We often, and more usually than not, go around life looking for the things that positively reflect our image in the face of the public. General as it may seem, it is our innate desire to find joy and pleasure that drives us through, attaining social regard while also satisfying our inner desires to be accepted. That joy is usually intended to cover a need, a gap, or an insecurity – all of which are both natural and legitimate needs that we shouldn’t shy away from. The question, though, is where does happiness lie? Where do we find positivity in all of it, particularly within the physical well-being aspect? It is perhaps that we must start with addressing the process and scrutinizing it to identify long-term, sustainable satisfaction.
An Arabic adage that we have probably heard over and over while growing up is that a healthy mind lies in a healthy body. While that seems like the sort of platitude that you would give to someone that is searching for the motivation to either begin being healthy or continue along the common track, there are many truths that lie within it. Exercise is proven to release chemicals within us that not only help us feel better, but prepare our minds to take in more information and process it better.
Unfortunately, modern times have turned the healthy body perception in our minds to one that is solely focused on the superficial element. It’s no longer about what is better for our health, but more about what looks good, or at the very least what is seen to be good by the assumed general public. We’ve become so ingrained into that thought that we’ve begun to hate our bodies; as if our bodies were a different being, another person that’s pulling us down; one that’s painting a darker image of us in the faces of others. So we look for the elements that we believe paint us that way, we look for any minute detail that we feel is a deficiency, and we obsess. We obsess about what we can do about it, or how we can change it. We take shortcuts, find the latest trend, hate ourselves for it, and then hate ourselves for hating ourselves for it. This becomes a vicious cycle that unfortunately does not allow us to be content. Such an unhealthy approach can never help us be content.
The answer, though, isn’t to let go. The answer is to adopt a healthier approach; a pragmatic, positive approach that focuses on happily accepting the process. If we believe that happiness only lies at the end of the tunnel, and factor in the obsessive nature that we adopt, then that light at the end of the tunnel will never be attainable.
The positive approach is simple: be happy with the process. Be happy with the efforts you’re putting in, day in, and day out. Be proud of yourself for taking that step forward, for doing something about it. It takes great courage, strength of will, and determination to push forward. That positive thought will drive you forward, it will keep you going.
We can’t possibly expect a negative process to yield a truly positive outcome.