How To Navigate Life’s Ruthless Waves by Colisnicencu Daniel
“Why is the wind blowing?”, asked the sailor.
“Why did you come upon us?”, he asked the storm.
“Why are you tipping over?”, he asked the boat.
“Why don’t you shut up and do something about it?”, answered his fellow sailor.
Life is like a storm. It comes out of nowhere, takes us by surprise, sweeps us away and crushes the unprepared.
Since we cannot hope to control it, we can only try and navigate its waves.
Fortunately, each one of us has four sails which are more or less under our control:
1. The influences which come into our minds and/or body
This is the first sail and probably the most important. You might think you have little to no control over this one, but you are wrong.
You control whether or not you watch television, commercials, YouTube, movies, etc.
You control whether or not you read books, listen to audio programs, go to seminars, etc.
It has recently come to my attention just how important listening to audio books while commuting is.
How silly of me to not have done so sooner. In the past year alone I could have sucked down more than 500 hours of information. Instead, I used this time to admire the sidewalk and gaze at traffic lights.
We have all kinds of information thrown at us daily. Some of it we can’t control (the tip of our sail belongs to the enemy); but most of it we can.
If you want to improve your life, stop watching nonsense. Cut off all negative influences (including negative people, foods, etc.). You will not miss them.
It’s been years since I’ve last watched television. I do not miss it.
It’s been years since I’ve last played an online game. I do not miss it.
It’s been months since I’ve last eaten something fried. I do not miss it.
It’s been a week since I’ve last watched something pointless on YouTube. Surprisingly, I do not miss it.
2. Our thoughts
For those of you who think you have no control over your thoughts, take a minute to think of something (anything).
Did you do it?
Great, now think of something else.
If you did the above you’ve basically switched your thoughts from one thing to another (you took control of them). This sail has always been in your grasp.
Some thoughts pop up spontaneously in our heads as a result of outside stimuli, our feelings or other thoughts.
However, some thoughts are generated by our conscious minds.
These we can control (so do it).
Catch yourself thinking negative thoughts and use your consciousness to change them to something more positive.
Catch yourself thinking of chocolate flavored ice cream and start thinking of tomatoes instead.
Stop yourself from thinking about who pissed you off at work, television and other such “constructive” things and change your mind to more useful stuff.
The words which I try to make ring most often in my head are “Let’s go!” or “Let’s do this!”
Find your own call to action and yell it in your head 24/7.
3. Our emotions/feelings
Thoughts are easy, but this sail is a bit tricky, isn’t it?
About half this sail belongs to the environment, hence the need to take control of outside influences.
However, the other half (the tip) you can control manually.
For example, right this very moment force yourself to smile. Even though it’s fake, do you not feel slightly better?
Try exaggerating your smile as much as you can. Do you not feel like laughing?
For a very brief period of time, I tried acting.
Although I never saw the stage, I learned something rather interesting.
For those of you not familiar with the art, actors do not just pretend to feel certain emotions.
They actually feel them.
We are no actors, but we can learn from them.
One exercise I tried while acting went like this:
Another person would grab a piece of paper and write on it a sentence such as: “I feel good; tanananana” or “I feel sad; so, so sad!”
Afterwards, I would have to get into the mood it represented and read it.
I noticed that reading the sentence again and again while trying to make myself feel the emotion described worked.
Try this yourself.
Say the word passion again and again.
While you say it, think of how passion would feel like. Actually try to feel passionate.
You will notice that the longer you engage in this activity, the more passionate you will feel.
An actor can generate emotions in seconds, but you can learn to do it in a few minutes (which is pretty good for everyday life).
I still remember finishing my first acting lesson. My head was spinning. I was shocked.
My teacher had asked me to feel and then recite the phrase: “Why? Please don’t leave me.”
After getting down on my knees and reading the line more than 50 times, I was successful.
4. Our actions
A widespread idea in self development is that your inner world reflects your outer world.
Your predominant thoughts and feelings determine your reality.
But there’s a middle man: action.
The actions you take are the result of your thoughts and feelings and it is through action that you shape your world.
You can handle this sail manually by using your conscious mind. Try the following:
Move your hand. Can you do it without thinking about it? Can you do it without feeling like it? Can you just move your hand?
If you can, then I’ll go on a wild guess and say that you can move any other part of your body as well.
Use this power. Take manual control of your body to do the things your self-defeating thoughts and feelings won’t let you.
If you want control over your life, you must take control of the following 4 sails:
You must control the influences which come into your mind and/or body
You must control your thoughts
You must control your emotions/feelings
You must control your actions
How do you do so?
By any means necessary.
The tricks I showed you will help you in this matter, but what will ultimately make a difference is your decisiveness.
Your resolution to take control of yourself will determine your success/failure.
So, make up your mind to take control of your destiny by any means necessary.
After all, it is your future that’s at stake, is it not?
Author: Colisnicencu Daniel is a teacher, karate-ka, writer and entrepreneur. Five years ago, he discovered personal development and vowed to change his life. How many adults have actually grown up and how many of us are overgrown babies? Learn how “big” you actually are at his website: www.growupproper.com
Image: Small Yacht At Sea by Petr Kratochvil