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I’ve learned throughout this past year that happiness is about perspective – the power of your mind is greater than you can imagine. Harnessing your thoughts, being positive in your mindset and empowering yourself by justifying your struggles through purpose – can be the one thing that’s holding you back from living the life of your dreams.

My younger brother sent me a text message one day to share this proverb that he found. I am convinced that this is the key to living a happier life. What do you think?

 

An aging master grew tired of his apprentice’s complaints. One morning, he sent him to get some salt. When the apprentice returned, the master told him to mix a handful of salt in a glass of water and then drink it. “How does it taste?” the master asked.

“Bitter,” said the apprentice.

The master chuckled and then asked the young man to take the same handful of salt and put it in the lake.

The two walked in silence to the nearby lake and once the apprentice swirled his handful of salt in the water, the old man said, “Now drink from the lake.”

As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the master asked, “How does it taste?”

“Fresh,” remarked the apprentice.

“Do you taste the salt?” asked the master.

“No,” said the young man.

At this the master sat beside this serious young man, and explained softly,

“The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains exactly the same. However, the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things. Stop being a glass. Become a lake.”

 


 

 

We all go through struggles. When my father passed away from a year-long battle with cancer, I couldn’t find purpose in my family’s pain. When I woke up every morning to go into an office that I hated, surrounded by people who wanted to throw me under the bus instead of support me in my career, I couldn’t find a purpose to my efforts. My life became dark – I couldn’t do anything else but wallow in my misery – and it threw me into a cycle of going through the motions with no purpose.

But the moment that I stepped outside of my comfort zone (READ: 10 Ways Travel Changed My Life Forever), took a risk and opened up my perspective, I stopped thinking about the things that were going wrong, and started focusing on the things that I wanted to go right.

My mind became more open, I made the investment to place myself in an environment that was bigger than anything I had ever known – my eyes saw things that I couldn’t believe – my problems became smaller because my world got larger, and more magical. I changed my life by changing my perspective. And that, my friends, is the key to finding happiness.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy: 10 Things You Need To Learn To Start Living the Life of Your Dreams.

Thank you so very much for reading. For more inspirational thoughts and day-to-day photo updates of my travels, follow me on instagram or join our community on facebook.

 

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With love,
Jinna

  • Oh my goodness, this is exactly what I needed to read. Lately it’s been a lot of bitterness – not hearing from/getting internships I’ve applied for, driving 16+ hours home (and back!) over the weekend, feuding with family members, feeling ignored by certain people in my life…and yet this makes it all seem much more do-able. Happiness and satisfaction in life really are derived from our perception on things, and this story is so SO perfect. Thank you so much for sharing <3
    ~ Samantha

  • Julia

    What a perfectly worded post. Thank you so much for sharing and for this insight, this is a topic I always need to be reminded of again. 🙂

    ExploresMore.com

  • This is beautiful, just read that metaphor today and it stuck with me. So beautiful. I’m so happy that you found strength, peace and love in this journey. Love this post, thank you for sharing!

  • Lily

    Lovely post!

    Very touching and deep even though it may seem so general. I think a lot of people can take a lot from this.

    And the quote is rad! 😉

    Lily (Recipes and Random)

  • kristin

    “stop being a glass, become a lake” — what beautiful advice.

  • So reverent and thoughtful. Thank you for sharing your story Jinna!

  • Very inspiring! I’ve always been trying to see life as a cup half full. There’s too many good things in life to enjoy to dwell on things you can’t change.

  • I just saved this post so I can read the proverb again whenever I need it, it really resonated with me – thank you so much for sharing! Greetings from Tokyo- Mareike
    http://www.kimonoxl.com/blog

  • You got beautiful wisdom.

    jeansandmacaroons.blogspot.com

  • Linde

    I totally agree! Happiness is all about perspective. I try to be positive, to enjoy every minute and to dream (really allowing myself to dream, because people often say you’re not realistic without really knowing what they’re talking about). Sometimes I forget about this perspective and my happy thoughts turn dark, but once you’re able to recognise this change, it’s easy to return to the positive side. My life is so much brighter than before! 🙂

  • Leana

    Great post! And I love the blog!

