Profound Quotes #003 - Children Want Candy
By Leo Gura - May 1, 2014 | 10 Comments
A powerful insight from Rumi about the human condition.
Hey, this is Leo for Actualized.org and in this video we are doing another profound quote. The quote here is coming from Rumi and the quote goes, ‘The intelligent want self-control; children want candy.’
The Root Of Most Of Humanity’s Problems
I find this quote to be so deep, so profound, that it really, really inspires me when I hear it. To me, this is the root of the problem with most of humanity and the reason that people are not getting what they want in life is because they are behaving like children and they are after candy, whereas what is truly important to be after which is self-control.
Let’s talk a little bit about this, elaborate on it and get you some more wisdom around this profound quote. So Rumi, first of all who is Rumi? Rumi was from the middle ages. He is a Middle Eastern philosopher/ poet/ mystic. He has some books that he published his poetry and his poetry is all based around very deep spiritual ideas. It’s based around enlightenment, it’s based around wisdom, it’s based around the core truths of life and very deep psychological truths about human beings. So he has a lot of very pithy, eloquent, profound analogies and little short stories and anecdotes and so if you are interested in that go ahead and check out one of his books, you can Amazon it.
So that is Rumi, but what about this quote? What can we say about it? What is so deep here? I think that most people go through life and what they want is they want stimulation, they want excitement. This can manifest in all sorts of ways. It can manifest in very, very unhealthy dysfunctional ways or it can manifest in more healthy ways, but either way it’s still the search for candy, for stimulation.
I have a video that talks more about what is happiness. You might want to check that out for a very deep definition of what is happiness which will dovetail my say in this topic. What I’m talking about here is the following. Let’s say that you’re a heroin junky and you want a hit of heroin because you think that it’s going to make you happy. Let’s put that on one end of the spectrum. There’s that.
Looking For Happiness Outside Yourself
What’s a step up from that? There’s heroin, maybe a step up from that is cocaine. You’re a cocaine addict so that’s a little bit better than heroin, but still a pretty hardcore drug. Then we move you up another notch so what’s that? Marijuana, pot. Okay so maybe you’re a pothead. Not terrible but still not a really healthy way to live and again the reason you are doing that is because you want that stimulation from the drug.
Then the next step above that is maybe alcohol. The next above that is maybe partying. The next step above that is maybe video games and television and sex, or any other kind of activities that you’re doing because they are very pleasurable. Maybe the next step after that is food, overeating or eating food just because it’s making you happy. Using food basically as an emotional prop-up, like an emotional crutch.
Then what’s the next step from that? We might say something more like relationships. The next step up from that might be something like going to the gym and working out hard at the gym but ultimately the reason you’re doing that is you’re doing it for vanity reasons because you want to look good for the opposite sex, you want to be attractive, you want to be sexy. So maybe it’s that.
What’s the next step up from that? It might be something like trying to get a really good job. Trying to get a nice house. You might say, “Those are really nice things because a house, that serves my family so it’s very functional. A job is nice because it gives me satisfaction, it gives me fulfillment, it gives me money, I like having money and I like having a nice car, I like having nice things.” So you’ve got this spectrum of activities that you’re doing from the very beginning here with the heroin addict, which is a completely dysfunctional, basically completely shit life. It’s basically leading towards an early death.
You’re Simply After Candy
Then you’re kind of moving your way up, slightly better, slightly better, slightly better forms of stimulus seeking until you get to this end which is maybe pursuing a really nice career which on the surface it’s very hard to fault someone for doing that, but in the end all of this stuff what you’re doing is you’re looking for a hit. You’re looking for a hit of drugs. With heroin it’s very obvious what that drug is, it’s literally heroin.
With something like a career or something like a relationship or a marriage it’s a little less obvious because it’s more socially acceptable and it’s masked by all these other layers of stuff. It’s very easy to say, “Marriage? How can you fault a marriage? Isn’t a marriage a really nice thing? In fact isn’t a marriage the source of true fulfillment?”
