Ten steps to happiness (Part 5)

28 May 2011 - 12:50am 1 Comment

Whenever we encounter a brick wall, focus on the space behind the wall.

H.E. TSEM TULKU RINPOCHE

This is not a David Copperfield trick. When we encounter problems and difficulties in our lives, we usually focus too much on the immediate negative feelings of rejection, anger, etc. It prevents us from finding a solution or finding ways to go round it. Focusing on our negative feelings has the effect of making small problems appear bigger than they are, and even medium problems seem insurmountable.

We need to learn how to think out of the box. To do this, we must have knowledge. More knowledge means more options to deal with any situation. For example, if we think our existence begins with birth and ends in death, that the problem is impossible, and that we cannot – then we cannot see beyond the wall. These limitations prevent and stop us from exploring for other possibilities and opportunities.

When a problem arises, we have to accept that it has arisen. We should not let our anxieties and disappointments drag us down. As it had been said, “If a problem can be solved, there is no need to worry. If it cannot be solved, what is the point of worrying?” However, our tendency is to worry as soon as a problem arises.

Worrying is almost like wishing for bad things to happen. Yes, we have to stop thinking about the wall in front of us, and look at the space behind the wall which is more promising. A broken pot is not a problem; we can always buy another. Losing a job is not a problem; we can find another.

Loneliness is not a problem; we can always make new friendships. It is a problem however, if we wallow in self-pity or blame the world for our losses. The wall is our stubborn, closed mind solidified by our afflictive emotions. Open our minds up and problems will disappear.

One Response to Ten steps to happiness (Part 5)

  1. This is so true! Thank you very much for the teaching and maintaining this website!