The wisest course of action is often the one that has given consideration to the greatest number of variables, finding solutions that harmoniously respond to as many variables as possible.
When it comes to a ‘way of life’ or a ‘standard of living’, we really want to go with one that we’re proud of, in the greatest number of potential worlds. If our world goes completely sour, if everything goes wonderfully, perhaps the world is great but our world is abysmal etc. Using the ‘best benchmark‘ allows us to be content with our life choices, not so much ‘irrespective’ of what’s going on in the world, but after considering it also.
While working on this book I found myself frequently coming across some overwhelming tragedy occurring in somebody’s life, or even experiencing something minor in my own life that causes me to ponder upon the worst things that could occur in our lives. Each time this occurs I had a touch more fuel poured into me to get this book done. The desire in me burns even brighter to try and make sure that I get these concepts both to you, my sons, and into the world. I’m certain that anybody who understands these concepts will have all the tools they require to be able to respond to anything of serious weight in their lives. I don’t believe that there’s any magic pills in here, but there’s certainly a sure-fire way to approach how you view your world with hope and how you can go about responding to it in a way that’s going to be best for everyone.
I have a google keep note that I titled “remembrance” where I’ve collected reminders of things that help me maintain the greatest, deepest, realest perspectives on life, which I feel needs to include an awareness of the darkness that exists. It’s often those really heart-wrenching experiences and stories that cause us to take the biggest steps back, enabling the widest views on life. It allows us to see what truly matters most and where one should be focussing their efforts.
Admittedly my life has been, in my own opinion, extremely far from difficult. I’ve certainly had my challenges but the moment I start comparing them to the challenges many others face while in far worse positions in life, I really can’t complain. To this end I also feel a responsibility to ‘bloom where I’m planted’, appreciating that there are many others who would be extremely grateful to have fallen into my position in life, and failing to make use of the opportunities I have, seems disrespectful, ungrateful, wasteful and inconsiderate of those who are worse off. It sees as though the responsibility we have to make the most of wherever we are in life comes not only from our stewardship over our own welfare but also from the reality that we are undeniably connected to a great many various groups of people:
- those who contributed to us being where we are
- those who wished they could be where we are/in a better place than they are, and
- those who stand to benefit or suffer by our choices (to name a few).
Of all these people, the responsibility I feel for those experiencing the darkest aspects of life, frequently seems to be the most jarring, or awakening. I have on many occasions found myself debating the extent to which such things should take my focus as I continually struggle to find the appropriate balancing point between ‘not letting such things go ignored’ and ‘not drowning in areas beyond my control & influence’.
Over time I quickly built a library of such things, to ensure they didn’t go forgotten. It frequently intrigued me though, that I had effectively built over time a “motivation tank” of depression. I had found the saddest experiences tend to clarify the most real paradigms. It produced in me the need to ask questions like:
- “What do I need to do, what do I need to become, so that even those darkest experiences, could be honestly viewed as manageable or even beneficial to me and my family/stakeholders, should they occur?”
- “What truths do I need to know, think and genuinely believe so that I can view/experience the worst parts of this world and NOT lose myself to their seemingly bottomless pit of despair?”
- “In what context can such experiences be utilised to produce MORE good than otherwise unaccomplishable without it?”
- “What needs to be done NOW so that I can appropriately prepare myself and my loved ones for such tragedies?”
With every question there are countless lists of specifics relative to the great range of potential hazards of life. After a while I figured I had better keep a bank of all the good motivators I find as well, although appreciating it is certainly a very different kind of motivation and to be honest I’m not sure which is better as yet, but I’m leaning towards finding an appropriate balance between both. My good motivators are visions that I’ve had of how good life could be, for my loved ones, myself, and others around me. They include dreams, goals, and ideas on the kind of person I want to become. When both the negative and positive motivators/reminders are put together, I find some patterns/themes running through them all…
- Perspective: Perhaps the biggest one of them all. If we can all maintain a high enough, broad enough, empowering enough, loving enough, enabling enough ‘perspective’, we can approach and overcome all things.
- There can certainly be good experienced through looking back, looking down and learning from the mistakes of others, but it seems to me that such things need to be ‘glanced’ and not focussed on. It appears as though perhaps we are most motivated and empowered when I focus is on looking forward and looking up. Doing so seems to retain those negative ‘glances’ in the appropriate perspective of the broader total horizon, as it seems to be too easy to get fixated on the ‘back/down glances’ and I’ve observed that many of us end up spending nearly the entirety of our lives only glancing up/forward/at the horizon, as opposed to the other way around.
- It’s really easy to put on our blinders are go about life. Our gratifying habits will make sure of it, if we’re not keeping them in check. When we are honestly working on prioritising edification in our lives, we don’t have to regret the mistakes, we don’t have to ignore the failings we can’t control, we don’t have get hung up on our own mistakes. We become enabled to fully ‘live’ and in that process, begin to see just how full of life our lives are and can be.
- I also give it as my opinion that the first step to experiencing that edification the resulting perspective, is authentic, conscience alignment. Genuinely living a life as perfectly aligned with your own conscience as you can possibly manage, ensuring each hunger in life is responded to in the most edifying way possible. With every gratification causing some degree of blindness and dysfunction, NO gratification is worth the cost, when all other things get considered, especially when it comes to being prepared for those aforementioned tragedies. Edification is the only way to live.
- We must also live lives that prove it, so that the benefits of such are so evidently clear that our very lives are the convincing power required to persuade our loved ones to do the same.