Importance of building a positive outlook on life.
The state of mind influences our outlook on life. Conversely, what happens on the outside has an impact on the mind. Just as water evaporates from the sea, forming clouds which result in rain elsewhere; circumstances on the outside may create ‘clouds’ in the mind which rains either happiness or suffering into the mind space. Perspective determines our outlook, which in turn influences the nature of this ‘cloud.’
The state of mind influences our outlook on life.
A negative outlook on life turns the mind into a massive and dense ball of stagnant energy that becomes an obstacle. It ultimately leads to an experience we call suffering, while a positive outlook makes the same mind feel light and airy and creates the right conditions for the growth of happiness.
The mind is continually providing us an opportunity to harvest its potential. By choosing to have a negative outlook on life, we ignore these precious opportunities the mind provides. A positive outlook helps us realize the mind’s potential. It is not just to feel happy about our lives. That happiness serves as a foundation of all our achievements.
The mind is continually providing us an opportunity to harvest its potential. A positive outlook helps us realize the mind’s potential.
We cannot be innovative and come up with new ideas when we are sad. The chances are better when we are happy. Just as we drag others down when we exhibit negativity, we also trap the mind’s freedom and creativity. When we slip into negativity, we forget about the power that comes to us via the confluence of this moment, the bodily vehicle, and the energy of the mind. Just as a strong cup of coffee removes sleepiness, a positive outlook enables us to tap into the latent power of the mind and greases the wheel of the mind’s creative potential.
We cannot be innovative and come up with new ideas when we are sad.
The basics of developing a positive outlook on life involve taking stock of the assets in our immediate possession. The two significant assets we tend to overlook are the body and the mind. A plant does not import flowers from another plant. It grows its own. Likewise, we don’t need to import happiness into the mind, once we realize the value of these gifts. We can grow our tree of joy within, enjoy its fruits, and share it with others.
The body is like a clay pot, the mind is the soil within that pot, and time is like sunshine that helps plants grow. A container (the body) has a fixed shape and size, but we can change the type and composition of the soil (the mind) it holds. The seeds waiting to sprout in the pot represent our thoughts.
We choose what thought seeds to plant in the mind. At any given moment, there are hundreds of thoughts from which we can choose. No one is intrinsically good or bad. Everyone harbors good and evil thoughts.
The thoughts we pluck and identify as ours from the tree of the mind determines whether others consider us as good or bad. We carry the seeds of thoughts wherever we go, and we also spread those seeds.
In nature, there is both poison and nectar. Some plants produce poison, and others produce nectar. Each serves a purpose. For example, we may poison weeds in a garden to help flowering plants grow. We are careful not to poison ornamental plants. Likewise, some thoughts are poisonous and can take us towards negativity, and others are like nectar and take us towards positivity.
Negative thoughts exist in the mind to serve as a counterbalancing force. It is the nature of the mind to have a balance of negative and positive thoughts. This does not interfere with our real essence, awareness, which is a state of neutrality. Awareness is neither negative nor positive, and it does not identify with either good or bad thoughts.
Negative thoughts exist in the mind to serve as a counterbalancing force. It is the nature of the mind to have a balance of negative and positive thoughts.
Just as it is the same two eyes that look at the sky during day and night, it is the same awareness that perceives negative and positive thoughts. We don’t identify ourselves with day or night. We use the light of day to work and enjoy the darkness of night to get a restful sleep. We can appreciate light only when we know darkness. Similarly, negative thoughts provide contrast and may serve to highlight positive ones.
Just as a farmer chooses the most appropriate seeds for the soil and climatic conditions hoping for a big harvest in due course of time, we can also choose what thoughts to use as the seeds within the mind. Awareness is like a farmer. In the hands of a skilled farmer, robust seeds will result in excellent crop yield. Awareness and positive thoughts is a potent combination.
Awareness and positive thoughts is a potent combination.
Nature does not guarantee that every seed will sprout and grow into plants and trees that flower. Likewise, awareness by itself will not result in the sprouting of thoughts into something beneficial to the world.
Many variables have to come together and align for flowers to bloom on a tree. These include the soil, sunshine, the type of seed, and the regularity with which the roots receive water. For thoughts to grow and bloom, our outlook on life, expectations, level of satisfaction, contentment, selfishness, generosity, and desires all play a role.
A positive outlook on life, along with satisfaction, contentment, and generosity, brings one kind of mental harvest. On the contrary, selfishness, negative thinking, excessive desires, miserliness bring another type of harvest.
For any plant or tree, flowers are not the priority. Survival comes first, and to this end, roots work day and night, drawing nourishment from the ground. Given all the right conditions, flowering then follows. Similarly, the mind is first concerned with its survival. Growing and manifesting latent potential, the flowering of thoughts and ideas come later.
Most people confine their mental potential in the pursuit of their happiness and peace. Working for one’s personal growth and not including others in that quest is a polished form of survival. Our lives then become like a dormant tree, neither dead nor alive.
Aliveness involves bringing something unique to the world. For a plant, it may be flowers, for a bird, it may be the rich texture and colors of its plume. For humans, it is our contributions to the world, irrespective of the field of endeavor.
We give to the world what we reap from our minds. When we manifest our innate potential, through our thoughts, into something useful for the world, we become as ‘complete’ as a flowering plant. Flowering is the reward for the efforts put forth by the roots and the leaves of a plant.
We give to the world what we reap from our minds.
Plants exhibit their flowers freely, spreading fragrance and beauty. They also entice bees and other creatures to come and enjoy the nectar and spread the plant’s potential far and wide.
The world can perceive the scent of our thoughts, which flower in our mind. Thinking patterns can create a subtle attraction or repulsion. A beautiful and fragrant flower repulses no one. On the contrary, everyone likes to possess such a flower. People pay large sums of money for such flowers which they care for, placing them in costly and ornates vases.
A plant does not prevent people from plucking such flowers. It can readily produce more such flowers. Likewise, once we make our mind like a flowering plant, contributions big or small will flow into the world. No matter how much others use and benefit from the harvest of our minds, it will not diminish the potential of the source mind.
Removing flowers from the stem of a plant creates space for more flowers to grow. Similarly, once thoughts ripen and flower, and we send them into the world through our words and action, it opens up space for more such thoughts to develop.
Thoughts are a subtle form of wealth, and we get more of this wealth as we share our knowledge and ideas. Hoarding thoughts clogs up the mind. Most of its energies will go towards storage and retrieval rather than creating new and unique forms. Selfish thinking is a form of mental hoarding. Such thoughts are like flowers shaped from plastic. These thoughts may be appealing to the individual entertaining them, but they don’t have the fragrance of selfless thoughts.
Thoughts are a subtle form of wealth, and we get more of this wealth as we share our knowledge and ideas.
A positive outlook helps till the soil of the mind. It turns over stagnant mental energies, nourishing the bed of the mind. As good thoughts sprout and grow in that conducive environment, we benefit from a harvest of happiness, and the world benefits when the mind’s creative potential reaches fruition.