What is that I am trying to achieve?
I am trying to be happy, not to be disturbed, to be worried, to be secure and living my own life
It seems there is a trap of planning – where you draft grandiose plans but you end up doing nothing at all. It is the journey that should excite one and not the other way around.
“A good traveler is focused on the journey, and is never intended on arriving.” – Lao Tzu
It also resonates with Stephen Shapiro living a goal-free life and ZenHabits Leo Babuata talking about ‘no goals’.
For me the greatest revelation is discovering the common message in the Eastern philosophy. One of the major tenets of it is to lose expectation, if not at least lower one’s desires or expectations. For me, it seems to be a telling tale of merging teachings from different ideas.
But I am wondering how it would apply to my professional life. When I live a society which is in fact setting expectations or in fact setting outrageously high targets, how am I to escape this dreaded goal-oriented society?
I think we get a kick out making this goal setting exercise and in fact indulging in it. The mental gratification that we get out of this exercise – to envision a brighter future makes us in fact live in that very moment that we may be missing. While we do realize there a long gap between the present reality and future vision, we fail to comprehend the extent of journey or work or effort that we may have to put into it to achieve that desired future. There is also another danger in it – the fact that we may be setting a wrong and ill-informed vision for ourselves and the future.
The thought experiment I am trying here is to remove the concept of gap between the present reality and future vision. What if I have come to accept that the perfect vision is already here in the present reality? What if I told myself what I want is already here? What if I inversed the statement of ‘I want…’ to ‘I am…’?
But isn’t there an eventual or factual reality gap from a utopian future vision? How can I live with this really odd dilemma? On one side, I have to necessarily see the gap and close that gap; while on the other side, at a metaphysical and spiritual plane, I need to accept the reality as it and in fact consider this present reality. How should I be able to live with this contradiction?
I will try to take inspiration from Stephen Shapiro that there is something one needs to do today, every day – to take than one step at a time for that 1000 miles journey – but however I simply choose not to decide or conclude where I want to reach. Is that okay? The argument on the other side is that, I will end up going nowhere if I don’t decide now where I want to go.
What if there is no purpose, the journey in itself the purpose? What if there is only this larger purpose being the only true purpose – as Wayne Dyer and Vethathiri Maharishi says ‘God Realisation’? Then everything else is commentary. The eating, the living, the thriving, the achieving, the fighting, sleeping everything else is commentary.
The next question is – if god realization is the purpose and then what are all the day-to-day maintenance activities that will help me move towards that purpose? I guess our forefathers have answered in Bhagvat Gita – as ‘Karma Yoga’. Do your job and nothing else. There are series of duties one needs to do during each stage of life – do it purposefully, consciously, at least in some ways hoping that it will take me closer to God!
Then the only way things could move forward is to be steadfast in doing what one needs to do and do it anyway. Because in taking those steps and being consciously aware of each of the moments in life is living that higher purpose. It is not about arriving at something, but it is about journeying.
But it seems to be unusually complex theory to comprehend in one go.
When I was writing about ‘reality-vision’ gap, I was reminded on the Dr.Gabriele Ottingen’s WOOP strategy. The exercise suggests we just don’t stop at the envision the future wishes (W-Wish) and its luring benefits (O-outcomes), we should also see the obstacles (O-obstacles) one may face during the journey and prepare oneself for it (Plan – P).
But writing about the fact that journey itself takes precedence over the destination seems to make the obstacles in the journey, a mere event to be overcome than anything else. You just get past over it and move on and continue one’s journey. Seems to be an interesting idea.
This I am also able to relate to Morita’s therapy – to literally disrespect one’s emotions, thoughts one may acquire during the journey over the events that occur. But this simply leaves life less complicated. May be that is what one is not able to digest it.
Then the only other option is
- that the body has to do is the activity – the duty,
- the mind has to do is to be aware of the activity being done and
- the spirit is to be a witness to the disappearing of thin line between the doer and the doing.
One simply doesn’t have any goal or future vision to be guided by or need to be directed.
It is just that to be here and now.
I just got this word – conscious awareness by Osho, the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. It is about being here and now and not contemplating about anything else.
I am going to quote Osho’s poem here, but I am simply amazed at the journey I simply took from writing about goal-setting and thinking structures to actually not to have structures at all. Then it is so interesting that you start with no structure >> move to a structure >> suddenly turn around end of choosing no structure again. The organic mix of things with little or no systems seems to be the best possible way.
Consciousness without thinking: that’s what awareness is.
Being alert and with no thought.
But don’t think about it, don’t assert, don’t state, don’t say.