Today, I told my friend, who invited me and my family to his lake for an afternoon swim under the hot Boulder Colorado sun, that I just crossed off from my bucket list a most enjoyable dive into a lake of deep, cold water. I enjoyed it greatly. I thought it was wonderful. The water was mysteriously dark, deep, and freezing to the bones. Nice!
Enjoyment was on my mind, and I shared that crossed-off item with my friend.
Our minds are everything. Our minds, our thoughts, make us who we are. My mind is everything that I am and everything that I ever was. All of my present and past experiences are shaped by my mind. And every experience (all the bad, good, and even ugly ones) in my life is felt as such because of my mind.
Every act and every fact is created, shaped, and shared by our thoughts. There's nothing in the universe that exists without someone first having a thought about it. This may not be obvious. Try to name one thing that exists, has existed, or will ever exist without a thought.
Therefore, if you are constantly doubting, endlessly worrying, always fearing, it won't matter how successful you become, how much money you have, how big your house is, or who's in your bed - you won't enjoy any of it.
I could share my bucket list with you. All of us could write our own lists of goals, accomplishments, and things to achieve that are intended to bring enjoyment to our lives. The reality is that we're all trying, working really hard, to enjoy life right now, at the present moment. But most of us don't actually achieve that state.
This is how the mind works.
Sam Harris writes in Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality without Religion,"
And here's the key to life. How you interpret the present moment (ie. Am I enjoying this freezing lake water?) is contingent upon how you think about the present moment, regardless of what you're actually doing.
Around 67 AD, a man named Paul wrote a letter from prison that taught a lot about the mind, truths that I share at my weekly family fellowships, such as:
That's a good one.
Wayne Dyer writes in The Power of Intention,
The Buddha taught that what you think, you become. True. Descartes taught that everything exists because you think. Yes.
I encourage you to investigate certain truths for yourself and learn how to be mindful about what you're thinking, regardless of what you are doing.
Tips for Men to Be Better Men, Wonderful Husbands, and Loving Fathers