02 Modern Mindset principle: Accountability
Photo: Whitney Museum
of American Art, New
York City, USA, 2020
If happiness was mandatory, what would need to be done? Would we seek out another hundred textbooks? Would we finally start looking into the complexity of happiness and hope to make it more accessible and less of this elusive, almost unattainable mystery?
When we observe our mind, we see that it never takes a break. Our mind is a machine that drives our lives. It’s a machine that runs on constant thought and has us somewhat addicted to its white noise. When we observe our mind further, we discover that this white noise generally contains a lot of negativity. Perpahs, some of us are complaining about how everything seems unfair, and being propelled by a strong sense of entitlement, are channeling our unmet expectations into a bit of rage. Some of us are still holding onto old resentments that we can’t help but talk about excessively. And maybe some of us are still blaming our lack of success on the absence of luck.
Due to a lack of awareness, there is also often a belief that the machine of the mind never needs any maintenance. Yet, this belief alone is doing us a massive disservice in the long run. It makes us surrender to the white noise and lets us become comfortable with its broken mechanics. This belief — that the mind requires no maintenance — makes being stuck inevitable and acceptable. This belief gives negativity permission to stay in our lives. Only when we reconsider this silent agreement can we see negativity for what it truly is. That negativity only resides in dark places and survives by keeping others within it.
Only once we stop blaming all of our misfortunes on every possible circumstance — from the current political situation, lack of resources, ways of upbringing, or that particularly harsh remark — we start seeing negativity in an entirely new way. As a form of procrastination, inaction and passivity. As a justification for letting external forces interfere with our inner mechanism, and as an easy excuse not to change something for the better.
Deliberately withdrawing negativity from our everyday lives will redirect our focus to our actuality, reality and context. It will shift our attention towards taking responsibility for all our circumstances because it will highlight one simple fact: if something doesn’t seem to be working out, it’s up to us to fix it. It will demonstrate the significance of having a proactive rather than reactive outlook on life as hugely beneficial. It will show us that we can be in charge of our thoughts and become just observers of them.
When we observe our thoughts, we learn to separate the good from the bad and filter out the unnecessary. We realize that overthinking the past, future or present doesn’t serve us. We only have a choice to deal with something right now, to leave it completely alone, or to accept it fully. Therefore, no matter what kind of external input, we won’t be letting our thoughts control us anymore. We will be in control of them. Over time, this will help us declutter and master our headspace. It will make room for a genuine kind of liberation — a state of being fully present — our minds will be free to tune in with inner peace, clarity and joy. Our minds will become truly conscious, and in return, it will let us fully experience what this beautiful world of ours has to offer.