May 21, 2013

The illusion of the perfect path

Very frequently I long for the perfect path, for the right way to conduct myself. I dream of the simplest and most effective solution. Consuming a lot of information on spirituality, psychology, self-improvement and lifestyle, I come across different and sometimes contradictory philosophies and pieces of advice. This isn't a problem when I can easily opt between two (or more) conflicting ideas. But I tend to feel overwhelmed when I can't seem to make up my mind!

Some examples are:


- Goals are essential for achievement vs. a no goals approach is healthier and we'll still achieve;

- Planning our time is essential vs. living in the moment and taking life as it comes without planning is the best approach;

- We should strive for work-life balance vs. there is no such thing as work-life balance and we should instead be doing work we love and thus work would become a vital part of life itself;

Mental health

- Exploring the causes and roots of problems to find the right cure/recovery path is essential vs. ditching the "whys" and focusing completely on the "whats" ("what can be done to solve this issue?") is much more effective;

- There's an ideal mental health picture that we should aim for vs. we're all wired differently, so what's healthy for one person may actually be unhealthy for another person;


- We're born sinful and guilt is a natural and desirable emotion vs. we're born with a good core and we're doing the best we know at any given moment;

- We should strive for happiness vs. life is not really about happiness;

- We have only this life to improve and do our best vs. we have many lives to improve as one life could never be enough.


Recently I've been assaulted by these and other questions with consequent strong feelings of anxiety. So I thought it might be useful to reflect and write a bit about it. And while reflecting I realized that my main anguish results from the belief that I should know the right path. And that there is an absolute right path! 

But really... Am I supposed to know the right answer? I don't think so. Search, experimentation, growth and contribution, I believe, must be my main focus, with the humility of knowing that I'm just human and thus, perfectly imperfect. To be aware that most times we're not dealing with black vs. white dichotomies, but with an array of different shades and colors is also important. 

Life is messy!

And you - do you search for absolute answers and certainties? How do you deal with the scary reality of not knowing?

See you soon :)

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