We are inextricably attached to our smart phones. Search engines answer our questions in a matter of moments. Yet it is we, personally, who must always make the bold choice to stay motivated when we don’t feel it.
Think about it. Despite all this knowledge and technical know-how, everyday life is still a stamina-challenging and anxiety-promoting emotional test. When we’re successful, we’re pumped, motivated. When we’re not, we’re drained, disheartened. Day in and out, we still have to find the emotional resources to revitalize our perspective and morale when we’ve been competitively thwarted or otherwise hijacked by the overpowering feelings provided by nature.
Though we are a biological phenomenon, we are also expressed through the functions and sensibilities instilled by culture in our interdependent civilization. Not only must we deal with the fight or flee and pressing sexual instincts bred into our nature. We must also manage our response to the socially conditioned demand for causal efficacy, character, presence and confidence in the interest of making or, indeed, of being a contribution.
Yes, each of us is born a force of nature determined to be reckoned with. But in order to flourish and use up (as well as to improve) the potential of our contribution, this genetic destiny must be rescued from its old-school or primordial fixed purpose. It must be reimagined and reenacted in the fast-track mobile here and now.
In other words, via our inventive ability to think freely, see clearly and act responsibly, the energy of our brute genetic destiny must be transformed into the bold choice to stay motivated to support the social efforts to improve the lot of all of us.
When we study the relationship between flourishing and contribution, our cultivated ability to appreciate and respond creatively to complex emotional and competitive conditions shows up as a great privilege and, of course, a personal asset. The transformation is not instantaneous. It takes time. It begins with having the design be the product of our own authentic endeavor. The effort is its own timely reward.
In sum, you and I are fortunate, born to promise. But it is critical that we manage the tension between our desire to be spontaneous, independent and a force of nature and, at the same time, be in control of our primal impulses, fears and anxieties. This ability is an autonomous mindset enabling us to be chemists of our own emotions whenever or wherever pessimism or obstacles have knocked us to the mat.
Are you interested in having more autonomy in your life? Here's a plan of action! Examine our website. If you find it interesting, do the Retreat Workshop. Thank you for your interest. I appreciate it.
Arnold Siegel is the founder of Autonomy and Life and the leader of its Retreat Workshops and Advanced Classes.