Alright, this will be a shorter one. As the title says, the basic idea is this:
You can choose the state you will be in.
What I mean by that is that even though you can’t change how you feel on a certain day or how your mood will change depending on the time of day, you can control your energy levels and attention. So, the difference is very important. If you’re sad, you can try to hide it, run away from it, drown it or just cry about it but the sadness will not go away. It will just be postponed. If you feel angry, you can blow off steam, exercise or hit against a wall but it will just turn into sadness in the end. These emotions must be looked at and accepted.
Sometimes you don’t even know why you feel a certain way, it doesn’t matter. Whenever I feel sad, angry, motivated, excited or whatever I just look at it as something that comes and goes on its own terms. No need to chase shadows. A powerful Persian king once let his sages craft a ring for him that should make him happy whenever he felt sad. What they sent him was a simple ring with these words etched into it:
“This too will pass”
Do you see the beauty in that? Life is always 50 % good and 50 % bad. Yin and yang. Perfect symmetry. So how to make someone happy who is sad? Notice, they didn’t let him do a breathing method, no smiling meditation, no “I can fucking do it”. This too will pass. There’s wisdom in that. So, what you feel is chaos, fluent and can’t be changed. But what can be? Your state. I define it as
“What you put your attention to and how much energy you apply.”
That’s the state. If you can’t sleep, you can change your attention and energy through visualization and breathe to fall asleep faster. Counting sheep and breathing slowly. It works, we all have experienced it at some point.
So, how to use this concept?
1. Bring to mind something you want to do, which you feel some inner resistance (great book on that) towards. Instead of just going at it and banging your head against a wall you pause and concentrate on your energy first. Breathe deeply through your stomach. Move your whole body and arms to wake up every cell of your body. Breath deep and very slowly. Let the whole body get oxygenated. Feel your head getting more alert and aware. Move your hands to guide and control the energy. If you can visualize the energy building up, it will come. That’s how we humans are. What we believe becomes our reality. As William Ernest Henley said:
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
That’s the mindset.
2. You have all the energy and you take full responsibility for who you are. So, where does your attention go? Now you can direct it. The situation has changed now. You have built up your energy and have become elevated from other people. You no longer need to be liked or approved by others, you are the captain of your ship and you will move it forward. Now you don’t worry about success anymore, reaching a goal does not even cross your mind. All you can think about is moving forward.
If you’re a writer you just sit down and write whatever you feel at that moment. If you’re a runner you just run and dive into the ecstasy of the environment. If you give a talk you radiate in the first ten seconds that you just don’t say a word and calmly observe the audience. You are here now. Will the result be any good? Who cares, you will feel alive. If it were a sure thing from the beginning, you wouldn’t have felt any resistance at all, so why not choose the high road. You are ecstatic just by experiencing your attention at one single point and not having it jump around. Your mind has settled down. You have become that which you’ve put your attention to and failure is impossible. You are ecstatic and calm at the same time. You are the radiant center of the universe.
So, this is a concept you can try out, it works very well for anxiety and hesitation. It is a way to navigate life by preparing properly. Maybe I’ll expand on that some other time. All the best and until next time. Of course, please leave a comment if you resonate with what I’m writing.