Envisioning a Future 

I've been thinking that I really need to be a little more serious about writing. Now that several years have passed along and I have had a few years trying my hand at finding my own way in the world, I've discovered that, despite what I may have wanted in the past, what I thought would be the best course of success in life, success isn't going to be found in personal preferences and talent, but instead in improving myself to the point where, even if I don't wind up doing what I would like, I have become a decent person doing whatever I find myself doing in the future.

(It's a bit hard to explain just tapping it out quickly on a keyboard as the thoughts arrive. At points, it appears we live in an information age where the information we receive is incomplete, distorted, or plain wrong. Forgive what may seem like moralizing or solipsism, but working through these personal thoughts is sometimes messy even if I hope to one day transcend them.)

I worry about not being able to pull out from underneath the hidden assumptions that afflict us all. Nevertheless, despite the potential presence of my own assumptions, the people I see around me, according to my particular viewpoint in the world, seem to feel that future regrets are hidden in not achieving the material successes they incessantly desire. Hidden in failing to achieve a life of material comforts that do not extend beyond their too-myopic dreams. But again, to my point of view, most of those same people do not realize that the vision of material success to which they strive is so far out of reach that failure is an inevitability. We admire achievement and success when it happens, but we do not seem to recognize how rare those things are, or the kinds of troubles they will eventually bring. Instead, we burn in the fire of vague personal frustrations, treating each other poorly because our sense of who we are and what we feel we deserve has been distorted. It's as if our failure to build ourselves in a material image that has always been false is a tragic injustice, that the world has somehow wronged us for not providing us the false comforts of a rich and famous lifestyle.

Which is why it seems to me that life is about becoming a better person through trial and errors while struggling to avoid the overwhelming waves of ignorance, contention, and selfish thinking. And of course, it is not easy or pleasant to think about. But, as seems obvious, the happiness people seek in things, achievements, and worldly success is a mirage. Happiness itself is a virtue that is found in aligning oneself to the better qualities that make us all truly human. And in that sense, it can developed and practiced. I only hope that I can develop it as a professional athlete develops muscle so that I may use it confidently and unconsciously and feel, ultimately, all the better for doing so.

12 May 2012
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