Most problems are not whiplash moment and happen over one night. They build gradually, like rust to metal and water. Even now, how many life-altering moments are accumulating and brewing as I write and as you read these words, that we are completely unaware to.
An acorn is much easier to tame, than a tree grown and rooted into the ground.
Compared to actual whiplash moments — injuries, accidents, natural disasters— gradual problems sting even worse, partially because we could and should have seen them coming if we were paying more attention to ourselves and our lives.
We put immediacy over what’s important, and feed impulse over long-term care.
We die for our work, while our health and wellbeing takes a back sit in the bus.
We let stress and anxiety reign, while freedom feels further and further out of our reach.
We isolate ourselves from others to keep us safe from failure and pain, which only inflames our sense of failure and pain even more.
The cure is living intentionally, but the question is how?
How do we control our lives without others or things controlling us instead?
Living with intentionally is part boldness, and part carelessness. It’s part focus /desire and part letting go.
It’a giving a damn about who you are, where you want to go, and how you want to live, while also not caring too much and being attached to the outcome.
Being detached yet attached sounds completely mental, unless you think about it in the right perspective. The best example I can must this evening is a Chinese finger trap toy you might remember these as a kid. An intricate weaved hollow cylinder, big enough to fit to fingers into from either side (usually your two index fingers). Try to get your fingers out with too much force or pressure and the contraption tightens its grip on you. Pull too hard and the fragile system breaks. But by letting go, and calmly removing your fingers and the pressure suddenly disappears, and the trap is released.
Hold too tightly to your life or to a vision of your life, and you actually lose your ability to make true change in your life. Try to force it to your will or let others force your life to their own will and you’ll end up broken, tired, unhealthy and all the other traits you were actively seeking to avoid. But by letting go off the outcome, and boldly following your own path, you open yourself up to an incredible ability to change and make what does change (the things you weren’t expecting) a part of your greater story as well.
It’s a life of caring and pursuing the right things, the things that nurture and give meaning, while also balancing a life of not caring and letting go of what doesn’t ultimately matter when the dust settles, and it’s all said and done.
All the details of an intentional life are up to you and the circumstances life brings. These are the mysteries and unexpected events that spice up life and make things interesting.
STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh W.