Is happiness difficult to find or we keep losing it bit by bit because of our mindset. In my search to save happiness from leaking away; I found 7 major mind traps that can actually steal our happiness. To discuss each in details I think it will be a good idea to talk about one or two at a time.
Trap 1. What Other People Think About Me?
“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.” — Laozi
A child comes crying home from school. He runs in his mother’s arms and cries for a while. The mother tries to calm him down and asks him what the matter was. Wiping his tears he tells her that everyone in school taunts him and teases him. They all call him stupid and ugly. They make fun of him for being slow in school work.
Scenario 1: The mother consoles him that he is smart and beautiful. He should not care about his classmate’s remarks and he should completely ignore them. She promises herself to help him study harder so that he can do well in school. She understands his pain and tries to help him overcome the challenge in his early age.
Scenario 2: The mother first gets angry about situation. Then she remembers that the neighborhood children go to the same school so they might tell their parents about this. What will the neighbors think about my son? They will blame me for his failure in school. I will be labeled as a bad mother. How will I face my neighbors now? In her fit of anger she yells at the child to go study and tells him that he will not be allowed to play or watch TV till his grades get better.
One situation handled in two different ways. Will the result be different? Of course it will be. Which scenario will help the kid overcome his problem? My guess is the first scenario. The mother makes the kid comfortable gives him the most important lesson of life to not let others opinion affect him and then tries to help him solve the problem.
This kind of response will give the child confidence that he can come to his mother with any problem and she will listen, understand and suggest him what he can do. He will always share everything about his life with his mother and their relationship will become stronger.
In the second case the child will get terrified by the thought of telling his mother any of his troubles. He was already low and she made him feel worse she even punished him. He will stop sharing everything with his mother. He will only tell her what she wants to hear so he can avoid any unpleasant reaction from his mother. He will keep secrets from his mother and will find some other person who will listen about his troubles and help him overcome them. This other person can be his father, a sibling, a relative, a friend, a teacher or any other person this child finds easy to connect with as his connection with his mother will become weaker.
“The unhappiest people in this world, are those who care the most about what other people think.” — C. JoyBell C.
These scenarios were my attempt to highlight how dangerous it can be to think about others people’s onions. Why do we give others especially people who talk behind our backs so much control of our life? How does it matter what others think about us? People make such stupid mistakes trying to impress others that they completely lose focus from things that our actually important.
People will always talk and gossip about you and everyone else. No matter what you do, they will always find a way to talk about you behind your back. The day we set our mind to ignore what other people think about will be the day we will experience true freedom. Give it a try. Do something without a single thought of others opinion. Once you taste this freedom I am sure you will never ever care about what others think about you.
Dr. Wayne Dyer gives a beautiful explanation about the fear of others opinion. He says there are two things we need to think about character and reputation. One person can have many reputations as reputation is nothing but opinion of others so if 100 people know that person he will have 100 reputations as everybody will look at him in a unique way. So it really does not matter who thinks what about you as those opinions will constantly keep changing and updating.
“Why should we worry about what others think of us, do we have more confidence in their opinions than we do our own?” — Brigham Young
Character is far more important. It is what we think about ourselves. Character builds our reality. It controls our subconscious mind that controls our every action. The only opinion that matters is our own. Plus it is far easier to work on one character then hundreds of reputations. Strong character will build an amazing life.