A Voyage Inward

A recent conversation with Tiny this past week over WhatsApp, brought me to the desk in the half-light dawn of Sunday morning, with pen in paw and and a pot of coffee within arms reach.

We quickly got chatting about a particular long term goal he had set for himself; there was some confusion in terms of avenues he could venture down in pursuit of the goal, and further scepticism as to whether or not it was something he even wanted for himself. All the while, the very process of envisioning a future that was yet to materialise, was making him terribly anxious. His own words after a couple of inquisitive text messages, “I’m thinking way down the line Pidj, and I hate it. I’ve never been so out of the now in my life.”

Photo by Robert Crawford

I’ve been there brother; I know that feeling all too well. I’ve been guilty on numerous occasions of departing the present moment, and allowing grand future visions to manifest. Jaysis, the pen is shaking just scribbling the words.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking goals. Far from it. We need a goal; we need something to aim for that resonates with our being, so that we can continue to progress and develop along our path. But, where is the energy and attention being focused?

From my own personal experience, if ever I find myself placing too much focus on the future, it sometimes represents some sort of dissatisfaction with the current situation. We started to explore this together, and sure enough some feelings of dissatisfaction, and even frustration, came to the surface.

This isn’t always a pleasant revelation to experience, let’s be honest. A lot of us won’t even entertain the idea of exploring it, for fear of the answers that might be revealed, and I’m not surprised. It’s not nice to think that there are some areas of our lives that we could improve upon, and we certainly don’t like to admit to ourselves that perhaps we’re not quite fulfilling our potential.

A more terrifying proposition, is that it’s completely within our powers to do something about it.

Dr. Jordan Peterson, a Professor of Psychology at The University of Toronto, and co-founder of The Self-Authoring Suite, is someone I have been following for quite some time. You can check out his lectures on YouTube, and his various guest appearances on such powerful podcasts as The Joe Rogan Experience. If you haven’t heard of him, I’d highly recommend checking him out; his ideas and propositions will blow your mind.

Anyway, he talks a lot about this notion of cleaning up your room, which without going into too much detail, means to get yourself in order; that is your foremost responsibility. With Dr. Peterson’s words lingering, my brother and I discussed the importance of placing focus on the present situation, and we figured that it would be a good idea to take a moment to survey the situation.

You can do this yourself, by posing the following question inward: What are some things that I could eradicate and/or implement, right now, to make my life better?

If you meditate on this question for just a few minutes, you can be damn sure that you will end up generating a pretty significant list for yourself. Like I said earlier, it’s perhaps not always the most enjoyable or pleasant experience- self-reflection can be incredibly harsh and revealing in ways that seem cruel- but it’s always nourishing.

Don’t sacrifice who you could be for who you are.

– Dr. Jordan Peterson

The future, as grand and exciting as it may well be, doesn’t yet exist. Take control of your present, embrace those solitary moments of self-reflection, and take whatever steps you deem necessary in order to improve your situation. Of course, it always helps to reach out to those closest to us, to verbalise our thoughts and emotions and to talk these things out. I’m incredibly grateful I have the luxury of such outlets.

In pursuit of your greatness, stay grounded in the present moment, because it’s all that we have. The future will manifest itself accordingly, but this right here is where the magic happens, so keep your eyes peeled and your heart open.