Many different philosophies and religions alike all have the concept of a divine gift. It can be called sacred inspiration, an all-knowing presence, following your heart, the word of god or simply intuition. This gift is often denied but is also incredibly powerful and wielding it properly can completely change the direction of life in an instant.
From the cradle of humankind, we have been huddling over campfires to tell stories. Stories are an everyday part of our life. Inspiring stories about heroes, explanations on esoteric phenomenon and false narratives on our own shortcomings help us make sense of a complex world. How can we harness the power of a story?
We all – at some point – are damaged emotionally in our lives. Regardless of the extent of our personal trauma, we often hide from the negative emotions in our mind. Confronting these demons in your mind can not only be a pathway to healing and closure – it can be your advantage; A source of greatness.
We are natural storytellers, and we are born with an innate affinity for the magnetic pull of a story. We look up to great storytellers and might even practice storytelling as a desirable skill. And yet rarely we write our own stories and are beset by the tyranny of circumstance to define our identity. As a child, we could be anything and anyone we wanted. Why would we stop believing we are anything less than superheroes?
An often repeated maxim regarding self-development is that you should learn from your past. I vigorously disagree. Your past experiences – and even those of others – are mere faded footprints on the sandy path to personal growth, not conclusive evidence of truth. In fact, I believe greatness comes from ignoring your past.
Meditation and other practices of the mind still have the public image of an esoteric, supernatural pursuit with no practical use. It is, however, very much a practical tool to shape your mental health that is now rooted in science. A lack of a spiritual or religious belief structure does not impact your use for it in any way. Let’s dive into the depths of the mind.
Many Buddhist teachings postulate that the root of all suffering is to want and long for that you do not possess. Following this train of thought – why do we not reverse the dynamic and direct our energy into appreciation of what we already have. Is this not the key to happiness?
We human beings are not rational. Our mind is flawed with shortcuts and biases. A common bias is the confirmation bias, where we tend to assign more value to evidence that supports our existing belief system and are more likely to disregard nonsupporting evidence. Being aware of the bias is already powerful, but this flaw in our mind can also be exploited in a great way.
One of the most useful theories I keep going back to is the theory of flow. We have all experienced the state of flow, and with it wield the natural creativity that flows through us all. In fact, it can be argued that not being in flow is an unnatural state to be in. So what is the state of flow, and how can we leverage it in our daily lives to become more productive, creative and happy?