“A rational person can find peace by cultivating indifference to things outside their control.”
—Naval Ravikant, Indian-American entrepreneur and investor
Image from Unsplash by Maria Teneva
I’m not a big fan of the word indifference. When used to describe a person, it conveys someone cold and uncaring. Few people would ever choose to be described this way.
Our current access to world events has all kinds of negative effects on our stress levels and sanity.
Examining which elements we control and those we don’t serves as a useful gatekeeper to dramatically reduce this onslaught.
Where would greater discernment and a healthy level of indifference help you create greater sanity and peace in your life?
“A different world cannot be built by indifferent people.”
—Peter Marshall, 20th Century Scottish-American Chaplain of the U.S. Senate
Image from Unsplash by Maria Teneva
What do you care about?
What are the issues and who are the people of greatest importance in your various communities? Where do you and others demonstrate genuine interest, concern, and effort to improve things?
Alternatively, where do you and others demonstrate indifference to others and the world around you?
Where do you see a lack of concern or interest, perhaps even apathy, relative to the struggles and difficulties around you?
Given the magnitude of the challenges we all face, where can we begin and continue to offer our best efforts to better our world, without turning away?
How and where can you make an extra effort to look more directly at the people you meet today?
Put forth greater attention to show sincere interest and support the full expression of their thoughts and feelings.
Listening with both heart and head—one person at a time—can make a tremendous difference.
“Nothing burns like the cold.”
—George R.R. Martin, Author of Game of Thrones
Image from Unsplash by Frank Busch
Back in February, a wave of arctic air blew across Michigan. Not wanting to miss my daily walk, I bundled up and set forth to put in my 10,000+ steps.
During half of my walk, the wind was at my back and my steps felt easy and steady. Heading in the other direction, with the wind in my face, I noticed the considerable chill and the burn on my face, thighs, and fingers.
Where else do you experience cold in your worlds? Take some time to look at relationships — personal or professional — that are adversarial, in which you might be giving or getting the cold shoulder, or a frigid reception. Where do you notice the burn of anger, resentment, indifference, and judgment?
Consider engaging in a loving kindness meditation to warm up relationships in your personal and professional communities.
Sharing your experience of this exercise will be like adding another log to the fires of friendship. Please reply to this post with your own perspective.
“Desire is half of life. Indifference is half of death.”
—Kahlil Gibran, 19th Century Lebanese Poet
How do you feel when you are around enthusiastic, passionate, and excited people?
How do you feel when you are around people who lack energy, and pretty much don’t give a hoot about anything?
These groups of individuals act like booster shots or vampires in the way they create aliveness or deaden our worlds.
Where and in what ways can you build and fan the flames of desire to experience more of the aliveness you desire?
How can you lessen or completely eliminate the deadening quality of indifference from your world?
Consider partnering with a close friend, mentor, family member, or coach to support both of these intentions.