I have been trying to put into words what this newfound concept is that I have discovered. I certainly did not make it up and I am aware that it has been around for a while, but I guess I have never truly resonated with it until recently.
You may have heard it known as the “floating rock mentality.” Essentially, it is a mentality to help you lessen your anxiety and stress by realizing that “we are all living on a floating rock (Earth), so why does any of this matter?” Obviously, it is not all that black and white, since if you think about it, many stresses in your life stem from the goal of bettering yourself for the future. For instance, you stress about doing well on your math test because if you do well on your test you will get good grades, then go to a good college, then get a great job, then be successful and have money to do whatever you want in life. I am aware that this plan is seriously flawed, because it is unknown where life will take you, but it is unfortunately the mindset I sometimes find myself trapped in. I am always living my life for the future, but I need to be nicer to myself in the present, because after all, the past and the future are made up concepts. The only real thing about life is the present. Why drag yourself to a time in the past when you “should have done better,” or propel your mind into the future and feel anxious about how tomorrow is going to be a bad day? And what if tomorrow isn’t a bad day? Then you have just wasted so much of your energy thinking about that bad day that it is almost like the bad day did happen.
Now back to the floating rock. In my own words, I’ll describe how I best like to view the concept:
We are on a floating rock. Endless perseverance and goals of success are just
made up concepts that were only created with the intention of making people happy.
Unfortunately, as the years passed, the real purpose has been lost and now people
feel very stressed. The concept of success has become something that people feel they
are forced to achieve. Life was meant to be lived happily and there weren’t supposed
to be any constraints. Try to sail through life without worry, because after all, you only
get one shot to make it a good one.
I’m not saying to completely “let go” and sit around and do nothing all day, but it could at least help you put some things into perspective. I think it’s fascinating to think back to how much life has evolved from when our ancestors were scavenging for food. Developments are seen as for the better, but an increase in developments does not necessarily equate to an increase in happiness. If you think about it, the major stresses that our ancestors had were finding food and shelter. I admit, that is a pretty nerve-racking situation. But now our stresses involve getting good grades, getting into a good college, finding a great job, making a lot of money, having the perfect body, fitting in, maintaining old relationships, finding new relationships, time management, being politically correct, etc. I could continue for pages.
So, is the answer finding the happy medium between our ancestors and current society? Once we have the bare essentials (food, water, shelter), we could stop there. However, I know that is not completely gratifying because then we would lack purpose.
In reality, there is no clear answer to solve all of the stresses that we face today. What can be done is how we view these stresses and life itself. These stresses must not consume us: in theory, they only exist out of the desire to meet the standard that some humans made up. We are, after all, on a floating rock. Nothing matters except our happiness.