That was a story for the rest of us…
You are not an overexcited motivational speaker or thrusting entrepreneur. You’ve not spent your life dreaming of changing the world. You’re just you and you want your life, not a life handed down from your past, your colleagues, your culture or the opinions of your friends.
You now know that you can, gently, bring your attention round until you notice whatever is, even now, tugging at your sleeve. And when you do that, you will know what you want.
“No man can reveal to you ought but that which already lies half-asleep in the dawning of your knowledge. The teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple, among his followers, gives not of his wisdom but rather of his faith and his lovingness. If he is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.” Kahlill Gibran, The Prophet
But isn’t all this just very selfish?
Looking after yourself properly is the best way to look after others.
Reread the section on Mood v. Desire. Our moods my lead us to want things that are unethical or harmful or very selfish especially if we navigate around by asking ourselves how we feel. When we focus on our deepest desires though, our wanting tends to be ethical, helpful and beneficial to all. We get there by understanding what we want (not how we feel).
Remember too, there is a difference between knowing what you want and acting on this knowledge. You will want to think carefully before you act on what you want because, very sensibly, some of it will involve disruptive changes to the way you live now. What you want is not going to go away though. It will bug you until you give it some attention, so you might as well gain this kind of clarity now.
The most generous thing you can do for the world is to find your own niche and do your thing to the best of your ability. These exercises help you to be clear about what you want and to start getting the drive to do it.
Too many people stay stuck in unhelpful circumstances or situations and wander through life with a vague sense of unease but never do anything about it. That’s much worse than working out what you want and moving towards it.
You tend to get what you focus on. Focus on how miserable things are and that’s how they will be. Tell yourself you don’t know what you want and you won’t.
Also know that people who are unclear about what they want end up working for people who are clear. All the time you ignore your agenda you will be working on someone else’s agenda. Do you really want this?
Now that you know what you want, you have more choice, which gives you more control over what happens in your life.
A wise man once said, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’. It’s hard to hold the rest of the human race in high regard unless you also give yourself high regard. One way of doing this is to pay attention to your own needs and how you can meet them. Then you’ll be able to help the rest of the planet with theirs.
And you are unique. There will only ever be one of you and you have a unique place here on the earth. You have only one life and one way to make it count is to begin to listen closely, see clearly and feel deeply for who you are and what you should be doing.
So, go figure it out and then go after it. It’s huge fun.
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