Over the centuries, the issues we raise on this blog have been considered by many famous and wise people. Their words inspire us to further reflections. These word are a starting point for working on your mind and learning how to use the inertia of your subconscious mind.
In the book ”Like a Flowing River” Paulo Coelho writes: What is the most funny thing about human beings: That they always think crooked: they’re in a hurry to grow, then lament their lost childhood, and soon lose the money they need to keep their health. “They are so anxious about the future, that they neglect the present, and thus live in neither the present nor the future”. “They live as if they were never going to die, and die as if they had never lived.”
What is the most frequent reaction on this quote? "sad but true", "There is a lot of truth in it", "How do I know it". Indeed, Coelho's words are bitter, but they do raise important issues, which are worth discussing to help to put our life back on the right track. Using this quote, we would like to show you how to do this.
1. What is the most funny thing about human beings
The beginning of the quote shows some contrast, because what follows after isn’t funny. Coelho talks about people who want to be reasonable, wise, and who try to do that. Meanwhile, what was supposed to be wise becomes ridiculous. Let's treat these words as drawing attention to correct self-perception and self-esteem, i.e. an incentive to build self-esteem.
2. They always think crooked
These words show that people are often unable to specify what they really want, which is manifested in a wrong internal dialogue. A proper use of it, apart from visualization techniques, is the basis of working with the mind. One of the best known tools in this area is affirmation, but there are many others as well. The result of incorrect internal dialogue is improper communication, not only with the environment, i.e. other people. Inadequate thinking is primarily a miscommunication with ones subconscious mind.
3. They’re in a hurry to grow, then lament their lost childhood
The period of childhood is relatively short and is the only time in a person's life when it is possible to be completely carefree and rely on someone else (parent, caretaker). Regardless of age, gender and education, childhood is an important time for everyone, of course it has a greater impact on some, and less on others. Childhood is a critical period in human life, particularly important for the development of the subconscious. This time we absorb many different codes and put on the so-called anchors, i.e. stimuli are linked with specific reactions (an example may be positive emotions aroused by a song).
Unfortunately, as Coelho says, people very quickly start to strive for what „will be” instead of appreciating what is here and now. As a result, they do not acquire the ability to enjoy the present moment, which, after all, will not come back. The result is the later "lament their lost childhood" - these words have a sarcastic tone.
What is this lamentation about? Instead of actively taking life into their own hands, revising the codes, cutting off the anchors that have a negative impact on them, and starting to set and pursue new goals and, they return to something that no longer exists. They continue the same old mistakes and they still do not make full use of what is happening here and now.
4. Soon [they] lose the money they need to keep their health.
These words raise the issue of prioritization. It turns out that adults are often unable to balance their priorities. Of course, money is important, but you still need to be able to enjoy it. It is a well-known saying that "money does not bring happiness.” So, what can bring you happiness? Certainly health, which is why in our work we focus on building the mentality of happy and healthy person.
In these words, Coelho also refers to our physical health. So the question is, what is the relationship between what we're talking about here and common somatic conditions, especially ones that are chronic, untreatable and life-threatening?
We believe that the body is like a litmus test, an indicator of the ability to cope with life. It is reflected in all our actions, both those that bring benefits and those that bring about harm.
5. They are so anxious about the future, that they neglect the present, and thus live in neither the present nor the future.
This sentence shows an inability to enjoy life, set and achieve goals, and use what is available to us. In consequence we cannot shape our lives at all. Polish society has the tendency to be worried and feel sorry quite often. It makes a person to focus more on struggling with life, trying not to sink, than on focusing on successfully overcoming problems. It is related to another important skill that we should work on - stress management.
6. They live as if they were never going to die, and die as if they had never lived.
The end of the quote has a particularly depressing overtone, so we shouldn’t let such vision become true. These words enhance the message contained in the previous sentence (5). On the one hand, we are waiting for what will happen, and on the other hand, we can get stuck in one place, remembering one upsetting situation which prevents from taking a step forward, while time flows relentlessly by. Is this how the only life that is given to us is supposed to look like? We believe not, and we are certainly not alone in this view. In life, we should experience "full well-being and the ability to function at the highest level of personal ability" (Dr. Howard Murad). When illustrating the issues we are talking about, we also like to use metaphors and refer to science fiction films.
Imagine a movie scene where the main character finds himself in a world of extraterrestrials whom, unlike humans, live without knowing the category of time and space. They are fascinated by the fact that a human being’s life is so linear – they are born, go through the stages of existence and subsequently die. These creatures ask one question many times: “Why are you still living the past? What was this question about? Well, when the extraterrestrials saw this man's timeline, they noticed that he was not at the moment of present, but was the past. It was the moment of the accident in which his wife had died.
From the point of view of these creatures, despite the passage of time and many changes that took place in the hero's environment, he, due to his way of thinking, mentally, not physically - was still essentially stuck in the same place, and this fact surprised them a lot.
It is worth to look at your own life from this perspective. Are we really going with the flow of time or are we making full use of it? Following the words of Benjamin Franklin:
Do you love life? Then do not squander time, for that's the stuff life is made of.
It is important to have the ability to close chapters of life, to have health, and to safely distance oneself from difficulties and toxic situations, this is possible thanks to conscious and skillful work with the mind.