I celebrated a birthday recently (37) and I was reviewing some things from the last year in my journal. Well, I stumbled on an article by Martha Beck on Fluent News Reader on my iPad with the same title as my post. So I began writing about some of the “conventional wisdom” (have you ever noticed that it is often neither!) that I adopted earlier in my life that I need to unlearn. Here are a few:
1. The goal of life is to avoid problems.
I spent my early years being educated – solving problems handed to me by educators, senseis, and instructors – which seemed to communicate the goal of life was to solve such problems. Remove them. The “get thee behind me Satan” approach to obstacles.
But as I reviewed my life I realized ALL MY BEST MOMENTS CAME THROUGH PROBLEMS. My best thoughts, relationships, talks, development… they all started because I faced a problem or a challenge. Maybe the goal in life is not to live pain free, to avoid all problems, but to live them well…
2. Being happy is the gauge to success.
See item number one above…
The pressure to be happy can create its own misery. Effectiveness often entails long periods of discomfort, frustration, and moodiness! Now don’t get me wrong – depression, anxiety, etc. all suck and need treatment. And for the normal bumps and bruises of life, I avail myself of counselors as often as I need to. But be perennially smiling? Head in the sand, project a front to the world happy all the time? Nah! I pass.
It’s ok to feel as I need to feel. To be as I need to be. To accomplish my mission. I think THAT is the foundation to well being.