Archive for the ‘aging’ Tag

More about Joy

Though growing old ain’t for sissies, one of its major benefits is the slow coming to understand mysteries that have plagued us for decades.  A thought that’s been enlarging in my awareness is that life is meant to be a journey towards joy. 

More and more, I order my activities according to what I really want at this moment.  The trick is knowing what you really want.  Opting for actions that seem attractive but are not aligned with your ultimate pleasures will not work.  It requires quite a bit of sophistication; the ‘gimme gimme’ of youth has nothing to do with realizing joy.  You have to have an idea of perfection, a vision of ultimate joy, and your choices must continually refer back to that ideal.

But once solidly aligned with your ideal, you have a sure way of being, one that remains in close contact with your joy at all times.  You see that it’s unnecessary to take any action that’s unrelated to your joy.  You consider, at every juncture, only what will make you really happy.

The conundrum for many is how to find their joy.  Things thought to be happiness-creating end up empty.  There certainly is no prescription that works for everyone; it’s a solitary search for every individual.  I try, in this blog, to make little suggestions, like inverting your spine, or doodling.  The only suggestion that is truly universal, though, is to set the intention.  You have to consciously want to find your joy and believe in the importance of this mission before you’ll get anywhere with the project.

For that matter, I’m beginning to think that studies in approaching joy are all that we ought to be teaching young people in school.  We should be learning from the git-go that our responsibility as humans is to live our joy.  We should be taught methods in using creativity – both personal and group – and we should be bred to understand that all other effort is subordinate to the search for profound happiness. 

Few adults today were taught anything like this; our grooming was more along the lines of fear of judgement and poverty, fierce competition, winners and losers.  We seek ‘success’ much more than happiness.  We’re sadly out of touch with our native creativity. 

So I’ll keep up the patter here, hoping to cajole readers into a search for their personal joy.  For today, I return simply to breathing; inhale deeply, exhale slowly, take a 15 second break to perceive and appreciate the instant purification that oxygen supplies.  This is where the search for joy begins.

Advertisements

Impermanence

There’s nothing like a visit to aging parents to get your priorities in order.  Many of us baby boomers nurture the old folks as best we can, as they uselessly while away the years in cloistered communities.  That generation built our world, and now they wander the corridors aimlessly, their living assisted but their lives remaining shrouded in mystery.

A friend recently reminded us that business should not be an end in itself, but it should be a vehicle to take us to our dreams.  For my parents’ generation, the world they built after World War II was so glorious as to seem a dream come true.  But my peers and I have turned so much of their culture upside down, and the changes since the 60s and 70s appear to threaten the old folks’ core values and proud accomplishments. They have a hard time understanding that their business was a vehicle to today, and not the crowning achievement they were sure they had created.

As we develop our brands, and innovate,  and find new ways to work, it’s useful to reflect on today’s seniors and remember that our innovations are fluid things, ripe at any time for change.  Like a new car, a great idea begins to depreciate as soon as it’s implemented. 

We grow our businesses because it’s necessary to earn a living, and it is the way we know to satisfy material needs.  We innovate because such modifications improve our income, and keep our interest peaked.  In these writings, I urge the development of personal creativity because such practice will keep open your windows of possibility, and guard against fear and atrophy.  Even so, this mid-week morning I’m here to remind us that none of this is final, it is all vehicular, carrying us to unknown worlds beyond.

I don’t know what will happen when my generation reaches the stage of dementia.  There are too many of us and we can ill afford the astronomical costs of assisted living.  I do know that we’ll be vastly happier then, however, if we take care now to understand our lives as journeys, and our achievements – no matter how grand or revolutionary – as mere baby steps on the long road to heaven.