“The main interest in life and work is to become someone else that you were not in the beginning…..The game is worthwhile only insofar as we don’t know what will be the end”.– Michel Foucault
Life is a mystery tour supplied with dubious tour guides at best! Where to start? Start where you are – there is always progress to be made.
Your legacy will be found in how others remember you – In you interactions with others. Immortality ends when we are forgotten. This makes our character the most important part of our lives.
“Character is a more treasured possession than money, status, intellect or beauty”
Change and impermanence are facts of life and as such are inevitable for us all. Our choices serve to either regress or progress us as human beings. Our purpose in life is therefore clear, to progress and develop by understanding ourselves and our complex roles in our societies. To strip away our fake identities is part of the life process if the choice is to progress. Progress is the only choice for the meaningful life. The life well lived. The courageous choice. Every human being’s role in life is to progress and help others to progress in a genuine, loving and compassionate way. All choices come down to progression or regression. To a choice of life or death. Death is coming to us all in good time. Choosing life is the only sensible choice while the choice is available. Choosing progress is choosing life.
It is not whether we will change or not but whether those changes will be progressive or not is what our life challenges are. Change is always coming. Making it change for life progress is the only thing we are trying to control. Developing each and every facet of our bodies and minds is the best that we can do. Developing our roles in a genuine way as we progress away from our fake personas.
If you are thinking that today feels like another “get through it” day. Change that thought and think – “I am going to make this a day that I take a giant leap or a fairy step forward, I will do all that I need to do to keep myself moving forward today”.
- Improved awareness and acceptance of what can’t be changed – More curious and less acceptance of what can be changed –
- More knowledge + experience = wisdom –
- Better living environment.
- Learn something new
- More empathetic listening –
- Knowing myself both demons and heroes better than yesterday
- Improved self-image and life purpose –
- Better nutrition management –
- New attention for life lessons from any quarter –
- Loving relationships with more people –
- Fitter, healthier, stronger, leaner body –
- More peace of heart and mind –
- Happier –
- Improved self-discipline
- Better understanding of others through learning –
- New and better suited jobs –
- New life opportunities through greater participation –
- New adventures everyday –
- Better sleep patterns –
You are still thinking – “So many areas in my life to progress myself and to help others progress also. I have stuff to do in my life to make it even better than it has ever been. I aim to develop every role in my life. Whatever I am doing right now I will do it well and develop my role to the maximum. I say yes to life; progress is my mantra. However, true progress dictates that I know myself better, that I strip away any fake identities, befriending my evil shadow along the way to becoming a more honest and accepting complete human being.”
How can this become how we approach every day?
Could finding this answer be one route to a much more well balanced and contented life?
A realization that what you read is what you are actually living. Readers too often read and think that the books are about others, basically anyone but them. They are about you, me and all others. Embrace that you are living the learning or you should be. Use your new knowledge and with experience as your guide, wisdom will be yours.
The theme running through my books and blogs is personal progress. We have a drive to get better, to become more than we are. We may as well use it to our own and humanity’s advantage rather than spend all of our energy amassing the biggest pile of stuff possible before realising it did little to make us happy or bring us closer to understanding what it means to be human being. The intention is that we will all progress in thought and action either a little or a lot due to the experience of reading for you, and for me, writing this book and reading others contributions.
Okay! Progress in what then? You may ask.
Anything that leads to a genuine expansion and enhancement of ourselves and others as human organisms. Fromm always posed the question does this enhance the human organism? To things like cars. Invariably material objects such as cars came out poorly for Fromm. Much of our technology does tend to have an often ignored darker side that stunts humanity. But, shiny stuff is protected from criticism because it would mean not having it or realising that it is just another false idol to be worshipped and worth nothing in the big picture.
Our health, fitness, wellness, spirituality, understanding, living environment, wisdom, knowledge base and experience for that wisdom, awareness, relations to others, the planet and all of life, self-knowing, self-mastery, a personal belief system, meaning and the list just goes on.
It is my firm belief that personal progress and raising our personal energy level is the purpose and meaning of life. But what is progress and how can we recognize real progress from simple material gains that may even be a sign of regression for the human organism (us)?
I have heard progress described as “choosing life” and regression as “a living death”. The point to take note of here is that progress in global technology is not personal progress. Being able to buy increasingly sophisticated gadgets and appliances can reflect either progress or regression for human beings, or even an evolution to a different human being, part machine.
