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, […]

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