All of us suffer setbacks and obstacles in life. According to the first noble truth of Buddhism, suffering is inevitable. Life is full of uncontrollable events, and in many situations the only thing we can control is the attitude we choose to respond with.
When you really think about it, everything happening around us is neutral and meaninglessness until we assign meaning to it. This is what gives us our attitude.
Regardless of what you’re going through, you can always choose an attitude that moves you forward. And doing so will allow you to grow beyond your struggles.
Here are 4 powerful questions that will enable you to choose a better attitude when the time comes.
1) How would the world look if you erased the thought that’s worrying you?
Worry is a mostly useless emotion. It steals you from the present moment and doesn’t offer any practical solutions. Worry is simply using your imagination to create scenarios that haven’t happened yet.
Realize that we’re all capable of experiencing inner peace. It’s our true nature. Inner peace does not depend on external conditions, it’s what remains when you’ve surrendered to your ego and worries.
When you need something to be different, it’s nothing more than a worry. Learn to embrace the present moment and accept what’s happening right here, right now.
2) What could you be grateful for right now?
Happiness will never come to those who can’t see the good in what they already have. When life starts going pair shaped, think about what you can be thankful for right now. This is one of the best ways to turn your attitude from negative to positive. Being grateful offers a number of benefits to your life, and one of them is a positive change in attitude.
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3) Can you respond with clarity and strength?
Every time you feel the need to react with anger, ask yourself if this is really the most productive way to respond. Take a step back from your mind and witness your emotions. When you can learn to become aware of these negative thought process, you’ll be better able to respond.
By having awareness of your thoughts and emotions, you’ll grow capable of consciously redirecting your focus. It’s time to take it willingly away from something that drags you down and focus on something that inspires you.
4) What can you let go of right now without losing anything?
If you have a good think about it, there are so many things we can let go of in life without really losing anything. It’s called growth. Letting go of old mindsets makes way for new opportunities. When the pain of holding on is worse than the pain of letting go, it’s time to make a choice.
The truth is, you cannot discover new oceans unless you build up enough courage to lose sight of the old, familiar shoreline. As the great Buddha said, attachment is the root of all suffering. The more you get rid of in your life that you’re not emotionally attached to will allow you to experience joy and happiness like never before.
Go ahead and set yourself free. It’s time to stop expecting everything outside you to change, and instead focus on changing from within.
Check out Hack Spirit's eBook on How to Use Buddhist Teachings for a Mindful, Peaceful and Happy Life.
Here's what you'll learn:
• How and why to be mindful: There are many simple exercises you can do to bring a mindful attitude to quotidian activities such as eating breakfast, walking the dog, or sitting on the floor to stretch.
• How to meditate: Many beginning meditators have a lot of questions: How should I sit? How long should I meditate? What if it feels awkward or uncomfortable or my foot falls asleep? Am I doing it wrong? In this book, you’ll find simple steps and explanations to answer these questions and demystify meditation. (And no, you’re not doing it wrong).
• How to approach relationships: This section offers tips for interacting with friends and enemies alike and walks you through a loving kindness meditation.
• How to minimize harm: There is a lot of suffering in the world; it’s best for everyone if we try not to add to it. Here you’ll read about the idea of ahimsa (non-harming) and how you might apply it to your actions.
• How to let things go: As Buddhism teaches, excessive attachment (whether we’re clinging to something or actively resisting it) all too often leads to suffering. Practitioners of mindfulness meditation find peace in letting go and accepting things as they are in the moment.
Check it out here.