It was only recently in a counseling session that I had a few months ago that I realized my mind is hard-wired to form opinions in terms of an extreme perspective. Being the super curious individual that I am, it was brought to my attention that I struggle to find balance in the thoughts in my mind which in turn, creates a turbulent perspective of high-highs and low-lows, instead of a balanced perspective;  providing steady, stable, and consistent opinions of the world. If I am not being aware and cognizant of the way my mind naturally operates moment to moment, I have a tendency to get lost and scattered in my thoughts, which results in me forging extreme opinions as a defense mechanism. My lack of awareness at times certainly doesn’t serve me well in relationship to other human beings and can often lead to the need to control a situation; however, having the capability to think in terms of extremes can also serve me very well in life if I am giving my full presence and awareness to the moment, thereby continuously learning to know when to push forward and when to yield and surrender to the moment.

 

Today I had to look up the difference between an opinion and a perspective and here is a definition that I enjoyed: “Perspective and opinion are highly related. In short, opinion is your thought about something, and perspective is the way of your thinking . . . a particular perspective will influence a particular opinion. The word “perspective” usually refers to the way we view the world from a specific point of view (or “viewpoint”). Seeing the world through this perspective, of course, must influence how we see things, and how we have our opinions on them.” 1

 

What I’ve really become aware of lately is a mechanism of the human mind that seems to me to be a fundamental principle for humanity; the human mind is wired towards purpose. The more intentional and purposeful my actions are in my day to day life, the less anxiety, fear, depression, doubt, worry, and stress I ultimately end up feeling. I believe this is why I feel compelled to work and contribute in a meaningful way. Because I’ve experienced what it is to not be contributing and feeling busy enough through spending a lot of time in the past few years unemployed and underemployed, this led to all sorts of ugly feelings as a result during that period of time. I’ve also experienced what it feels like to work in a role that does not bring me feelings of meaningful contribution and I can certainly understand why the shelf life of certain jobs in my life exists.

 

I feel that the distractive habits I have in my life are comforting, but in the long run they are exactly that; a distraction from meaningful contribution in my life that if I indulge in for too long or invest in too heavily, hedonistic tendencies (distorted opinions) start to creep in and reopen the gates for the ugly feelings to come flooding back in to remind me to get off my ass and do something meaningful again. However, if I am contributing meaningful work in my life, I naturally feel better about myself and my distractive habits become guilty pleasures, which I feel I enjoy significantly more because I know inside of me that I’ve worked for them; they become life-enhancers (pleasure) rather than life-necessities (escape, through a false sense of need). The same thing comes in relationship with a partner; when I choose to not nurture the relationship by meaningfully contributing to it through supporting it to thrive and grow, toxicity and resentment starts to creep into the relationship creating havoc in its wake. On the other hand, with hard work comes fruitful love, connection, joys, and pleasures a relationship can provide to each partner.

 

With the way that my mind functions naturally, my thoughts often go to extremes in many situations. Even in situations involving my partner for example, my mind seeks to fully understand the range and depth of my realizations and establish balance between my extreme opinions. However, the more I become aware of this tendency I have, the more choice I open for myself in the future to make more balanced decisions and minimize the damage I cause, creating the opportunity to build the bridge to a balanced perspective that I can regularly access.

 

I believe that braving the unknown through vulnerability and failure (I prefer the words ‘necessary building blocks/steps in learning’ to the word ‘failure’) into increased awareness is the key to establishing balance in my life, which is the key to living authentically, becoming successful, and finding inner-peace.

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