Meeting Our Expectations

“Trying is the first step to failure!”
– or –
“If you never try, you’ll never fail!”

For a multitude of years I believed I was the only person in existence that thought these detriments. Unfortunately it seems that anyone that isn’t true and honest with themselves thinks this in one form or another. Rarely is it expressed quite as directly; regularly it is not on the upper-echelon of our consciousness – slinking just enough in the shadows of the subsconsciousness to meticulously watch our actions, striking the consciousness at the opportune moment when the inkling for our true desires emerges. Whether a person realizes its presence or not, their speech and actions will reveal its malevolent presence.

The true disaster of this thought is that is not simply opinion but a cruel reality, an axiom to life and our actions. But why is it phrased as this? There are at least two other thoughts as phrases that can be derived from this, and from each other: “Trying is the first step toward success!” and “If you never try, you will never succeed!”. Are not these phrases also part of life’s axioms to our actions? Ration, logic, emotion combine to tell us they most assuredly are also true; you need only to look at the actions of people that fulfill their dreams if there is remaining doubt. Again, why do we phrase this reality in the most harmful connotation? What are we really afraid of? Failure? Success? Both?

From our infancy we are modeled in the image of our parents, to do as we are told when we are told. Our grandparents modeled our parents, our great-grandparents modeled our grandparents – past familial generations model the future generations. Each generation is also modeled into the likeness of the society in which they are placed with an array of attributable aspects – neighbors, schools, churches and temples, religion, friends, towns, cities, counties, states and provinces, countries, and the world. Absolutely everything impacts how we are modeled and what we are told to achieve. Unfortunately, it seems to be a rarity that what we are told to achieve resonates with our actual desires for life. We become lost and overwhelmed in what we are told to do; our desires stagnate, our spirit not only shackled but given blinders. We trudge through life unfulfilled without bearing as to who we are, only sometimes lost to ourselves in an image that seems hopelessly unattainable and unnatural, a fancy for indulgence. But the fancy brings us unparalleled joy. Maybe, we think, that could be me. That is the person I want to be… Who I am at this moment is not myself! I must become this person! Then: “But trying is the first step to failure.” Thwarted. Destroyed. There is no hope among this truth.

It is important to acknowledge that many, indeed the majority, continue through life as they do try. They do achieve success in some way. The title of this post is not “Meeting the Expectation of Others/Society/Our Parents,” however. Doing what we are told for the flimsy meaning of success and doing what we want are both forms of trying; the idea is to find, as said, what resonates with yourself.

In our attempts for the flimsy meaning of success we often reap failure; something becomes too difficult or arduous to pursue, people push against us with a force beyond our own, unseen physical or emotional impairments develop, joy and hope for fulfillment become dashed at the reality that our actions no longer resonate with ourselves. The flimsy reality comes crashing down, all that is left is despair. When we find failure and despair in even the crumbling of falsities, as they are things we rigorously pursued, what hope do we give ourselves to surmount the failures we would inevitably face were we to pursue the idea of success that resonates within us? There is none. Thus, we make no attempts to try to become who we want to be, to do what we desire, to simply resonate with ourselves. Failure in our attempts for resonating are pure anguish, perhaps the greatest tribulation we can feel. Because of this, “Trying is the first step to failure!” then becomes the only axiom to our actions our minds allow us to see, or if not seen the only axiom by which it must consistently abide. Only the negative variations of this phrase, and never what can be logically derived from our desires, protects us from the most immediate mental anguish. In spite of this mental maneuver being used to protect us from mental anguish, it is more damaging in the entirety of our lives. We must face the chance of anguish and anguish itself to find what resonates within us; not doing so leads only to a hollowness in our spirit.

On the fear of success I would claim to understand less than what I have presented on the fear of failure. In my understanding of myself, my fear is based almost entirely in failure. Fear of success is quite different in its nature than that of failure, but is built from the many considerable aspects as fear of failure. When we are taught to orient our actions toward the flimsy successes around us, the orienting process plants the belief that all we see around us is inherently purposeful. Our successes are then gauged upon those around us; often when one success is achieved in measure to one person, there is yet another person by which we must now measure ourselves. An example may be affording the newest luxury Toyota car model, and once doing such now desiring the newest high-luxury BMW car model. When we begin to truly measure our successes in what resonates within we oppose what we have been taught to believe. Now, me must answer only to ourselves. Answering to ourselves is certainly daunting; especially when we just begin, as we generally lack self-confidence. We might fear people around us are judging us considerably more; they probably are.

We must simply (though it is not quite simple) do what resonates with ourselves. Those approaching the final years of their lives often yearn for their youth, to start anew and accomplish what they’ve always truly dreamed. Many only begin as death approaches, perhaps fearing it because of their lack of spirit; still many have become too entangled in falsities, their spirit shackled and bolted, and will live out their life without ever having felt resonance within, still believing it just a fleeting dream. But even at an age where your body is becoming withered, to experience even the slightest prolonged resonating is to have lived an eternity.

Each person’s path toward resonating success will be vastly different. But overcoming your fear is the only way to feel whole. Emptiness is the only alternative.

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Social Expansion and Hanging Out

I have never quite considered the premise of hanging out until yesterday. Surely I’ve understood to it to lesser sub-conscious levels, and even felt it uses without acknowledgment. I would define hanging out as aimless boredom among others, generally people in the same lackadaisical circumstance at the time, where almost nothing is actually accomplished and talk is or borders on idle chat.

If you know me in the slightest you’ll know I’m certainly not a social-butterfly, perhaps even something less than the fly on the wall. I do crave human interaction, but among groups of people generally feel like I have nothing of value to offer or say. I tend to be quiet, though not as shy as I once was, and use these as rationalizations for deprivation of such interaction. Deprivation fuels loneliness, loneliness diminishes motivation, loss of motivation in turn feeding loneliness – a foul cycle with no deliberate end.

Yet… I continue to desire human interaction and enjoy being bored among people I know on less than an acquaintance level, those I know absolutely nothing about. Without consideration of this enjoyment, I pass hanging out off as something with no purpose. I tell myself that surely the only reason to seek offhand experiences as this would be to know people that are like-minded or people that enjoy similar interests, people that can mirror myself. If this were true, that I would desire people with such similarities, then why I have I not searched?

I have acknowledged to myself, in the most passing of manners, that I wouldn’t like myself if I had to meet myself. I’m more close-minded than I would like. I desire to know the experiences of others, to see unique perspectives. But I don’t offer myself such opportunities. Instead, I meet myself everyday; my thoughts become complacent, they become circular and find crude ways to affirm crude ideas. Given time, these ideas becomes biases so ignorant in their nature that it makes me ill to give them thought. It’s a contradicting predicament and quite a snobbish impairment.

The remedy is to break the cycle. Simply, I need to find a variety of people with vast differences in experiences and thought; then spend time with them. It will be much more difficult to put into practice than to simply say, as it requires a tremendous shattering of my comfort zones. It may be best to begin with people that do think similarly to myself, or at least have the same values (affirmation of yourself from others is certainly beneficial as long as it doesn’t breed complacency), as this will be less of a shattering than time with people with extreme differences. Regardless of the people, its simply imperative to just see different interactions. The talk need not be profound, productivity in activities isn’t required. I will still be bored the majority of times, though it’s quite likely to find a niche where boredom does not exist; but at the very least circular thoughts will diminish, biases will disappear – expanding yourself to new challenges, opportunities, and thoughts in even minute ways can never be detrimental…

…especially when it gets you out of the house.


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