Monday, September 22, 2008

New Direction Thoughts

Some men have had a deep conviction of their destiny, and in that conviction have prospered; but when they cease to act as an instrument, and think of themselves as the active source of what they do, their pride is punished by disaster. …The concept of destiny leaves us with a mystery, but it is a mystery not contrary to reason, for it implies that the world, and the course of human history, have meaning.

I found this quote in a blog I was reading earlier today.

It felt very inline with what I've been thinking and experiencing lately.

For a long time I've had this sense like I have to force all these things to happen in my life because I have this sense that I'm destined to do more than I'm doing. Usually, the result of this is me expending all this time, effort and energy into making something happen, with the end result being frustration and more of the same.

So instead, I'm trying to take the perspective more of the observer. I have certain talents and abilities and I'm going to continue to work on developing them. While I do it, I'm going to keep my eyes open for the opportunities that come along, rather than trying to force them to appear. That way it's more of an organic growth, rather than something manufactured and over hyped. I'm focusing on something I enjoy and am good at, rather than trying to be someone else just for perceived benefits.

While the opposite approach seems to work for some people, it doesn't seem to work for me. I have this deep belief that you have to work for and earn what you have, that your status changes as you grow. So when I try to take shortcuts, I sabotage myself because I don't believe it is either fair or honest or I get this sense of guilt.

I have noticed an improvement since I've shifted in my thinking. An example is with running. I like running, I do it for fun and enjoyment. But now I'm getting to the point where I can run further distances, so I've started doing 3K, 5K and 10Ks. This has opened up new topics of conversation, helped me to meet new people and has just been an overall positive experience in my life. It all happened without me having to beat everyone over the head around me and get them excited in it, or rely on other people to help inspire me to want to do it. I don't do it because I think I "should" do it, or because other people have told me to, I do it because I enjoy doing it.

Somewhat related to this is another concept I've heard about a lot recently. The idea of "media fasting" or "commercial fasting", basically avoiding other input for a certain amount of time in order to get in better touch with what you want. I'm finally starting to understand why and how this works. By removing the influences around you, the focus starts to shift more onto what you naturally like or dislike in your life. For example, if you work at a job you hate just to pay the bills so you can live in a large house, something may be wrong. Maybe you'd be happier working somewhere else for less pay and the overall total happiness would be higher even if you had to move to a smaller place. It seems pretty logical since you have to work so long or hard that at the end of the day you can't even enjoy the large house anyway.

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