Mental Reservations

March 28, 2010 at 12:21 am (Question: We live the lives we choose)

We live our lives within our own self-perceived expectations. As a child, we have to be constantly reminded that we can surpass our limits. We are told to study more, achieve more, we are even lied to, in order to help create a broader scope for our definition of our own capabilities. As athletes, we are hounded by coaches to move faster, hit harder, to be better than what we assume we can be. As if all around us are people trying to force you to push past expectations, to grow. As we enter adult hood hopefully we have successfully broken through our assumptions about our capabilities. That the latitude of our reach is wide enough that it does not hinder our goals and desires; that we may be successful. For the most part it usually is, and we all move forward towards goals that are within our grasp, with a healthy understanding of who and what we are. Those who have failed to expand their minds find themselves in crowded hotel conference rooms listing to speeches of how to be successful, how to be more like someone else, or ‘how to’ any numerous other self-achievable dreams locked behind the walls of our own creation.

The utter acceptance of these truths and facts about the power of the mind is demonstrated by those that should not need any reminders of this concept. Yet, Olympic athletes read mental preparation books, and receive classes and coaching on how to prepare the mind. CEO’s that are exceptional by all metrics will try to come up with seminars to force ‘out side the box’ type thinking. This is in direct understanding that our limits are clearly self-defined and that we must work hard each day to push past our perceived capabilities. The US Military holds the corner on the market of mental based limitations, their toughest schools are less about the tactics and skills and more about the ability to teach the soldier that they are capable of so much more than they ever would have believed. They push the body of the individual well past what we would assume to be the breaking point. In the end it is those that learn this lesson and take it to heart that graduate these courses and become the elite of the American Military.

So often are these truths manifested unevenly within some of the most capable and soon to be successful among us. That though their limits have been thoroughly tested and they have the confidence to stretch their horizons and grasp at stars, they have failed to link that the very nature of their confidence is as simple as belief. Though many never need this reminder but the truth of the matter is that the power of our mental projections is able to and will shape our daily lives. And, that each and everyone of us lives out these hidden insecurities and failures on our sleeves in the design of the life that we box ourselves into. A simple case in point is the stunningly attractive Foreign Service woman who on a whim could ace Law School, or MIT Engineering, she can move in circles around some of the more impressive crowds in DC, yet in consideration of her personal life, she feels as if she is the worlds greatest ‘friends-with-benefits.’ Why is this different, where is the disconnect. How is such confidence replaced by such a sense of being a victim. In one aspect of her life she is the one with an aura of power and righteousness; yet in the other (separated by a change of clothes and a hot shower) she is the victim. A series of, ‘I don’t knows,’ and ‘it never seems to work out,’ or ‘they have always only liked me for this, or that reason,’ is all we hear from them. Needless to say she is not alone, Kim, being a man of strikingly similar qualities, has found himself surrounded by mostly (not all) people that he would never be able to have a serious relationship with, and continually seeks out those who he could never love. Yet, from nine to five, men of quality and character hang on the words that he speaks, and he commands the respect of those that move mountains, he holds millions of dollars and the lives of Americas youth in his hands. How does this happen.

I look out upon the world as it moves silently by in thought. A meditation of paper and pen, interrupted by a phone call here and there. Discussing a set of personal issues with a woman moving to the American Consulate in Hong Kong, I told her that we each live out the lives that we choose to have. I even quoted Ayn Rand (her name alone on this blog will give me hundreds of hits) that we sleep with those who remind us of how we view ourselves, and fall in love with those that we view hold tight to our hopes and ideals of what we believe is perfection. Hopefully we spend our lives sleeping with only those we think we could love, though this is not the case. For those out there that the separation of the two are so great that it gives you pause to how you view yourself, well take it to heart. The cheaper that we hold our own worth the cheaper we are willing to sell our time or body.

Where is the disconnect, obviously our parents pushed us to get better grades, and our coaches pushed us to perform faster, but who among us have been told that we shouldn’t hang out with those kids, or we should pick better friends. Well most of us, probably have heard that, yet, for some reason in the pursuit of other goals we have forgotten those lessons or never learned that we are deserving of better friends, relationships, or just in general, lives. This brings us to the crowds of people packed into the same small hotel conference rooms or churches listening to the glimmer of what we deserve. This late in life pick-me-up to try and convince us that we deserve more, or better. As I told my friend on the phone, fuck that, you are deserving of what you allow. Choice is the key to this scenario, and it is what the priests and self help books tell you, choose to be different, be different, then you are different. Why should we live lives of quiet desperation, Throuea in his infinite wisdom told us what we are doing, then showed us what we should. He did this in the deliberate attempt to live life to the fullest, to take the time to change what he wanted and to grow in a way that he desired.

An additional reminder to how easy it is to affect the tenuous balance of our own psyche, another friend of mine changed how she described all of her tasks for the day to play/played whatever. So “I played house today… I played for ten hours at work today….” A simple statement was able to measurably change the perception of her actions that it was repeated by a myriad of friends around the country. Careful, this is the warning label, these changes in diction will not actually solve any problems nor change reality, though maybe, just a little, the perception. We hold so many mental reservations for change, mostly because change is where the pain is, it is where the loneliness sets in and the insecurities that we clutch to tightly must be put down just for a moment. On the other side is a whole new set of friends, a whole new outlook on life, a whole new whatever portion of you that you are trying rectify or straighten. Yet we choose to do what is slightly easier, slightly less painful, to date another girl that doesn’t have chance, to allow your relationships to be purely physical, or to never leave your home. Though this passage is in strict reference to those that are already successful in other areas, there are truths that can be held for everyone who reads this. I have spent numerous hours and megabits of storage on entries that describe a sense of confusion, of frustration, yet I knew the truth, it was buried in the pages and scripts, that the choice in the end was mine. That the happiness, the relationships, the successes are all a manifestation of me fighting against my own mental reservations to reach out and grasp a hold of what I want. Gandhi claimed that we should be the change that we wish to see in the world. He said this as an adaptation to lesson that he once shared with me, that we should live the lives that we want by acting out the change we wish to see.

I wake up in the morning and I will ask, as should you, what type of day will I create for myself.

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