draw your tomorrow life

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“Our civilization is founded on the shambles, and every individual existence goes out in a lonely spasm of helpless agony.”

 

 

William James

 

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“When I was in grade school, they told me to write down what I wanted to be when I grew up.

 

I wrote down happy.

 

They told me I didn’t understand the assignment,

I told them they didn’t understand life.”

 

 

Unknown <too often incorrectly attributed to John Lennon>

 

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William James is a quote machine but I sometimes think he had a ‘glass is half full’ view of Life and living Life.

And, yet, he has a point here.

 

life messy chaos random connect indifferent

Regardless of whether you are happy now or not … almost everything we do is built on the shambles of something.

Or maybe it is just that life is really messy and we have to build our happiness out of this mess.

 

Regardless … it would seem our existence is challenged by the threat of some helpless agony … in our pursuit of being happy.

 

Speaking of happy.

 

Go online and over half the time you see the second quote it is attributed to Poor John Lennon. I doubt it is his quote because it is one of those saccharine snippets you expect to read in self-help books and not from the ever-pretentious Lennon <a pretentious person would never create a quasi-cheesy pretentious quote>.

 

However.

 

The sentiment?

 

The sentiment is pretty spot on.

 

Is the purpose of life to do something of some purpose and therefore be happy?

 

Or is it simply to seek happiness and therefore our purpose is derived from our happiness?

 

 

Aw.

Who the hell knows.

 

And who the hell cares? <okay … a shitload of pop psychologists and maybe some philosophers care>.

 

Here is what I know.

 

We all seek to make some positive impact on the world whether that world be our immediate circle or some grand global circle.

shambles life positive force

And I read somewhere that to live nobly is to avert one’s eyes from the bad and seek that which can be found in the light of good.

And I think that is what James hints at … averting one’s eyes is … well … not easy.

 

Tell someone to not look at something an the temptation to look increases exponentially.

 

It is not that we seek the agony and sadness of Life it is just there to be seen.

 

Part of it is driven by expectations drummed into our heads which isn’t really about seeking happiness or purpose but rather we are constantly pushed & encouraged to be better than the person next to us.

 

We are taught almost from day one to cram stuff into our heads not to learn but to be tested against some standardized standard and measured against everyone else.

 

In other words … the agony is all about competing against what is considered ‘success’ and whether we meet those standards instead of a more positive agony of “I am learning but have yet so much to learn.”

 

In addition.

We are taught almost from day one that planning, and a plan, is the key to success and happiness. In other words … this suggests we can … uhm … plan to be happy.

 

That seems kinda crazy.

Shit.

 

It sounds like agony.

 

In fact.

 

It sounds like we are constantly sifting through the shambles of plans made and broken as we seek to make some progress <difficult to define without some plan I guess> in Life.

 

But you know what true agony is?

Either having no clue what you want to do with your life or encountering the emptiness of uncertainty with regard to your Life. I would suggest that in some ways they are two sides of the same coin and if you have this coin in your pocket you are carrying at least a small burden of this agony wherever you go.

 

In a world in which someone’s strive for success is most typically defined in some form or fashion as wealth, power or some measured result <test score, material example, IQ, title, etc.> it becomes very difficult to sit back … examine your agony … and seek to better define success thru some emotional perspective.

 

Yeah, yeah, yeah. in many ways they are inextricably linked … I get that.

 

But in the absence of wealth or power or some high falutin’ title … it sure would be nice to have some emotional happiness & purpose stored up in some mental bank account to counter it.

 

I am not one of those people who shout “you need to do what you love to be happy.” I actually believe to be happy you should love, or find extreme comfort, that you fulfill some purpose in Life. And that purpose doesn’t even have to be in the here & now … because depending on where you are in Life an what your situation is … it may simply be a strong thread of hope that you will reach the place where you can be “the noblest version of I” and serve the purpose which gives you some happiness & meaning beyond that high falutin’ title and that large bank account and fancy car.

ps there is hope listen life

In the end.

 

As a business guy who focuses a lot on how to communicate things to people I would suggest that everything I have written is a perfect rationale for what I always talk about the fact a business needs to be grounded in ‘selling hope.’

 

Hope, to me, is the ultimate salve to the agony one faces in Life.

But, hey, that’s me.

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Written by Bruce