There is no doubt that an organic world, in which inhabitants must struggle for survival, is a scary place to live. Lightening could strike at any moment. If every outcome is determined by chance, then our number could be called at any second of the day. This was my outlook for many years and it did indeed produce a lot of anxiety.
I noticed that not everyone had this outlook. I thought these people were idiots that didn’t understand the world we were living in. They either willfully ignored reality or were just too dumb to perceive the perpetual danger surrounding us all. But after many years of believing everything reeked of poop, I realized that I was the one covered in feces of my own creation. I was the ignorant idiot.
After accounting for my negative bias, I began seeing the world from a more neutral perspective. My pessimistic perspective was clearly wrong. The world did not work how I had imagined it did. Life wasn’t the source of my misery, my attitude was. I thought fear protected me, alerting me of imminent danger — instead it was just an irrational limitation I was placing upon life.
But realizing this fundamental misunderstanding is not enough. How does someone that defaults to negativity flip the switch to positivity? My negativity originated from scary ideas I believed about the world. Therefore, to develop a positive outlook, I had to dismantle the dour ideas and replace them with ones capable of inducing comfort and joy.
So I sought ideas that made the world more palatable. For instance, I don’t see existence as organic anymore, it’s merely a computer-simulation of what higher-beings imagine “life” would be. I won’t die in the organic sense, I’ll simply move on to play as another character. I tried imagining life as a preconceived story, but found that idea dissatisfying, so now I believe in my ability to influence my surroundings.
I believe that life morphs into the image I maintain in my mind. This belief allows me to use fear to fight fear: I dare not think negatively lest it come true. Consequently, my mind does not permit itself to entertain worrisome thoughts anymore. And likewise, my mind is now forced to imagine pleasant outcomes. Just as I took time to contemplate all things wrong with life, I now take time to craft images of the life I want to live.
I’ve found that these new beliefs map better to the reality I’m experiencing. The gloomy outlook just isn’t true, calamity is not occurring around every corner, each decision does not rest on the edge of a precipice. Plus, the positive outlook has the benefit of producing pleasant feelings. I’m in the process of reinforcing and building upon these beliefs and life really is getting easier.
I no longer believe that stress and strain are inherent to life. There are no tests, no harsh lessons to be learnt. Relaxation makes me stronger. There’s nothing I need accomplish except the goals I set — and even then it’s more of a suggestion than a need. Life has only ever been what I imagined it to be, I’ve simply updated the fantasy — My Life 2.0