I may not be a follower of any religion, but I believe there is wisdom in many teachings, if we use our mind to find it. In this article, we will explore a real life example of how this saying leads to happiness or depression.
The ‘devil’ is depression. Anyone who is familiar with this state can tell you that it is like a demon who they cannot control or avoid. It pops into the mind and takes over, making you helpless to do anything to fight and remove it. Today, I would like to give you the weapon to defeat this devil.
What I will say in this article is not a cure for everyone, depending on your life and situation it may or may not help you, but I feel comfortable to say that it cannot hurt to try, so why not see what happens.
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits in finding a profound lesson in what seems to be a simple or irrelevant phrase is the process of opening your mind in order to find what you normally would not see due to your opinions.
There are two fellows who I work with, let’s call them Jim and Bob, who exemplify a value in the old phrase about idle hands which I would like to share.
Jim is a very hard working fellow, has his own little business and works 7 days a week if he can get enough work. Bob does very little work, just a few hours a week to make a subsistence living under the excuse that he has to do his spiritual practices and getting a job would ‘kill him’.
Jim is energetic and positive about his future, he sees clearly that he will be able to retire by age 40 and enjoy whatever pursuits interest him for the rest of his life. Bob is depressed and feeling hopeless for his future.
Both our friends feel that there is some sort of spiritual point to life, and seek that awakening so they can find deeper meaning. Jim is working towards earning the ability to have that freedom to explore it in any way, via meditation or travel and study. Bob thinks that avoiding involvement in the normal activities of life is the path to freedom but is finding himself falling deep into depression instead.
I myself started with nothing financially and was working since the age of 13, part time until I finished high school and then full time 7 days a week doing three jobs, constantly busy. I retired at 29 to devote myself to a life of meditation as my desire was and still is to discover the reason for our existence and end the day to day sufferings of being human.
A funny thing happened to me when I retired to the life that should be an ideal peaceful existence living in a beautiful house in the rocky mountains, a totally perfect environment. Based on my experience and the observation of hundreds of people through the years, I would like to show how a simple view of life can make a big difference in your emotions.
When I retired, I became depressed, big time. I was so happy when I was active, although the stress, frustrations and pressures of owning and running eight companies seemed to be a problem, when that was gone and I was free to meditate, the emotional results were quite the opposite. Idle hands indeed gave the ‘devil of inactivity’ a very well equipped workshop.
There is the explanation of cortisol, commonly known as the stress hormone, a chemical created by the brain delivering a similar effect as morphine when a person is under stress, but that wears off in time. My depression lasted four years, the years of inactivity.
Although the drug manufacturers and psychiatrists will not like me for saying this but, forget the drugs, forget the expensive therapists, or at least put them aside to do a little test.
Never take the advice of someone who will profit from your loss.
Get active. Find work, get busy with things or work that involves other people in some way, make money, the more the better because the more money you make, the more you are worth.
I am not saying we should chase money for money’s sake or that a persons value is based on their money, but the reality is that the way you will feel about yourself, if you are depressed, can be related to how other people treat you. If you are paid a lot of money, then people value you, and this may increase your own sense of value. Aside from that, the more money you have, the more things you can do, and that equates to freedom.
There is nothing more depressing than being in a prison. If you have no money, you are effectively in a prison, a limitation of what you can do, for example you are in the prison of the town you live in because you do not have the money to travel. Your prison may not have bars, but it certainly has boundaries. The mind is not stupid, it sees what is there even if your physical eyes do not.
If you are busy and your mind is so occupied with your work which is rewarding both emotionally and financially, the devil has no freedom to play around, you have placed it in its box. Just remember, as soon as you give it a chance, like Jack, it will jump right out of the box and scare the happiness right out of you.
Get busy, stay busy, take 30 minutes a day to meditate if you feel that is a good thing, spend an hour or two on physical exercise a few times a week if not every day, balance your life.
Just remember that balance is not necessarily an equal amount of time on each thing, but just that there is a bit of everything you need.