Hakuna Matata

…what a wonderful phrase.

“It means no worries for the rest of your days.”

In this article, I write about how you can deal with bad memories that keep popping up and clogging your mental bandwidth, polluting your head with negative emotions ; how tainted memories from bad experiences become psychological libalities and how indifference is important in dealing with these scenarios.

I’ve been finding out from some of my own past bad experiences that’ve caused some trouble that turning a deaf ear to certain things is very crucial to happiness & peace of mind. I wrote about this a little bit in my Dealing with Bullies article where the tagline was “Just Ignore”.

I think that if you have strong bad memories then whenever you get them sort of randomly(like that scene from the movie Inside-Out) you feel low and it definitely impacts your state of mind. Especially if you have a sensitive mind. And when you’re in the field, it’s all about managing your state of mind. So bad memories will throw you off. Indifference goes a long way in sending those bad memories back into the abyss.

“No matter what happened to you in your past, you are not your past. You are the resources and the capabilities you glean from it. And that is the basis for all change.” 
 ― Jordan Belfort

So I think what is very important is that if you have bad memories and if you’re getting negative vibes and they’re ruining your mood then you should take some time and replace them with positive uplifting beliefs and thoughts that condition your brain for the better. You should literally brainwash yourself to positivity. Without branching off from reality, ofcourse. I think that’s the smart way of dealing with these unfortunate psychological impediments. The self-help gurus call it Conditioning and Priming the subconscious mind. I think it works.

You magnificent little green bastard, I love you.

As they say, prevention is better than cure. So if you can avoid getting those bad memories in the first place, that’s even better. But it doesn’t hurt to develop this skill to selectively ignore certain stuff. Go for success but learn how to deal with failure. That to me is a sound approach.

I’m reminded of Steve Jobs in this context of ignoring stuff. His reality distortion field and how he would deal with bad stuff by convincing himself that there was no problem. As Walter Isaacson puts it in his biography on Jobs, “In his mind, the problem didn’t exist.” Apparently that was how Jobs dealt with certain personal situations(like Chrisann Brennann and their daughter Lisa — on a side note, if you google steve jobs ignore, you will get the wiki link of lisa) and some professional situations(like the antenna problems of iPhone 4).

And if you’re one of those peeps who like hearing both sides of the advice( like I do), here’s your flip perspective. Not all bad stuff is to be ignored. Infact, if you have the power to change bad stuff in the present or in the future, I think you should calculate the priorities/risks and actively change the outcome for the better by eliminating the bad stuff as much as possible. Take out the weeds, so to speak. References from this ideology can be drawn to various movies like Spider-Man(With great power…), American Sniper(Wolf vs Sheep vs Sheep dog ) and even Pulp Fiction(the Righteous man, the Shepherd, the Evil). This is reverberant in our cultures. So you should ignore bad stuff from the past that bothers you, keeps you up at night and that you can’t do anything about.

To sum up, I think the ability to ignore certain stuff is a boon and needs to be cultivated properly. I want to leave you with some practical takeaways so here are some of my own methods to ignore bad things.

1. Mental Conditioning

All those subconscious-mind techniques like affirmation(verbal and audio), visualization, writing it down on a paper etc. These help in changing your belief system through subconscious reprogramming. (Although there’s no scientific evidence of this phenomenon, as far as I’m aware)

2. Replacing the bad with the good.

This will involve some careful analysis of what exactly is bothering you, finding the root cause of it(perhaps a belief or self-image) and then replace it with the opposite. Substitute the limiting beliefs with the empowering beliefs. Seek out the other side of you that reinforces the 180°angle. You can seek others’ help for figuring this out. It’s sort of like psycho-analysis. Get to the core of what’s bothering you and then alter it for the better.

For example, if what’s bothering you is the thought that you failed at 
something, it might translate to an inner belief you have that you’re a failure. You have to change that to a winning attitude and develop confidence. The math is simple. If you’re feeling super confident, it means you‘re not feeling bad for having failed at something. And you have to do this everytime that thought occurs. Eventually you end up convincing yourself that you’re a success and after that you won’t be bothered by that voice anymore. That self-convincing takes time though. You can’t fool yourself. It takes time, experience, personal growth, introspection, change of perspective etc.

3. Going after a big chunky goal.

There are very few things that can distract you when you’re dead set on a passionate goal. Targeting the big picture, a larger purpose has helped people ignore the smaller stuff. Figure out your goals, your meaning and seek them out, preferably with other similar-minded people. Everything else fades away.
Note : A goal will only motivate you if you find meaning in it yourself. The reasons have to be very personal and attached deeply with your identity.

4. Overwhelming happiness.

Joy and laughter make the best medicine for any psychological wounds you might have from bad breakups or loss of a family member or just plain sadness and depression. Personally, I’ve had the best recovery from stupid shit that bothers me when I can just laugh it off and make a joke about it.
So that is why I say this is probably one of the most important things in life if not the most. If you’re naturally good at seeking out happiness and joy, you will be less inclined to depression and suffering. But it’s not a one time thing. You have to constantly seek out happiness. It has to be a habit. You have to seek out happiness from all areas of your life. Happiness from your work, happiness from your relationships, happiness from your personal hobbies, happiness from your health. Happiness in the little things and the big things. Happiness everywhere. I guarantee you that no matter how bad the situation is, it will get better if you can just find a way to laugh off heartily with a big smile on your face. And if you’re life is too full of happiness, you won’t have enough time to dwell on the bad shit.

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
― J.K.Rowling , Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Nobody comes out on top without a few battle scars. It’s just the current way of life. Maybe it will change in the future if we can change the structure and working of our brains. It looks like that’s what I’ve been hammering about in these articles — that we’re hardwired for these mental flaws which leave us handicapped. But it’s surprising what we can achieve and how far we can go even with such bloody feet. I leave you with a clip from the movie Fight Club(one of my favourites).

No fear. No distractions. The ability to let that which does not matter, truly slide.

Go find your peace.