People are usually reluctant to change and at the same time want change. Problem with the people is that they want the outside world to change without changing their inner world. What they don’t know is that outside world is just an illusion and real world is inside them.
Following quote of Eckhart Tolle is worth pondering:
Hence in order to bring change in the world, you have to change yourself and not the reality around you that is not only a constant flux but also out of you control.
In view of the above, following tips are useful if you want to change yourelf:
I) Stop blaming others for your problems (it is the most important lesson because unless we accept the responsibility of our actions, we can not solve our problems as we have the illusion that fault doesn’t lie within us but outside of us.)
II) Stop criticising others as it will do no good to you and will not make you better. Remember the saying: “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” On the contrary, the negative attitude of criticising others will sap your energies as these will be spent on the useless things and you will have less energy for making positive changes in your life.
III) Strive for being good rather than being happy. “May be the best way to think about Kant’s distinction between happiness and goodness, or virtue (as opined by some philosopher during a discussion on destructive emotions narrated by Daniel Goleman in the book titled “Destructive Emotions”) is to ask whether happiness involves just feeling a certain way or being a certain way. Plato says that the good person is happy and the happy person is good. But this happy doesn’t sound happy, according to some other philosopher, in the sense of a child getting gifts. Because the demands of living a (morally) good life may also require some sacrifices to be made.
IV) See boredom as a motivation and not as an excuse to complain about life. Though boredom by itself is not considered as destructive emotion or state of being, according to some experts, it can lead to some destructive behaviours, especially for recovering addicts in an effort to do something exciting. Remember that boredom is a mindset and not a problem that is result of factors beyond your control. So try out a new hobby or activity or just try to be like newton. You can also get involved in your community and neighbourhood.
V) Avoid attachment. Change your perception that things or feelings are permanent. For instance, you might think that friendship, human beings, love, possession will last, although it is clear that they will not. So attachment means clinging to one’s way of perceiving things and it can result in mental agony. So in order to change yourself you also must change your stereotypical perceptions.
VI) Avoid pride and jealousy. Feeling superior to others or holding them in contempt makes us blind to our own defects and thus unable to correct them and, finally, improve ourselves. Jealousy can also be seen as an inability to rejoice in others’ happiness. If our goal is precisely to bring well-being to others or to society as a whole, we should be happy if other people find happiness by themselves. Why should we be jealous? Part of our work is already done — there is that much less to do. And then sharing the happiness increases the amount of happiness and does not decrease it.
VII) Master your emotions and not become their slave. With practice we can have the ability to radically transform anger into a mix of compassion and patience. It is an extra-ordinary useful idea. Remember that like water and fire, our emotions are very bad masters but if we can tame them like we tame wild animals they can become very good servants. Although it is difficult to do but it is possible.
VIII) Have an intelligent faith as Ignorance afflicts. Most of our problems or affliction derive from what Buddhism calls delusion or ignorance. It is caused by blind/emotional faith, laziness, lack of mindfulness etc. So you must have an “intelligent faith” based on correct perception of reality as opposed to emotional faith. The meaning of intelligent, however, does not refer to IQ, cleverness and mental ability. It means to think deeply and have an independent point of view as opposed to stereotypical.
IX) Have a sense of humour as it is said that a sense of humour is major defense against minor trouble. Here is a quote for you:
X) Having no faults means you don’t have any qualities either. A wise person knows his own faults and thus he also know his qualities. And if you don’t know your faults how can you improve yourself? Then anyone who fails to recognise problems leaves the door open for tragedies to rush in.
XI) Know that it is impossible to live in a state of complete relaxation. It is said that when a horse is about to jump over a fence, it tenses all its muscles. But one must never confuse tension with anxiety.
XII) Sometimes one must behave like water. Sometimes it is better to behave like water flowing around the obstacles. Occasionally, resisting might mean being destroyed and so one has to adopt to circumstances.
XIII) Freedom is not the absence of responsibility or doing whatever one wants. Sometimes one has to get earlier in the morning, to meet people who are apparently of no use. But remember that an open oven makes no bread.
XIV) Learn to use your fear as an engine, not as a brake. Fear generally manifests itself in two ways: Through aggression or through submission. Hence, one must know to deal with the situation and by overcoming your fear you can use it as an engine for great action rather than an obstacle to act.
a) Destructive Emotions and how can we overcome them; narrated by Daniel Goleman (print edition)