I recently stumbled upon an article entitled: “Ten Choices You Will Regret in 10 Years”
There then followed the ten choices that ultimately lead to this phrase of regret, with various solutions on how to elude them.
The whole article can be found at: http://www.trueactivist.com/ten-choices-you-will-regret-in-10-years/
As it happens the solutions offered include many methods and courses of action which I have attempted in my quest to come to a better understanding of who I am, my role in this life and the numerous other questions that generally stump us, and for which all our reading, encounters with ‘intelligent’ people, invaluably comes to naught. Or should they happen to offer some form of respite, such medicine is only temporary. Rather like being in prison, going to sleep and dreaming of being free, then waking up in prison again. There eventually comes a point when we become tired of temporary fixes and yearn for something permanent.
Though I cannot claim to offer any answers, the reason for which should become apparent by the end, I can attempt to point out instances where, in our confusion, we find ourselves looking the wrong way for such answers. Though in my experience, and rather disconcertingly, this wrong way is often in completely the opposite direction.
Should you still be reading this, my method has been to take each of the ten choices and place my own spin on them (signified by the choice number followed by the letter ‘A’ for ‘Alternative’ I guess). For many of you, what I have written, will no doubt come across as ‘spin’ and most likely will be dismissed accordingly. However, there maybe some who find something of use, if only that means looking at age old problems with a different eye.
After all what it eventually boils down to, is ‘seeing’ from a different place – the place we term our ‘Self’, even if there is no one to know it other than our ‘Self’. Rather in the way we might observe an old decrepit looking gate which leads into a beautiful garden. Only by stepping to one side to enable us to peep through the gate can we know what wonders confront us, though in so doing we find ourselves already in the garden. We were too focussed on the gate notice this. But then, like all analogies, this is an attempt to describe something lying beyond all description.
Ten Choices with Alternative viewpoints.
1. Wearing a mask to impress others. – If the face you always show the world is a mask, someday there will be nothing beneath it. Because when you spend too much time concentrating on everyone else’s perception of you, or who everyone else wants you to be, you eventually forget who you really are. So don’t fear the judgments of others; you know in your heart who you are and what’s true to you. You don’t have to be perfect to impress and inspire people. Let them be impressed and inspired by how you deal with your imperfections.
1A. The mask we show to others is always the face they see. We never see our own face for who is there to see it except you who is looking out of it? What is looking is what you are, so there is always the real you behind the mask which does not change though it is witnessing constant change. It’s not a matter of forgetting who we really are rather remembering who we are – that which is always here now. Yes, you know in your heart who you are – not in your mind. What you are is beyond perfection and imperfection which are only relative opposites.
2. Letting someone else create your dreams for you. – The greatest challenge in life is discovering who you are; the second greatest is being happy with what you find. A big part of this is your decision to stay true to your own goals and dreams. Do you have people who disagree with you? Good. It means you’re standing your ground and walking your own path. Sometimes you’ll do things considered crazy by others, but when you catch yourself excitedly losing track of time, that’s when you’ll know you’re doing the right thing. Read The 4-Hour Workweek.
2A. The greatest challenge is discovering who you are – true. Happiness comes as a result and is not separate from the knowing of this. Goals and dreams will always be goals and dreams belonging to a fictitious future. They are a distraction from being what you are now, which is all you can be. Don’t believe anyone who tells you it will happen at some future date, even if you face criticism. Being who you really are will means losing track of time, as ‘being’ is out of time, while ‘becoming’ (future) is firmly locked in time.
3. Keeping negative company. – Don’t let someone who has a bad attitude give it to you. Don’t let them get to you. They can’t pull the trigger if you don’t hand them the gun. When you remember that keeping the company of negative people is a choice, instead of an obligation, you free yourself to keep the company of compassion instead of anger, generosity instead of greed, and patience instead of anxiety.
3A. As your ‘true’ Self you are untouchable. When you imagine you are someone other than you are, then you become vulnerable. As as supposed individual you enter into conflict with another individual. Become invisible, become one with your surroundings. Then negativity will melt, as will anger and greed. All these arise with desire. Without desires we realise happiness.
4. Being selfish and egotistical. – A life filled with loving deeds and good character is the best tombstone. Those who you inspired and shared your love with will remember how you made them feel long after your time has expired. So carve your name on hearts, not stone. What you have done for yourself alone dies with you; what you have done for others and the world remains.
4A. First learn to love yourself for what you really are. Once you know your true Self you will not impose it upon anyone. It is rare to meet someone who truly doesn’t demand anything in return, but is simply there to give you their full attention. It is as if they have disappeared just for you. In the reflection of the nobody you too will discover what you are at centre – which is no centre. Most people are obsessed with ‘doing’. But ‘being’ is where it is really at.
