“It always seems impossible until it is done.”
– Nelson Mandela
“It always seems impossible until it is done.”
– Nelson Mandela
“The only impossible journey is the one you never begin”
– Anthony Robbins
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade wins in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
– Mark Twain
Five months into the year, everyone seems to have settled in rather well. Everyone’s going about their lives how they see fit, and going through the motions. It’s that last part though, ‘going through the motions’, that gets me ruminating.
The first day of this year, as in the first day of every single New Year, is the day where without a shadow of a doubt most people go to the gym by far. This is in part due to society seeing a ‘new’ year as a new opportunity to begin something anew. This isn’t bad, per se, but the fact that many people choose to wait for the year to end in order to make changes has often seemed paradoxical to me. Why not live every day to the fullest? Why wait for tomorrow, when you can do something today? Perhaps it’s because we’re accustomed to think tomorrow is always there, and thus the chance is always there. But tomorrow at times turns into next year, and next year turns into regrets.
That said, after going to the gym for five months, anyone can begin to see the bifurcation between individuals who have the will to achieve their goals, and those that do not. And given that going to the gym affects health, which is arguably the most important component of someone’s life, it’s regrettable that what many individuals once thought possible to achieve in health has unfortunately gone by the wayside.
Stravaging through life’s journey without purpose and determination, or with less than one is capable of, is definitely living life with a cup nigh empty. That’s just my contention however, perhaps yours is different. My intention is not to bedevil any individual, but to get them to ruminate upon their individual potential and to see more possibilities in their path, to get more out of life, to get more out of every moment. After all, isn’t that what we all want?
If that is the case, and every single one of us wishes to gain more from life, why is it we sell ourselves short many a time? Each of us will undoubtedly have a different answer, but a sagacious focus on merely exercising their mental faculties in a sound manner would leave any individual better off by. There in, perhaps, mental obstacles are abrogated in some shape or form, and the individual is free to saunter onto the next leg of their journey to proceed towards their next goal.
The will to act must remain at the vanguard however. Once an individual’s utmost volition is employed in its most incisive matter, bringing about change will become indelible. This doesn’t mean there won’t be hard work involved, nor obstacles to overcome, far from it. The facade of change cannot be overcome without considerable effort, but in the end, by repeatedly pondering on what will galvanize the individual, and following through with keen observations that are coupled with action, individuals stand to gain more than by merely ‘going through the motions’ as mentioned earlier.
Becoming inured to an autopilot mentality and maintaining less than optimal decisions certainly prevents significant change from ensuing. That is why it is essential to remain relentlessly focused on what our goals are and what we seek to gain from life. With precise action backing the blueprint of our better life, we then are able to see what we are truly capable of, thus beginning to notice that are potential is far higher than ever pondered upon.
From there, each of the steps builds on its own, each obstacle brings a new lesson, and each pit-stop along life’s journey brings us new adventures. But significant change can only begin after that special juncture is reached, where that choice is made – that first step onto a new path. These types of choices, when made from our deepest self, change us resoundingly, deeply and truly.
Not tomorrow, not next year, right now. The first step is always the hardest, but it begins to path to the greatest growth.
Why not take it now?
This article is free and open source. All individuals are encouraged to share this content and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
About The Author:
Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.
His other blog, BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com features mainly his personal work, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information nigh always ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.
May 19, 2017
“Friendship is unnecessary,” C.S. Lewis wrote, “like philosophy, like art, like the universe itself… it has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.” Darwinian caveats aside, the truth of this beautiful sentiment resonates deeply for anyone whose life has been enriched or even saved by the existence of a genuine friend. And yet today, as we face the commodification of the word “friend,” what do we even mean — what should we mean — by this once-sacred term, now vacated of meaning by chronic misuse?
That’s what the great first-century Roman philosopher Seneca examines in a series of correspondence with his friend Lucilius Junior, later published as Letters from a Stoic (public library) — the indispensable trove of wisdom that gave us Seneca’s famous letter on overcoming fear and inoculating yourself against misfortune.
Eighteen centuries before Emerson wrote in his meditation on the two pillars of friendship that “a friend is a person with whom [one] may be sincere,” Seneca considers the uses and misuses of the term in a magnificent letter titled “On True and False Friendship”:
If you consider any man a friend whom you do not trust as you trust yourself, you are mightily mistaken and you do not sufficiently understand what true friendship means… When friendship is settled, you must trust; before friendship is formed, you must pass judgment. Those persons indeed put last first and confound their duties, who … judge a man after they have made him their friend, instead of making him their friend after they have judged him. Ponder for a long time whether you shall admit a given person to your friendship; but when you have decided to admit him, welcome him with all your heart and soul. Speak as boldly with him as with yourself… Regard him as loyal and you will make him loyal.
In another letter, titled “On Philosophy and Friendship,” Seneca examines the common bases upon which friendships are formed and admonishes against the tendency, particularly common today, toward seeing others as utilitarian tools that help advance one’s personal goals. Observing that some people form so-called friendships by estimating how much a potential friend can help them in a moment of need, he writes:
He who regards himself only, and enters upon friendships for this reason, reckons wrongly. The end will be like the beginning: he has made friends with one who might assist him out of bondage; at the first rattle of the chain such a friend will desert him. These are the so-called “fair-weather” friendships; one who is chosen for the sake of utility will be satisfactory only so long as he is useful. Hence prosperous men are blockaded by troops of friends; but those who have failed stand amid vast loneliness their friends fleeing from the very crisis which is to test their worth. Hence, also, we notice those many shameful cases of persons who, through fear, desert or betray. The beginning and the end cannot but harmonize. He who begins to be your friend because it pays will also cease because it pays. A man will be attracted by some reward offered in exchange for his friendship, if he be attracted by aught in friendship other than friendship itself.
With an eye to such arrangements of convenience and favor, which he condemns as “a bargain and not a friendship,” Seneca adds:
One who seeks friendship for favourable occasions, strips it of all its nobility.
In another letter, Seneca cautions against mistaking flattery for friendship — an admonition all the more urgent today, in the Age of Likes, when the forms of flattery and the channels of positive reinforcement have proliferated to a disorienting degree:
How closely flattery resembles friendship! It not only apes friendship, but outdoes it, passing it in the race; with wide-open and indulgent ears it is welcomed and sinks to the depths of the heart, and it is pleasing precisely wherein it does harm.
He turns the beam of his wisdom toward the only valid and noble reason for forming a friendship:
For what purpose, then, do I make a man my friend? In order to have someone for whom I may die, whom I may follow into exile, against whose death I may stake my own life, and pay the pledge, too.
In another letter, Seneca suggests that such genuine friendship extends its rewards beyond the personal realm and becomes the civilizational glue that holds humanity together:
Friendship produces between us a partnership in all our interests. There is no such thing as good or bad fortune for the individual; we live in common. And no one can live happily who has regard to himself alone and transforms everything into a question of his own utility; you must live for your neighbour, if you would live for yourself. This fellowship, maintained with scrupulous care, which makes us mingle as men with our fellow-men and holds that the human race have certain rights in common, is also of great help in cherishing the more intimate fellowship which is based on friendship… For he that has much in common with a fellow-man will have all things in common with a friend.
Letters from a Stoic remains a timelessly rewarding read. Complement this particular portion with Eudora Welty on friendship as an evolutionary mechanism for language, Irish poet and philosopher John O’Donohue on the ancient Celtic ideal of friendship, and the epistolary record of Mozart and Haydn’s beautiful and selfless friendship, then revisit Seneca on the antidote to the shortness of life and the key to resilience in the face of loss.