We live in the age of numbers. People are trying to work out every worldly issue by placing a number to it. Numbers dominate pretty much every conversation and thought of every person in society. We think about mortgage calculations, how many people are coming to a birthday party, how many votes a candidate will need to win an election, how many shares we should invest in, how much water we should drink, and how much we should weigh to be desirable or healthy. It doesn’t end. Think of your life and how many times an hour you think of a number by trying to estimate, guesstimate, or predict the outcome of something. It always involves a number and — like our weight, age, or income — that number continually changes. The ironic thing about this is that numbers are endless, so how can we assign them to things that are of a limitless nature?
People are assigning a number to everything because of the competitive nature of the mind. The mind is constantly competing with others and with itself. It puts the body in danger because of the ego‘s competitive nature, even though it knows that without the body it has no home to live in. It is so focused on competition that it is willing to put its own existence into danger by constantly getting involved in activities that will jeopardize the body’s health. The ego gets the body to give up some of its years on earth through overeating, drinking, taking drugs, playing competitive sports, overworking, and stressing. Any sort of extreme behavior not only endangers the life of the body but also uses up the vital energy of the system to the point that it shaves years off of our lifespan.
But, if you like numbers, here are five things to do about this dilemma so you can use numbers without them becoming your mind’s obsession.
Stop looking for the ONE thing or piece of advice that is going to be the answer to everything. Our culture has become obsessed with asking another person for one thing that we can do to make life better, to make us richer, or to make us healthier. There is no magic pill, so do yourself a favor and stop believing in an easy way out. Do the work it takes to achieve what you set out to do.
Stop looking for more information. We live in the age of information, and people have become information junkies. We collect and regurgitate random, unnecessary information on a continuous basis, and it all becomes nonsense talk with no action behind it. It’s all just words with no meaning. It will pass as quickly as it was said and be forgotten just as quickly. Instead, look to gain knowledge. Knowledge is different than information. Knowledge is wisdom that you apply, use, and finally experience as part of your life. In this process there is little talk and more action.
Stop saying “I don’t have time.” Everyone has 24 hours in a day, and it is how we manage those hours that make us feel like we have more or less of them. You will experience more time when you get out of the habit of checking your watch all day and no longer allow your life to be filled with people, events, and activities that don’t add healthy spiritual values to it. When you are more discerning with your time and only use it for meaningful moments in life, you will free up the extra time you have been yearning for.
Stop making lists — on paper, or in your mind. All of these lists stop you from living in the moment, for when you think of things you need to do you keep yourself in the future. Lists are another way for the ego to feel that it has accomplished something. If you can’t remember it, then you don’t need it right now. Everything we need in the moment we have and all those lists only add more things for the mind to keep track of and stress about. And, because relating to tasks in this way is born out of the ego’s insatiable desire to own and possess, the lists are endless.
Stop counting numbers — especially money. If you are constantly talking about, reading about, or thinking about money, you will have a limited perspective. Numbers are limitless, so trying to find a number that is a perfect amount forces the mind to think in much smaller terms than what is ultimately possible. And not only are numbers endless, but they are ever changing. So limiting your mind to how many calories you should be eating or how much you should weigh will only give you a number to chase. You will then experience more stress when that number eludes you.
If you follow these five steps and make them a part of your daily thoughts, all other aspects of your life will start to fall into place. Your mind will be freed up to see the endless possibilities that are available to you. Now this is called living.