Going In Circles
I try to take advice with a grain of salt. After all, everyone gives advice mostly from a good heart. For the intention to improve. To help others. To make others’ lives a little better than before.
However, sometimes I feel like the advice out there can be a little bit contradictory. There’s the general advice of enjoying the present moment. To be in the here and the now as much as possible. Which is fine and all. But then there’s the exact opposite advice of planning ahead. Of looking into the future. To forecast what is best for you going forward.
So, which is it exactly? Do you stay in the present moment? Or do you plan ahead? I think all advice has its merits. There are contexts and circumstances where it applies. And there’s other circumstances where it can be ignored.
For the above example, I try to live with a healthy balance of both. Yes, I do agree that it is healthy to live in the present moment. Because life is where the present is. There really is no future or past. Life is always happening right here in the present moment.
At the same time, I also try to think about what my future will hold, and I set some goals based on my expectations and what I want to accomplish. For example, the endeavor of fully taking over my family business has been on my mind for a while. And I try to take baby steps towards accomplishing that goal one step at a time. Moving the needle ever so slightly every day.
I think it’s all about a healthy balance of staying in the moment and looking ahead. There’s no right or wrong with it. It just is what it is.
So, sometimes, I feel like the advice I give on this blog can be a bit contradictory at times. Do I always stay in the present moment? Do I plan ahead once in a while? It can be a bit confusing. And again, not all circumstances can dictate the same exact advice.
I also recently read the book The Alchemist, which talks about one boy’s journey to fulfill his passion. To fulfill his purpose and find the treasure that he seeks out in the distant lands of Egypt. But, once he eventually gets there, after encountering all trials and tribulations, he realizes the treasure he is seeking was simply at his home all the time.
It really is a testament to how everything you have is right here in the present. It’s been with you all the time. That you shouldn’t let external circumstances dictate how you feel or what your status is like in society. The treasure we have is all within ourselves. And I think that’s an important moral of the story to behold. And it’s very valid.
At the same time, it’s also important to achieve and strive for external goals as well. Because we all still have to live this life externally. We all have to play different roles in society – whether it be husband, father, son, businessman, good Samaritan, and so on. So, given all the roles we have in life, we still need to strive for material and the so-called external stuff.
Yes, the treasures we have are all within each and every one of us. But that doesn’t mean we don’t stop striving for more and for self-improvement. So, the advice and moral given in The Alchemist is very applicable to everyday life, but like all things, it’s not the end all be all. It’s not something that should be followed blindly.
You should still strive for what you believe in. You should still achieve and improve and grow. That’s also a part of being a human. It’s great to be satisfied with who you are at the moment. But it’s good also to know your flaws and vulnerabilities and strive for greater development in those areas.
So, again, I feel like I’m going in circles with my analysis. Whom is to say whose advice is correct and whose is not? I feel obliged to listen to different points of view and make a personal determination on how to live my life. One thing for certain is that I try to take complete responsibility of my decisions. Because they are mine and mine only.
Regardless of the external circumstances swirling, I am in control of my thoughts, words, and actions. So, I try to live accordingly towards my principles of gratitude, acceptance, and empathy. I try to make it so that what I think and preach is consistent with how I take action. It’s not easy by any stretch of the imagination. But it’s a work in progress.
So, find your values. Find your purpose. Strive for that. Stay in the present. But also continue to plan ahead try to see how you want to live your life a decade or two. Think holistically. And take every advice that you’re given with a grain of salt. Because, more often than not, the context is very important.
And context can change like the snap of a finger.