It’s a bit of a dilemma that simple solutions aren’t taken very seriously. Part of the reason for this is that simple solutions often place the onus firmly on our own shoulders. When this is the case, there are those who conveniently overlook, or dismiss the simple answers to problems, as bunkum.
If, for example, a pill can cure us, or at the very least make us feel better, it tends to become the preferred option. And you might now ask: why not? Even so, would it not be better to understand the placebo effect, and then use this power directly? It’s often the case that years down the line the effectiveness of certain pills and potions are brought into question. We’re then left wondering to what extent our minds have been doing the healing all along.
Another confusing aspect of human nature is the common tendency to prefer the long way round. Some hold on to their problems – incorporating them into life – and instead of actually ridding themselves of these things early on, a coping mechanism develops.
Some hold the belief that life is suffering and of course they suffer. A coping mechanism that might develop in such an instance would be to simply shut down feelings and cease to fully engage with life. What isn’t fully understood by such an individual, is how this also becomes a form of suffering, that only acts as fulfilment of the belief they’re seeking to rid themselves of.
We can ponder on what would be left behind if we removed certain issues. Take stress as an example. If we removed the stress, associated with certain jobs, would it then be the case we’d feel guilty for being highly paid? Does the job then become too easy – with its challenges removed – if we rid ourselves of the stress? Some stress is necessary but this need only be slight.
When we expect (believe) certain things about life and work, we find them. If we remove these beliefs there’s often a kind of symptom substitution. Let me explain.
If you expect your partner to be aggressive and argumentative, for example, and only find a calm passivity, does this confuse you to the point of finding your partner boring or a poor match? The symptom substitution in this instance is the firing of other negative beliefs. If you expect your partner to be aggressive and argumentative, and this isn’t the result of your provocative behaviour, the belief that they don’t care about you now kicks in. The result of any negative belief is stress, conflict and discord.
And so it follows, if we’re unable to take simple answers seriously, we’ll likely just muddle along sticking with our coping mechanisms. What does it take to convince people that the simple solutions are the ones to seek out?
We know that simple isn’t easy and we also know that taking the easiest options are not the effective, lasting solutions, they promise to be. As such, we must also understand, self-discipline can become habit. When it does, a healthy mind and attitude to life, can follow. Gaining greater understanding and control of the mind through meditation, is a Seriously Elegant, Solution.