State of Mind!
The Mind of we humans: there may be a feeling to stay where we are and pile up what we have and the urgency to discover what is still possible, and how far we could go. The end result of these two opposing mindsets is that some of us, maybe most, choose the path of safety and security while wondering what could have been. Others take risks, go on adventures, seek to maximise what they possess, even at the expense of a quiet life. That’s why, while many people exist in a state of staying alive and maintenance, others adventure into states of growth and development.
1. Staying Alive
All of us in our adult lives find ourselves predominantly in one of three states: staying alive, hold tight/maintain or grow/develop. A state of surviving is about living from day to day, managing to get by, keeping our heads above water. Staying alive is when we just manage to beat off outside forces that threaten to overwhelm us. For most of us staying alive may be a rare experience which we meet just a few times in our lives: perhaps a serious financial crisis, an emotionally disastrous relationship, illness, job difficulties or an emergency. Fortunately, most of us avoid the ultimate survival tests, war, famine and natural disaster. Staying alive is a state that is like a shipwrecked sailor floating alone in a hostile sea struggling to cling to any passing wreckage.
2. Hold Tight/ Maintain
The state of hold tight and maintain is one most people are in for much of their lives. It is a “feel good” balance between ourselves and our environment which occasionally may go against us, if we are unlucky or in our favor if we are lucky. Maintenance is the steady job, savings in the bank for a rainy day, the relationship which is fine but based on routine and security. Maintenance is like being on a raft on the open seas. We can be thankful that we’re not in the water floundering around; most of our efforts are focused on clinging to the raft and not falling off. Yet, as we sail along, without any other aim than to stay afloat, there is the nagging feeling that perhaps there is more to life than just drifting along aimlessly.
The state of growth/development is of a different order to staying alive, and hold tight/maintain. Whereas these are ways of dealing with our surroundings, development is a state which we control and determine ourselves. We come off of survival and maintenance into development when we decide that our futures will be much better than now, that we will use the majority of our thoughts and strengths to move towards new goals and achievements. If survival is like a swimmer in a hostile sea and maintenance is like a drifter hanging to a raft, development is like an oarsman with a course, a plan and a destination. Just as we as individuals can be at any of the stages of survival, maintenance or development, so to can others in your close circle.
We all have choices to make about what we will accomplish with our lives. The first choice is to be less than we can be. To earn less, have less, do less, and think less. To just stay alive. Our second choice is to strive, produce and accomplish as much as we possibly can. To create as much as our talent, ability and desire will allow us to create. The greatest rewards and pleasures are reserved for those who bring the greatest value to themselves and those around them as a result of who they are and who they have become.