Moon Cho, Creator of YING & YANG LIVING, has recently been talking at various groups to inspire individuals who are looking to transform their lives and get into a place of “yes.” So, she started “Wisdom & Wellness” on the YING & YANG website, which will provide Asian wisdoms by such great spiritual figures as the Buddha, Confucius, Dalai Lama, et al, to help you get through those dark and depressing days. And we all have them! Here’s the first wisdom tip by Moon Cho. We look forward to your comments and feedback–whether positive or negative, all is welcome!
“If you change your mind, you change the world.” ~Buddha
I was an Asian Studies major in college, and my first course on Buddhism was academic and dull. I never thought such ancient idealistic aphorisms would ever ring true in my life, let alone that I would practice them. Through all my years of struggling to find my passion and calling (I know, this sounds trite) and living through many depressing days (and still have them), I realized that I am my own worst enemy. How does changing your own mind can possibly change the world? It’s not about changing the world, as it is about opening your mind to change. You have to change your thoughts in order to change your energy in order to change your behavior, which then organically transforms everything around you: your career, love relationships, friendships, etc. When we have negative thoughts like “that is too hard,” then we make endless excuses not to do it. The lack of taking action prevents us from allowing luck to happen and seizing the amazing opportunities as they emerge.
I wanted to start my own company some years ago and had all the usual doubts and fears, distracting me from taking action for a long time. Struggling to start my own company, I coincidentally re-visited the Buddha quote, and a small light bulb lit internally: “If I change my mind, I can change my life” is how I translated it. Whenever doubtful thoughts came into my head, I tried hard, like salmon swimming up the river, to reverse them immediately by engaging in the cliché mantra: “I can do it, I can do it, I can do it…” With practice, I had enough confidence to jump off the bridge to found my own company without calculating the distance of the fall, the depth of the water, or the velocity of my falling speed—which all just amounts to excuses. I jumped—with tenuous faith–because I internally evolved that I would rather die trying than never having the courage to do so. While I am still struggling and far from where I want to be, the important thing is that I am doing it. A great commercial slogan Nike coined is: “Just Do it.” I am pursuing my dreams no matter what the doubtful thoughts may be, and my faith in the process is slowly growing stronger every day. Obviously, I am human and negative thoughts will always creep up, but I make a conscious effort each time to spar them with good ones.
I realize that this may seem overwhelming to do at first, so let’s discuss small first steps. Write down one negative quality you see in yourself, for example: “I’m not creative,” and underneath this statement, make a list of all the things you have done in the past year where you were creative in your work, school, or relationships and made a difference—small or large. Each time you think “I’m not creative,” replace it with something creative on your list. Repeat this process each and every time this negative thought rears its nasty head in your mind. While you will not see dramatic results at the beginning, the accumulative effect of this exercise will be transformative.
When you have positive thoughts, you take positive actions, which inspires people around you to be and do better—a viral effect that changes the world. So indeed: “If you change your mind, you will change the world,” so “Just Do it.”
I look forward to your feedback on my weekly “Wisdom & Wellness” tips.