The Positive States Of Mind — Acceptance, Joy And Enthusiasm

A few days ago I saw a photo of a burn­ing giant 2016 sym­bol on Twit­ter. For many of us there’s no need for expla­na­tion: this year’s major events seem­ing­ly jus­ti­fy to regard 2016 as a lost year. And from every sin­gle even­t’s per­spec­tive that may be true. Before, how­ev­er, let’s have a look at the pos­i­tive states of mind — accep­tance, joy, and enthusiasm.

Should we real­ly burn 2016? Of course, not.

I sug­gest a dif­fer­ent approach: let’s do as the Bud­dhists do. There are three basic approach­es to respond to a sit­u­a­tion: accep­tance, joy, and enthu­si­asm. If, on a rainy evening, your car’s tire burst and you have to change it — you prob­a­bly won’t like that very much. If then, you get angry and keep swear­ing dur­ing the change, you are stressed and the whole process will prob­a­bly last longer and will be way more annoy­ing than if you accept­ed the sit­u­a­tion and tried to man­age the best chance of a tire you ever had. The thing is: the tire burst and has to be changed, no mat­ter what. The sit­u­a­tion is as it is. Now go and make the best out of it, by … at least, accept­ing it.

Imag­ine anoth­er sit­u­a­tion: some­thing good and wel­come hap­pens. You can eas­i­ly respond joy­ful­ly. In essence, you accept that this sit­u­a­tion is a happy one and you can react with joy. After the event has faded away you might feel joy for some time, but then you come back to your mood’s set point. A joy­ful response is short-lived.

If you’re strong­ly engaged in a hobby or if you cam­paign for cer­tain pur­pos­es you might respond enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly to most relat­ed events and sit­u­a­tions. You feel an ener­getic and con­tin­u­ing inter­est in these top­ics and your feel­ings are inher­ent­ly pos­i­tive. Enthu­si­asm allows and enables you to put much ener­gy into your top­ics with­out feel­ing stressed or exhausted.

The Pos­i­tive States of Mind — Accep­tance, Joy, and Enthusiasm
Now let’s apply that think­ing to 2016, and more specif­i­cal­ly, to the elec­tion of Don­ald Trump. (To avoid any mis­un­der­stand­ings: for me, DT is noth­ing more than a scary clown.)

First, sim­ply accept that Mr. Trump will be the next pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca. By the way, the elec­tion result is noth­ing more or less than a result, a reflec­tion of what Amer­i­cans think. Now, spare all dis­cus­sions about elec­tors, the cam­paign strat­e­gy, and such. Accept the result. And move on.

How to feel joy, now? Hey, have you been happy with Hillary? No? Are you happy with a stale, cor­rupt polit­i­cal estab­lish­ment? Prob­a­bly not. So start work­ing anew, start cam­paign­ing for your caus­es, again. Use DT and his team as antipodes and start build­ing a sound polit­i­cal power from the base level. That’s fun, a lot of. that’s total­ly dif­fer­ent from the polit­i­cal power play of an estab­lished power structure.

After you have over­come your actu­al state of shock and you begin expe­ri­enc­ing joy cam­paign­ing (I don’t like the word ‘fight­ing’) for your caus­es, you will feel this long gone enthu­si­asm, again. If there is a pos­i­tive aspect of DT’s pres­i­den­cy, it’s that it will unite, stim­u­late, and encour­age peo­ple who think dif­fer­ent­ly. This, again, will stir enthusiasm.
Maybe you’ll have four years to offer oppo­si­tion, maybe it will be eight years, it does­n’t real­ly mat­ter. And it’s not only you, my US friends. Even we in good old Ger­many face a tough fed­er­al elec­tion in 2017 since we have our own scary clowns. If we accept the sit­u­a­tion and fol­low the Bud­dhist’s think­ing, our future will look a lot brighter. Let’s go back to work! How? Joseph Stiglitz has some ideas.

2 Replies to “The Positive States Of Mind — Acceptance, Joy And Enthusiasm”

  1. […] Accep­tance, joy and enthu­si­as­mA few days ago I saw a photo of a burn­ing giant 2016 sym­bol on Twit­ter. For many of us there’s no need for expla­na­tion: this year’s major events seem­ing­ly jus­ti­fy to regard 2016 as a lost year. And from each sin­gle event’s per­spec­tive that may be true. Alas! Should we real­ly burn 2016? Of […] […]

  2. […] ⁃ start your day with a smile, […]

Leave a Reply


The Mind­ful Rev­o­lu­tion, Michael Reuter

Die Acht­same Rev­o­lu­tion, Michael Reuter

What‘s our prob­lem?, Tim Urban

Rebel Ideas — The Power of Diverse Think­ing, Matthew Syed

Die Macht unser­er Gene, Daniel Wallerstorfer

Jel­ly­fish Age Back­wards, Nick­las Brendborg

The Expec­ta­tion Effect, David Robson

Breathe, James Nestor

The Idea of the Brain, Matthew Cobb

The Great Men­tal Mod­els I, Shane Parrish

Sim­ple Rules, Don­ald Sull, Kath­leen M. Eisenhardt

Mit Igno­ran­ten sprechen, Peter Modler

The Secret Lan­guage of Cells, Jon Lieff

Evo­lu­tion of Desire: A Life of René Girard, Cyn­thia L. Haven

Grasp: The Sci­ence Trans­form­ing How We Learn, San­jay Sara

Rewire Your Brain , John B. Arden

The Wim Hof Method, Wim Hof

The Way of the Ice­man, Koen de Jong

Soft Wired — How The New Sci­ence of Brain Plas­tic­i­ty Can Change Your Life, Michael Merzenich

The Brain That Changes Itself, Nor­man Doidge

Lifes­pan, David Sinclair

Out­live — The Sci­ence and Art of Longevi­ty, Peter Attia

Younger You — Reduce Your Bioage And Live Longer, Kara N. Fitzgerald

What Does­n’t Kill Us, Scott Carney

Suc­cess­ful Aging, Daniel Levithin

Der Ernährungskom­pass, Bas Kast

The Way We Eat Now, Bee Wilson

Dein Gehirn weiss mehr als Du denkst, Niels Birbaumer

Denken: Wie das Gehirn Bewusst­sein schafft, Stanis­las Dehaene

Mind­ful­ness, Ellen J. Langer

100 Plus: How The Com­ing Age of Longevi­ty Will Change Every­thing, Sonia Arrison

Think­ing Like A Plant, Craig Holdredge

Das Geheime Wis­sen unser­er Zellen, Son­dra Barret

The Code of the Extra­or­di­nary Mind, Vishen Lakhiani

Altered Traits, Daniel Cole­man, Richard Davidson

The Brain’s Way Of Heal­ing, Nor­man Doidge

The Last Best Cure, Donna Jack­son Nakazawa

The Inner Game of Ten­nis, W. Tim­o­thy Gallway

Run­ning Lean, Ash Maurya

Sleep — Schlafen wie die Profis, Nick Littlehales