Some of us find meeting a challenge to be exciting, stimulating, and yes, a challenge; challenges are seen by these people as nothing to be frightened or apprehensive about, something to enjoy whether the challenge involves others or one is pitted against oneself. To most who view a challenge this way you haven’t failed if you didn’t reach your goal, you’ve learned enough or will practice enough to meet the challenge the next time or the one after that. To others of us a challenge is something to dread and to try to avoid at almost any cost. For these people a challenge is a very personal thing and meeting the challenge, or not, defines their very worth. They find it is better to reject all challenges than risk a fracture in their images of themselves or the world. These characterizations typify two very different kinds of people, those people of action and those who wait and see; those who stride forward and those who wait behind the scenes. But everyone must face, at some time or another, a sudden, drastic challenge that there could be o opportunity to plan for or to watch. The typical ‘let’s go out and get ’em person may become paralyzed and the watcher may react quickly and effectively. There is no telling what anyone will do when faced with an unexpected crisis. So how effective is it to try to plan for one?
At the end of the day we may tend to feel all washed up; that our potential and talents have been used to their utmost but we haven’t seemed to accomplish much – and we know we have to start again and do it all over again, to the best of our abilities, tomorrow. We can end up feeling used, even by ourselves, and that life’s lustre has become dull; that life itself is dull. We’ve been tossed to and fro, with no apparent control of the situations where find ourselves and left immobile and unable to put a coherent thought together. It is possible to avoid at least some of these feelings, though a good wallow in woe can be valuable at times, through our own self-directed thoughts, that can lead to action, that leads to more thinking and planning. Instead of letting circumstances toss us like a salad, we can look around to see where we are, choose a direction, and go. Instead of abrogating all responsibility for ourselves we can choose to speak up about how we feel and what we want. Instead of lying empty and used like a shell on a beach we can choose interest in the world around us and make a specific place for ourselves. Shouldn’t we be making our own choices for our own selves?
Occasionally we feel the approach impending danger and a visceral dread overtakes us. But often we have no idea when life is preparing to fall in on us with terrible and awful events. We should take note of any sense of doom we feel; even if nothing of notable distress occurs, it encourages us to be more observant of your surroundings and to be sure we are prepared for any predictable eventualities. We must be careful not to leap to dire conclusions with every twinge of discomfort or even at anything that startles us; living in a constant state of anticipation of the worst is not healthy and does not lead to a life of contentment or satisfaction. A healthy appreciation of the possibilities of disaster or fearful circumstances is valuable; to be aware is to be sensible and practical. Very seldom do we feel an impending sense of joy or happiness; we don’t feel that someone looming behind us to rush up and hand us everything we’ve ever wanted, or sense that success is looming and has actually arrived along with fame and fortune..Why do you suppose that we are more attuned to a sense of danger than to happiness?
We react to confinement in different ways depending upon what is confining us and how we are confined. Sometimes we may feel good while confined within the embrace of a loved one’s warmth, shelter, and love. On the other hand we are sometimes confined by the constraints of necessity so that we are confined to working certain hours within internal working constraints. We may have run afoul of rules and regulations and are suffering some of the consequences of our actions. We may be confined by physical circumstances that don’t allow us the freedom of movement that we expect and desire. To some confinement means struggle and anger and fighting against whatever perceived bonds are holding us. This may get us out of the strictures of a desperate living environment or the propel us from ignorance to knowledge but it can also lead to more frustration and more struggle if we don’t take a look at our particular circumstances rationally, then decide our course of action. To others confinement means guidance along a chosen path and the ability to be shaped to more successfully move along that path and achieve goals. The definition, therefore, depends upon how confinement is looked upon. Wouldn’t you rather see confinement as an opportunity than as an obstacle?
Most of us feel we are in control of what is happening to us most of the time. But for all of us there are times of confusion and dislocation when we don’t know what has just happened or is happening. We may be alone or we may be in a group, but our actions can be characterized in several ways that are not necessarily dependent upon our state of mind at the time. We can be flailing around with no discernible focus, we can be proceeding in a straight and narrow course directly toward what we should be avoiding, we can be denying that we are confused at all and airily flit off into chaos – these are all responses that we’ve all indulged in at certain periods of confusion. However, in order to emerge from a state of confusion we must first identify what is confusing to us or about the situation. Taking stock of the situation should be the primary consideration when taking any action, but when one must evade confusion before taking any action it should be our primary mission. In order to know where to go one must know where one is in the first place. Shouldn’t dispersing confusion be a goal ahead of performing any action?