  • I love this post, it’s so inspirational! My friends always say how positive I am and I totally agree with what you have said. My first blog post of 2015 was about my goals and I used quotes to illustrate them, one of my favourites was “if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it” I think that’s the key to happiness. I really love what you wrote here and I’m going to save in on my Pinterest so I can look back at it in those times when I feel less positive. Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

  • Priyanka Kanagaraj

    Such a beautiful post to read on a Sunday afternoon . I am 22 , and right now , at this very moment i am starting to see my dream with ,ore clarity that ever before . And your post , just made my day . it has leveled up y confidence and my thirst to live my life no matter what .

  • I love this post! Perspective is everything 🙂
    http://www.alicemay.org

  • I really enjoyed this proverb! It’s really so true- all that we feel & see is truly in our hands. It’s our choice to make it a mountain or a mole hill.

    Elisa
    http://reeserose.com

  • I love this post so much, it cheered me up and was just what I needed to read today x
    http://www.spacedreamsandmarshmallows.blogspot.com

  • Sylvia

    Wooow, I was going through something difficult right now and I just came across this post, Amazing. Thank you so much for this, it has truly inspired me.

    http://www.chichicaramel.com

  • K

    This was such a great need and something I needed to read.. Thanks for the post
    thekerenhappuch.com

  • I like the story of this master and his apprentice and the also moral of the story. Yes what happens to us in life does not matter, what matters and makes the difference is our perception of what happened to us. As the master told the apprentice, we need to enlarge our hearts to be as large as an ocean so as to dilute the pains we experience in life and enlarge the joys that come out way

  • Thank you a lot for your post! Your content it’s rich and fabulous! Keep inspiring us!

  • Maja Prokopenko

    Great post!

  • This is a wonderful post, probably best to keep it tuck in as a reminder and future self-inspiring to keep going. I found myself in the same situation years ago and it took a little time to get out of that negative stage, but I did it and it is truly all about perspective. Thanks for sharing this!

  • Jaye

    My father also died of cancer and I have been struggling to find purpose and meaning day to day. In three months time, I leave for a year long trip in Europe. I hope it has the same effect on me that it did on you. Thank you for this post x

  • Sophie

    Ah Jinna, such a great proverb! Thanks for sharing 🙂 very inspirational and totally true!
    http://Saintsonaplane.com

  • Jorge Torres

    Thank you Jinna ever since I saw you in DVF show I thought you were awesome and even more now. Your profile post gave me a boost of confidence. As someone who is working on graduating I struggle and also have some fear. However everything you said its true life your life to the max and materialistic stuff come and go. Happiness is always better. Thank you so much fan here. #TeamJinna

  • The Queen Of Dreaming

    So inspiring post!!

    https://justsem.wordpress.com/

  • Hea’vona

    Thank you for sharing this inspirational story. I absolutely agree. Norman Vincent Peale said: “Change your thoughts and change your world.” And I did exactly what he said, and now I’m living a happier life. ~Hea’vona

  • Jessi Malay

    Great post!
    Super inspiring and well written.
    Love the picture!

    Xxo
    Jessi Malay
    http://www.mywhitet.com/

  • What a beautiful proverb! Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

  • Totally agree, loving your post!
    Your Silk & Salt Team

    http://www.silk-salt.com/?c=c
    Instagram is for pictures, YouTube is for videos, Silk & Salt is for blog posts

  • This post never fails to inspire me.

    beccagiveslove

  • I read the first half of this post on the Bloglovin’ edit and I loved it, copied the proverb to print it and stick it in my journal to read when I need it. But it was the second half that got to my heart, because I remember the pain I felt when a very long relationship ended and I was in a job I hated. Every day felt like pain – I didn’t want to be in the office but I didn’t want to be alone at home either. I changed career to join a large NGO I had always loved, I widened my friends circle and spent time there and I started travelling more. The pain was there for years but there was so much more joy. When my father was struggling with cancer and in the lead up to him passing away I started doing as many nice things as I could to balance out the pain, to create a cushion of loveliness that would help me cope with the hurt I was feeling.
    What a lovely insightful post. Thank you!

    Inma x (sunshineandglow.blogspot.com)

  • Thank you. This post was exactly what I needed after a tough, trying week. Putting things into perspective and “becoming a lake” rather than a glass is a beautiful lesson.

    ~ Sammi of The Feather Box Blog