“Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and
some have greatness thrust upon ’em.” – William Shakespeare
“It’s been a while”. Such simple phraseology; however within, it contains so much weight. A weight which bears gratitude of presence and appreciation. Appreciation of hindsight and foresight, and the gift of appreciating your current state. Simultaneously this phrase takes into consideration what has happened before and reconciles with what is to come. It is unique in its expression since its utterance alone is more powerful than if one is to solely look forward or backwards, judging each circumstance in an isolated fashion.
In a similar vein, we are quick to consider the phrase “if only” as one of the most tortuous verbal and mental exercises we – as hind sighted creatures – subject ourselves to. Time and space so succinctly simplified and surmised into a few moments which we naively believe we could have controlled. Even though the moment of action has passed. We stupidly berate ourselves for instants gone by and opportunities wasted. Without paying credence to the fact that those very moments of “questionable” actions, reactions, overreactions and inactions, have precisely led us to our current positions.
A friend once told me that despite, and often in spite, of all previous self-defined failures and successes. Everything has been the prelude to your current state. Everything that you have come to know, is only as a result of that which has gone before it. Moreover, your perception of your current state is only as a result of your conditioned socialization. Therefore your experience of each moment is as perfect as it can ever be. Everything is as it should be, perfectly and with complete synchronicity.
In essence, she had demanded that I look beyond the immediate reality, and to have the courage to look forward. To take recognition of time passed, to weigh, measure and quantify my current state. While still appreciating that there is a degree of absolute perfection in every moment. She made the point that each individual has the ability to view their lives through two dichotomous lenses.
The first being a retrospective one. To unpack and dissect the moments where you had miss-stepped, and through this knowledge, vow to never make the same error again. Her critique was that this was as helpful as watering your garden during a tropical storm. Her rationale is that the cyclical nature of life is that, while you are focusing on a specific area of flaws. You miss the opportunity to sure-up that which you are strong at. She mentioned that one would feel more emotionally fragile if we are to be caught out in an area of perceived, albeit underdeveloped, strengths.
Instead, she said that the approach she takes is to be relentlessly optimistic and to always aim her attention forward. This way, the optimistic uncertainty of the future is a positive driver which forces one to consider yourself as per your state of “readiness” for that which is to come. Henceforth, the focus is determined by the strength of the positivity of our future self, rather than the negative inadequacies or the ill-preparedness of a past experience. The negative retrospection thus no longer becomes the main topic or motivator for future planning. Instead, it is the optimistic approach which stands as a beacon when we are to consider ourselves in the world. Therefore every outcome, however negatively perceived was, in fact, the correct one.
By looking forward through a lens of omnipotent optimism, we begin to align ourselves with the best possible placed future self. We can begin to live life unashamedly with the confidence that all decisions made were, in fact, the correct ones. It is this optimistic alignment which for me stands as a central workable theory for attaining joy through the mundanity. I am inclined to agree with my friend in her assertion that true progress, or to use the language of this blog, true “chaos” is perfectly aligned with the “opportunity” it presents. We can reject our “order” on the occasions where doing so serves to further the growth of the seedling of “opportunity”. Which has been germinated out of the “chaos” in our previously or widely agreed “order”.
It is said in Psychological personality archetypes, that the jester/fool is the one which precedes the saviour. Meaning, one is only able to actualize one’s self if one is willing to be a fool for something first. To take on life with a gleeful optimism which is underpinned by the quiet confidence that all is directly within the scope of perfection. By embracing the conditions as they are presented in real time, we are able to remove the pressures which dictate our overall outlook on life. I certainly hope that these virtues passed to me will allow me to ease into things without the fear of not having all the evidence that the venture will be a success – as I define it – because no matter its outcome, it is already at its most optimal state.