When You Feel Stuck

How do you cope with being stuck in a long road travel?

Listening to music?


Talking to other passengers?

While I do all these, my favorite is cloud-gazing. It makes me enjoy the trip and reflect on life.

I was in the front seat when I was traveling to Tacloban. Right before my eyes, there was a panoramic theater of clouds breathing behind the mountains from a far horizon. There were a couple of swans facing each other, a grotesque shape of a man holding a rod, and a gigantic turtle chasing tiny turtles. 

If only I could freeze the moment!

Within seconds, the play was gone. All shapes turned into random mushy white stuff suspended in the sky. I would never see the display again. Ever!

The clouds remind us to never hold on to anything in this life. Nothing is permanent. We know that. Jose Mari Chan’s Constant Change song immortalizes that idea.

But why are we not learning?

Let’s say you feel devastated because someone took credit of your effort. You become disappointed. You start to hold back. And next time you’re asked for help, you begin asking questions.

What’s in it for me?

Why should I care?

Why would I bother helping other people when they get all the credit?

Before it’s too late, hold your brake. Just stop!

Remember that the mind is like a fuel tank. For you to move forward, you need to fill the tank with only fuel and nothing else. Suppose you put water in it. Or vinegar. Or soy sauce. I’m sure the engine will not start. And eventually it will shutdown.

But why would anyone put water, vinegar or soy sauce inside the fuel tank?


So, why would anyone allow negative thoughts to fill their minds?

Unlike the fuel tank, your mind has the power to allow or reject an idea. Once you allow an idea to get in, it propagates into more ideas. A series of ideas starts with one single idea that gets in.

We know that we become what we constantly entertain in our minds. So, what would you become if you constantly think of negative things?

Our minds help us move forward. But that is true if we fill it with the right fuel. 

So, next time you feel stuck, imagine yourself in a commute. Your situation is temporary. To help you get through it, listen to music, have some snacks, or talk to people. Whatever! Just do something to fill your mind. 

Because as the saying goes, an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. 

Lastly, when you feel stuck, look ahead of you. Look up the sky. See the grandeur of cloud formations. They’re all temporary. Enjoy while it lasts.

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