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Saturday, August 16, 2008

life purpose

I feel a great responsibility to make the most of my life.

I've been blessed with good health. I've been blessed with a loving family.
I've been blessed with a wife who is love and light.
I've been blessed with many true friends.

I frequently find myself feeling like this. Feeling almost overwhelmed by fortune.

When this happens during daylight hours, when I'm out and about, I might pause and smile, and say thank you. I then resume whatever the task at hand is.

But when the feeling comes in the evening when I'm at rest, I find it fills my whole body, until I'm buzzing. I'm gripped by it.

And it gets me thinking - what is it that I need to do?

I don't believe that our lives have been mapped out for us. I strongly believe that we shape our own present through the decisions we make, both conscious and unconscious. But I also believe that it's not just us and our logical brains. I believe we have a guiding spirit within us all to help us choose the path that is right for us. We refer to that resource many times every day when listening to our inner feelings (not ego) when making decisions.

I also believe strongly in Synchronicity, I see it manifested in my life almost every day, and have come to trust in it.

However, at times I'm concerned that if I trust in synchronicity to too greater an extend, I could begin to resign myself to paths that I might otherwise proactively choose to branch from. For example, if i find myself in a 'bad' situation, I might say to myself, "It's ok - the reason will show itself in due course" and not make active attempts to end the badness, or avoid it in the future.

Well, whatever.

It's finding that balance, between acting in accordance with my own feelings, and acting in harmony with 'externals' that I attract into my life.

This all relates to my feeling of uneasiness in not 'knowing' where I'm heading next. The next two weeks are sorted (CELTA), and an undefined period after that is sorted too - I have a job at an English school in central Tokyo. But what about long term? I feel I need a clear idea of where I'm heading, what my role is to be. But how far do I push myself to decide, and to what extend do I trust that the right things will fall into place to guide me when the time comes?

Mind you, even as I write this I find myself saying, "Woah there Joseph. Let's have a look and see if we can learn anything from the last 30 years: hasn't everything always happened at just the right time? Haven't you always found yourself experiencing just what you need to experience at any particular point in life?"

Ah, yeah, that's a good point.

But OK, even if everything will work out for the best, what decisions do I need to make today?!

I go back to the feelings of fortune I expressed above, and I feel that I need to give a lot back in order to redress the balance. But how?

I hope that I can get a clearer idea when I'm with *Twinkle* again. She occupies a central place in my life, and I find that my thinking is really helped by talking about stuff with others.

(Which is why we have the daily mumble.)

I look forward to reading this in ten years. I wonder if I'll be any closer to finding the answers to these questions.

Night night. xxx

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Blogger Brian said...

You're, really, becoming more profound day by day!You've posed a lot of good questions. Unfortunately, I doubt there any good answer without regard to the person(or in your case persons), place, and state of mind. In other words no one else can answer these questions save for you and your wife as a unit.

“And it gets me thinking - what is it that I need to do? “

Excellent question! This is one I am still trying to sort out for my family and myself.

"I have a job at an English school in central Tokyo. But what about long term? I feel I need a clear idea of where I'm heading, what my role is to be."

There's nothing wrong with working at an English school as long as you remember that: one it really is an English business and two there are very few permanent English teaching positions.
After reading your statement I am guessing you know this, already.

Anyway, my two cents/yen/pounds is this: keep in mind, the dichotomy between job and career clear in your mind at all times. And, use everything as a learning experience to grow, to gain knew skills, and to network. Keep your eyes open opportunities abound, and when they don't you may have to make them.

Well, what is it that you have a passion for in life? What, kinds of talents and skills do you have that you can use to help or edify society with? If you know the answers to those question you might be able to deduce what type of occupation would suit you best.

I really enjoy reading you blog this morning. And, I have often thought about the concepts of fate/divine providence and freedom of choice. I am not convinced that these concepts have to be black and white. In fact I believe in both maybe because I am a little eccentric.

There is a lot in life that we have no control over for example: the family we are born into, the country where we are born, our gender at birth, our ethnicity/race, what talents we are born with, wether we are born with an aliment or not, wether are not acts of nature destory our home or take away loved ones, there is also an awful lot of activities that happen inside our bodies that we may are may not be aware of.

On the other hand there is a lot in life that we do have the power to take responsibility for. In other words I think life with a big L is like the ocean or the wind that we have no control over, but our lives with small l's are like ships in that ocean and we have power steer.

16/8/08 11:09  
Blogger Orchid64 said...

It's ironic that we both posted about balance (though on vastly different topics) today. ;-)

I think that there is a vast continuum of choice between flying by the seat of your pants and mapping out the future in excruciating detail and where one falls on that continuum is highly personal. However, I think that we also have to move in steps and that sometimes jumping too far ahead is only going to make things overwhelming and complicated. For now, it seems that you're got steps to take before any sort of grand life plan can be made.

I think stability should occur for awhile before changes are made. Right now, you don't have stability and it would probably be best for you to wait to make any big decisions until after things are settled a bit better for you. The reason I say this is that you're not really in a position to take the steps to meet any future goal right now. Making a decision about such a goal will only increase the chances that you'll be impatient or feel frustrated because you can't do anything to reach such goals while you're bogged down in reaching a stable situation in Japan.

16/8/08 13:16  
Blogger Joseph said...

Dear Brian,

Thank you for your comment. I shall forgive you for not immediately giving me all the answers to my questions :-)

Yes, I appreciate that there is absolutely nothing wrong with working at an English school, and I am very happy to have been offered the job. I enjoy teaching (once the lesson planning is done), and when lessons go well I feel a great sense of having achieved something and having made a difference.
Who knows, maybe that is my future? We'll see.

Thanks for your advice re. job and career. Yep, must remember that it's all part of the learning experience.

I think one issue for me is that I have many passions, and thus I find it difficult to focus. That's not to say I can't focus when I am grabbed by something in particular - like a CELTA tefl course for example!


Thanks Orchid6, I appreciate the good advice. I think this is where my impatience shows itself.

This may be because I fear getting so involved in the present that I fail to contemplate what pattern I'm trying to create overall.

There are various 'big' things I'd like to do in life, and feel that without establishing an action plan, I'll be unlikely to ever do them.

At the same time, I see no merit in 'forcing' decisions that aren't meant to be made yet. Your suggestion that I let things settle for a while is timely - it's at the moments of greatest change and uncertainty (such as now) that I have the strongest desire to create stability (i.e. make a clear plan), yet as you say, perhaps these moments are not the best times to be mapping out a clear course as there are too many unknowns.

I think it also shows our impatience as a couple. We have an idea of when we'd like to have children, and what situation we'd like to be in by then in order to enable us to be the parents we'd like to be. Perhaps we are being unrealistic, I don't know.

Regarding your blog post on balance - I personally feel you've made the right decision there. My own limited experience of arguing this way or that on Japanese culture etc has always left me feeling quite exhausted - as has reading the comments on some of your posts on your former blog - some people just have to be 'right'!

16/8/08 16:13  

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