One of my favorite writers is Eckhart Tolle, who wrote the books, “The Power of Now” and “A New Earth”. Central to his book themes are that all you have is “the Now”. When people say they have problems, what they are truly thinking about are the fears of tomorrow, regrets of the past (which by definition have already passed and you can do nothing about it), and anxious about the future, which carries with it an uncertainty that you also have no control over. Just live in the now, as the cliché now goes (since it is used in virtually every self help book because of its inherent truth, “live in the present moment”.
If you are having a problem, recognize that the odds are that you are not living in “the now”. You are living either in the past and future which are not reality, it is only a fantasy. The only reality is right now. What Eckhart Tolle often asks someone who shares with him a litany of problems is, “I understand you perceive you possess so many problems, but what is your problem NOW?” “Right now?” Then the person becomes silent, because they realize that their anxieties and their depression are borne from their own minds, and they are not in control of them. Rather, they choose to believe in their own thoughts, which are the source of causing them so much grief.
Take yourself out of the game so you can fully live in the present moment. For example, if you decide to purchase a new sports car, choose wisely, and don’t pick it in the first place. Just why do you need to go really really fast when the speed limit on most local access roads are 35 mph? A 50cc moped can reach that speed limit. Why pick a car with 350 horsepower that can go 160 mph when doing so will not only get you several speeding tickets and a reckless driving arrest, but will probably kill you and take others with you.
And as we discussed, what if someone “keys” or “scratches” your precious car? Since you are attached (in part because you spent so much money), you are nervous. When you leave your car with the valet at the restaurant, you are nervous he will damage it or take it for a “joyride”. If you lend your car to someone else for the evening, you are unsettled. If you chose wisely and bought a practical car like a Fort Escort, you would not have so such anxiety. If someone in the past scratched your inexpensive Ford car, you would not care. And you will not be worried that someone would scratch your car in the future, since you are not attached to the car’s outer appearance.
In doing such wise things, you are “taking yourself out of the game” and thus able to perceive your life unattached…and thus at peace. This choice of purchase extends to everything, from precious crystals to fine china. Just purchase that which is the simplest, the least glamorous, the least “sexy”, and inexpensive. Then your ups and downs will be minimal, and equanimity will be in your grasp.