“If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live” – Lin Yutang.
During one of his lectures, the Indian philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti asked the audience if they wanted to know his secret. All of the people kept quiet and waited for what he was about to say next. He said ‘’you know, I don’t really pay a lot of attention to what is going on’’.
The concept of telling everything to go screw itself is known to most people. And even though it seems rude, maybe even cynical, it is the best expression for capturing the truth. When you tell somebody ‘’to just not care’’ they are going to look at you strangely – probably because you aren’t Krishnamurti. However, everyone knows that bad things happen often in life, and it is healthier for us to just forget about them/
Not to forget – it means constantly thinking about what happened. Hours, days, years… For example, someone offends you on the phone and you start analyzing the situation – what happened and how. You are overwhelmed by unnecessary emotions you cannot get rid of. But there is also another option – you just hang up, brush it off your shoulders and go cycling to get some fresh air. Would this work for you?
Regardless of your opinion, if you experience something and then sit and think about it for hours, it is unlikely that you are doing something useful. It may seem logical to solve the problem while we are infuriated. But it is wrong. Because we are infuriated, we cannot focus on finding a solution – so it is useless to try.
This shines a light on one of the biggest illusions in the human thinking process. Most of us believe that the act of thinking is useful and it would lead to something. However, most of our thoughts are just spinning in circles in our heads, thus distancing us from the reality. They don’t lead to any important decisions or analysis, they swallow us and make our lives harder.
We usually think our cogitations serve an important role just because they provoke a strong reaction, or because they concern someone who is important to us. No. They are only useful when they make our bodies move and act a certain way.
This doesn’t mean that you have to act immediately on every offence, injustice or rudeness you witness. Just the opposite. In such situations, we usually close off and refuse to do anything. And this is normal. In most cases it is better to not do anything, just forget. This idea may not appeal to you. It represents a refusal to spend your energy and time on thinking that is unlikely to lead to anything. If you have decided to analyze a certain problem, make sure it will bring up the necessary reaction and then act on it.
It is not that easy for a person to just forget. It takes practice. The skill to forget needs to become a part of other essential skills and habits that we teach our children – together with tying the laces of your shoes, reading, being careful with strangers.
I know people who’ve shared with me whole stories about unpleasant situations that lasted 30 seconds but stuck with them like a needle. Every one of us knows such people, maybe you have such a ‘’priceless’’ story yourself. Who needs this nonsense? Follow the chosen course – just screw everything – the past, the story, the person.
The skill to forget on time doesn’t necessarily mean you will forget everything. It only means acting reasonably, doing something because you have a reason to. Mainly – it means understanding yourself and your choice of reaction. Everything starts in your head – usually as a lecture about respect of an offensive joke.
You can play different scenarios showing the one who offended you ‘’who is the boss’’. You can also start playing stories of revenge in your mind – such as the Terminator – and see yourself happy at the end from the result you have achieved.
When your mind goes this way remind yourself that you don’t really care about what happened and focus on things that actually concern you. What was your plan before the small incident happened? Listen to your body – what does it need in order to move forward?
Therefore, just leave the phone. Dial the next number, run a mile, go cycling, try a new drink … Do everything that naturally happens in the life of a person, who refuses to pay attention to the small inconveniences in life.