In my last post I reflected on how the stress and chaos of the world causes many of us to feel anxious and out of control. I reflected in that post how it’s not about me and my thoughts; nor my thoughts about the world that matter. Rather, it is on what I can “do” to help others.
How do we put into practice this zen quote? Perseverance, determination and practice. In the college class I teach we review a work entitled “Flow: the Psychology of Optimal Experience” written by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. In this work the author posits that to create happiness it is not the world that must change, rather, our habits and actions need to change. He further states that the happiest people are those who are engaged in the world, doing activities in the world which have a high level of difficulty, and accomplishing what one has set out to do. Therefore, if we do our best to engage the world in making it a better place, we in turn receive a feeling of happiness. To the old adage “actions speak louder than words”.
Our challenge, therefore, is to find the strength and energy within us, whether we feel like it or not, to reach out and encourage others. Not to judge or wish things were different, but to act in such a way as to inspire others so to make it different! Unless we act toward change, change will not happen.