Mind-Conditioning: The Complexity

When I had the chance to teach in the Philippines, I always emphasize the importance of mind-setting as a means to achieve one's desires and goals in life. I keep on repeating the same message such that my students were able to imbibe the philosophy and apply in their own respective endeavours. Some succeed while many find it difficult to even initiate and continue.

Presently, after almost 2 years of living in Norway, an interesting question is left unanswered, "Have I changed my optimist viewpoint after all seemingly challenging situations and events I had in this new land?" The complexity lies on whether mind-conditioning is still applicable to my current experiences or has mind-conditioning vanished suddenly after everything that has happened.

Perhaps, there is a need for me to discuss why mind-conditioning is hard to implement. Here I will tackle various areas where mind-conditioning has a major role to play between two opposing themes.

Realism versus Optimism

The practice of mind-conditioning lies in between the boundaries of realism and optimism. One draws goals from what is actually happening and makes an inference of an outcome or eventuality that is way better than the "current" reality. Some people are too pre-occupied with the difficulties one is facing such that optimism seems to be irrelevant and non-existent. The challenge perhaps is both accepting the reality while optimism remains unfazed despite of and regardless of what happens, either good or bad, expected or not.

Action versus Anticipation

The major dilemma one has to face in mind-conditioning is whether to act immediately as a response to an event; or to anticipate that things will take care on its own, such that we only have to wait for the right time to act. We therefore condition our minds that an instance is the appropriate time to initiate actions and implement plans. Although the timing may not be completely fine, but the belief of one that indeed it is makes the difference of the possible outcomes. That certain belief is difficult to attain and maintain, as doubts and frustration may cloud our minds with pessimism instead of optimism.

Confrontation versus Rationalization

Mind-conditioning also involves self-perceived effective coping mechanisms. In optimism, we primarily tune our minds to believe things are going the right way, such that it is easy for one to reason out why bad situations happen. Such reasoning constitutes rationalization, an attempt to convince once self that everything is fine and in appropriate place. On the other hand, our ego is confronted with the realities that life is not all about the finest things. It also encompasses our ability to confront and adapt accordingly to reality. This is where mind-conditioning creates the complexity to seek the balance between using reason or being grounded on reality.

Resolution versus Endurance

The process of self-mind-manipulation through conditioned thoughts and actions takes time. This leads to one's requirement of endurance and patience. This acknowledges that one must have the grit personality to fully immerse one's mind into the hope of something better. However, the challenge is to hold unto this mindset for a long period of time. This can result to exhaustion, frustration and eventual loss of faith and positivism. As a consequence, people are enticed to rather resolve problems hastily without carefully thinking of the possibilities thereafter and take life as mere result of one's actions, rather than rooted on positive thoughts.

Opportunity versus Expectations

As an emphasis to the discussion of realism and optimism comes the two opposing points of opportunities and expectations. In an average person's way of thinking, we must set our expectations based on the opportunities we have on hand or seen coming in the soonest time. However, this belief may not be true always. One can set his or her expectations high enough, independent with the current opportunities he or she has. The second explanation could be misconstrued as illogical or craziness. It is in a lesser extent but mind-conditioning is tested on how far one's expectations to perceived opportunities. The father the two in terms of differences and objectives, the more difficult it is to condition one's mind, thereby increasing the risk of failure and frustration. However, once a person succeeds by bringing both opportunities and expectations into reality, there is a greater fulfillment at the end, serving as a fuel for more enthusiasm and optimism.

Lastly, I can say still mind-conditioning works. Our belief and faith on something good to happen must remain strong regardless of the interplay of several factors in our immediate environment. Perhaps for me, I just have to go back to the time I decided to use mind-conditioning. In doing so, I maybe reminded that in life, we can hardly control everything especially those aspects that are important, rather what we need to control is the way we think and perceive. Mind conditioning has worked for me before, so there is no doubt that it can work still in the near future. Indeed, it is all in the mind!


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