What can you control?
We are a society obsessed with power, and we imprison ourselves with trying to control everything around us. Paradoxically, in order to gain discipline, we must know when to relinquish control of that which we cannot change. Even the search for happiness is a form of control over life because it puts the person in the driver seat.
However letting go of the need to control everything, and disciplining your brain to simply gain conscious awareness of the situation, allows you to find the happiness within yourself. And on a grander scale, this leads to Happytalism - a way of life which leads to thriving individuals and a sustainable society.
Is this merely a Utopian dream or a realistic possibility?
Reputable researchers, from a variety of fields, make a strong case for the possibility. Here are 5 expert insights to help you relinquish control over unchangeable circumstances to find happiness as a result.
1. Amishi Jha
This psychology professor has taken neuroscience to the enlightened level. Jha studied how attention and memory work together, and the implication of mindfulness training and mental mode manipulations to improve the quality of life.
Through extensive resilience research, she finds that the neural pathways work differently when trained to take the focus off of uncontrollable circumstances. This concept translates to any situation; train your mind to stay aware of the moment and to survive with what you can control. She has concluded that being mindful benefits well-being, happiness, and relationships.
2. John Kabat-Zin
As an expert in the field of medicine, he finds value in mindfulness for healing both the mind and body.
Kabat-Zin compares the typical mindset to a movie that the individual fabricates in order to create a concept of “I, me, and my.” Research reveals that this created narrative uses different areas of the brain than mindful performance does.
When we quit this narrative, and instead become aware of circumstance, our brains function more efficiently for a higher, more sustainable quality of life.
3. Kristin Neff
Dr. Neff links the values of self-compassion, common humanity, and mindfulness to a happier life.
Self-compassion means letting go of the idea of what the self should be, relinquishing that control, and embracing the reality of who we are. This connects us to others allowing for outward compassion and ultimately, leads to an enlightened way of living.
According to this meditation guru, True Meditation is the way to a peaceful life.
He says, “This is what I discovered all those years ago when I started to let go of the meditator, the controller, when I sat down and simply allowed everything to be as it was. What I realized very quickly was that the peace and stillness I was trying to attain were already there. All I had to do was stop trying to attain them.”
5. Sri Prem Baba
This world meditation expert believes silence is the key to living mindfully and thriving.
This requires a huge sacrifice over control, as words allow us to guide conversation, thought, and even actions of others; but according to Prem Baba, that will not allow you to achieve true happiness.
As is often said, in order to achieve more than you have, you must surrender your current way of living, and follow advice from the people who have what you desire.
Each of these experts come from very different walks of life, though all live happily, through their respective practices of mindful performance and living in a state of Happytalism.