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In a lot of parts in Asia, Buddhist monks are known for being able to tolerate extreme levels of pain. From being able to withstand repeated kicks in the crotch, to burning themselves alive, they have almost perfected a philosophy called ‘mind over matter.’

While one does not have to set themselves on fire to showcase the use of willpower, it certainly says a lot about how powerful the mind really is. The world expects us to change our decisions depending on what we perceive and what we feel. When faced with rejection, we are expected to withdraw. When faced with hostility, we are expected to run or defend ourselves. If we are to follow by instinct or even logic, the exact same route that leads one failure to another, we can never be successful on what we are trying to achieve. The solution to this? Respond differently.

Many people famous for their success have shared that the only thing they did to be successful was to go against the typical reaction— to respond wisely and not react. That means, when facing rejection, they persevere; when faced with hopelessness, they become bolder. Our thoughts and our mentality can greatly affect the outcome of the physical world. When we think positively, eventually we get positive results. Journalist and author, John Marrs, wrote a novel and got rejected by 80 publishers. For writers and hopeful authors, this is indeed the nightmare they wouldn’t want to experience in their lifetime. Marrs felt hopeless as an author. His dream of becoming a publishing success story was instantly lost. Typically, most people would see this as a clear sign to give up and pursue a new dream. Not Marrs though. He put his mind over the present matter, persisted, self-published his book, and the series of success snowballed to him one after another. Thus, is the reason he is in Paperclips this month.

Often times, the pain doesn’t come from fire or crotch kicks, but from humiliation, rejection, and hopelessness— things that all of us experience in our day-to-day lives. And when we look at it, we need every bit of willpower available to overcome physical problems. This is always easier said than done, and we don’t have enough big dreams to risk and put this philosophy on trial. We can, however, start by overcoming small things— small rejections, small failures, and things that depress us every day— to develop this mindset, and exercise our willpower.

To our readers, remember always that success doesn’t come to anyone the easy way. But one thing’s for certain, when anything fires someone’s soul, impossibilities vanish.

 

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