especially to be slaves of white people. This doesn’t mean that all white people were bastards who wanted to enslave the black ones, it was just the way things were at the time. When black people suddenly wanted rights, this came as a shock. It sounds absurd today. But at that time they all thought that black people were worth less than white ones, and then the black people wanted to be free, have same rights and live the same life as white ones. It was a shock even for the progressive ones.

Same is true for gay people. Slowly it is more and more acceptable to be gay and to see gay people on the street. But it still comes as a shock to some, especially older people to see a gay couple or a family, let alone transgender people or any other group of people who are not fitting the social standards perfectly.

We also have to understand that when a majority has to give more rights to other people, they feel like they are giving up on their own like they are losing something that was just theirs before (which often they actually are). They feel like things are taken from them personally and so they fight harder to keep things the way they are. If black people can enter the same restaurant, less white people can find a table there and if the gay community is commonly admitted in society it is totally challenging the vision of the traditional family.

The majority is not part of the fight of minorities, they do not even notice them during minorities’ fight for rights. And as their struggle is usually long and hard, they become more aggressive. Once the majority notices them, the minority has already put on a good fight for their cause. This is why once they state their demands super loud and the majority hears them, those demands can trigger a negative reaction.

Which doesn’t mean the minority should stop, get desperate or start a war, but just understand that giving rights is not such an easy decision and when a minority asks for more rights it should do it precautiously and considering the majority’s point of view in order to be understood clearly and not be seen as a threat.

While on the other hand, the majority should always keep an open mind and be ready to participate in a dialogue in order not to reproduce crazy shit like slavery.

Check out our Youtube channel here.

 

The Creativity Secrets

Being creative has always been an important part of human life, but lately, we can hear people saying that being creative is hard, they are not capable of it and they have to learn how to be creative. How come? Aren’t we born creative? We are, but we often forget about it. Or we have a wrong interpretation of what is creative. And the world of internet and social media where we can compare ourselves to anyone doesn’t make it any easier.

Nevertheless, creating is not about being original as so many of us think. Because everything reminds us of something, everything we have already seen before in one way or another. So instead of trying to be original, let’s be authentic. Being authentic means being you, expressing your thoughts, feelings, and ideas. You are one of a kind and once you work on the idea and make it a reality, this will feel original. And will be appreciated.

So why even go to the trouble and try new things if we cannot be original? Because creating makes us happy. That is all!

Do what you are passionate about and your life will have a meaning, you will never have to work again and you will be happy. Some lucky ones always knew what they want from life. However, what about if you are not one of them, you don’t have passion, nothing is interesting enough to you. Maybe it is time to stop trying and just accept that you are never going to be happy… Or maybe it is time to be curious. Curiosity is the best because it is simpler than passion. It demands one thing—that you are interested in something. No matter what it is, start exploring that.

When it comes to being creative and authentic and curious, there is always that little (and sometimes big) voice in our head warning us: what if, how, why, what will they say, who do you think you are… Fear. When we are doing something new and uncertain, fear will be there. Evolutionary, it is here to ensure our survival, so just accept it and keep pushing.

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We are all creative, but we don’t all embrace our creativity because this means taking a step out of our comfort zone. But how can we turn down something that comes naturally to us and makes us feel happy and alive?

Stop reading and watching videos on how to be creative. You already have everything you need. What interests you at least a tiny little bit? Explore it and dare to be yourself!

Check out the video here.

Find the book Big Magic (which inspired this post) here.

 

 

 

Are some people really superior?

We share this planet with billions of arrogant monsters and these monsters live in each and every one of us. If in the past we could compare ourselves with a couple of people from our neighborhood or the village, we can now expand it to basically the whole planet. The Internet and all kinds of social media are giving us a wonderful opportunity to envy other people and at the same time feel like we are better than them.

So often we see the movies and read books where the world is divided into good and evil people, everything is black and white. But is it true? Are some people really better than the others? Are some people really superior?

This is one of the main ideas of the book Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky. The main character of the book divides the world into weak, disposable ones and superior, super humans, who can do whatever they want with the rest of ordinary people.