So you get kind of caught into that trap, but in the end what is the difference between someone who is seeking a marriage as an outlet for happiness and fulfillment versus someone who is seeking heroin for that same reason? In the end there’s not much fundamental difference. It’s still the same thing. What you’re looking for is you’re looking for something outside yourself to make you happy.
You’re looking for candy and when you do that you’re a child. Psychologically you’re behaving like a child. You’re behaving in a juvenile way, an unwise way. So what do the wise want? The wise want self-control. The wise want self-mastery and the reason they want that is because either they’re wise enough to see that none of these are going to work ultimately, that all of these are basically the same and that just because you’re moving up the ladder here does not mean you’re going to actually reach what you’re after. They might see it that way or they might actually have experienced it themselves, actually gone out and tried this stuff, and moved up that whole ladder and come to experience and realize that, “Wait a minute, this actually doesn’t work.”
The problem is if I don’t control myself then it doesn’t matter what I’m doing. It doesn’t matter whether I’m at a cool party, whether I’m snorting coke, whether I’m having amazing sex, whether I’m in a really good marriage or whether I have the best career in the world, it doesn’t matter. If I’m not in control of my own emotions, if I don’t know how to control my own thoughts, if I don’t understand myself on a very, very deep level not just intellectually, but practically, if I can’t control myself, I can’t control my impulses, then there is no chance for me to be happy.
Be The Zen Master Of Your Life
The wise, they understand this, and when they understand this and they kind of surrender themselves to this idea, it’s a very powerful thing. You want to make sure that you’re getting to this point in your life. You want to make sure that you’re getting to the point in your life where you surrender to the idea that this other stuff, even though you can pursue it and there’s nothing wrong with a marriage per se, there’s nothing wrong with going to the gym, there’s nothing wrong with going to a party once in a while or having sex, it’s all fine, but you can’t really rely on that. In the end everything that that is all pointing to is you. It’s pointing to your own self-mastery and if you don’t develop a self-mastery over your lifetime, then no matter what else you do, it’s not going to really get you to where you want to be.
Where you ultimately want to be is you want to be in a place of happiness, contentment, just quiet, sober contentment with your life. Undisturbed, unreacted, unfrantic. Just very calm, very peaceful with what is. That’s where you want to be. You want to have tranquility. You want to have serenity. You want to be okay with how the world is. Kind of the way you might expect an old Zen Master or a Kung Fu Master. Imagine that person. An eighty year old Zen Master. Is that guy chasing around chasing for women? Is he going looking for snorting a line of coke off the bathroom counter? Is he even chasing for an amazing marriage? Is he going after some awesome career? No.
He clearly sees through that and he’s just very calm, very stable, very grounded in the present moment. That’s where you want to be. How did he get that way? Well he spent years and decades developing self-mastery, self-control. How did he do that? He did that through meditation, through disciplined practice, through reading, maybe through prayer, maybe through contemplation, through whatever means, but something that was focusing him, grounding him, turning him inwards rather than turning him outward. That’s kind of the approach that you’ve got to take with your life if you want to reach a stable rate of happiness and fulfillment.
So be intelligent, be wise, want self-control. Want self-control. Forget about the candy. You’ve tried the candy, it’s tasted good but you know that it’s just like a little hit of sugar and that little hit of sugar is not enough to get you to where you want to go. So it’s time to leave the candy aside, you don’t need it anymore. It’s not as tasty as you thought it was.
Self-control. That’s what’s really sweet. Self-control is so sweet. It’s sweet on a whole new different level. It’s sweet on a whole new different scale when you start to move towards it.
All right, so this is Leo, I’m going to be signing off. This is what I had to say about this profound quote from Rumi. Go ahead, post me your comments down below, I’d love to hear what you guys think. Then of course please like this and share. Click the like button right now.
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