The Only Real Challenge

People seem to think that they face all sorts of challenges, problems, issues – whatever label you want to put on the difficulties that life throws at you! The truth is, however, there is only one challenge in life – rise to it and everything else will simply fall into place. What’s the challenge? Taking responsibility for your own state of mind. You see, nothing else that you encounter in the course of your daily life is actually a challenge – it’s how you react to what’s going on that creates the problem. Or, more correctly, how you react to what you think is going on!

Sure enough, the normal life is full of all sorts of issues that have to be dealt with – from dealing with teenage children to coping with a difficult boss, from facing major problems in your business to handling money problems. But, as I say, these are not the challenges – these are simply the ebbs and flows of life. And, like the tide that is constantly coming in and going out, all these issues arise and pass away. The sad fact is that we become emotionally immobilised by our problems – and we react.

As normal people, our reactions are dictated by our subconscious mind. But it gets worse! Your subconscious mind isn’t even focused on the reality of the problem that you’re facing. Instead, it is using what psychologists call your ‘stored knowledge’ to make sense of what is going on – and, in the process, makes nonsense of it. This stored knowledge was learned when we were young and impressionable – it is decades out of date. As a result, we are ill-equipped to handle life’s problems. That’s why the world is full of anxious and stressed out people – and that’s why normal people go through life continuously making the same mistakes.

On the other hand, if you are clear in your mind and focused on what is actually going on, solutions will and do present themselves. We do, however, have a natural barrier to overcome. You see, as things stand, our subconscious ensures that we react – quite different to act! – to what we think is going on. And this whole process happens both subconsciously – so we’re not aware of it – and automatically. And what you’ve got to realize is that this is the subconscious mind’s default way of operating – it’s the way that we’re hard-wired. You’ve got to be prepared to work at developing your clear state of mind. You have to be prepared to be both disciplined and committed.

Your work will require that you develop your ability to clear your mind when you don’t need it, so that your mind will be clear when it’s most required. Five or ten minutes meditation – each morning – is the most effective way to ensure that your mind is clear and focused for the day ahead. However, as far as I can see, many people simply don’t understand meditation. Sometimes this even applies to people who meditate – they believe that meditation calms the mind. No – it energizes that mind so that you’re ready, willing and able to take the real action that is called for – and this type of action is world’s apart from our normal reactive behaviour.

You need to make a daily commitment. This calls for the kind of self-discipline on which I have already touched. People often tell me that they have committed to, for example, changing their lives. Commitment, however, is not a decision that you make – it’s something, or many things, that you do – again and again. You only prove your commitment by consistent action. That means that you need to discipline yourself to meditate every single day – after all, you never know when life will throw the next problem at you.

With a clear mind you will be able to see each problem for what it actually is – something that will, sooner or later, go away, assuming that you’ve taken the right action. In some situations you will find that taking no action is actually the best action. Sometimes, however, brave and courageous action is required – and the normal mind doesn’t like being brave or courageous! But ‘right action’ is only seen as bravery or courage from the normal perspective – a clear mind will be sure and certain that what needs to be done is simply logical. Armed with clarity of mind, it will not only become obvious as to what the right course of action is – you’ll be fully primed to go and take that action, effortlessly.

The other benefit of operating with a clear mind is that, not only will you see life’s problems for what they are, you will also be fully equipped to see life’s opportunities for what they are too. All too often, the normal mind believes that every silver lining has a cloud – we see shadows and ghosts where none exist. But with a clear mind it will become obvious that, not only can you chase away life’s clouds, you will begin to notice that even the dark clouds have silver linings!

In short, we have to deal with the various problems and issues that we face in our day to day lives – more often, though, we need to take appropriate action to deal with them. As I’ve said, taking the required action can be close to impossible for the normal mind that isn’t even quite sure what the real problem is! Furthermore, a clear mind will ensure that, in addition to being able to spot live’s opportunities, you will be well placed to actually do something about them.

Copyright (c) 2011 Willie Horton

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