Monday, June 13, 2011

Post Fourteen - Alternative Paths

When good is near you, when you have life in yourself, it is not by any known or accustomed way; you shall not discern the foot-prints of any other; you shall not see the face of man; you shall not hear any name; the way, the thought, the good, shall be wholly strange and new. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
The world buzzes about goals and visions. Focus. Create a vivid picture of exactly where you want to go. Dream big, then don’t let anything or anyone stop you. The problem, as Daniel Gilbert wrote in Stumbling Upon Happiness, is that we’re horrible at forecasting how we’ll really feel 10 or 20 years from now – once we’ve gotten what we dreamed of. Often, we get there only to say, “That’s not what I thought it would be,” and ask, “What now?” Ambition is good. Blind ambition is not. It blocks out not only distraction, but the many opportunities that might take you off course but that may also lead you in a new direction. Consistent daily action is only a virtue when bundled with a willingness to remain open to the unknown. In this exercise, look at your current quest and ask, “What alternative opportunities, interpretations and paths am I not seeing?” They’re always there, but you’ve got to choose to see them.
I think one of the biggest causes of unhappiness in our world is the insistence on the personal ego.  In training it, strengthening it, improving it, disciplining it, learning to make it more happy.  It's truly a failed quest from the out start. 

I remember one of my friends studied long and hard for her Doctorate, and the day after she had achieved it, her facebook status read 'so what's next?' 
There is no next. In reality, there is just one bunch of shapes and forms and colours differently placed than the last moment. The dance of life. You can't hold any of it. 
My quest is to wake people up from this trance of 'trying' to be happy. Trying to reach their goals.  Notice how its the pursuit of happiness and not 'be happy'.  You can not get there for any sustainable length of time doing it through the self's little goals. 
We've got to wake up to the hidden inner aliveness within each of us.  That is life. And that is happiness. 

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