I’ve been thinking about what I want to prioritize the deepest in the next 40 years – probably the rest – of my life.
It’s not trying to reach some special position in political, economic or cultural life. It’s not about fame. It’s not about travelling to new places. It’s not about more sex. 🙂
I’ve explored all of these ‘needs’ and none of them feel inspiring or right here in my later years.
Part of it is necessity:
Some things, like getting a high political position, seem out of reach – but it’s just as much about recognition of what I feel that might work to make a real change. And I feel politics change very little. It’s more often than not a way of shepherding status quo.
I feel and believe that contributing to social, psychological or cultural changes on a larger scale, like The Blog is intended to do over the decades, is the way forward for me.
The Blog, if I make it to 2055, will be far from the only influence on people of the world at that time and far from the greatest, but I’m willing to bet it will have made a greater influence in people’s lives, for the long-term, than, say, an American president.
Obviously that’s a truth with modification. Changes in the American health-care system, for example, affects millions of people in a very real way, but they can be overturned after 4 years. The Blog can’t. And some of what I am going to write about may, at least in the mental health department, contribute to people not needing their insurances. At least that is my hope.
So, yeah, I feel it is necessary to not focus on positions or money, except for what I need to keep going and lead a relatively stable life – for me and my family.
And I don’t need to be a president or to earn a gazillion dollars per month on stocks to be happy or feed my son. I don’t need to write a new bestseller. And I don’t need to solve poverty in Africa, either. I don’t need a lot of things I thought I ‘needed’ when I was younger.
But I still need to make some kind of impact on the world in a way that’s meaningful, and aligned with my own personal, well, path – the way I want to develop as a person over the years. Or perhaps … beyond just ‘feeling like a person’.
So what is meant by that cryptic remark?
Well, it’s not that mysterious. I just feel at this point in life that it makes the most sense to focus on developing my experience of life, more than my control over life, or my supply of assets in life (from intangibles like ‘social position’ to tangibles like ‘dollars in the bank’).
Yes, I’m still going to give the highest priority to create more and better and more stable income streams, but not because I want to be rich, but because this is a problem where I’ve still not found a solution to move beyond basic needs and survival.
I’m dependent on family and society and the goodwill of the bank to keep going and that’s the truth. I’m financially insolvent – a net debtor. I don’t earn enough to pay for much more than food to myself and some basic stuff for the apartment and my upcoming son. I certainly don’t own enough to pay for anything more if I were to convert assets to cash. I have very few assets worth something, aside from my computer and a few old comics.
So when I say that I want to give highest priority to developing myself it’s not the same as saying I don’t care about more tangible monetary goals. It is necessary that I do.
It’s more about saying that I’m about to shift the focus to an attitude change first, before I try anything else.
I’m about to really upgrade that software in my mind and make it boot first – the programs that determine how I see the world.
In general terms I want to pledge myself to always first create the experience of peace and happiness via various ‘Ways’ I know (see below).
If that is not my first priority, then the rest of my priorities in life are more or less worthless. Even a high and much discussed priority like “finding my Purpose” is not worth much it that search is done in such a way that it stresses me.
Like – if I stress about writing The Blog, writing a story or helping other people – all of which are purpose-related activities.
It’s not worth much either if the search for Purpose is overshadowed by dis-ease about e.g. lack of money. So Purpose should not be forgotten, because neglect of one’s life purpose of course leads to dis-ease.
But there is a deeper neglect that must be addressed first if feeling dis-eased – namely in the way I think in general.
I must remember that the feeling of dis-ease is often rooted in an overt focus on what I think I ‘lack’, which can be changed 90 percent of the time to a more uplifting experience.
By myself. By changing my view on the world.
Not by changing the world as such.
I already know a lot of Ways. But again and again I forget to use them. I fall into bad habits, like watching YouTube-videos to escape some kind of problem, instead of meditating on it or using another Way to find a solution.
I don’t want to sound like a fanatic. Watching the latest SNL show is sometimes needed to get some energy, but it is very easy to fall into the temptation of using that, and other things on the Internet especially – from Facebook to porn – to … well, just try to escape. Put something else in your mind that in a superficial way makes you feel peaceful and calm.
