One of the biggest realisations for me in recent years, is how I have limited the possibilities that I have in my life – and that it’s a common trait that affects many people.
The World is literally our oyster, but many of us cannot see it. We have blinkers on. And ironically, it’s the world around us that provides the blinkers. Society, education, peers, our experiences, family even.
Imagine you are standing at the edge of a field. Perhaps the wheat field in the video below. You cannot see the other side, but your goal is to get there. What is the best route? The answer is that you do not know. But you might think the best route is to walk in as straight a direction as you can. After all, it’s just a wheat field right? You might as well just head right across.
But actually you can’t see what might be in that wheat field. There are so many possibilities, both obstacles and delights.
The analogy with life is that we so often get caught up in where we are heading, believing that the specific destination we have decided on is the best place for us to head for, that we lose sight of the value of the journey – and most importantly, the other opportunities that might open up for us along the way.
That’s how I used to be. I was so focused on the future – so intent on reaching a particular place or goal - that I forgot to enjoy the journey. And so confined by the path and determined to stay on course that I did not necessarily see the wonderful things that were there around me. The other options I could explore.
One of my very recent learnings has been about how, in the context of this journey, making choices in the present moment and doing so wisely and with presence, has a huge impact on the direction of our lives. The decisions we make right now will affect our future with enormous significance and yet, we often make our choices for so many of the wrong reasons or in a careless way. We often do so flippantly, or based on the advice of others rather than what we intrinsically feel to be right, or with the benefit of others in mind instead of ourselves. We allow our minds to over think based on our conditioning and override the basic instincts that would often serve us better.
And we so often make a choice either consciously or subconsciously, that keeps us in a position that is safe for us, even if it causes us pain. It is a familiar place and change is far more daunting to deal with than the pain of staying the course that we are on. We fear the winds of change, as if they might blow us off course or even knock us off our feet, but actually that flowing movement might just be shifting us a new direction which ultimately we will find to be a breeze, a blast, a breath of fresh air. We also tend to perceive “changing our minds” as a negative thing, as if we may have made the wrong decision in the first place. But this is a misconception too, we just made the choice that we were best able to do at the time. Changing is not a weakness, it is a strength.
We each have the right to make choices about our direction – and if we see each choice as a unique opportunity to take a step forward in life (regardless of which direction it is in), if we make each choice open to all the circumstances that surround us and listening to our own voice, if we do so courageously and openly knowing that we can deal with the consequences, good or bad, because we can make the next choice more wisely, then we will always be open to the field of all possibilities. Which makes our opportunities endless and always positive regardless of what we have to deal with along the way.