The world buzzes about goals and visions. Focus. Create a vivid picture of exactly where you want to go. Dream big, and then don’t let anything or anyone stop you. The problem, as Daniel Gilbert wrote in Stumbling Upon Happiness, is that we’re horrible at forecasting how we’ll really feel 10 or 20 years from now – once we’ve gotten what we dreamed of. Often, we get there only to say, “That’s not what I thought it would be,” and ask, “What now?” Ambition is good. Blind ambition is not. It blocks out not only distraction, but the many opportunities that might take you off course but that may also lead you in a new direction. Consistent daily action is only a virtue when bundled with a willingness to remain open to the unknown. In this exercise, look at your current quest and ask, “What alternative opportunities, interpretations and paths am I not seeing?” They’re always there, but you’ve got to choose to see them.
This is going to be a brutal post for me.
Over the years, I think I lost the capability to “dream big”. To be perfectly honest, I lost the ability to dream (period). Most of my life, since I was very young, I have felt alone, an outcast, lost, and without dreams or goals. Looking back it seems sad but true, that there was no vision in my mind’s eye. I took no control of the direction my life went or continued to go. I left myself at the whims of whatever my family of origin expected of me. At 17, I forged my driver’s license, ‘ran away’ and married an abusive man. I was there for about three years. Then I became a puppet for my current significant other and child. All of these years it seems EVERYONE ELSE was choosing for me. I have been asleep at the wheel! (I tend to use this statement quite often!) Even worse, I never felt ‘life in myself’. You may not understand this or think I am exaggerating, but I am being totally honest when I say: I HAVE FELT DEAD INSIDE FOR MOST OF MY LIFE. Please do not think that I am asking for sympathy. This is not the purpose of this post.
Ironically, the best thing that has ever happened to me was when I totally fell apart and was hospitalized for nine months. This catalyst forcibly put me on a new path, a new journey. As excruciatingly painful as this has been for over 20 years, nothing in this world could ever make me regret or wish to change anything I have been through.
“The risk it takes to remain tight inside the bud is more painful than the risk it takes to blossom." Anais NinI have only recently begun the risk ‘to blossom’. I would say it has probably been only within the last six months. So I am absolutely certain that there are many ‘alternative opportunities, interpretations, and paths’ that I have only begun to explore and have not seen yet. They have always been there. At last, I have finally chosen to see them. “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”—Buddhist Proverb. I never understood this until life presented me with my current ‘teacher’, i.e. therapist. And bringing this further into awareness, has been the choice I made to take the #Trust30 challenge. I never knew there were so many people on their own journeys. Let’s face it, I never knew many things. But, finally, I am ‘Stumbling Upon’ awareness. I am awakening my soul. To all who are becoming parts of this journey, thank you for your support. To God, Creator, Source, Higher Power and any other name I have omitted, my immense gratitude. To myself, I say, ‘Ever On’. (a song by Dan Fogelberg) If you would like to hear this song you can find it HERE.