But it is only superficial. And temporary.
Here are some ways then to create a larger ‘kingdom of the soul’ every day, every moment:
- Meditating – quietening the mind
- Training myself to think more slowly and stop negative thinking
- Attention to all the important things I need to have in my life every day to feel fulfilled instead of just succumbing to routine or other peoples’ ‘urgent problems’
- Attention to my feeling of a truer, deeper identity than the body and the social ID
- Using music to create the experience of more meaning, more connection with the Divine – as I perceive ‘Divine’
- Using my experience with cleansing these energy-centres in my body called chakras instead of neglecting that tool and living as if it is not possible or not important. I have good experiences with this. Why then pretend that it’s not important?
- Remember to ask questions from the beings I perceive to be guiding me from some larger invisible world instead of pretending that such things aren’t worth it or even a bit shameful. If I have really big problems with this approach then just write a question on a piece of paper and leave it under my pillow and pretend it was my intuition that delivered the answer and not something metaphysical. But … just do it. Because I have done it before, and with good results.
- Read about near-death-experiences or poetic texts like those of John O’Donohue, all of which has a deep resonance with me, and reminds me of the possibility that other worlds exist and that more beauty and connection with this world exists than I usually notice in my everyday routine
- Remember that I have an arsenal of other methods, from reading Shakespeare to taking walks in nature, to make myself feel more uplifted – instead of just habitually escaping by eating and watching something on the net again
- Remember that I actually taught myself special techniques for destroying negative thoughts, when I recovered 11 years ago from hospitalization in the psych ward and which I have since expanded upon every since. They work, so use them.
Paying more and more attention to all of these Ways I actually know that make me feel whole and uplifted and peaceful, even in difficult situations, is also a way to help other people feel more uplifted and feel more connected to themselves and the world.
Like there is more meaning, more help and more relation than they may have thought.
And that’s what I want to achieve by blogging about how I use these Ways every day, confronting all sorts of problems and factors in my life I cannot (yet) control – such as money scarcity, becoming a father and being anxious about that, family illnesses, conflict with friends or colleagues, difficult customer in my webdesign business, health issues, and so on.
None of that goes away tomorrow. But I can help myself to feel a lot better about life by using more what I already know – and using it on my experience instead of what is outside of it.
And all of that I can do by blogging ‘Every day for 14012 days’. It helps me to stay focused and it helps others.
I don’t know why it has been so difficult for me to use my experiences so far and on a more regular basis to feel more uplifted and more peaceful.
It’s not as if I feel totally down either. I have not felt really depressed or had any anxiety attacks since 2006 especially due to what I learned about myself during and after that crisis. But I have not capitalized on much of that experience either.
Like some of those mental techniques I learned back then to control negative thinking.
I still slip, a lot, into negative thinking – which is extremely dis empowering – about my money situation, about what could happen when Char is to give birth, about annoying clients, etc.
What I mean is that I automatically go for the ‘this is shitty’ or ‘he is shitty’ or ‘this is scary’ response to a situation, and then brood on it for awhile, instead of trying right away to use some of the Ways to change my experience.
Or at the very least make it more pleasant.
Difficult clients don’t go away. The whole in my bank account doesn’t go away. Char’s birth is going to hurt her.
But even though I am doing a reasonable job trying to shape my feelings about all of these life experiences in a more positive and constructive direction (without succumbing to unrealistic or ludicrous perspectives), I still feel it is not enough.
I could do better. I could create a larger and sunnier ‘kingdom of the soul’.
So that is what I am going to do. For the rest of my life.
I think it is by far the best and most worthwhile thing to do, because it will frame all other experiences. And then to share it, and pass on the knowledge of how to do it – here on The Blog.
But also use The Blog to help myself stay on track. For despite all my wisdom and experience I am all too human and I stray again and again.
I waste a lot of time thinking in negatives, doing routines, being with the same old people, when I should be moving on and using more of what I know to do and feel better.
But so be it. I am where I am.
I can only do better from here.