Personal progress is more a measure of social relationships, physical health and fitness, spiritual health, mental health and balance and the creation of as near a whole and complete psyche and body as possible for the time on this earth. An organism in harmony with the environment. This may be termed enlightenment or salvation or other such worthy but far off and unreachable terms. I prefer to see it as a caring for the soul or simply getting better. Where this progress can ultimately lead is unknown, no matter what is promised, nobody really knows. As Forest Gump wisely stated “life is like a box of chocolates and you never know what you are going to get”. Being on a mystery tour is a great way to live life. One never knows what we will get or what true human potential really is. What we can work on is going to sleep each day having made progress in our lives in one way or another and giving thanks for that fact.
There are many ways to personal progress in our life process and according to our current mode of knowing our physical death is guaranteed one may as well choose life in the here and now. You may want to explore death and the many theories out there that will help formulate a personal worldview for you. This progress is infinitely more rewarding long term and less expensive and as such less exclusive, than amassing big piles of stuff. You don’t need great sacks of money to make progress and the beauty is that this progress in no way bars one from attaining material growth and sacks of money. There are many instances including my life where once material growth becomes a more realistic part of a larger life philosophy, befitting a human being’s deeper needs and true nature, as opposed to one’s sole focus and reason for living, life then supplies all that we need.
So the question is – are you moving forward in your life?
Can you relax at the end of a hard day and give thanks for the progress made in your life as an expanding human being in some detail?
There are times when we are trying to achieve a goal that knowing where to start seems like the biggest barricade since the Great Wall of China. This blog/book you are reading is a great start and I will list some questions that will highlight areas for growth next just to show you there is much we can do to progress each and every day once we begin to think in a more comprehensive manner.
Don’t know where to start progressing? Maybe these questions will help to guide you –
- Do you think?
- Can you stop thinking?
- Do you look after your brain?
- Are you expanding spiritually?
- Are you in control of your emotions?
- Are you in control of your body?
- Are you in control of your nutrition?
- Do you listen with empathy?
- Are you considerate?
- Are you kind?
- Are you loving?
- Are you generous?
- Are you peaceful?
- Are you compassionate?
- Are you forgiving?
- Is your knowledge base increasing?
- Do you read challenging books?
- Are you becoming wiser (knowledge x experience)?
- Can you honestly say you know yourself?
- Do you really know others?
- Do you read, write and reflect (journal)?
- Do you assume responsibility for your life?
- Do you work to lovingly align your shadow with your persona?
- Do you spend time in nature?
- Are you optimistic, or learning to be?
- Are you aware of your inner chatterbox?
- Are you conscious of your fears?
- Are you in the “now” more?
- Are you aware of your attachments and addictions such as food, drink, shopping and technology etc.?
- Do you create?
- Can you sit quietly in silence just being?
- Can you be wrong and let it go, even if you are factually right?
- Can you shut up?
- Can you speak up?
- Do you laugh?
- Do you cry?
- Is smiling an effort or not?
- Do you sleep well?
- Do you judge and evaluate others and situations?
- Do you make excuses?
- Do you blame?
- Do you complain?
- Do you have original thoughts, no matter how wacky you or others feel they are?
- Do you follow the herd?
- Are you independent?
- Are your loved ones free from your control in every form? And you from theirs?
- Do you love who you are?
- Do you forgive yourself and others?
- Can you relax?
- Can you be focused and mindful?
- Do you walk?
- Do you ride?
- Do you run?
- Do you jump?
- Do you play?
- Do you dance?
- Do you make eye contact?
- Can you love strangers?
- Can you love yourself?
- Can you love animals?
- Can you love the sick?
- Can you love the old?
- Can you love the young?
- Can you love the different?
- Can you love the fat?
- Can you love the thin?
- Can you love the homeless tramps?
- Can you love those conflicting with you?
- Are you helpful?
- Are you observant?
- Are you selfless?
- Are you accepting of what cannot be changed?
HAS THIS LIST MADE YOU MORE AWARE OF JUST HOW MUCH IT TAKES TO DEVELOP A CHARACTER TO VALUE?
This list is just a small sample of where we can make progress in our lives. Once it becomes clear to us how stuck or set in our ways we have become and the conscious decision to progress is made there are literally dozens of avenues daily that can be explored. The process of getting better will result in a life full of success as every moment of progress is a moment of personal triumph.
Each day can be filled with precious fulfilling moments, each moment motivating us on to the next.