Motivational speakers, personal coaches and self-help proponents all underscore the importance of having a VISION, a DREAM, a LIFE PURPOSE, a PASSION … an overarching GRAND GOAL as an essential driving force for a successful life. Unfortunately, not everybody has one!
So, how does one go about “capturing” a Dream or a GRAND GOAL?
Or is that really necessary?
For the Neanderthal, mere survival was the GRAND GOAL. Subsequent civilizations – roughly through the middle of the 20th Century – simply worked and fought for a “better life” – more certain food supplies, better and more secure housing, more secure sources of heat and cooling, etc.
Eventually, the starkest realities dissipated and non-conscripted time became available beyond scrambling-to-cover-basic-needs. This gave rise to aspirational & creative engagement, with innovation and unbridled imagination, which gave us literature, poetry and the arts, plus astonishing advances in science, technology and medicine.
However, we also used such non-conscripted, “unscheduled” time simply to entertain ourselves, artfully developing escapist Dreams and fantasies.
Interestingly, slaves and the inextricably down-trodden developed strong spiritual roots and renderings, often buoyed by music and dance, to help them rise above their circumstances and engender Hope for a better day to come. The power to be found in deep spiritual roots is hard to overstate.
But as civilization advanced, life became “tough” in more complex ways, and we needed different coping skills. Those whose mantra had always been “God will provide!” had to come to terms with a more fundamental Truth:
The Almighty had already given them hands, feet and all the rest of what they needed for starters, so most of the rest of “providing” was in their own hands!
As life’s complexity increased, so did the path to independence. Longer and better paved runways to the future had to be built. Instead of slopping the hogs beginning at age 8 or 9, planting cotton, tobacco, rice and corn at ages 10-16 and bailing hay at ages 12-18, youth were sent to public schools through age 18 to learn the technicalities required to navigate a new world. This separation from “old realities” – at a “ghosted subsidy” of roughly $300,000 per student in 2017 currency – distanced them from understanding the full power needed for lift-off toward NEW REALITIES.
How so? When the compelling needs to hunt deer, grow crops and put food on the table were taken out of the equation for survival, a new freedom from home-based authority emerged. School, for some, became a ready-made venue for autonomous “freedom of expression”, “freedom from oppression”, perfecting the practical joke, bullying others, defying the new “authorities” and “seeing how much they could get away with”.
Unfortunately, REALITY never took a day off! It was there – always there – with its burgeoning indebtedness constantly accruing, waiting for each new wave of freshly minted “soldiers of fortune” to begin shouldering their part of a bargain they neither clearly understood nor completely accepted: But the “Cost of Living” still had to be paid!
Interestingly, the “Cost of Living” hasn’t really changed. Everything we Deserve – and everything we can legitimately Dream – is going to take everything we’ve got, and it’s always been that way. However, the cost of “slippage” has increased. The speed of change, the increased demand for focus, the expansion of access around planet earth, and the increasingly “global economy” now require us to compete more competitively with 7 billion other inhabitants!
So, here’s the question one could legitimately ask: If all that’s required for any one of us to “make it” is “everything we’ve got” – and if “everything we’ve got” we’ve already GOT – why aren’t more people “making it”? Why are so many underachieving their true potential? Why are so many 35-45-year-olds so hopelessly in debt … why so many divorces … why so many jobs lost … why so many promotions foregone … why such increasing numbers unable to consider retirement?
While real reasons and contributing factors vary, including misfortune and the lack of opportunity, we need to take the poorest reasons off the table, starting with:
- Holding back on “everything we’ve got”, and
- Allowing too much “slippage” … which would include:
Shoddy preparation / Truncated Education / Limited Skills
Poor Use of Unscheduled Time
Excuses and Explanations
… etc. …
The challenge is compounded by too little “burning passion” and a hollowed out sense of urgency. “Living in the NOW” and immersion in “Mindfulness” doesn’t light fires … it puts them out!
So one is left wondering: If we’re not driven by Dreams, Visions, Purpose and Grand Goals, what ELSE can produce, engender or substitute for “burning passion” and a “sense of urgency”?
Ultimately, everything funnels down to a grand “WHY?” If there’s no compelling reason to look beyond our immediate comfort zone, we’ll never see or pursue new horizons of possibility, even as the old horizons continue to shrink, become stale and obsolete, and disintegrate around us.
Obsolescence and the disintegration of Absolutes [see “Living Without a Goal” by James Ogilvy] should galvanize our “WHY?” and “WHAT FOR?” In fact, this realization should give us a new sense of liberation by releasing us from the unworkable constraints of Tribal Truths, “died in the wool” political party allegiances, prejudices, the incongruities of a 6,000 year-old earth, a Heaven that’s only one layer of stratosphere deep, etc.
At this writing, I’ve just found out that Kroger is eliminating its “Senior Discount Day” program – which I have “religiously” followed for its entire duration. I now realize that this program had been holding me “hostage” every week until Thursdays; however, now I can shop ANY day of the week when provisions run low and not feel that I’m unconscionably compromising my principles of thrift!
Sooner or later, we’re going to be faced with both the prospect and the necessity of deep water navigation where there are no constraining buoys, no prescribed “shipping channels”, capricious currents and weather patterns to negotiate, and a whole lot of flotsam and jetsam. That – if nothing else – should send us scampering … with all the urgency we can muster … to maximally capacitize ourselves, gain more stabilizing “ballast”, and construct a life-line network of associations and affiliations to help get us wherever it is we’re going.
Summation: Capture a VISION of DEEP WATER NAVIGATION, generously “Pixelate” that VISION [https://ertiaunlimited.com/pixelate-your-life/ ], and power UP for the voyage of your life! Quartermaster