It is an undeniable and accepted fact of life that we are all going to suffer. This suffering will last for differing lengths of time, will have a variety of causes, and will provide us with varying depths of despair, unhappiness, stress, and depression.
What is not a generally accepted fact of life, largely and quite ironically because people don’t give this any thought, is the fact that somewhere around 95% of this suffering will not be in any form of physical or bodily pain or distress, but it will all have its roots in our minds and in our thoughts.
For those of you who, like me, attend JP’s fitness circuits classes I will concede that our physical pain levels are a bit higher than the norm suggested in the previous paragraph.
Analysing this massive preponderance of mental causes for our suffering a bit further we can differentiate these causes into three categories. We will think about things that have happened in our past, those that are currently happening in our present circumstances, the now, and what we fear may happen in the future.
Although many people suggest that having worrying and stressful thoughts about things in the past and future, which cannot be changed and over which you have no control, is pointless there is great value to be gained by doing so, once you have removed yourself from these thoughts, and can look at yourself and those thoughts and behaviours objectively.
This brings me to what I call the Path of Why?
One of the key techniques that I use in my life coaching is to encourage people to steer a course onto what I call the “Path of Why.” This entails quite simply – with every single thing that you do and think, stop yourself afterwards and ask the question “Why?”
Why do I think that? Why do I do that? Why am I working there? Why do I exercise? Why do I eat biscuits with my tea? Why do I avoid person B? Why do I think that people with tattoo’s are Y? Why do I believe that owls are a sign of impending death? Why do I get angry with other drivers on the road? Why do I believe that all men are Z? Why do I exercise? Why do I not exercise? Why do I believe what I do about exercise/eating habits/drinking etc.? Why do I get nervous when I have to do A? Always and all the time, with everything, ask yourself the question Why?
I could make a list of these questions as long as the Universe is old, and so can you. And if you ever doubt the truth of the answers that are popping into your head, ask the question again whilst staring deep into your own eyes in the mirror – that person deep down in there will not permit any lies to get in there.
It is in the finding out the answers to these Why questions that you start to find out about yourself, about the way you think, about your core Values and Beliefs, and the Rules that you have put in place; you will discover the things in life that have paramount meaning for you and are the driving force behind all your thoughts and actions.
When you discover these answers and understand them you can then easily drop those thoughts and behaviours that don’t serve you, change others, and create new one’s that do serve you in the present and for the future. By doing this you will understand where you are in life, why you are there, and what your purpose is … and you will discover real, true happiness and joy.