This kind of arrogance is a big problem in today’s world and it is not something only certain people feel. We all compare ourselves to our neighbors, coworkers, the shop assistant and other drivers on the highway. So very often we feel like we are better, more beautiful or smarter than them, that we would do a better job than they any time given their life.

We all have something in our brain called mirror neurons. These neurons are responsible for our empathy—thanks to them we suffer when we see other people suffering and we are happy when we see very happy people walking by. We mirror their behavior and feelings. But that is not all. When people share our ethnicity, political views, religion or come from the same background, we tend to listen to them much more than to people who are different. The hack is that those people might have valuable knowledge to share.

We cannot define who is a good person, therefore it is impossible to define who is a better person. We consider people better or worse than us based on our own criteria, with our own limited knowledge.

Borders are separating knowledge, resources, and wealth (and humans). Many studies have shown that by opening the borders and letting people circulate as they please, we would improve the planet’s wealth from 67 to 172%! So what are we waiting for? Well, we are way too scared and arrogant at the same time to even consider it even if this would boost the economy and improve all of our lives.

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The answer that both Dostoevsky and self-improvement are offering is to be humble. We should stop judging others and comparing ourselves to them. Instead, we have to start listening to them. Nobody is over anybody. Humbleness helps to keep an open mind and improve consistently. There will always be something we can learn because everyone has his own story and her own knowledge. Actually, the more different people are from us, the more there is to learn from them.

To be the best, we have to stay open to everybody’s knowledge, opinion, and experiences. We are the same as our “stupid neighbor” or the African dictator. Human—living, and learning.

Check out the video The Arrogant Monsters of Our Planet here.
If you haven’t read the book Crime and Punishment yet, do it! Find it here.

 

Pain management and self-regulation

The book Search inside yourself by Chade-Meng Tan really blew my mind and taught me so many new things I just have to share it with you. Here is the video where I talk about pain management, self-control, where is suffering coming from and how to avoid it.

Often we think that self-control or self-regulation is about avoiding emotions, denying or repressing true feelings or about never having certain emotions. Even monks, masters of self-regulation, experience negative feelings from time to time. It is impossible to stop a thought or emotion from arising.

Self-regulation is about becoming very skilful with your emotions. What we have is the power of letting it go and the more you observe yourself, your body and thoughts, the more skilful you will become.

When the emotion appears, we feel bad because of one these two things: grasping and aversion. Grasping is when the mind desperately wants to hold on to. When we are so happy we are afraid of losing it.

Aversion is when the mind desperately wants to refuse or keep something away. When you are in pain you can only think of that and the world is going round because of your pain.

90%, if not 100% of all of our suffering is coming from those two things and could be avoided. We don’t suffer when we experience the pain (or maybe we do just a little bit), we suffer because we talk, think and feel sorry for ourselves; we want to push it far away.

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How to deal with pain for the better:

Know when you are not in pain. The pain is not constant, especially emotional. There is a small space in between when we can catch our breath and feel better. You just have to observe yourself.

Do not feel bad about feeling bad. The distress and negative emotions are natural—we all experience them from time to time. If you feel bad about something, don’t worry about it. Let it be.

Do not feed the monsters.

We cannot stop bad emotions from coming and we cannot force them to leave, but we can stop giving them food. What is their food? Their food is negative thoughts.

When you feel angry about somebody you start thinking about all the times he let you down or create a plan on how to revenge yourself or how you will show him who is the boss. This is the monster’s food. Once you stop thinking these stories and let the emotion just be in you without adding fuel, the monsters will starve and search for the food elsewhere.

Start every thought with kindness and humour. No matter how angry, sad or disappointed you feel, begin each thought with kindness and compassion for the other person. They are human just like you and they too make mistakes.
Even better plan is to laugh. Imagine yourself being a part of a movie and you mess up with your reaction.

Don’t take life too seriously, it is way too short for that!

Purchase the book Search inside yourself by Chade-Meng Tan here.