A Personal Note: Let Go Of Obligations; Embrace Expectations.


"We seldom realize, for example that our most private thoughts and emotions are not actually our own. For we think in terms of languages and images which we did not invent, but which were given to us by our society"

-Alan W. Watts



I feel totally free. Prior to a moment I had four days ago, I felt stuck. Truck loads of negative thoughts filled my mind. Until, a subtle reminder echoed in my mind: you must control your thinking.

One of the perils of having inclinations of a perfectionist is the negative self-talk it generates when it comes to things we "should" do; things we need to match up to to become just about "good enough". We are constantly aware of our shortcomings. And, the good enough status never actually comes around.

During those low moments when we unmindfully engage in negative self-talk, we forget that how we produce ideas or the arrangement of ideas from our moment by moment process of thinking has an enormous effect on how we behave in the future.

Society dictates how we should be, without the consideration of who we are as individuals. This could be a good thing. But, the problem with society is that it is filled with superficial thinkers who are ruled by personal prejudices.

Our cognition of the things we expose ourselves to becomes based on what these societal thinkers dish out. It shapes our precepts and concepts so much that we never stop to ask why we do certain things. We simply abide and sometimes watch ourselves stir away in slow succession from who we are and what we represent.

The concept of the future is a tricky one. Time traveling into it with our minds arouses some level of anxiety. The uncertainty can be intimidating and the variables can be overwhelming.

Anna Coren sat down with renowned Indian actor and Oscar award winner Irrfan Khan in the January 2015 edition of CNN's Talk Asia.



Of the many insightful things Mr. Khan revealed, what struck me was his response to Anna's question: What does the future hold?

His response:

"Who knows? Do things that are there for you right now. The future will be good".

Some of us may be familiar with a concept that mirrors the suggestion his rhetoric question - who knows? - is hinting at: no one knows tomorrow. 

Ugochukwu Omeogu of Joseph Consulting even goes to the lengths in suggesting that the future doesn't exist; its man's feeble attempt at grasping the illusion of impending time. How the future turns out is dependent on now.

We need not concern ourselves with the future. Navigating forward across the timeline of life is less cumbersome when we let go of the sense of needing to do things we are "suppose-d" to do but instead embracing the sense of looking out for things we want to do. By substituting the verb "do" with "be" in the foregoing premise, our philosophy of doing the best we can with what we have the best way we can becomes easier to actualize.

Think of "be" and "do" as the ends of a cross-link, one  leads to the other and vice versa. Be-ing something brings about doing something. Also, doing something comes off as being something.

Most of us worry that having a healthy dose of expectation can bring disappointments that lead to heartache. We worry because we feel that the future is "supposed" to turn out good. Lose that idea. The future isn't "suppose" to be anything. Good or bad is dependent on our perception. The future is just what it is -the future. If what we are experiencing now isn't pleasant, all our energy should be focused on fixing it the best way we can. Let the future take care of itself.

We can start by hanging on to the reminder that we must control our thinking, aligning it to the basic qualities that make up our identity. Qualities of going well with or going beyond a model of the perfect idea of how to behave in the world based on set of rules, ideas and beliefs that guide us in choosing what is right.

This is the philosophy that has made me feel free. Its too early to draw any conclusion - its only been four days. I simply write this  as a meditation on how I would love to think, feel and live for the rest of my life. Free. 

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Post Written by P. W. Uduk
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Photo Source: www.tribuneindia.com (Khan) 

2 comments:

  1. interested Reader27 January 2015 at 08:57

    Funny for you to mention that "good enough" never actually comes around. Man can be insatiable. I think being a perfectionist isn't so much a bad thing as people make believe. You just have to delibrately focus on perfecting the right things. You seem to be on the right track.

    Another beautiful piece. Thanks for sharing

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  2. This is nice;

    "Qualities of going well with or going beyond a model of the perfect idea of how to behave in the world based on set of rules, ideas and beliefs that guide us in choosing what is right."

    However, replacing "right" with "good" would make it better. The right things don't always lead to the best results. But, good things always give the right result. I mean good in the sense to being virtuous. This was exemplified by Joseph in the Bible. The Bible described him as a good man. Not a righteous man. If he wanted to do the right thing he would handed Mary over to be stoned for getting pregnant outside marriage. Give it a thought.

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