Disciplined Belief

In order to deal with life, we often rely on a set of beliefs to provide a sense of comfort. In other words, if we can explain why things happen, we don’t necessarily feel like helpless leaves adrift on an ocean. For example: if you’re good, you’re rewarded – if you’re bad, you’re punished.

For many years, I believed in the concept of random-chance. Unfortunately, believing in that concept resulted in a lot of anxiety. I could be crushed by a small meteor hurtling from space at anytime – why not, life is random. After many years of fear, I dumped that belief and adopted a more deterministic belief-system i.e. things happen for a reason and randomness doesn’t exist.

Essentially, I used “mental discipline” as the foundation of “why things happen”. Did something bad happen today? “Well, I musta let my mind wander into dank areas and got what I asked for. If I want good things, I must cultivate my mental-garden and prune my mind of all negativity.” That worked well for awhile and allowed me to tidy up my mind a bit.

And I must concede: on an absolute-scale, my life improved after I began focusing on mental discipline. BUT, “dissatisfaction” is a relative beast. Instead of being satisfied with okay-conditions, I found myself chasing intricate details and higher levels of precision. For example, are my very-painful headaches gone? Well yeah, but sometimes I have minor aches and it’s TOTALLY ANNOYING!!! “Nothing should go wrong, ever! Everything should be perfect at all times!!”

Because I kept feeling irritated, I started losing faith in my belief of “mental discipline” as the ultimate foundation of existence. No matter how hard I tried, it seemed like situations designed for maximum-annoyance kept entering my experience. And the more “aware” I became through mental discipline, the more obvious these unpleasant intrusions became. I felt specifically targeted, like this wasn’t a friendly place – and if life was purposefully making things difficult, why should I bother trying if I’m only gonna get dumped-on.

That’s where I’m at right now, trying to piece some new beliefs together and pivot. So far, I’m thinking that I’ve been navel-gazing too much. My character is at the forefront of my thoughts, and he shouldn’t be. It’s like a car that gets you from point-A to point-B – who cares if the engine makes a funny noise or the window’s cracked. You just run the thing till it conks-out.

As far as mental discipline goes, I’m not quite sure how it fits in. I was putting in too much effort and dedication while receiving diminishing-returns. Any more, and I’d basically be a monk. Can’t a happy-medium be found, a balance between discipline and delight? I don’t know yet – the quest continues….