The Ego Cloud Machine

Sometimes the best tool for the job is not in our own tool kit. We must borrow it from someone else. There is no shame associated with not owning every tool. The same goes for asking for help. If, however, we find that we keep needing to borrow the same tool, and don’t make a plan to acquire that tool for ourselves, and allow ourselves to become reliant on others to provide for us what we need, that’s no longer a tool they can provide for us.  Awareness is not an object we can tangibly possess. Awareness is the gift we can only gift ourselves – a gift received by giving away old vision in favor for seeing anew, like parting clouds revealing that the sun has never run away to hide. Awareness is always radiantly present, and our egos make for cloudy days.

Best-laid Plans

Planning ahead and setting goals are good practice. However, if once we do so we become inflexible, we are setting ourselves up for failure. The writing process offers some valuable insight on the subject of planning and goal setting. Making a plan or setting a goal is akin to making an outline for an essay. That outline must then be followed by a shitty first draft, which requires editing. The editing process is an organic process that continues until our ideas are fully fleshed out and our intentions are presented with clarity and purpose.

The true goal of setting goals is to achieve something that’s not yet been attained. An initial idea will more often lead to a desired result if we include in our planning some space for reflection – some space for editing. Progress is not the result of a predetermined goal. Our determination, our firmness of purpose, is what needs to be inflexible – not the plan or the goal.

Earned Sleep

Sleep is not an escape for being idle. Sleep is restorative. Sleep feels good when we’re sleeping off a productive day. If hard work doesn’t precede sleep, there’s little need for rest. Idleness requires a jolt – not a nap. Our bodies thank us for a good night’s sleep after a hard worked day, and jolt our minds into knowing that good feeling, creating habits of desire for doing good work. Conversely, our minds will tell our bodies to stay mindlessly idle, burning fuel while going nowhere, when it senses we habitually use our time poorly.

Permanent Vacation

We don’t require vacations from work. From time-to-time, we require vacations from how we are currently thinking about our work. If we are feeling overwhelmed, it’s likely not the quantity of work, but rather the quality of our work being hindered by our mental approach. We are hard-wired to work; to put our minds to good use. The world doesn’t benefit from good minds being idle. The best vacation would be a permanent vacation from negative thoughts; thoughts that keep us from being the best versions of ourselves.

Composure

The only benefit of anger is known and felt in its aftermath – that we lost control over what’s most important in times of emotional reactivity: composure. Composure helps us navigate through our problems; anger serves only to prolong and/or exacerbate them.