Lately I've been neglecting one of my fundamental principles of life; don't take it too seriously!
Although we as a species no longer face the same sources of physical and mental stress our ancestors had to, we are nonetheless equally stressed in our day to day lives.
There are deadlines, there are people to impress, your health to consider, money to manage, a myriad of daily choices between right and easy in all aspects of life, and that's just when we are young!
While I understand the necessity to be conscious and alert to who you are allowing yourself to be moulded into by the world; it is equally important to realise we can't control everything.
There are a great deal of things we let ourselves worry about despite the fact that that theyre beyond our influence. If you find that you are becoming stressed or feel that other happier people seem to give less fucks than you, ask yourself; 'Can I change this situation to make it preferable?' If the answer is no, why worry? If the answer is yes, take action.
I am not trying to say life is always black and white, I am simply dancing with the idea that we should accept that its not.
Many people embark on a mental road of deep thoughts and complex ideas. Some make a career out of thinking such thoughts, others just have brief insights when they zone out in the shower. Am I more than just my body? What is this essence that looks out through my eyes? Am I more than what Alan Watts referred to as 'a skin-encapsulated ego'. Does my skin separate me from other beings?
These ideas and a million others like them usually lead back to simple ideas about 'the meaning of it all'...
We will probably never know. Sure enough we can breathe meaning into our lives of our own accord, there are endless options open to us...
We can create our own truths rather then seeking some greater authority.
Or we can whole heartedly accept what world religions tell us. An advantage of this is that our curiosity can be poured into other places if we have the whole universe thing locked down. 'Right I'm happy that Allah is behind all this and I need to embrace this guy or whatever to be happy, now I can go learn about rally driving or the ins and outs of snowboarding technique etc' obviously I am exaggerating this idea but the point is constantly wondering about the meaning of life can be a cumbersome, thought-consuming habit and having a set truth in that area can free up room for other ventures!
We may also reject all previous knowledge and make our own ideas up.
We can commit our lives to figuring this thing out and enjoy the endless pondering!
In spite of all the options of how to interpret our reality; in the end we come back to the idea that one course of action is as good as another.
We are just an experiment.
This isn't a serious thing. This whole thing is more akin to a game or a dream or a piece of music than something that is purposeful and utilitarian.
We don't need to do anything in particular.
So then, we eventually liberate ourselves from the fallacy that we NEED to do something.
With this comes the freedom to choose to do something we enjoy. We can take a far more light hearted approach to life.
If I didn't enjoy training you would not find me in a gym every night. If I found reading interesting things unfulfilling i would not read.
We all have the freedom to be involved with what we happen to enjoy and to avoid what we don't enjoy.
Avoiding certain types of food is neither bad nor good it's just someone who dislikes it keeping away from it. The implications are also neither here nor there, simply the echoes of different choices.
Should we exercise every day?
Should we do what everyone else does?
Do your parents know best?
Is it okay to gorge on so called unhealthy food?
Should we all be monogamous?
These questions all appear to have moral implications and one might build up a picture of a person simply from their answers to these questions.
Yet in time and through deep thought we all eventually come to realise that different choices are just different ways. Facing any choice in life we may want to consider that both regret/unhappiness and fulfilment/joy will be present either way. So don't take things so seriously!
Through experiments I have found a way of living that I find quite enjoyable. I have discovered that although it's not easy, it is in my best interests to keep my body in good condition, and to learn about how it works, which is also interesting to me.
If you feel the deep visceral need to change your situation because you are unhappy, hard work is necessary, but in your zeal to transfer to a different situation that is more preferable to you (not 'improved' or 'better', these descriptions are subjective) remain light hearted and open, to ideas, love and joy.
It is quite plausible that we are all dreaming. It is also quite plausible that we were created by a higher being who suffered a 7 day burst of creativity, who smiled after his 7 says of work and said 'it was good'.
Most importantly be open to the fact that everything you believe may be completely incorrect.
All we can do after all these deep thoughts about the meaning of life, the universe and consciousness is laugh.
Because we have arrived at a conclusion we were unconsciously aware of all along! But only after these conversations with ourselves and others can we consciously appreciate it.
'Its cool being alive and shit and I enjoy being conscious, aware and confused'
Going with this underlying 'non-serious' approach to life, surely it makes sense to enjoy your time here? Bringing it back to the title of this post; does it not make sense that having chosen our belief or at least having established a vague personal idea about life, we should at the very least enjoy ourselves?
The only options out of the thousands before you that are definitely immoral are those that involve hurting other participants in this game.
Anything beyond this is cool, do whatever takes your fancy. And if you want something in particular, put the effort in and its yours.
'I have a good job, I am well payed, I have a big house, full of the latest technology, I have a good retirement plan, a car that inspires envy, my job gives me financial security, I can support my family'
All aspects of a successful fellow correct? Perhaps, but only as long as he is happy when he wakes up on Monday morning and smiles at the week ahead of him. Life should be less of a balence between work and play, and more of a fun game that at different times yields happiness and strife, but mostly happiness.
So stress less and and enjoy more.
Bad times are needed to appreciate the good