How to be your own Master?
While we sit inside of our homes, we are totally ignorant of the other fraction of the world who are not very privileged like us. Where the other fraction struggles for a single meal every day, we complain about the luxuries our lives are missing. It is so easy to be self-occupied and not feel responsible for others when our wants and needs are never-ending and there’s no control over them. But we must learn to manage it. If managing it can provide someone a meal for a day, isn’t it worth it? I believe that as a human it is our duty to care of others who has no one, I guess that’s what makes us humans. Animals fight for territory and hold grudges and so do we. What is that ‘distinctiveness’ which makes us different from animals? We have a higher functioning brain than them which should be our advantage but we are exploiting it to exploit others and everything around us. There is a greater need than ever before to bring a change for our own betterment, to right all the wrongs.
Starting by being responsible for the things that we do even if it’s good or bad. We caused it, we own it. If it did anything wrong then it becomes our duty to make it right. Owning up to a fault is a very hard thing to do but once learned it becomes really easy. To own up to something we need to be ‘aware’ that we are the originator of it. The main daunting task starts here ‘being aware’.
We think that our eyes are open so we are aware or we are conscious. But are we really? Merely opening eyes means being aware? Just being present somewhere means being conscious? If so, then there wouldn’t be any fuss in the world. Humans would be happy and very well sorted. There wouldn’t be any unhappiness and mental illness. But that’s not the story. It’s totally contradictory to an ideal.
To bring a change in the world, in others, it’s a prerequisite to bringing a change in oneself. It always starts from the inside and then moves towards the outside. Because what we do is a mere reflection of who we are. So first the work needs to be done on yourself. Ask yourself who are you? What makes you, 'you'? We are often under the influence of other people because we live around and with people. And people tend to consciously or unconsciously influence others. So you need to know yourself truly and always be aware of who you are and not fall prey to anyone’s influence.
Everyone has their own distinct identity, made up of different types of beliefs, values, likes, dislikes, and many more. Find your own and write it down so that you never forget any of it. While writing it down be totally true to yourself, do not be self-critical, and do not be under any influence. No one else is going to read that so no need to sugar coat and make yourself look desirable and approvable. Wherever you find there is a flaw or there’s something you don’t like and is not right, just change it. Humans are capable of enormous change. Once you put your mind and effort to do something, you will be able to do it. So fix whatever you don’t like into something you like and grow the love for yourself. But always make sure that you are not rigid, that you are always open to change with the demand. Always be open to what others are saying, process it, analyze it, and then act on it. Don’t think that you know yourself and there's no need to hear anything from others. You should always be open to feedback, know what others think of you, and know-how you are putting yourself into the world. You might be all sorted about yourself and know yourself the best and accomplished level 1. But how you are acting/behaving is level 2.
Often our actions do not match our beliefs and our words. In psychology an attitude (belief about something) has three components- affect (emotions attached to the belief), behavior (action), and cognition (the belief itself). Surprisingly our behavior is not merely governed by our beliefs, it’s governed by the belief about that behavior. So believing in something and acting on that thing becomes two separate entities. This is why sometimes our words do not match our actions. Now to unite them, we need to form two separate but same beliefs. Like, don’t just tell yourself that you believe in it, say that you believe in doing it as well- that’s how you are unconsciously preparing your mind for that action.
Now, what about the times when you don’t know why you did something which diverges from your beliefs. What’s done is done and cannot be undone but the damage can be repaired. A routine we all should add to our lifestyle is “analyzing whatever happened during the day”. Before sleeping when you are all calmed and relaxed just go through your day mentally. Visualize whatever you think went wrong and what else you could have done in that situation, visual imagination helps you to prepare yourself for the future. Visualize what you can do now to correct it, plan up a strategy. Try to reason your own behavior correctly by being totally rational and unbiased, it’s alright to make a mistake but it’s not alright to deny a mistake. Denying mistakes will only add up your piles for the future. Think about carrying the bag of that pile of mistakes on your shoulder throughout life, you really don’t want to load up that pile- it will only make your life tiring and heavy. So whatever wrong happened or whatever problem arose, deal with it that moment only because the next moment another one will arise and that’s how to bag becomes loaded.
Our thought process needs to be given way more important than it is given. Whatever we think or whatever goes on in our minds really determines how we act. You might not be able to make a connection between seemly unconnected situations because we were not aware. The dots are very far away so sometimes we might not be able to connect them. Nothing happens out of the blue or out of luck, it’s a product of you and your environment. Kurt Lewin, a famous psychologist in his field theory expressed that behavior is a product of a person and his/her environment B=f(p,e). Being able to control yourself will give you the ability to control the environment, remember I said in the beginning that the change needs to start from within then only it can be moved outwards. Just like that the control needs to be started from within and then outside. I’d like to state a dialogue from the movie ‘The departed’ “I don’t want to be a product of my environment. I want my environment to be a product of me”. The control comes from awareness and consciousness. Earlier I talked about being aware of yourself and now- being aware of the surrounding. Whatever you feel, think, and do somehow gets influenced by your surroundings because humans are constantly interacting with the world. Processing whatever is happening around you in an unbiased way is really important.
You might not be able to completely control the outside world but you can control it within limits. Again by being ‘aware of the surrounding’. Everything which is happening around you is a reaction to some action so it’s all happening in a chain, it’s all connected and you need to find the connection, you need to connect the dots. Think of whatever is happening (events) as dots and there’s space between the dots, your job is to observe the dots and then draw the lines- lines which will determine what caused what (a chain of action and reaction). You need to be totally unbiased, rational, open, and aware to be able to connect the dots with minimal errors. Once you know what caused it then you will be able to understand the situation inside out. And when you know what caused it you can even fix it by working on it.
The whole control lies within you, you are your own master and of the world around you but you aren’t aware of your own powers. Realize the power which sits latent (hidden) inside of you. What’s keeping you away from your own power- is your realization, you just have to make that one step of realization. Once you start looking at the world without any biased lenses and connect all the dots and know who’s in charge - all the tangles and the fuss will be over. Life is quite simple and we tend to make it complicated by just letting things happen while we have our eyes closed. Open up your eyes, be aware and totally conscious.