How Do We Balance Self Change and Life Change? (Personal Blog)

in philosophy •  2 years ago

This question arose in my meditation today and I have been pondering it.

I wanted to share it here and invite comment from others as well as save it somewhere for reference.

Here it is:

"How do you balance changing yourself so you are happy with your life vs changing your life so you are happy with it?"

On one end of the extreme we have a complete focus on life change. That is, going about changing every aspect of life you are not happy with until life is shaped the way you want it.

On the other end of the extreme we have a complete focus on self change. That is, retreating into a monastery and clearing away all of our mental conditioning so we feel happy and contented no matter what our external life circumstances.

Having explored this from various angles I am leaning more towards self change because it is much more within our control. It is also a change that endures.

The trouble with changing our circumstances is that there are so many variables in the world and those variables are constantly in flux. By the time we change the final details in our lives, the ones we first worked on are likely to have shifted and need new attention.

This could lead us to live a life where we are constantly running around fixing details we are not happy with. We may live our whole lives doing this, never having really lived.

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My thoughts on this question is that external circumstances are mostly (if not completely) a reflection of the inner state of our mind. Trying to fix the external conditions without changing the mental state and attitude would probably be futile. As you pointed, there are just too many factors, unforeseeable drivers and forces completely out of our control. The Universe will always find a way to teach us a lesson through external conditions, until we change the inner condition of our mind.

Thank you for this thought-provoking post, Chris. It was a refreshing change to read your innermost thoughts instead of the usual daily commentary on the Cryptoverse (which I also greatly enjoy, mind you!).

It seems to me that the underlying assumption here is that you're unhappy to begin with, thus looking for answers on the inside and outside to align yourself with more happiness.

I'd say life happens. There are things you control and things you don't control. Being content and letting go of things you have no control, while doing what you can about the things in your control is all you can do. From here I'd say happiness is your attitude towards the reality of life.

Learning, understanding and applying good fundamental principles will do more to change long term behavior and results, than focusing on changing behavior will change behavior and results.

In short, it is more motivating to focus on the why, than on the what and as we focus on the why, the what follows naturally.

It is interesting that i ran across this article at a time when i have been in recent years of the mindset to balance these two self-realizations. Interestingly i was watching your Youtube videos (Subscribed) and happen to check out your Cryptoverstiy site as well. Ran across the article there and now i am here. Please check out my profile here on Steemit and give me a shout.