Great video by Noah Elkrief, the man’s a legend:
So Noah’s concept is that it is your thoughts that cause your emotions, not your actual situation. For example, work doesn’t cause you stress, your thoughts do.
So to explain the video – just in case you don’t have 18 minutes to watch it:
He starts by establishing what the one thing everyone wants is – happiness. So whether you are striving for a promotion, a wife, kids etc. the end goal is to be happy.
So just let that settle in – you want to be happy, that’s it. However, people add conditions to their happiness. They think that a certain thing, like a promotion, or a certain wage must be coming in, in order to be happy. This condition causes anxiety. People worry about not achieving their goals.
To prevent this anxiety, you must question your thoughts:
if you’re unhappy now, chances are you’ll be unhappy regardless of how much money you make, for example. You’ll be happy for a certain amount of time, because your negative thoughts about yourself and your lack of money will be offset for a period of time, but those thoughts will come back. Money doesn’t make you happy; it’s all in the mindset. In addition, you don’t know the exact consequences of earning more money. You might have more stress, less time, work with horrible people – you just don’t know. Work for your goals, but don’t think they’re the be all, and proverbial end all in terms of whether you’ll be happy or not.
Same thing, if you’re worried about losing your job. Which I do, after getting made redundant last year. But, even if I did lose my job, it might not be a bad thing – nobody knows for sure. So question that belief in your mind, that it would definitely be a bad thing. If I hadn’t lost my job last year for example, I would never, probably never in my lifetime had chance to work on a building site (great life lessons to be learnt there, college of knowledge), wouldn’t have made dozens of new people – and made lots of new friends, and I wouldn’t have an appreciation for the job I have now. Which is arguably a better job than the one I had last year. I’ve also learnt lots of lessons, that I can pass on to my kids. The last year has definitely provided some valuable life experience.
There’s no point in trying to control things, just let go, and just appreciate that you can never know what’s best for you anyway. Suffering is important in Buddhism, and calm seas never made a skilled sailor; so even if you do end up suffering because something does or doesn’t happen, it will make you a better and stronger person in the long run.