We all have had times in our lives when we’re desperate—feeling a longing so strong, it seems we will die if we don’t get what we want.
But desperation can come in many forms and for many reasons.
Someone who is about to die of dehydration is desperate for water. This kind of desperation is black and white. There’s no middle ground. There’s no way of interpreting the desire in any other way. It is desperation in its purest form.
Then there is the other extreme—those who feel they are desperate for material possessions or the latest technology. Although this may feel like desperation (and our brains can actually turn it into desperation), with a little perspective and soul searching, we can discover the true nature of these feelings.
In a crisis, people react differently. Some have the urge to take action. This quality, combined with an instinct for knowing what is needed, can be an effective combination. But even those with great confidence can have doubts, and even the most effective people can be wrong.
Others may have the tendency to freeze up, or put off taking action, or take action that doesn’t solve the problem (or contribute toward the goal).
What do you want from life? What do you expect to achieve?
These are important questions, and we should have ready answers. We might say we know what we want; we all have dreams and goals. But if we’re honest with ourselves about whether we actually expect to get those things, we may live our lives more intentionally.
Most of us can easily articulate what we want in abstract terms—health, happiness, and meaning—but we should also be able to give more concrete answers. The specific things we want and expect from life should be related to our more general goals.
As I learn more and more, I feel like I know less and less. But to me, that is a positive thing.
Learning new things keeps life fresh, but it takes an open mind and a willingness to let go of our egos. So many of the problems in the world exist because one group of people thinks they know better than another group of people.
It’s OK to not know. In fact, “I don’t know” is a very underused and underappreciated expression.
In saying “I don’t know,” we’re not saying that we don’t have opinions or beliefs, or that we don’t know certain facts. We might be very well educated on an issue. But there’s always more to learn, and in learning, our perspective may change. We have to be open to that.
You are probably already aware of what you are seeing, and possibly hearing.
How about your other senses—do they keep a place in your consciousness, or do they rise to the surface only when they come by something really good or really bad?
Our senses are our inputs from the physical world, but they can also influence our inner lives in ways we might not even realize.
When I’m in a natural place, such as the woods or a marsh, the inputs I get from my senses drive my emotions and set the tone for my frame of mind. Those experiences always create a space of contemplation and introspection for me, which can influence my inner life moving forward.