Most people who erect a mental prison have a poor concept about themselves. This poor self-concept forces them to make unwise choices. Those who do not feel positive about themselves will obviously make unwise choices. When we hold ourselves back by being unkind to ourselves, we lock ourselves in a sort of mental prison.
There was a person who was not good looking and he felt guilty all the time although he was not responsible for his looks. When he came to the stage of marriage, he thought that a good looking girl would cause problems for him when others would focus their attention on her. So he chose an ugly looking girl, who ultimately turned out to be a goldmine. Thie girl was loyal, attached, obedient and devoted to the family, which was a sheer stroke of luck. His unwise choice turned out to be the best choice.
The beginning of making some sense out of life is for us to see ourselves as unique and significant human beings without a duplicate. If we are not able to comprehend as valuable individuals, we will not be motivated to alter our lives for the better. For example, a person may not be educated but he may have robust common sense. A friend of mine once said, “I make most of my decisions on intuitions and common sense, using the experience I have as background. After all, all laws, rules, procedures and processes are based on pure common sense. For example, when we should pay attention to the growing child and mould him with integrity, character and self-discipline that would pay dividends when he grows up, it is one of the neglected child would keep the parents permanently engaged in solving problems created by him”. We should believe that the world is changing and we should also change to adapt ourselves to the circumstances. For example, if inflation is rising and our income is limited, we have to augment the income by doing something extra. There is o rule that we should remain as we are permanently and forever. When we start doing new things, we feel more confident and reap more satisfaction in our own estimation.
The best way to test oneself whether we are happy or not is to measure our satisfaction while leading our lives. If we are struggling all the time, if we are invaded by undesirable thoughts, if we are disappointed or disillusioned all the time, then we must take some positive steps to stabilise ourselves. In fact, we can overcome whatever is holding us back, by doing some soul searching, which will lead to self-discovery.
Wally Amos, the American writer writes, “When things are not to your liking, like them as they are. When we are dissatisfied, depressed and discontented, be sure that circumstances are not the cause but we are standing in our own way. We must be in harmony with whatever happens in our lives if we wish to advance. Everything that comes to us is a gift, a stepping stone to reach or ideal. If we don’t exploit those occasions and opportunities, then the weakness lies with us requiring rectification and modification.
Life is not a movie with characters acting the roles depicted in the script. It does not take very long to realise that no one can take up arms to fight our battles for us. It is while fighting our battles that we develop our true personalities, removing the mask and all the makeup, which are all artificial. It is the challenge, crisis and catastrophes that reveal our strength and weaknesses. Remember, that it is when we realise and believe that we really have power that we begin really to live. It is very critical that we understand that, if we do not change our behaviour as we grow up, we will become adults who are mean, narrow-minded, standoffish and depressed. We know also that if we don’t change, we basically remain the same person. In the bargain, instead of creating an exciting life of our own, we let life create us. Therefore, the great secret of living is to realise that we are in control.
Awareness makes us all stronger. The more we know and understand, the more aware we are. Awareness compels us to take steps to win the battle of life whenever it occurs. The saying is, “Losers let it happen. Winners make it happen”. Two critical capabilities we should cultivate are the ability to live with uncertainty and the ability to delay immediate gratification in favour of long-range goals. The greatest achievement in life is to plan and act and take the risk that will ultimately make us independent. When we have this knowledge about ourselves we are aware, awake and do what is right. The impossible is what nobody can do until somebody does it.