What’s the goal that you want to evolve towards (and why is that the goal), what does the path look like that gets you there, what’s in your way, and how do you overcome those obstacles?
questions supplied by Tim Urban
The goal I want to evolve towards. Is it as simple as happiness? Maybe it’s acceptance. No, that goal is easy to reach. Acceptance by the right group? I don’t think that’s it either. Is it to be certain? To be pure in my essence, in every movement and decision. That is a nice goal to evolve towards. Will I ever reach that goal? What will happen if I do?
Maybe those goals are too self-centered, and therefore would be unfulfilling. Maybe my goal is sharing and educating. How can I share and educate if I am not certain with myself? That would be a stepping stone to properly share and educate. What am I sharing or educating about? Why am I in a position to do so?
What if my goal was to live the human experience? What does that look like? We’re on a small water covered rock somewhere in the universe. Does my existence really matter? How much do I know about my grandparent’s grandparents? How much will my grandchildren’s grandchildren know about me? The answer is very little. I might know they were nice, mean, hardworking, had a successful career or didn’t. I know a few highlights that could be dumbed down to a few sentences or a few words. What do I want my few sentences to be?
He took the world by storm, lived in the moment, was open and kind to everyone he met, and strived to make a difference wherever he was. Okay, what does that translate into as a goal I can evolve towards? Regardless, an obstacle in the way is to be present. I know that much. What about sharing in the human experience? I guess I first need to define the human experience. To me, it is to be in your body, to embrace your surroundings, to live the ups and downs of life to their fullest potential, to feel, to understand, to understand there are some things we can’t understand, to wonder, to embrace, and to live in ecstasy. Living in ecstasy, is that possible? Should my goal be possible? I know that no one can continuously live in ecstasy. There will always be low points and hard times throughout life. So does my goal have to be obtainable and once obtained permanent? Or can I weave in and out of being in my goal or not.
Can I ever live in ecstasy? It is defined as an overwhelming feeling of great happiness or joyful excitement. That is a goal I could strive to achieve. All I know is my life, I might as well make it amazing. Okay, so let’s say my goal is To Live in Ecstasy. Why? Because in the grand scheme of things life is short, and that short life should be filled with adventure, achievement, and bliss.
What does the path look like to get me there? What’s in my way? How do I overcome those obstacles? The path is long, winding with extraordinary detours, filled with people from all walks of life. Some of these people have a similar path, or similar parts or their path to mine. In these areas our lives intertwine, often providing a slight redirect to the similar path. These people are my friends, my family, my loved ones. They have the biggest impact on my path, as I do on theirs. However, they are the least populated group of people on my path. Most are strangers. Most are people I will never actually meet. But they are also affecting my life. They are my witnesses, my audience, my naysayers, friends that I haven’t befriended yet, and those that I am sharing in the human experience.
The path is also traveled by other versions of me. Parts of me taken to the absolute. My disbelief follows close behind me, whispering doubts and fears into my ears. My believer leads the way with a bright light emanating from him. My adventure seeker comes crashing through with ideas. Sometimes I can’t help myself but to follow. There’s the romantic, always dreamy eyed pulling me to find the love in everything. The thinker, who is always around the next bend perched on a rock offering new views on life. The lover, who always makes me feel welcome and looked after, as well as all those who surround him. The worrier, who is always moving and thinking but getting nothing done. He’s too preoccupied to confront me, but is always within eye site.
The path goes up mountains, traverses peaks, and goes deep into valleys and under the ocean. Sometimes it gets really hard traveling this path. Some of these mountains are tall and dangerous. Sometimes I need help climbing them. But the view from up top is worth every step.
Somethings along my life path are means to end, but others are purely obstacles. Some of these obstacles are exterior, some of them are interior. The exterior obstacles are harder to pin down. They carry an uncertainty with them. I have to get comfortable with this uncertainty. Be prepared for it whenever it arises. As for the interior obstacles, being present is the most glaring. If I am present, the worrier stops moving so erratically. If I am present, the disbeliever loses his powers. If I am present, I am in a state of bliss. How do I become present? Mindfulness, certainty within my control, letting go of that out of my control, and being in my body. Is it that simple? If I am present am I happy? I think I have to be working towards something while staying present. Set time aside to improve the life of future me, while staying in the moment and enjoying the world currently around me. There is a balance. I need to find it.