Thursday, 17 September 2015

The importance of being important

At each stage of life we don’t always know what we want and that creates problems.

In youthful innocence, we often don’t know who we are or what we truly want. In childhood we are certain that we don’t like green food on our plates and throw a mighty fit if our parents try any form of encouragement that’s not a handsome bribe! This is the stage where we throw the baby (and the water) out of the bath and discover consequences.

 All of life is a journey of learning how to learn, think, discover and evaluate our options. It’s the rocky road of learning from our mistakes which often entails putting our hand into the fire to see whether our skin is inflammable…..its not! We are not fire proof but we still have to fight the fires of life that threaten and sometimes consume us daily – financial struggles, emotional upheavals, mental strains, physical injuries and a host of moral dilemmas.

Our teen years are a time of great challenge. This is the time when a brain becomes a mind and gives the body a nudge that  it houses a soul. Biology tells us we have a beating heart but it becomes more than just a human organ in our teens and young adulthood.  We acquire the faintest notion that we can either keep hold of it ( until we’re centered) or give it away to another ( lost )soul and be reckless. You will lose or give away your heart a few times during the “wonder” years but you won’t find it in the “lost property” office. In fact, your heart may be returned to you in a very poor state – fractured or even completely broken. Such is youthful abandon that we discharge of our precious cargo to another immature and deceitful heart that plays with it and may even damage it beyond repair.

This problem worsens when our mind and heart have parted company or are at odds with each other. We listen to our heart at the expense of our mind; both are false friends when hormones have a stranglehold on our mental capacities.

In our twenties, when the brain chemistry is firing on (nearly) all pistons we’re still figuring it out. A young man tinkers with his first car and decides to pursue motor mechanics as a trade when what he really wants to be is tearing up the Formula One race track at mind boggling speeds. A young girl studies dance which leads into bit parts in television and theatre but what she really wanted was to be was a drama queen and strut her stuff on stage.

Choose wisely in your twenties or you might be stuck in some uninspiring environment. Marriage could be one of them. A true marriage is one of hearts and minds not just living spaces! Embarking on a cosy twosome is like a curious adventure but what you learn in this hunting ground will either make or break you. Be wary and be warned!

Oprah shares an instructive tale of her twenties when she was a humble TV news anchor wondering if that was all that life had to offer.  When she consulted a fortune teller, it was predicted that what she truly wanted was to achieve stardom and light up the world……and that’s exactly what Oprah did next!

Playing it safe and hiding our light “under a bushel” is making out to the world that our ambitions and higher thoughts are of no value. We find ourselves in the grip of low self esteem and never dare to climb out of that pit until we’re older and less agile.

In our thirties there’s a pressure to “settle down” which invariably means getting onto the mortgage gravy train and remaining on it for at least the next twenty five years. By that time, we have a few mouths to feed and have completely lost a work/life balance; in fact, we live to work and become wage slaves to public and private companies. Our hopes remain alive and staying alive to run the rat race is our greatest wish but our dreams slip away. The dream of owning a farm, villa, allotment is overtaken by the fear of not having enough so we hitch our wagon to capitalism and ride the storms.

Again we do what’s important, what’s required of us but we make ourselves unimportant in the process. Have you ever known a CEO of blue chip company to be concerned about his own or employee’s health? There’s no health & safety policy that states that a human is not designed to be inactive and sitting down in front of a radioactive screen for up to 8 hours. Knowing and doing what’s important are life long challenges on the human journey.

Once we hit our 40’s, those who’ve put themselves last and made ridiculous sacrifices to NOT progress themselves by taking defensive and indecisive positons suffer greatly. The pain is mostly psychological and the fight/flight mode you’ve used as your default setting requires analysis. In middle age there’s realisation that we are too valuable to be exploited by family and bosses.We can practise saying “yes” to our dreams and “no” to the obstacles such as partners and friends. We disengage from the herd and find our own voice and path.

Finding our sense of importance is not be confused with vanity. Being conceited is an ugly trait though you might think you look good in your Christian Louboutin’s. Being well read is more important than being well dressed though society may judge the book by the cover. The more discerning will certainly seek out the author and make relevant judgements.

We want to be important to others but it shouldn’t come at an astronomical cost to yourself. Don’t give yourself away lightly; make sure he or she’s worth it……….and they may not be!

Life is an important journey and it is eternal too. So develop, believe, nurture, love and educate yourself……its important to be important and much more.



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