“Just because you took longer than others doesn’t mean you failed.”
“If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.”
I know I have fallen in this trap myself on occasion. I have certainly suggested that Life is often a ragged diagonal < http://brucemctague.com/life-is-a-ragged-diagonal > but more often than not I discuss progress as forward.
It is not true.
Forward ain’t the only direction for progress.
Please note that I am not suggesting movement represents actual progress … just that progress can appear in any direction.
I imagine I am also suggesting movement is good. It may not represent actual progress but it does represent … well … two things:
<1> you are less likely to be run over by someone who is moving … and you are not
<2> restlessness most typically is indicative of curiosity, exploring, discovery and learning.
So I am suggesting movement involves at least some sort of proactive restlessness <although I imagine fear driven restlessness is also some version of progress itself>.
This movement means you have increased the likelihood to live for another day or another moment combined with the fact that the experience you gain while moving increases the likelihood you will be ‘better’ in some way the next day or moment.
If you believe progress can be defined in any direction, not just forward, it has some pretty positive outputs:
– Infiniteness of possibility: instead of possibilities residing somewhere in front of you … well … now you can explore possibilities in any direction. This suggests progress is infinite.
– Time is less constrained: when you only have one direction you can go it can become very constraining … time looks extremely finite because it appears to only have value when moving in one direction <all other paths and dimensions have no value because no ‘progress’ is attached to it>. In other words … your present gets some elbow room.
“Sometimes, I feel the past and the future pressing so hard on either side that there’s no room for the present at all.”
As I said earlier … I have been wrong on this topic in the past. I have said ‘if you are not moving forward you are moving backwards <metaphorically>”.
I was wrong.
If you remain committed to restless movement and possibly some strategic side to side steps … and even thoughtful steps back … it is all part of progress.
I purposefully used the word ‘committed.’
Movement in Life takes commitment.
It may sound odd … or counter intuitive … but constantly fighting the battle between progress and stagnancy takes commitment.
Movement is difficult not only physically, but emotionally and mentally. There is a constant urge to do … well … nothing <let’s call it ‘rest’> and counter-intuitively … rest can actually steer you in the opposite direction from where you ultimately want to go.
We have to commit ourselves movement and recognize that all your movement and the decisions & actions that take place within your purposeful committed movement counts in some form or fashion.
And isn’t that what progress really about?
Making moments count?
Who gives a shit if the moment is behind where you currently are, to your side, maybe diagonally … maybe even steps away from where you are … if you make the moment count … that is progress. Therefore, progress is an output from movement … and any movement … not just forward.
=== reminds me of “37 seconds well used is a lifetime”: http://brucemctague.com/waiting-versus-living ===