Labeling thoughts and experiences.

Why it hinders our search for happiness.

Dr. Niranjan Seshadri

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Photo by Bec Brown on Unsplash

Life is like a long road trip with several stops. Life provides the ‘car’ for the journey, and we get into a new one periodically. Those cars have different labels — success, failure, disappointment, satisfaction, profit, loss, good and bad relationships. Life won’t allow us to see which one we are in until we are back on the road when it is too late to change, and we will have to wait until the next stop.

On the journey through life, most people seek to ride in the cars labeled ‘success,’ ‘profit,’ ‘satisfaction,’ or ‘good relationships’ People assigned ‘ failures,’ ‘disappointments,’ ‘loss,’ or ‘bad relationships’ fight to get out of cars with those labels and dread the possibility of being stuck in there all through the journey through life.

But just as we don’t know which car we are getting into at each stop along the long road trip through life, there is another surprise. Just before the final destination, life reveals that we have been riding in the same car all along. We were too busy to notice that only the labels had changed.

The ‘car’ we ride in through life is the mind. Experiences come and go, but it is the same mind in which we enjoy or suffer experiences. Once we label something as ‘success,’ that label sticks forever, and we want only similar experiences. However, even ‘failure’ stays forever. The more we try to reject those experiences, the stickier they get. Rather than learn from our failures, we expend energy fighting those thoughts.

In a lifetime, we encounter millions of experiences, and if we give each of them a label, imagine the conflict and confusion that grows in the mind. It becomes challenging to step aside and get a different perspective when we habitually identify with our experiences. It’s like sitting in a car and obsessing over every fiber of cloth on the car seat, forgetting the reason the car seat exists — to provide a comfortable ride. Similarly, the mind exists to give us a unique window to experience life. But we forget that the mind is just a window; instead, we make it our permanent home.

Life will be a comfortable, satisfying, and rewarding journey, provided we are willing to let go of the labels we give our thoughts. Life does not…

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Dr. Niranjan Seshadri

Physician I Author I Transformational Philosophy - Awareness and its power to transform. www.intoawareness.org. Learn more- amazon.com/author/seshadri