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A famous painting depicts the profound story of a young boy, Icarus, who fell to his death and the events surrounding this tragedy. In the right-corner of the painting, the young boy can be seen tumbling to his death, while on the left-hand corner of the painting all seems to be well; the city looks prosperous and have a picturesque setting; Smart ships are preparing to set sail and an unperturbed plowman can be seen going about his business regardless of the tragedy that has just occurred. Icarus’ fall is treated with little or no attention. This neglect of Icarus’ tragedy is indeed terrifying and sad; it points to the fact on how little the world cares about our suffering. Most of us are paralyzed by the thoughts of what people would think about us if we failed, as we inevitably will at some point. For every little failure comes an obsessive anguishing thought of how people must be judging us. This hinders us from taking action and thus, we are unable to step out of our comfort zones and enjoy life to the fullest. Applying these steps below will empower you on your journey in life and give you the mental toughness to ignore others’ thoughts of you. 1.) Everyone Has Their own Problems Firstly, this serves as an awakening on how you should react to the way the world sees you. The painting proves that life will always go on regardless of the situations you face. It shows that nobody really cares about your struggles or anguish because they have a lot to worry about themselves. Adopting this mindset will help you remember that you’re not on the spotlight regardless of whether you fail or not. 2) Life is short In the process of interpreting Icarus’ fall and the activities still going on despite his death, one can decipher the hidden meaning that no one cares about the dead. At first glance, this is both horrifying and depressing but a silver lining lies beneath. Although, we will all die one day and life will go on, there is a lot you can accomplish while still living. This references the popular saying “live everyday like it’s your last“. This should serve as a source of motivation for you to thrive each day because death could come knocking any day. Hence, you owe it to yourself to go about your business as if it is the last business you will ever do and live life to the fullest. 3.) Let Your worry be worth it: In the painting, a plowman can be seen worrying about his flock. He never gets distracted by Icarus’s fall for a second. This is not a way to lose human sympathy but it just illustrates the fact that if we must worry, it should be targeted at the right things. Worry is usually frowned upon because it is a negative emotion. However, you can use worry to your advantage by focusing on the right things and ignoring the trivial things like people’s judgments of us. According to the bible, the heart lies where the treasure is. If you can start worrying about your treasures you will get more treasures. However, you must stop worrying about worthless things. 4.) Kill the ego: The ego is the number one stumbling block that prevents man from reaching his desired goal. To crown it all, the ego is an inherent part of man and to attack a man’s ego is to attack the man. When we obsessively worry about what others think, our inflated egos are acting up and this stops us from progressing because we are at a vulnerable spot. Hence, the ego has to be suppressed for us to express ourselves without any fear of judgment and therefore, reach our fullest potentials. The best way to do this is to stretch out of our comfort zones and become open-minded. When you do this, you become open to criticism-both good and bad-and see yourself as an imperfect being that has the chance to become better every blessed day. 5.) Self-Love A renowned professor and psychologist, Jordan Peterson, is known for the meme, “clean up your room”. By this, he means that when one is at a low point in life, he/she should literally clean up his/her room. He explains that when people clean up their rooms, the other areas in their lives that need cleaning up begin to become clearer and this continues as a gradual process. This works because cleaning up your room is a way of taking care of yourself and this can be likened to self-love. When you cherish and take care of yourself, your subconscious mind responds to this and you begin to value yourself more. This value that arises gives you the ability to trust yourself irrespective of what you find yourself in and what the world thinks about you.   Feature image courtesy of Wikipedia 

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This article was first published on 11th November 2018


My name is Samuel Okoruwa. I am an ardent researcher, reading is life and writing is fun.

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