If we choose to believe that we are obedient or faithful to the people we love and/or the places we work because we simply abide by what we’re told to do, we fail to see that this a lie of the ego. This stance keeps us off the hook from any responsibility, giving us the freedom to complain about all the things we’re being asked or told what to do. If we are unable to control the words that come out of our mouths, or the actions and behaviors we choose – we are not servants of others, we are slaves to our egos. Despite popular belief, our egos are not the exemplars of confidence; they are the lobbyists of our insecurities.
Provisions are “actions of providing or supplying something for use.”
Provisionary means something that’s “tentatively accepted or adopted.”
Visionaries are persons with original ideas about what the future will or could be like.
Visionaries make provisions that are provisionary.
We can play life like a game of chess, thinking several moves ahead. We have the ability to see beyond what’s right in front of us and consider multiple outcomes for the purpose of minimizing losses or maximizing gains. This is preparation.
However, we cannot afford to allow our egos to become tied down or overly attached to good ideas. We will always lose if we see our preparation as either the final outcome or guaranteeing an outcome we desire. Preparation, no matter how well executed, does not guarantee us anything. Look to nature for proof. The most masterful provisionary measures are no match for tidal waves and tornadoes.
One statement and one question to ponder:
- The sun rises every morning.
- Who won the lightsaber duel between Darth Vader and Obi Wan?
When we are feeling under the weather, we often do our best to sleep as much as possible. Rest is restorative and so our hope is to wake up feeling better than we did. We try to avoid feeling poorly by being unconscious. When we are unable to get rest when we are ailing, we tend to make waking resolutions about taking better care of ourselves in the future to avoid the awfulness of feeling unwell. Why? Because being healthy simply feels better than being sick. It’s logical and therefore we want this! We will also find that this logic applies to temptations.
In this way, a common cold is no different from a hangover, or over-indulging a sweet tooth, a shopping spree, binge-watching, binge-gaming, etc. We are just very good at rationalizing that the point that we “catch a cold.” Anyone who has ever played catch knows that if the incoming ball suddenly morphed mid-air into a burden, logic would avoid catching it and choose to swat it to the ground instead.
There will be days that kick the crap out of us. Days that make us feel like hope is an antiquity and purpose is a mirage. Days that knock us down for the count. Accept this truth. Then accept the good news that follows this truth. Once we’re down there’s only one place to go…up! It doesn’t matter how fast we get up. It may take a while and be tedious. If we truly seek to be governed by reason, nothing can keep us down. For there is nothing reasonable about giving up. Perhaps what knocked us down in the first place was a swift dose of reality. The reality that we need to get up in order to move towards something new. Reason doesn’t condone stagnation, but it does tend to knock sense into us when we get the crap kicked out of us.
Confute means to “prove (a person or an assertion) to be wrong.” This action may be the core of what many would refer to as “drive.” Some of the most “successful” people the world has ever known have been driven to success in the effort to confute someone else’s opinion of them. Their desire to prove others wrong is like rocket fuel; it propels them to greatness. However, there is a serious flaw in the logic.
Think of doping in sports. The purpose of doping is performance enhancement. When people use performance enhancing drugs, they tend to outperform their competition. The problem first and foremost is that it’s cheating. Secondly, it has more negative health consequences over the long-term. There’s potential increased risk for heart attack, stroke, blood clots, higher cholesterol levels, hair loss, acne, an enlarged prostate and/or abnormal liver function.
When people are driven to prove others wrong, anger is the key ingredient to the fuel that’s driving them. It’s synthetic. It’s not a natural or organic process, and therefore the long-term consequences perhaps outweigh the benefits of the so-called success. If someone finds “greatness” but is unable to let go of the anger that got them to their destination, their success is only a perception. Perhaps it comes with fame and fortune, but when so much is determined by how others feel about us, and our desires to be perceived as “better than” or the “best” – is that really a recipe for contentment? No amount of glory is worth the emptiness of a vengeful spirit.
Everyone has opinions. It’s even popular opinion that we must have opinions on everything. If we were to tell someone we don’t hold an opinion on a given topic, they will then hold the opinion that we are ignorant, choosing apathy, or they will give us their opinion disguised as certainty. However, what could be more of an act of caring than reserving the formulation of an opinion? Why should choosing not to waste good energy on speculation be anything but the right thing to do? People living in the moment don’t have opinions about it because their energy is being used to live the truth in each moment.