Sometimes I’m overwhelmed by life in and of itself. Not in the traditional definition of the word which is to defeat completely. It’s a scenario where you have to view it in a different sense of the word.
I recently watched Dead Poets Society for the first time. Robin Williams is one of my favorite actors and I truly believe he possessed a level of genius unmatched by so many. In the film, his character, Professor John Keating, stands on his desk to portray to his students the important lesson of viewing things in a different way. His quote is “Just when you think you know something, you have to look at it in another way. Even though it may seem silly or wrong, you must try”. It’s something that stuck out to me due to the pure simplicity but also the truthfulness. I was overwhelmed by his stance on life. It didn’t defeat me completely, it had a strong emotional effect on me, the other definition of the word. That’s the one I want to focus on. That’s the one I use to explain my thoughts on life in and of itself.
Standing on his desk, Robin Williams portrayed perspective. Portraying perspective is one of the absolute toughest things to do in the world. Needless to say, there are a ton of people in this place. Some have it better than others, but some have it worse. You can’t focus on the worst, you must focus on the better. Burying yourself in the negatives of what’s taking place is overwhelming in the sense that it defeats you completely. There’s no rhyme or reason behind it, it just doesn’t get you anywhere. My point is that it’s pointless. Instead focus on all the fantastic nouns that surround you and enrich your life.
Nouns are phenomenally amazing. A person, place or thing can raise your level of happiness exponentially. These three ideas are the core to focusing on what positively overwhelms you, the ideas that have a strong positive emotional effect on you. People are amazing. Each one is so incredibly different and holds a unique perspective. Understanding that is what Robin Williams’ character so badly wants us to do. Once you share and relate to someones’ perspective, there’s a beautiful thing that happens. Relationships are everything to life. They enrich it beyond belief. Advice, love and comfort are things that all stem from the relationships we conjure throughout our days. They give so much meaning to what we’re doing. That’s precisely why loneliness is enough to drive people insane. It’s why we stuff the worst people in the world in solitary confinement stripped of human interaction. That punishment, besides death, is at the maximum level of pain. So be sure to cherish these relationships you have and hold the people that mean something to you very close. People are amazing. Perspective is power. There’s nothing like it. It’s overwhelming.
The second pillar being places, something also so unique. Travel is necessary to strengthen your perspective. Seeing other places and meeting other people is key to understand things. That’s the beautiful stream of nouns. It may be the town or city next to you. It may be one state over. It may be a 20 hour flight across the world. Whatever it may be, go there. See places. Meet people. Understand things. It’s the only route to no longer being confined to your own ideas and perspectives.
Last are things. I recently watched a documentary on minimalism, the act of ridding unnecessary things from your life. This idea can be taken to the extreme or it can be practiced efficiently. Be sure to surround yourself and indulge in things that hold meaning. This creates a clear mind when you understand the only things in which you need are things you need. It’s tough to get to that point, and I’m nowhere near it. But I’m trying. Do not rid yourself of too many things. Things are awesome. Pizza is an awesome thing (if you dab the grease off with a napkin, it pretty much makes pizza healthy, that’s perspective) so eat it. Cool clothes are awesome, so wear them. Great records are the best, so listen to them. Chairs are amazing, so sit in them. Take these things and surround them with the other two parts of a noun. Put them in places you enjoy with people you love. Have a perspective on what you’re doing and make it awesome. Do not focus on the negative side of being overwhelmed. Instead fill your mind with pure happiness which only stems from positive nouns that have a strong emotional effect on you. Have perspective on these nouns that not everyone gets to enjoy.
Nouns are extremely interconnected and the end result is a stream of happiness, if you focus on perspective.
Don’t be defeated.