Can we modify the course of our life?
Is it possible? Or are we condemned to lead
superficial, mediocre lives with no meaning?
– Jiddu Krishnamurti
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Three kinds of people are particularly pathetic; the powerful
man who is out of power, the
rich man with no money, and the learned man laughed at. Yet
these are those who badly want
change! Some dogs sit satisfied in their kennels. But someone
who last year drank ecstatic
union, the pre-eternity agreement, who this year has a hangover
from bad desire wine, the way
he cries out for the majesty he’s lost, give me his longing!
from his Prayer to be Changed
Recently I’ve heard Tai Lopez say – that we should make FOUR resolutions … one in each of (what he considers to be) the Four Pillars of life:
I think this makes good sense. Except … I do not think it makes good sense to regard Happiness as one of the Pillars. I do not think that happiness is a worthy goal for a Human Being. (you may have heard me say this before) Happiness is an experience that just happens. (And this may well occur when we see that we are achieving our goals, but I do not think it is a good idea to pursue happiness [itself] as a goal. Better to pursue Truth … or Authenticity.)
Lately I have given more than a little thought to ‘what I want’ … to the question of “What will I need … to feel (really) good about my life?” And what I have found is very similar to what Tai Lopez has found.
After all … what kind of life is it – when we’re constantly worried about ‘not enough money’?
But then – of what use is plenty of money … if we do not have good health?
And … of what use is anything (at all) … if our heart is not full of love?
And … there is one more. This is the “pillar” which I call ‘productivity’ … or ‘giving’ … or ‘Work’ … or – ‘making the world better’.
We can get to it by asking (and answering truly) the question – “What would I be willing to accept (as adequate payment) for relinquishing everything else?” … “What would I trade my Whole Life for?”
For me … the answer to this question is … ‘that this world be saved’
(that all people [and all creatures who share this world with us] … have the chance to have a Good Life … that the planet itself – should manage to withstand and survive the damage we have already done … that it heal and recover from its injuries … and that we [human beings] stop the practices which are [now, even today] hurting it. And we should also quit hurting each other.)
We could make it (universally) illegal to destroy the planet … couldn’t we?
We could stop complying with the (Super Rich’s) plan – to have superficial lives, remain uneducated and uninvolved in the (re)creation of the world (the culture) we live in … couldn’t we?
We could redesign our economies such that there are adequate incentives toward Survival, a Healthy Planet, a Healthy Future, Enough for everyone, and so on … couldn’t we?
If such things are to occur … we must believe that they are POSSIBLE.
Suppose I make a resolution – to lose my excess weight … and I correct my diet … I exercise … I choose only what is good for me. And then (at some point) I quit believing that it’s possible to accomplish this (or maybe I just quit believing that it’s feasible) … at that very moment … it (actually) becomes “no longer possible”!
In that moment, that ‘possibility’ ceases to exist!
You see? For some change (anything at all) to happen in our life … we must believe that it’s possible.
No belief … no change.
Stefaan Engels was born in Belgium in 1961. When growing up he had asthma and was instructed to avoid activity. Nonetheless, Engels became an endurance athlete. Then he decided he would run a marathon (42.2 km or 26.2 mi.) every day … for one year. In 2010 (when he was 49) … he did so.
“I don’t regard my marathon year as torture. It’s more like a regular job…I am running just as Joe Average goes to work on Monday morning, whether or not he feels like it. I don’t always feel like running.”
I heard him say (on NPR) that ‘At the beginning, there was alway something wrong … my knees … or my stomach. But eventually’, he said – ‘my body accepted the fact that I was going to run.’
I think that we need to learn how to use each other as a mirror. I think we should look at Stefaan Engels as realize – that (perhaps because we have already developed an ‘abusive’ relationship with excuses) we have (as though) ‘trained’ ourselves to use (whatever) excuse … to get out of doing something which we now find has (clearly) become unpleasant. We buy the ‘handiest ticket’ … and we just quit.
Only, in Stefaan’s case … he did NOT quit.
Mostly he ran slow
(his doctor told him to run slow)
… but he ran.
The fastest time (the world record, so far) for the Marathon … is 2 hours (and a little more. 2.2 or 2.3 for women). Stefaan usually ran it in about 4 hours. But (while running) … his heart rate was SIXTY !
(and THIS is why [I suspect] he did not go back on his decision) … He said –
‘I thought – if I could do this (run a marathon every day for a year) … that people would find about about it … then they would think – they could go to the gym and work out … lose some weight … whatever.’
He did it FOR US, you see.
Albert Schweitzer said (you know) –
“With human beings, example is not the main thing … it’s the only thing.”
Anyway … for me … the four pillars are
(and in that order. I think there are other [better] people who have succeeded in making Service their Number One goal. In my case, I am resigned to considering that these other things need to be in place … to support the last one … saving the world.)