There is a Way

When you feel trapped with no way out
Keep fighting, there is a way
When you feel like it’s so difficult that you can’t handle it
Keep fighting, it will get easier
When you feel like the world is against you and nobody cares
Keep fighting, I will stand with you
When you feel like giving up
Keep fighting, it will be worth it

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Constantly Thinking

Our minds are constantly thinking and scanning, wanting something to satisfy it. Curiosity is what the brain craves. Whether it be wondering about hypothetical situations, or being excited about attending a birthday party coming up, or reworking a scenario in the past that you would redo if you had the chance; the brain needs something to dwell on.

I was at the gym the other day, trying to keep my brain present while on the elliptical. I was not listening to music because often the words make my mind wander, and recognizable songs take me to somewhere in my past. My eliptical was on the second story facing down so I could see everyone working out on the workout machines on the first floor. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a guy hitting a punching bag. He was strafing around the punching bag and jabbing it like he was practicing for a boxing match. The mind wanders – is this fellow a fighter? has he been in fights in the past? He has a regular build so he is probably too small to be training for a real match. I wonder if I encountered him in a fight would have any chance? He seems very aggressive. Is that really a good form of exercise?

I then look to the muted TV above me see a car commercial. Instantly I think about my car, my lease and how long I have left before I can purchase or lease another car. What car should I buy? What luxury car would I like to have someday? BMW, Lexus, Mercedes? Funny thing is, whatever I looked at, my mind was having its own conversation. Even the elliptical panel in front of me had all these different options, measurements, and statistics that made my mind start analyzing.

I can look at people, judge them, judge what they are doing. See a brand name, think about the company and what it does and what kind of products it makes. Look at charts or statistics and start analyzing my fitness. I finally settled on looking at one of the edges on the elliptical panel in front of me. No words, no symbols, no pictures. Just a rounded corner. Gray panel on a beige frame, nothing to judge, nothing to analyze, nothing to plan. Just a rounded corner and staying in the present, just being. If I get bored, no worries, I can be bored for a little bit if doing so will ultimately keep me calm and stress free.

Let Go of the Narrative

Arguing causes stress on the mind, it doesn’t matter if you are right or wrong. It is a source of combativeness, defensiveness, and escalation. Nobody wins regardless of who is right. Stepping back from the situation and letting others control the narrative is the best thing you can do for your conscience. Let people think what they want to think. You know the truth. The truth is whatever you personally believe in. There is no need to own a public narrative if you know your own truth.

The fact of the matter is many people cannot be persuaded by logic. People believe based upon how they have been affected by something, not by a statistic. They may weigh reasoning differently than you. Others simply cannot be persuaded. So let it go, let them have their cake. Whether or not they are proven false has no bearing on your life. Telling someone  “I told you so” will only double their defensive position. Calling them a fool will only increase tension. You will be the fool if you think they will give you credit for being right in the first place. It is not your job to make sure someone else “sees the light”.

And if it is you who happens to be wrong? You are human as well, are you not? Then you will be the defensive one, the argumentative one, the one with the damaged pride. Regardless of whether you are right the argument will plague your mind. You will replay the facts in your mind. ‘How could they think such a ridiculous thing? How could they not see something so blatantly clear? And I didn’t even mention X, Y, and Z either. I could have made an even greater argument!’

Wrong. You don’t control their perspective. They do.

Obviously there are times in your life when you will have to take a stand. Your family, your core values, your fellow man. But be sure to only fight for what is absolutely necessary. Let your mind be free of all the senseless war of words that plagues our lives. Millions are caught up in controlling a narrative. They NEED to be “right”. Be someone who just doesn’t care about the narrative. Fight for only what you truly believe in and maintain your mindfulness. If you truly believe in something, live it, breathe it, eat it, and sleep it. Otherwise just get out of the way and focus on what is important to you.

So the next time you come upon a controversial topic. Don’t engage. Let it go. Let others control the narrative. The sun will still rise tomorrow. And your mind will be free enough to enjoy it.