While walking across the street some 15 years ago, a car ran over me. It was your classic case of hit and run involving a pedestrian and a car: the car won. Many think that the hardest part of recovery is the physical aspect. In reality, the mental and emotional recovery is even harder.
I postponed my healing by getting stuck in needing to "make sense" of the accident. I was consumed by questions: Why me? Why now? Why hit me and leave me on a sunny Sunday afternoon? Trying to reconcile the questions took up all my time.
In devoting time to that which Doesn't Make Sense, I was losing the emphasis on What Does Make Sense: my body was healing, I was feeling stronger than ever, I was back to work, and I was feeling better.
Life In Two Buckets
The Yoga Sutras discuss the nine obstacles that exist to our human happiness and what happens if we get stuck in them. Good news is that the sutras also give us the answers, the 4 keys to happiness. After synthesizing all of this, I have determined that you can simplify this even further by placing everything in your life in one of two buckets:
1. What Makes Sense
2. What Doesn't Make Sense
Below is how these two buckets have played out in my life:
What Doesn't Make Sense:
1. Trying to rewrite the past and solve it.
2. Getting consumed with worry about what's going to happen.
3. Having to get things perfect, especially giving yourself only one chance to get things right.
4. Living your life based on what other people want you to do.
5. Getting stuck in habits (mental, physical, or emotional).
6. Playing the victim.
7. Giving up.
8. Limiting yourself.
9. Making others’ opinions more important than your own.
10. Measuring everything.
11. Taking things too seriously.
What Makes Sense:
1. Be grateful for what you have right now. Give up all hope for a better past.
2. Be present.
3. Give yourself a million chances and embracing the messiness of life: Just do your best.
4. Live your life based on what brings you the most peace and happiness. Run your own race.
5. Keep learning new things, make the ordinary things extraordinary, stop replaying the same thoughts.
6. You are not what has happened to you, or what has been done to you. You are so much more than that "label" so don't label yourself a victim.
7. Begin again. Keep trying.
8. Your nature is to keep expanding. Allow yourself to be creative, to dream bigger dreams and to be ever growing into your infinite potential.
9. Listen to yourself the most. Gather the advice of others but at the end of the day, make your own best decision.
10. The best things in life cannot be measured. Spend less time over analyzing, feel more. Remember real life is the one you’re living, not the one measured in “likes”.
11. Laugh more. The universe has a great sense of humor.
The formula for happiness is really quite simple, but in reality and actual application, is not always easy to follow. I encourage you to make your own lists, and make a conscious effort to spend more time on What Makes Sense. And in the meantime, love yourself, love your day, love your life!