We like to think we get happiness when life is pleasant. The reality is you have to put in a little effort, to conquer the desire for liesure. The reaons you should conquer yourself to be happy are simpler than you think.
Sri Chinmoy was meditating when meditating wasn’t cool. I’m pretty sure he had to meditate without the Calm app.
Heeding his quote can strengthen your Happiness foundation. His states this tenant in a different order than mine, but both are important. You need presence for now and presents for later.
“I am very happy
Because I have conquered myself
And not the world.
I am very happy
Because I have loved the world
And not myself.”
― Sri Chinmoy
Most of us think we get happiness when life is smooth and easy and we get everything we want. We go out of our way to have fun, avoid pain and increase pleasure. That’s not how The Force works, Fin.
Conquering, Not Coasting
Our purpose is to overcome, not coast. Overcoming something difficult, completing a project, even progress on a project. That’s what we need.
We believe in honesty here at Independently Happy. I admit that I’m not very familiar with Sri Chinmoy. I gathered in a few minutes that he was an athlete, musician and spiritual leader who opened a meditation center in Queens.
I’ve run several half-marathons. To run those distance races, you have to conquer yourself on many mornings when it’s too cold outside or you just don’t feel like running today.
It is so fun crossing that finish line, though!
Presents for Later
The memories of finishing the race are presents you enjoy in the future for the work you did in the past. Every time you walk by the display of your Finisher medals you get a little boost of happiness.
Maybe running isn’t your thing. Maybe it’s music? I regret that I didn’t conquer myself and keep practicing my instruments. I have fond memories of performing, though.
You have to conquer yourself a lot of days you don’t feel like practicing, but it’s a present you give yourself for the future. Someday you can perform for a crowd (something I love!), perform for just a few friends at a party or around a campfire, or just sit and relaxingly strum the strings or tickle the keys.
I wonder if pianos are ticklish.
At some point, Sri Chinmoy suffered a knee injury that slowed down or stopped his running? Did he let that conquer him? No. He Conquered himself. He started weightlifting!
Love the World
The second half of Chinmoy’s quote is the other thing we need, gratitude.
Not worrying about how difficult life is for you right now, but loving the world.
Not only did Chinmoy say this before the Calm app was released, but he also said this before we realized the importance of self-love and self-care.
I frequently stress that you should love yourself. Chinmoy loved himself enough to take good care of himself. He took good enough care of himself that he could qualify as a spiritual leader for thousands of people.
Chinmoy Didn’t Just Run Marathons
Chinmoy didn’t just run marathons, he organized them. Then he shared what he loved with the world. He opened a meditation center in Queens to share his love of meditations. He organized athletic events to share his love of fitness.
Charity, giving, is a great way to get yourself out of your head when you’re feeling down. I’m not saying it will always fix everything. I know too many people suffering from clinical depression who have a more difficult time. For those of us lucky enough to not suffer from depression though, service and love to others is a great way to break out of the blues.
I can tell you one definite way to not love the world and to put yourself into a Vicious Circle of hatred and misery:
Hate the other party.
Hate the other candidate or the person you didn’t want to win the last election. Or the election before that.
Turn Off the Cable News!
Their goal isn’t to inform you so you can decide. The sole purpose of cable news is to sell air time.
To raise the value of their air time, they rile you up and draw you in. Then they appeal to your negative emotions and then feed and nourish your negative emotions. They work to entice you into staring at their nonsense frequently and intently enough that they can raise the rates they charge advertisers to convince you of crap you need to buy or suffer inadequacy.
That’s not loving yourself or the world. It’s marketing. Vile and lecherous marketing.
I think somebody snuck a soapbox underneath me when I was minding my own business and writing about love and happiness.
Love the World and Conquer Yourself
Not necessarily in that order, but give both a try. Pick a way to help or to serve and sign up. Sign up at your church or for community service. Help out at your kids’ school.
Pick your thing and practice. Try meditation. Conquer that yourself that doesn’t want to try it or wants to skip a few days and meditate every day. Get sufficient sleep. Conquer that yourself that wants to stay up binge-watching Breaking Bad (again, because I know I want to!) all night. Turn off the tube and get some restorative sleep.
What are some ways that you conquer, or suggest conquering, yourself? What are some of your suggestions for loving the world? Please share in the comments below.
I know a great way to love the world! Share this post with your friends!