It has taken me years to unlearn behaviors and attitudes that are taught and considered normal in (my) society that I find non-constructive and even destructive. Almost all of these behaviors have the ego at their core. What kinds of behaviors and attitudes do I mean? Well, I suppose the main one is that we are taught to see ourselves as the center of the world. To some extent this is a natural direction - we need to care for ourselves and direct our own paths, not to mention sense danger and threat. But…admittedly I think this attitude has been taken to the point of complete narcissism, which is seen in western culture as completely normal.
For example, in most cases (sadly enough) if I run into an acquaintance on the street and they ask me how my holiday was, I give the brief version, polite small talk so to say, and then proceed to observe behavior in this person that can only be described as competitive, negative and threatened. I feel that I can barely answer the question “How are you?” without threatening someone. Am I highly sensitive? Well, yes, I am. But I am also extremely positive, have no desire to show off and can be happy for other people when they succeed or have fun.
I don’t want to sidetrack too much with examples, but basically I notice that the more I remain quiet, observe and never assume that someone is trying to piss me off or talk me down, the happier I become. I basically try to take myself out of the equation. I am not passive and I am not stupid when it comes to detecting poisonous situations, but this calm attitude eradicates the tendencies my ego used to have and makes space for more constructive thoughts and behaviors.
I even notice it if I am assigned a complex task at work. The task is explained to me, I listen quietly, don’t ask stupid questions, let the puzzle form itself as much as it can in my mind, and then ask any necessary questions. This may sound completely mundane and obvious, but I observe a lot of behavior that seems to reflect a constant need for attention - a constant need to feed one’s ego.
And let me take my ego out of the equation again right now - people can behave however they like and do whatever works for them. People can try to go on the most fantastic holiday of everyone in their whole town. People can giggle and talk about themselves and all the interesting things they have done without asking me a single question. People can and will do whatever they want to do. I just know that when my ego was more actively involved in how I behaved on a daily basis I was a much less happy person and that makes me wary of these types of behavior.
This has become clear as night to me now but took a long time to understand and to be able to see this. The best thing to come out of this new attitude is that I know what music I want to write down and record - and that is such a nice side-effect.
As always, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments - I love feedback!!