The less you think about yourself, the happier you will be.

words & photo by Brian Thompson.

How long do you think you can go without using one of the following words: I, Me, My or Mine?

Perhaps you think you could last for an hour, or possibly even an entire day. But, I’m guessing you couldn’t last even thirty seconds. In fact, I bet your response this very moment is something like, “No way, I could last longer than that. Just watch ME."

The truth is, we all do it constantly — we're always thinking about ourselves. This is OUR experience after all, right? Everything I perceive is relative to ME. This is MY life. These experiences are all MINE.

Everything is me, me, me!

How we feel in every passing moment is a direct reflection of how we believe things are relative to our personal sense of self. Everything revolves around us and our perceived identity. Our experience is shaped entirely by our thoughts of how we relate to things and how they relate to the person who we believe ourselves to be.

And this is exactly the cause of our stress and unhappiness.

The ego is always judging our thoughts and behaviour. The ego thinks everything is out to get us. It believes there’s always something to fear, that there’s always something to be gained, or that things could somehow be better. The ego is never happy. It’s always on the defensive, constantly reading between the lines of everything that’s said or done, in the hope it finds something new to be concerned or worried about.

The ego is always criticizing, so the more I think of “me" the more unsatisfied I become.

As long as we continue to give our ego the attention it craves, it will never rest — and neither will we.

We’re victims of our own selfish entanglement. We’re always thinking about how we should feel, how we should look, how we should act, what is ours, what we like, what we desire, and how we might be perceived by others. We’re always trying to control every situation so that it suits our individual preference, and then we get anxious or angry when something doesn’t fit our version of how we think things should be.

We're overwhelmed by all of these never-ending thoughts of how we relate to the world around us — we’re completely consumed by ourselves.

Have you ever noticed how peaceful you are in those brief moments when you're not thinking of anything in particular, when your mind is still and quiet, and you’re just enjoying the pleasant view for all that it is? That’s because the less you think about yourself, the happier you will be.

Dissolve your thoughts of “I, Me, My and Mine” from the focus of your mindful attention and your perceived problems will melt away. Pay attention to how often you use these words. The less you dwell on them, the more peaceful you will become.

Permanent happiness can never be found through impermanent means such as the temporary opinions of who you believe yourself to be at any given moment. You cannot escape a chaotic world of thought through further thinking alone, it’s like placing another brick onto the wall that already confines you.

Rather, it’s only through the cessation of self-thought that you can accomplish the peace of mind you desire. Allow yourself to perceive the world as it is, without attaching any thoughts of yourself onto your experience of it.

When your mind is overwhelmed by a non-stop proliferation of opinions about yourself, you will never be happy.

Our happiness can only be found in the blissful experience of the Now, but only when it’s free from all of the mental concepts of the self you've attached onto it. When the duality of your relative self is no longer in the way of experience, beauty will reveal itself within every passing moment.

The truth of reality is not subject to our personal preference or opinion. Don’t let your ego blind you from the bliss that surrounds you.

Quit constantly thinking about yourself and the natural happiness of your being will shine through and illuminate your entire experience.