Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, “As soon as you trust yourself you will know how to live.”
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Johann was right.
If I trust my ability to be happy, even in an unhappy situation, I can create a happy environment for myself. If I don’t allow external forces, such as other people, to determine my inner peace, than a dull, overly loud party can become a walk on the beach. My mind can create the waves and the salty breeze.
When I learn to trust myself, I don’t expect bad things to happen to me and I am never surprised when a bad early morning turns into a fun day by lunchtime.
By trusting myself, I avoid arguments and physical confrontations by avoiding people who create anger and confrontation wherever they go. When they start the argument or the pushing match, I refuse to participate. It still takes two to tango in life. I refuse to dance with fury. My dance partners are free from anger, and they seek peace in every movement on the dance floor and in their everyday lives.
When I make up my mind that I am going to be bored with a person I am about to visit, guess what? I will be bored.
By prejudging an upcoming visit or event, I attract boring people or negative situations. A strong belief that boredom awaits me can close my eyes and my mind to the possibility that I am wrong. Creative or interesting people may be in front of me, but my closed, negative mind will not see them.
It’s better to let your mind float and allow people and events to flourish before you decide who they are or if the event is a positive or negative experience.
As stated earlier in this column, even if you decide the person or event in front of you is boring, it doesn’t mean you have to be bored or unhappy. Create some joy in your inner self and change your attitude. You may be able to change the boring person and help them enjoy themselves. One person’s boredom may be a delight to someone else. Sometimes people have better answers than you do.
When I first tried playing tennis, I was bored with the repetition of hitting and the lack of physical confrontation with my opponent. I was used to basketball and football battles.
After a few weeks, tennis became more interesting and challenging because I abandoned my belief that a fun sport had to include knocking over an opponent, a little blood and ongoing bruises.
In tennis I learned that you can beat a better player than you are by being smarter and by believing you can beat them.
Eventually I fell in love with tennis and still enjoy outsmarting better physical players. Your mind is more powerful than your biceps, especially if your opponent believes that speed and strength will always win. You can win with your brain, and they will never know what hit them.
• How can you understand Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger traveling to Asia or a six-day trade trip while our state has no budget and a $19 billion budget deficit? It’s like trying to imagine our El Dorado County Board of Supervisors members attending a relaxation conference when they are considering laying off more than a hundred people. I don’t believe our supervisors would entertain such an idea, and the governor should be ashamed of himself.
We do not need to improve our trade situation if there is no money available to sell or trade items. First, the governor and the Legislature need to grow up, create budgets that work, and pass the budget on time. Where do we find mature legislators and governors?
I agree that the governor’s and legislators’ salaries should stop the day after they refuse to pass the budget on time.
• When is the last time you woke up and decided to jump in the car and just go somewhere you have never been to before . . . no schedule, no reservations and no expectations, good or bad? Take a loved one with you and see, smell and taste some newness in your life. Change is good for the soul, and it prevents you from accepting that an indifferent world is OK.
Bob Billingsley is a biweekly columnist for the Mountain Democrat.