September 1, 2008

Why try?

Sometimes I get the whole, "Ankit, I like what you're doing. It's admirable, but I don't think I could do it. I don't have that kind of self-control/willpower/whatever" thing a lot -- whether it comes to raw foods, fighting for a certain cause, or maybe even a daily habit, but what I thought about recently (and the thought kind of solidified during a discussion at the temple the other night) is that when you do a lot of the seemingly good things you do, it's not because you try to.

I don't like the word "try." "Try" implies you're fighting against some opposing force or that there's resistance present. I don't "try" to eat raw foods. It's just something I do. I don't "try" to be environmentally conscious. It's just something I know is the right thing to do. I don't try to do much. What I TRY to do is feel good, and surprisingly enough, that happens when I stop trying.

(On a totally real note, however, I'm in school. There are going to be things I don't want to do, but I put an effort forth to do them. Not that it's pleasurable, but I make the best of it by revolving my work around what I want to do when I can.)

I think the key to doing things that make you happy and simultaneously help the world around you is to simply become aware. When I learned about the environment and global warming and all that, I kind of brushed it off like, "Okay. Now what? Al Gore will save us all." I became aware when I actually learned about the consequences of our actions, when someone drew out the image of a plastic bag or a styrofoam cup chillin in the same place I put it literally 10,000 years from now, when I realized that buses and other mass transportation were leaving their feces all over our atmosphere even when they weren't full. Now it only makes sense to turn off the AC and open the windows when I'm in the car, to simply get half-naked in my room instead of turning on the fan (or maybe I just do that to feed my ego. Dual purpose. Whatever), to drink out of a reusable bottle instead of a plastic cup, to shower after a morning workout rather than before AND after, to basically do anything that's practical and will minimize the glacial melting caused by my actions. It only makes sense, so I do it. I don't waste energy in doing any of it. It just becomes second nature. It's the same way with food. I just know how I feel and how it impacts me (and the environment, in fact) when I eat processed foods, so I don't do it. When I do, it's because I'm thinking about it and I don't see any reason to hold back. Any time I have a bit of cooked food (yes, I do it occasionally), the goodness of raw living is only strengthened in my mind, furthering my awareness, making me less prone to doing it again. It's all about awareness. I don't TRY to down a green smoothie in the morning. I just do it because it makes me feel like a superhero.

I'm not negating the power of trying; it's certainly effective in getting that bit of activation energy necessary to increase awareness, but from that point on, it's all about awareness. Thinking, trying, making an effort -- it's just not worth my energy. Becoming aware requires a tiny investment, but from that point on, the gains you reap are unmeasurable. Heck, I gave up the whole keeping track thing a while ago.

When you feel enthusiasm to do something, it means you’ve lined up the Energy, and you are being inspired to take action from that point of alignment. When you don’t feel like doing it, don’t push yourself, because your effort is not worth it. But, when you line up the Energy, the feeling of procrastination goes away.

- Abraham Hicks (from Seema's blog)
Stop trying so hard,

P.S. Thinking about doing a video-blog for my next post. What do y'all think of the idea?

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