Isn’t the human mind extraordinary? The things it’s capable of doing are just unbelievable. We live in the world we live in right now, with all the technology and science because of this collective genius.
But, these days, especially with the millenials and everyone younger, this brilliant instrument is the reason for a great deal of stress and pain. I must admit, the first twenty years of my life, my access to technology was basic, just the basic personal computer and a very simple phone. But, for some reason i was happier, a lot more than i am now. That kind of motivated to look at the root cause of the problem. The mind.
Why are we are the people we are? Why do we like a certain thing? Why don’t we like something else? I try to think back to my very first memory, probably when i was 4–5 years old? It’s pretty vague, and i try to think about what might have been going on in my mind then? I am guessing, there wasn’t a lot happening, my biggest problem would have probably been play time. I was a notoriously naughty kid, maybe i just wanted to sneak out and go play. That was it, i probably didn’t care about food or clothes or anything else.
So simple right? At that moment, you had no prejudice, no character, you were just a clean slate. And i think from then on, people and me started writing on that slate. Some of it was good, some of it was bad, but most importantly, those small experiences made me the person who i am today. I think that’s what people call a ‘personality’. I kind of look at it like an onion, the innermost layer is like when you start out, pretty light. But as you grow you go through all these different moments that keep adding layers to it, and it never stops. As a kid, you probably think about which sport you like, which food you like, and how much you hate school. As a young adult, you think about the kind of person you like, you go through break ups, friendships, fights etc and you start adding more layers to it. The longer you live, the more complicated your personality becomes. The insecurities, the strengths, the weaknesses, all of these keep developing.
I just wanted to give that introduction before i talk about how we all perceive things.
The other day i was thinking about how i got here. Something struck me, a lot of us, live life outside-in, not inside-out. Let me explain.
We should perceive life, experience it from within. Our mind should process the information outside and make sense of it, so we can make good decisions. Our mind has an incredible power of imagination. We can close our eyes and be someone we are not, go to places we are not, do things we can’t in real life.
When you start perceiving the person you are from the outside. How does she think i look? Is this cool? Maybe i shouldn’t have done that, maybe i shouldn’t have done this. We imagine what the other person thinks every single day. And this incredible access to technology makes this exponetially worse. Back in the day, we only had to care about what the person in front of us thought about us, not ideal, but atleast manageable. Now, we live in a world where we have 1000 facebook friends, hundreds of people on apps like whatsapp, snapchat that keep us connected. It mimics social interaction. And with that comes all the associated problems. This problem of imagination now gets extended to everyone you know. what do they think about this? what do they think about that? Life loses it’s sheen very fast.
Remember how big you were when you were 9? Look at you now, how much work did that take? Not a lot really, just eating, sleeping. It’s almost natural, organic. Growing up i always used to think that the mind works the same way too, your brain works a certain way when you are 9, it works another way when you are 18, and a completely different way when you are 40. almost automatic. But, that’s not true, the mind takes constant work, it requires commitment and dedication. When i refer to the mind, i refer to it’s various creations like personality, character and insecurities. I am sure each of us have that phase where we feel a little lost, directionless or drifting, i went through that as well, maybe i still i am. What i am starting to realize is who ‘I’ was my creation anyway, if i created it, i can certainly change it. So whenever you feel like you need a fresh start, well, just start again. Not too hard is it?
If there is one thing i want you to take away from this, it’s that consciously make a choice to live from within, not like we have a choice, that’s the only way we can.