"The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe."
There are a few things that have become clear to me as I've grown up. Skimmed milk is water lying about being milk, all librarians are basically serial killers in disguise and how happy you are or aren't has a lot to do with your perception of the world around you.
When your eyes flutter open in those wee hours of the morning, when you've just hit the snooze button, try asking yourself this one question while you lay there with your face shoved deep into your pillow.
"Do I live in a good world or a bad world?"
Does it sound silly? Maybe even cheesy?
What if I told you that it's more than just a question. It's a choice.
Think of it like this. It's the classic glass half-full or half-empty scenario.
If you're a stickler for cleanliness, you might find dirt wherever you look. If you're a teacher who has to check homework every night, you'll find that over time it gets easier for you to spot mistakes. Quite simply, it's the age-old adage 'practice makes perfect' working against us. What you choose to see in the world is what the world shows you. Not too different from looking into a mirror then, is it?
But fret not, o' sweet summer child for this predicament is not one that is permanent. There is a solution.
For a lot of us it may sound difficult and for the pessimistic among us it might appear nigh impossible, but it's actually possible to retrain your brain. But it won't be simple and it definitely won't be easy. Are you ready for this?!
Cue - Eye Of The Tiger
The one thing you will need is patience. Lots and lots of patience.
The next time you find yourself dealing with a difficult situation, try to be patient. Try to think about the figurative light at the end of the tunnel.
If you're stuck in traffic, look outside or turn on some music. If you're in line, try starting a conversation with someone around you or read a book.
Learn to let go of things. Especially control.
There is no point of time at which you will be completely in control of the things happening around you. The number of variables are just too vast.
So take a step back, take a deep breath and just let things flow. Or scream internally/into a pillow till it ends. Depends entirely on how many people are around you.
Carry around the things that make you happy.
Fill the little spaces in your schedule with something that makes you smile.
Unless you happen to be completely dead inside, I'm sure you must have some hobbies. Like reading? Carry a book you can whip out whenever you find yourself waiting in line or commuting on the metro. Like music? Carry your earphones.
Be a ray of sunshine to whoever you meet.
Being grateful isn't just something you practice before bed by appreciating everything you have. It's something you are in every moment.
Even if it's someone you bought a packet of chips from, give 'em a big smile and a genuine thanks. You'll find the general apathy and callousness you used to see around you will slowly wane away.
Try to sit and meditate.
You don't need an instructor, a yoga mat and an hour of your time to meditate. Take 15 minutes at any point of time and sit quietly in an erect posture.
Try to focus on something. A point between your eyes, the word Om or the sensation of your breath. It gets easier with practice.
But most of all, practice. Every day, every hour, every minute.
It's not just about learning something new and then keeping it on the bench till you need it. It's something you practice at every moment until it becomes second nature.
There are these things called neural pathways in our brain. The more we use certain pathways, the more our brain gets conditioned to automatically resorting to them until it becomes habitual. The only way to break the habit is to be mindful as much as possible.
And remember, it doesn't matter what anyone else tells you. If you try hard enough, one day you'll eventually come to accept the world for what it truly is- indifferent.