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An article by Flora S Michaels in NewPhilosopher gives us the opportunity to consider how our life will unfold as we move through it and at the same time allow us to think about the best way we can live, work and develop a positive mindset so that our lives will change for the better. Flora suggests we think of who we are right now. Think about our life, think about our joys and disappointments and think about how things are now or how they could have been, how happy or sad we are with everything or somewhere in between.
Flora, ” Now imagine in five years from now, what you’re doing, where you live, who you’re with. Chances are you don’t imagine being exactly the same person in exactly the same circumstances five years into the future. Chances are you imagine things are better somehow. You’re driving a better car, making better money, in a better relationship, looking and feeling better.” The fact is we want to change our lives for the better that our lives will change for the better. It’s in these beliefs we consider our lives will change for the better. To support these beliefs we are supported by everyday events and the scenery around us. Flora, “They’re culturally derived and part of our mental landscape. These ideas didn’t evolve in a vacuum. But what if these ideas of progress and growth aren’t serving us anymore, and what if alternate ideas are available for us to explore and adopt?”
Progress it seems is removing anything that blocks our capacity to expand our strengths and is usually personal and full of negative connotations. It’s in our nature to try to capture anything that is better for us and no one thing satisfies our climb to the top. We want our lives to expand with the universe and we believe unless we are making progress, we are stagnating. Flora, “Stagnant, in fact, is pretty much the opposite of how we’d like to think of ourselves, fresh, bright, dynamic!” And we think we’re doing better, really better, when we’re doing better than the next person. Most people believe that they are making progress when economically their country is growing its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) this economic strength flowing through to them in a number of ways. Things like health care, education, social programs and safety nets.
However we do need to examine what real growth is. We see that when measuring GDP for example not all growth is good growth. Environmental damage which requires the employment of hundreds, if not thousands of people, to effect the clean-up, whilst contributing to growth is trying to remove damage to our fragile world and most of the time not effectively. Time therefore to think about how we can grow in a positive, environmentally friendly way. Think about seed growth for example. Seeds surprise us because when planted, nothing happens at first. In fact we don’t always expect them to grow. When they do and then mature into incredible plants they reveal the power that they have to start an unremarkable journey and complete it with the full support of a willing nature. “If you refuse the adventure, life dries up.”
In order for the world to be renewed, we need people to keep putting forward alternative ideas such as those that start from small proposals which have the potential for growth, seed growth. From small beginnings to maturity and then to hand them back to the community. Flora, “Author Doris Lessing suggested that the future of everybody depends on strengthening those individuals who are able to resist following the pack, and then educating our children to become those people themselves.” Flora proposes we think of who we are today, think again of what our life could look like five years from now. “Will you pursue an economic, never ending version of making things better for you and yours, or will you risk going underground, answering the call to your own true adventure?” In the end both options claim, this is growth, this is progress, but only one refreshes you, along with the rest of us.
This story shows us how to start on making our life more interesting, removing the negatives, reflecting on our lives so far, then considering how we can grow and make our life more interesting. To find what we seek, involves a fair amount of reflection at the beginning, reflecting primarily on where we have come from so far in our life’s journey. Then, consider where we would like to be in a few years’ time when we believe our lives can be better. Many of the key motivations that have served us well previously, we see, will not serve us well as well look into the future, our new future…our true adventure.
We must establish what real growth is. It will be different to that which we have experienced up till now. Start from a small beginning is a good idea (from a seed to a mature plant), then hand over our finished product to the community. Our true adventure can be found by “going underground ” not by following the economically fueled mantras of the idea that growth occurs, conveniently acknowledged from a community who prefers to follow one another. We are encouraged to think the best way is to create our own true adventure by thinking ahead, stepping away from the pack and becoming stronger by doing so. In this way, we are answering the call to our own true adventure.