One of the biggest problems we have is the tendency for our mind to think in an irrational / unbalanced way. We see issues and other people through a clouded and fuzzy perspective. This judgement leads us to many problems, not least it makes life more stressful and depressing.
These are some of the common perspectives on life which are misleading.
Jumping to Conclusions
Often we jump to conclusions on a small fraction of evidence. Perhaps someone does not reply to our message at a particular point in time, we then project our own thoughts as to why this is. The mind creates a powerful scenario which we come to believe. Yet, our mental projections are often far from reality. To make things worse we often jump to conclusions in a negative way. The mind is suspicious of others’ intentions and we definitely create problems for ourselves by doubting our friends and relatives. We have to be very wary of jumping to conclusions; at the very least we should remind ourself our conclusion is likely to be wrong.
It may be unfortunate to be mistreated by others, but, it is much worse to have a suspicious mind
Black and White Thinking
We often come to see the world in black and white terms – either we are a total success or failure. Other people are either friends or enemies. The problem is that one small mistake can make us feel a total failure. For example, we say one wrong thing so then assume we have messed up a relationship with someone. On the other hand a small success can bloat us with pride. Life is never so clear cut; we have to avoid both the depths of despair and heights of vainglory. Rather than seeing ourselves as a total failure just see mistakes as stepping stones on the path to self-development.
Blaming other People for own Faults.
Often we sit in judgement on other people, but, if we were honest we would realise many of their faults we too share. We are not judging out of compassion but out of a sense of self-importance. The worst thing is when we do something wrong but seek to pass the blame onto other people – If only other people had done the right thing we would been fine. This is just our clever mind justify its wrong actions. But, with this attitude we will just continue doing the wrong thing and create more problems. We have to be honest with ourselves.
“We are our own fate-makers. To blame others for the unfavourable conditions of our lives is beneath our dignity. Unfortunately, this act of blaming others is one of man’s oldest diseases.”
- Sri Chinmoy 
Part of us likes drama and intrigue. We get a subtle pleasure from the soap opera of life. But, there is a danger in over dramatising situations where it is not necessary; we can feed negative situations and make small conflicts escalate beyond all proportion. We stake too much on an insignificant issues, often putting others on the spot to make decisions one way or the other.
Don’t take everything to heart – small issues will soon blow over – if we allow it.
Emotions are fleeting. Anger comes and goes. Fear comes and goes. Our emotional state is unreliable guide to the truth of an issue. Many times we are relieved we don’t act out of impulsive anger. To really understand a situation, we have to see it without the cloud of emotion. Take time to see beyond a misleading emotion.
These ways of looking at life all share a common theme – it is easy to gain an unbalanced look at life. When we look at problems through a certain filter it is inevitable that we create problems and have poor perception.
To deal with this problem we need to avoid jumping to conclusions and be wary of our initial judgements. Before acting we need to test our state of mind
- Are we judging with our critical mind or our compassionate heart?
- How would we want over people to behave / think in our situation?
- If we spoke out aloud our thoughts would we be embarrassed about what we are saying?
- Have we taken a second opinion from other people we trust?
- Why are we being determined to see the negative side of life?
 Sri Chinmoy, Yoga And The Spiritual Life. The Journey of India’s Soul., Agni Press, 1971.