Many many years ago, our ancestors used to live in the caves. They had to continuously monitor their environment to search for food and to spot danger for their safety. It was necessary for them to judge and label everything around: anything moving could be friend or foe, any eatable plant could be life saving or poisonous. While we didn’t inherit their situations, we did inherit that mindset of judging everything we encounter. We want to make categories: good and bad, liked and disliked, black and white, and so on.
Unknown to us is that this attitude is creating problems and stress all the times:
- Weather is very hot today
- Someone didn’t behave as we expected
- Food is not delicious.
Every such judgement desires an alternative outcome different than what’s there in the real world. The result of this mismatch is a rising dissatisfaction about something outside of our control.
An alternative healthier approach is observing the world, its residents and their actions with a neutral mindset without any compulsion of bringing out a judgement. In that mindset, weather A is as fine as weather B. They are just different experiences. Similarly, behavior A or behavior B from a person doesn’t matter much because eventually it’s the same person with a different set of thoughts and emotions at different times, and we can’t control that either.
What we can do is try to go against our natural instincts and avoid labelling anything. Instead, just call it an ‘experience’ while withholding the judgements.
In fact, our whole life consists of accumulated experiences. Every experience needs not be happy, but whether every experience is positive or negative depends on us. Changing our thoughts about the same experience and effecting a different outcome is an incredibly powerful concept. That opens the doors towards almost perpetual happiness.