Keeping the faith is not always easy. It is also not a choice.
“Why should I bother being enlightened in a world of unenlightened people?” I asked my therapist almost 20 years ago.
I was fatigued by the process of working on my own demons and I had started to believe I was already operating at a level higher than most of the normal slobs I regularly encountered. This was to be my reasoned exit from treatment and a reentry into the world of the blissfully ignorant.
“Do you think you have a choice?” she responded.
With that simple question she blew away my plans for a peacefully pointless existence amongst the unexamined masses.
There were things I could never un-learn or un-experience. I had felt the buoyancy of knowing that the power to change the world was within me. I just had to change myself. I had seen the light shining brightly on my responsibly to change my reactions to life. I had developed faith in a process of applying principled living to everyday life.
Principled living had produced miracles; sobriety, relationships, career advancement, and most importantly, peace of mind.
The faith was there, no matter how diminished, and it had forever ruined my ability to lead a truly unenlightened life.
It’s a choice between happiness and angst.
You can focus on the possibilities all around you or commit yourself to seeing danger in anything that changes.
I recently sat in a meeting where a new technology was being introduced to streamline one of the organization’s most complex systems. It promised to make the process more secure, faster, and simpler for both the provider and the consumer. Those in the room embracing its possibility where animated, relaxed, and in good humor. Those clinging tightly to the, “but we have always done it this way” paradigm were bristling with angst.
The word “angst” in German means “fear.”
Be aware that you are creating your own angst. The discomfort is not being done TO you, it is being created BY you. If you see change as a nemesis to be avoided, you are doomed to a ceaseless and ever growing angst ridden existence in a world that is changing faster every day. Open yourself up to the process and infuse it with the diversity only you can bring to the table. Close yourself off and the project suffers, and you suffer as well.
Fear makes people miserable.
It’s your choice.