Deal With It

Just Who Do You Think You Are?

Seeing as you are here reading this, I take it you’ve decided that you want to be alive.

We have both had bad days, months, or even years. Really bad ones. Say what you want of eastern philosophy, but the Buddha was right when he said that life is suffering. He was having a bad day, too, when he said it.

Because Buddha was a problem solver, he decided to shift his perspective: “If life is suffering, how can I make the best of it?”

We struggle, and then we figure out how to deal with it. If you’re struggling, try saying these things to yourself:

  • Just wait it out.

  • Tomorrow will be better.

  • This is all in my head.

You have a problem. It won’t go away on its own, but are you looking at it the right way? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is this problem real?

  • Am I in danger?

  • Why am I stressing out?

  • Is this a big problem, or many small ones in disguise?

You might have a problem, but should it be in your head right now? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Should I be thinking about this?

  • Can I deal with it later?

  • Are there more important things to focus on?

If life is unfair, try asking yourself the following:

  • Am I in control of everything, or is everything in control of me?

  • Are they here for me, or am I there for them?

  • Is it my fault or their fault?

When you think about your life, what you’re really doing is thinking about My Life: The Movie. Your movie is still a script in development however, so it isn’t set in stone.

Stories don’t always reflect the truth. Stories are more than lists of people, places and events. You can direct many different movies having the same overall plot. You can emphasise or play plot elements down, do them seriously or humorously, calmly or dramatically, or even leave them out completely.

If you’re thinking about your life, some questions you should ask are:

  • Is this story true?

  • Is it an adventure or a tragedy?

  • Does the script need a rewrite?

Before you can develop confidence, you have to know who you are, not who you wish you were. Know what your real strengths and weaknesses are. Don’t focus on the strengths you wish you had, but the strengths you do have. To help stake out a life direction, you can ask yourself these questions:

  • What do I really believe in?

  • What are my favourite things?

  • What do I want to do?

In order to sort your life out, you need to think rationally about it. In order to think rationally, you need to wipe your mental slate. In order to wipe your mental slate, you need to be relaxed. You should never think about your life unless you are relaxed first. If you aren’t relaxed, stop thinking about your life and go do something instead.

Alternatively, you can stare at the wall with an empty head while you breathe like an idiot.

Since this sounds extremely stupid, we usually call it meditation instead. Meditation is used for handling negative emotions. It helps you think clearly about things that would otherwise make you lose your temper. It also makes you really good at martial arts!

Your brain evolved for sensing the world and controlling your muscles. Observation and action. Generally speaking, then, it’s better for you to pay attention to what’s going on around you than to focus on what’s going on inside of your head.

Meditation is about putting yourself into a state of relaxed observation. You must find some calming thing to observe and then force yourself to endure the boredom. This is called mindfulness. What will help you endure this boredom is free drugs. Namely, the free drugs your brain will feed you get if you practice deep breathing.

As it turns out, executing on your decisions is also lot easier if you remain calm. I suggest that you spend a significant amount of time on relearning how to breathe, because it’s important for keeping you calm.

Life is an epic battle and victory doesn’t come in a blog post, but I give you these weapons to try them out. They served me well. May they serve you well too.

Now go kill it.