Wednesday, May 18, 2016

No Amount of Doing it Wrong will Make it Right

Many people are taught to believe that there is only one way to do anything, so that when things go wrong, the only solution is to apply more force (effort) rather than improving their understanding -- of how things are going wrong, and how to make them right.  They insist on staying true to their present understanding -- no matter how disastrous the results are, while merely increasing those same efforts that have not proven successful -- and rejecting anything different.  That would threaten their world view -- as the only way it could ever be.

So rather than anything ever getting better, everything just gets worse for them -- in a one-way downward spiral that they are certain is the fate of every life, no matter what they do.  Of course such despair invariably leads to depression and the sense of hopelessness that is the worst of all human ills -- whether one has actual physical ailments or not.

Conversely, those with an outlook that thinks to try everything humanly possible until something does work, invariably find a way -- that works.  Way before that ultimate solution, they get better and closer to finding the solution and truth of their quandaries -- as rightfully, the proper purpose of all their activities.  Just as often as not, the better way may be something far different from what they set out thinking -- as their solution to their problem, which might have even worked before but no longer does, and might now even be the source of that problem.

The obvious ones are the champion athletes who now only become injured trying to do those things they did easily and effortlessly before -- that now may even be a threat to their continued survival as they grow older and wiser.  The truly wise, at that point, move on to where they can continue to experience success rather than tempting permanent debilitating injury and disability.

Usually, one sees the trend of decreasing reward at increasing risks, and changes course appropriately and moves onto new and different ways of being successful -- even if one was never before. But there is certainly no point, in continuing to do what one always did before -- resulting in failure and poor outcomes.  No amount of complaining and lamenting is going to change that -- yet that is what many do, while actually doing nothing that would make a difference!

The road of history, is littered with many such lives -- as the only thing many thought they could do -- which should become increasingly apparent to many, was not all that could be done -- even and especially in one's daily lives, where it would make the most difference.  People don't all do the same thing -- which accounts largely for their difference in outcomes and fortunes -- no matter how much mass media would like us to think otherwise.  If they had their d'ruthers, everybody would think and do the same thing -- with the same results, but obviously, that's not what's happening, even if one wishes it were so.

The weakness is the lack of fullest understanding of what is going on -- even while there may be many variations of the explanation that no one has a monopoly of the truth on.  That's true for exercise, medicine, investing, marketing, human knowledge and relations.  They are an ever-evolving and improving understanding -- and not simply that the oldest is the best.  Frequently, they are the least perfected -- even if advanced for their time.  

Because of such advances in every field of human activity and knowledge, the state-of-the-art subsumes all -- rather than just being the politically-(socially-) correct half-truth people often argue about.  The better issue, is which is the whole truth -- and not what partisan truth should win out over the other.  That is the endless problem -- and not the solution of evolving a greater (whole) truth.

That greater whole is transformative -- changing everything, and not just one thing -- while everything stays the same.  That is no change at all.  It is simply the same old problem in a different light, using different words.  But nothing has really changed -- not even the understanding of the problem.  

And that greatest understanding, is coming to the realization that everything one knows, is the problem -- preventing them from trying anything truly different.  They just call the same thing (lack of understanding) by a different name -- and think they have solved the problem, which of course, keeps on coming back.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

The Power of Time

Time doesn't just pass -- neutrally, the same for everybody.  Some make it do something favorably, while others do things that disfavor them.  That is really the crux of aging -- that a few wear well, while many others, show a wear and tear before their time.  But it is not time itself that is a destructive force; it could also be a constructive one as well -- as some use it to build better than before, and before that, maintain what one has to optimize its use and usefulness.

That is also the story of every individual life -- as much as some would have us believe that all things in every case are equal.  People make a difference -- in every individual case.  If that were not so, then it wouldn't matter -- that one chooses better or worse.  The result would always be the same, no matter what anyone did.  But obviously and thankfully, that is not the world we live in -- that all in life is a random crapshoot -- and then you die.

That's how we all hope to make a difference -- as we live, which is also the way we die.  Those living with attention to their health and well-being, invariably see that it makes a difference -- while those doing everything to undermine themselves, may get by for a while before it all comes home to haunt them -- though it seemed at the time, that there were no consequences for imprudent choices -- the abuses that one seemed to get away with, the extra calories one could consume because it was there for the taking, the lack of exercise and other practices that one no longer did because there was nobody there to nag them anymore, or reward them for their own good.

And if nobody else cared, why should they themselves?  They never learned at some point in their lives, that nobody will care for their wellbeing, more than they will -- and that is the whole point, and not that they should be doing it for anybody else's sake.  They have to care that much about themselves.  And that makes a difference.

It is much like the miracle of compounding interest -- as a function of time.  The meaningful measure is not just what is accomplished once -- and then abandoned, or undone -- but what is sustained for as long as possible, and thus becomes one's life.  Many people will have a passing interest in many things -- mastering none of it.  Those who become very good at it, do it because that is who they are -- and not to do it, would be undermining their very reason for being.  Then if fame and fortune comes, they have already been well-rewarded by the gifts that they themselves are the greatest beneficiaries and judges of -- because nobody can appreciate that more than they can.  They are self-employed -- in the truest sense of that word -- because nobody else can do it better, than they can themselves.

That is the ultimate life -- and beyond that, are no regrets, no second-guessing -- it is a life fulfilled, which is the significance of every life -- and not just the rich and famous.  Such considerations, make it a trivial striving -- or one who has no idea what they want to do in life, except to become rich and famous.  But there will always be somebody else who is richer and more famous -- but may not be fulfilled by their own richness and self-worth -- which is to discover and create their ultimate best life.

That calling is not just for a privileged few -- but for all, in their own way -- that matters, and when that is done, there is no lack for what everybody else has done.  One has done all they could have done -- and not all the regrets for what one didn't, that accumulates over time, to produce the person one now is.  Formerly, only exceptionally "wise men" thought that way, but with increased standards of living for all, many more think that way as the new normal -- just as many more now become billionaires, and many more elders seem to defy aging as we have known it in the past.

The critical mass changes -- which makes a whole way of being -- commonplace.  But that is not because one person lives to be one thousand -- but many more live to be one hundred so the discussion shifts from quantity to quality of life.  They are no longer statistical exceptions but follow a rule -- that those living with great attention and awareness, live better lives -- and not just because it is the "right" thing to do that nobody expects anybody to.  That ship has already sailed.

It is no longer enough just to know what are the "right" things to do; the only valid question is, are you doing everything you know to be right and true?  If one is, that is the fulfillment of one's being and doing -- in the age of these unprecedented possibilities.  The greatest sorrow, is not doing so.  But what else is more important for anyone to do?  Certainly not all the other distractions -- that take one away from what is important to do.

There is just so much time.