Many times when we are in free fall in our lives, when it seems everything is going wrong and you can do nothing right, the choice is made to throw up our hands in despair and let nature take its course. We react to whatever happens just enough to keep staggering on, but not much more. Unfortunately this can become a habit and a despairing and depressed mood may be come what is considered. If we allow this to happen we no longer have the capacity to enjoy a surprise, a sunny day, or even things as important as our children, besides showcasing a very negative approach to life. There are always choices that can be made to avoid these kinds of pitfalls: if we can’t get out of the free fall we’re experiencing, we can choose to begin to fly a different path instead, we are free to choose free flight. Like a skater during the free skate part of their competition, we may be constrained some of the time, but we are not constrained all the time. Instead of allowing constraint and the ingrained habit of follow other peoples’ paths, we truly can choose to be ourselves and hack out our own paths. It may be difficult indeed to do so, but isn’t it worth it?
No matter how skilled or competent we are there are always things that we want but that are always just out of our reach; we may long for a relationship to go in a particular way, we may ache for a specific assignment or job, or we may crave a certain object or state of mind. We may make huge efforts to achieve any of these ends, we may study, we may practice, we may beg for help. but there are situations when any planning or any variety or amount of effort will not be rewarded with what we consider success. Most of us would like to avoid failure and disappointment, not court it, so after making a few attempts in a particular direction and being thwarted in our efforts most of us tend to disengage from futile action and move our focus to more attainable goals. What we must remember is that effort alone cannot conquer all – there are some things that we must let go; rather, spend our time seeking goals more appropriate to our inner and outer workings, then make gargantuan efforts for or at something more suited or tailored for us. Wouldn’t you rather grow into things that fit your personality and type instead of trying to fit yourself into a box unsuited?
When trudging on and on through day after day with nose to grindstone gets overwhelming, it can be heartening to lift your head and catch a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel. It can also be very worth your while to not only raise your gaze from your toes to gain strength from that distant light; if you look to either side you may spy another path to take that could quicken your journey or smooth some of the bumps from it. If you turn for a moment and look backward you may find encouragement from the distance you’ve already come and the obstacles you’ve already overcome. Choosing to acknowledge that there is light ahead and that you can achieve your goals enable you to insert patches of contentment, or even instances of happiness, into your daily trudging drudgery. There are some who choose to remain put upon or hopeless or to whine about their circumstances; that is their choice, we can change the way we feel by the choices we make about our attitudes; there are plenty of platitudes and clichés about this very thing – but at times we need a wake-up call to remember the choices are out there and that it is up to us to make them. Doesn’t hope trump despair?
It becomes very evident, a large part of the time, that although groups of us seem to be working together toward a common goal, we are really working toward our own personal goals and that we may as well be alone with our tasks. We’re all looking in different directions and different motivations for the common effort we are involved. This can and does work the majority of time when we are discussing our activities in the workplace, on an athletic team, or in an educational environment. It does not work as well, or at all, in family or personal situations, in politics, or in a large number of athletic endeavors. Working for the common good in a family, working in a field dedicated to serving others, or belonging to a team requires attention to what you’re doing and how you’re doing it, not only to what you want or can get out of it; the people involved must not be looking different directions, but in the same direction. They each must, in their own hearts, have committed themselves to working together in a positive fashion, not to have separate interests and goals that do not mesh with their commitments. Once we’ve made the choice to follow a certain path shouldn’t we do so to the best of our ability?
For the most part we go about our activities performing individual tasks even when we are working as part of a group either for, business purposes, or as a leisure activity. There are times when one person cannot finish a task without help, but again, generally the task is broken up into individual, manageable pieces. However there are other things that simply cannot be accomplished when working alone or in conjunction with others; we need to work together in unison (and at the same time, too) to achieve the communal goal. Or we may need to have more than one person observing something to verify its existence or completion. Or we may want to entertain others and must perform our allotted part synchronized with our fellow performers. We can make the choice to opt out of acting in unison with others, but not only will that be a disservice to others, it is also depriving us of the completion of something we may very much want. If we choose to synchronize our actions and activities with others for the good of all involved, we must give it our best effort to ensure success and not depend upon others to all the work. Isn’t a job well-done and completed with others a satisfying experience?
Sometimes we get so involved in whatever it is that we are thinking and doing that we don’t pay attention to where we’re going, if we’re moving, or to where our thoughts or emotions may lead us, if the momentum is in our heads. This might turn out just fine if we have considered and planned our course of action ahead of time, but there are times we find ourselves in places we didn’t believe we were going or in emotional places we thought we had planned to avoid. Random movements occur when we are not paying attention to ourselves and the world around us and/or when we find ourselves in a situation we don’t know how to get out of or change. Resorting to randomness is very seldom effective and can be harmful. It indicates an inability to plan and make choices about what is really best for ourselves or the lack of enough determination to even make a choice. Ultimately no one is going to make our choices for us, and we really can’t count on flailing about in a random manner to find us a reliable direction take, so it’s best to rein ourselves in, take stock, and stick to a plan we’ve devised for ourselves. Why not removes random chance from most of your life (a little can be fun)?
We are tempted to and do, upon occasion, rush headlong into a variety of things. Sometimes what tempts us watching others rush ahead with no visible consequences and feeling that if they can do it, why then, so can we. What we don’t know is if the person we’re watching has thought carefully about what they’re doing, or if there have been well-made plans brought into play, or if they have done what we are watching many times before therefore have confidence and the ability to behave as if with reckless abandon. Just as many physical activities appear to be done without apparent effort and so do many intellectual and spiritual one the reality is that a huge amount of effort on all levels is put into any activity if it is going to look effortless. Reckless abandon may look like throwing off restraining shackles and throwing oneself into fray without thought of consequences but those throwing themselves not only recognize what they are throwing themselves into they are aware of any consequences there may be and are prepared to accept them. If through stress or other distress we do run headlong into a situation we are very likely to find that we are lost in confusion and possibly hurt in one way or another. Planned reckless abandon can be fun and gainful, shouldn’t it be planned?