Ah, the time of year for reflection and projection, what has been and what will be.
The time where we reflect did we succeed, did we fail, did we laugh, did we cry, did we love.
The time where we look forward and project our goals, desires and dreams into the cosmos.
Plus the ever impending new year’s resolutions.
Such a funny time of year, don’t you reckon?
I love the downtime as much as anyone, time to have space to breathe, to enjoy “time” with our loved ones and simply be.
Yet this year as I sit down to reflect, the mere idea of this has brought along with a chuckle and a question.
“What really is the difference between today, Sep the 15th, March 24th or Jan the 1st?”
All I could come up with was, well nothing, it is all based on thought, a concept of our own creation. We create an invisible line in the sand by which we measure ourselves and with that measurement comes several things.
Inflation and deflation.
When reading many of the great minds that have walked before us, there have often been warnings of the power of the ego.
The filters that filter our realities and when we measure ourselves we either get an inflated moment or deflated moment depending on the outcome, and it can also make some people feel larger/better than others, and others less than others.
And if we get deflated then come the, I should have, could have but didn’t and creating a sense of “not good enough”. And the crazy thing is all this just all plays out inside ourselves within the hands of the ego.
Such a cagey fox.
Then it flips the switch and wants us to project into the future with our KPI’s, goals and targets.
Ideas such as lose weight, eat healthier, save money, get a new car, you know the drill.
My challenge – or just my little rumination – with these concepts is I feel that most of these goals are connected to the external world of the senses, items, achievements that if not met can bring up the feelings of failures. And these emotions are actually chemicals the body creates that can create feedback loops, you know, where we just get stuck perpetuating the same old thing…
So are you saying Rich, we should not have such goals etc?
No, not saying that – as much as I am still wrestling with this matter. I get the world we live in, we need targets, visions and goals to work towards as individuals, businesses, teams and governments. So we don’t flounder around.
But perhaps it is if we are too rigid in the outcome-oriented nature of such matters.
It leaves no room for natures input, those bends in the road we did not see coming that ended up a blessing in disguise. A blessing that could not have been forecasted.
Yet if we were to remain to steadfast to the ‘I will achieve this at all costs” we would potentially drive straight past the bend only to miss what could be the difference to make the difference.
Instead, think of the concept of “Fluidity”, the water starts at the top of the mountain with an innate goal that nature incorporated into its “being”, to return back to the ocean.
The journey along the way is never straight, never measured or quantified, it just happens. It is following its nature and that in itself is the goal. The path may turn, may get trapped by a dam-like structure, until the river behind moves with such a force to push past the obstacle and continue upon the “journey”, there is never setbacks, just stages, constantly evolving.
Upon reflection of this matter and a few edits, I think this is the big issue.
That a lot of people (myself included) fall short and falter on our resolutions and goals etc.
I come back to the line in the paragraph above about water: “It is following its nature and that in itself is the goal”.
I used to set these goals, targets, resolutions and seemed to often fall short, in fact sometimes as soon as the starting gun was fired I would go “Oh well, let’s give it another crack next year hey”.
And I know why.
Wasn’t following my nature.
I was basing goals on society ideals, what seems to make sense, financial obligations, ego inputted goals ie: bigger and better “things” and the like.
Due to this on an unconscious level, I would sabotage this very effort. Or when I did achieve such goals, it would often leave me feeling a little “hmph” is that it…
Ah, the root of unhappiness!
Following someone else’s path to success is bound to lead to failure and a bucket load of self-loathing thrown in. Despite how many goals are ticked off along the way.
This would be like a sunflower looking at a rose and wishing it could have a flower like a rose, working hard each year to create a rose only for a sunflower to once again blossom. Or worst yet, it gets so stressed about creating a rose it fails to flower at all.
This I feel is what the masters of mind refer to “do less, achieve more”, “Be like water” and so on. Getting in tune with your nature and letting nature help you to run your course.
Here’s the challenge though.
How do we know what our nature is?
Simple answer, deep down we all do, like water it is innate within us and some are lucky from day one to know this, you know the kids at school who wanted to be a Dr and followed this path with passion, so lucky.
For a lot of us, that picture is not so clear, with the stresses, the cagey ego and craziness of the world dampen our ability to discover this natural state within us. So we need to drop into that deep quiet space within and just be (this is the part that meditation plays). Out of this state intuition will rise and inspiration to your path. Then it’s our responsibility (to ourselves and the world) to take that being into the world with courage and confidence.
And I reckon once we get this, we go “Oh heck yeah” this feels right. This feels like home, like success without needing to “succeed” so to speak.
But the other thing we have to do is surrender and let nature do its part – which is also our part… as after all we are nothing but a part of nature.
So this year, whilst I have a tangible vision of where I am walking (like a flower reaching towards the sun, or the river towards the sea) I have shelved my KPI’s, goals and the like and my only intention is to put one foot in front of the other with an open heart and mind, so I can listen out for the voice of intuition and lean into nature with love, and with that comes my vision of success.
Wishing you a truly beautiful and fluid year ahead!
P.S. Underpinning all of this is action and as per a wise old saying “Established in being, perform action”, once you do this, all the goals, kpi’s and desires will naturally come along for the ride anyway…