One of the things occupying my mind recently [well, the last year], has been the question “What is the best thing I can do with my life?”
I am scared of not reaching on my potential.
Strangely, this fear hasn’t actually made me strive or work harder – it’s actually paralyzed me. When I think of what I could be doing, achieving and enjoying, my mind begins to wander hundreds of different paths, considering every little thing I would have to master in order to get there. Excellent. Although, while I consider myself reasonably intelligent, with excellent emotional intelligence and self-awareness, I a suck at reacting.
I will logically think a problem or situation through, and say to myself ‘It must be done in this way, or it will not be possible’ – but the reactive part of me would rather take me a different way. I have this subconscious ability to create pressure, place it onto myself, completely lose focus on the big picture, and then get lost within something that doesn’t really assist progression. I make good decisions in my mind’s eye, but my reactive brain (at the time) ignores them.
I get lost in the detail, and then eventually ‘wake up’, realizing that I’ve learnt something new, solved some problems that probably didn’t need solving (at least yet), and ultimately didn’t do the best thing I could at the time with respect to my goals.
Somewhere along the way, my brain was accidentally programmed to get lost down the very splinter-end lower branches, rather than climbing to the top of the tree trunk and scouting out the next waypoint.
Perhaps it’s the insecure part of me that still exists, never completely healed from past experiences of rejection and hurt, trying to find contentment and identity in the technical. I love to solve technical problems, re-build things, create systems, hack things, improve things, find the ultimate solution to something (sometimes, if it kills me) but completely miss the higher purpose of it. It’s very reactive. I see in my mind how something could be better, instantly I am solving the ‘problem’ without thought to its meaning.
I get lost in the detail.
I see people like me everywhere. They frustrate me. Intelligent and creative, but unfocused and without real strategy or the discipline to make it happen. They have all the right ingredients to conquer incredible mountains, and yet they circle the same tracks over and over, not questioning the familiar paths.
I am doing that very thing right now. I am getting lost in compiling the detail of self-analysis and how my reactive brain seems to work rather than writing about values – the very point of this post!
“What is the best thing I can do with my life?”
I don’t want to go into detail about how you define what ‘best‘ is, but I’ve been around a number of different roads many times in my mind over the last few months, and I’m close… It’s happening again. I know what I want to write, but right now my brain is trying to solve problems like ‘how to apply the above question to everyone’ and travelling the paths of morality, conscience, purpose, meaning, spirituality, intellectualism…
That didn’t quite work, so let me try and express the original intentions I had for this post:
- My brain is programmed reactively in a way that doesn’t primarily benefit my goals, or any particular higher purpose
- I have learned a lot about myself recently (as I’m now able to explain), and am able to see more clearly the obstacles in the way of my personal success (my definition of success is not financial)
- Having explored the concepts/needs of purpose and meaning, I have determined what my potential looks like, where it is, and how I can meet it
- Rather than become overly-focused with the realm of my personal goals, and losing sight of more ‘basic‘ realm goals such as keeping the house tidy, I need to re-inforce the realization that I must keep quality in all aspects of my life in order for it to marinate into my being and saturate my meaningful output.
- Be the best me that I can be.