Looking at just how baffling and frustrating the passage of time can be when seen through our mind’s eye.
It’s funny how different two days can seem from one another- one day each minute can feel like it is flying by while the next each minute can feel like an eternity. Sometimes, this depends on what we are doing- if we are out having fun or relaxing indoors, time passes quickly. But, if we are at work or in the middle of a long monotonous project, time drags on. There are times, though, when nothing between the two days is different, yet the passage of time couldn’t be more different. I think on days like this, our attitude and mentality is incredibly influential. If one is low energy, tired, and hungry, their mind checked out and thinking about something else, whatever you are stuck doing instead seems like a torturous chore or action. But, if you are filled with energy, enthusiasm, and are satisfied, your mind entirely focused on what you are doing, the hours blend together easily.
I’m a big believer in the idea that attitude is everything; that the mindset we adopt every day radically effects how we live and enjoy our lives and what we are doing. We can muddle through chores, groaning about the endless everyday repetition of the action or we can blast music, dance around while working, and enjoy each moment regardless of what we are doing. We can chose to wallow in our frustration, anger, and impatience or we can distance ourselves from such emotions and chose to focus on something different, trying to find the silver lining in everything.
I live my life trying to enjoy each moment I experience, to find meaning or joy in whatever I am doing. If I mess up or make a mistake or get frustrated, my first thought is to laugh at myself because sometimes the little things can add up as our emotions create mountains out of molehills. I think we take ourselves too seriously more often than not and strongly believe that more joy can be found in life when we step back, take a deep breath, and laugh at frustrations and reactions. The more control we exert over our mindset and attitude, the better our days will become.
Now, in saying that attitude is everything or that we should fake it till we make it, I do not mean that we should delude ourselves. Sometimes people become so determined to be happy and positive that they fall into denial, pushing away and ignoring their negative emotions as if they do not exist. But, toxic positivity is a thing. The goal is not to ignore, degrade, or push away our negative emotions- they are a normal and necessary part of living -but it is instead to acknowledge these feelings, accept them for what they are and why they are occurring, and then move on through your day. That was a big lesson I took away from a psychology class.
In a discussion about meditation, the teacher mentioned how often in meditation, we will ponder on various things or simply keep our minds as calm and quiet as we can, whatever we choose. But, if you choose the second option and a thought enters our mind, we were told that we were not to react strictly or negatively to that thought. It is our minds job to be thinking and processing things constantly- that is how we have always lived. So, when we suddenly try to stop and take a break from that, it takes our brain a second to catch up and go along with the idea. It was an instinctual and routine response of our minds, not something to be seen as wrong or bad. No, when such a thing happens, we are to be aware of the thought, accept that it happened, and the move on, rather than groan in our minds, showing anger or frustration towards that action and thereby undoing all the effects that the mediation has caused to far. I think this lesson and idea has other applications.
In life, when something bad happens, big or small, we should not let our first response be anger or frustration. We should not berate ourselves for whatever we did or thought or said or felt, instead we need to accept the mistakes and things that we experience, accept their influence, and move on. It is when we do this, that we can find peace and calm in our days, no matter what is going on, as we create a clear and controlled mindset. And it is that mindset towards acceptance and positivity that will carry us through the passage of time that is our lives.