5. Avoiding change and growth. – If you want to know your past look into your present conditions. If you want to know your future look into your present actions. You must let go of the old to make way for the new; the old way is gone, never to come back. If you acknowledge this right now and take steps to address it, you will position yourself for lasting success. Read The Power of Habit.
5A. The only steps you can take are no steps. For stepping anywhere is leaving the place where you are – Now – the only place you can be. By all means step into the past or future, you will anyway, for they are just thoughts appearing. The (thoughts of) future can only appear in the present, the (thoughts of) past can only appear in the present. So yes, allow yourself to let go, it is the only way the ‘new’ can appear. But the ‘new’ is not ‘new’, it is ‘you’ who are, have always been, but all this time have remained absent.
6. Giving up when the going gets tough. – There are no failures, just results. Even if things don’t unfold the way you had expected, don’t be disheartened or give up. Learn what you can and move on. The one who continues to advance one step at a time will win in the end. Because the battle is always won far away and long before the final victory. It’s a process that occurs with small steps, decisions, and actions that gradually build upon each other and eventually lead to that glorious moment of triumph.
6A. Once again where is there to go? What is this goal you seek on some distant horizon. So distant that the attempt to reach it will invariably result in failure. And should one be successful, what then? Success and failure are two opposites, they share a relationship as in a marriage. Leave them alone. Just as expectations are desires unfulfilled. Desires will continue to gnaw away at your heart. Leave them alone too. The battle is always won right now – where there is peace; not at some future time amidst the noise of uncertainty. When the moment of triumph does arrive it endures for a short while. While what you are now is timeless.
7. Trying to micromanage every little thing. – Life should be touched, not strangled. Sometimes you’ve got to relax and let life happen without incessant worry and micromanagement. Learn to let go a little before you squeeze too tight. Take a deep breath. When the dust settles and you can once again see the forest for the trees, take the next step forward. You don’t have to know exactly where you’re going to be headed somewhere great. Everything in life is in perfect order whether you understand it yet or not. It just takes some time to connect all the dots.
7A. Again, stay where you are and let life come to you. Just as in the phrase, “take life as it comes”. If we are present to it, we will know what action to take. If we try to predict, micromanage, anticipate we will most likely tie ourselves into knots – more than we already are. Enjoy life as it is and don’t waste energy trying to connect all the dots. No human mind has ever succeeded – will ever succeed.
8. Settling for less than you deserve. – Be strong enough to let go and wise enough to wait for what you deserve. Sometimes you have to get knocked down lower than you have ever been to stand up taller than you ever were before. Sometimes your eyes need to be washed by your tears so you can see the possibilities in front of you with a clearer vision again. Don’t settle.
8A. Find a place where you can watch all this. Who is perceiving all that happens to us? Knowing this truth will help us see through clear eyes. The eye of the beholder, that disappears in the beholding.
9. Endlessly waiting until tomorrow. – The trouble is, you always think you have more time than you do. But one day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to work on the things you’ve always wanted to do. And at that point you either will have achieved the goals you set for yourself, or you will have a list of excuses for why you haven’t.
9A. Ask yourself sincerely what are these things you really want to do? Where do these thoughts stem from? Isn’t it best to wake up now to understand that this moment is the only time free from the desire to be other than you are – which are essentially thoughts based on various memories. If you ‘are’ here’ and not somewhere else, any excuses (regrets) will evaporate.
10. Being lazy and wishy-washy. – The world doesn’t owe you anything, you owe the world something. So stop daydreaming and start DOING. Develop a backbone, not a wishbone. Take full responsibility for your life – take control. You are important and you are needed. It’s too late to sit around and wait for somebody to do something someday. Someday is now; the somebody the world needs is YOU.
10A. The world doesn’t owe you anything. You don’t owe the world anything. In order to owe someone you have to be separate. We are not separate from our surroundings, we are one with it. Just as we share the air, without which their would be no life as we know it. Man needs to stop ‘doing’ and start ‘being’. Just as we are not called human ‘doings’ but human ‘beings’. Only then can we listen to what is required and work in harmony; instead we trample over everything before us with our incessant need to quench desires, mostly born from fear – the root being the death of the ‘individual’, with who we identify.
Only those who are sincere will try seeking for this individual we believe to be ourselves. Then perhaps, if they are honest, they might discover it to be an illusion – a bundle of concepts acquired, sustained by memories. The leads to the most important question of all, “Who is perceiving this?” The question that cannot be answered. Not only is there nobody to answer that question for you, but You who is asking is at the same time the answer you are seeking.