Presence and vigilance

Are you actually present in your life? Or are you merely there, drifting, as it were, through it? Where are you, and what is your part, when important decisions that affect you are made? How often are you driving them, and how often are you being driven by someone or something else? And is it in your hands, and of your making, when things are taking place? Can you ascertain a timing that benefits you?

Living your own life, being in charge of it, requires your presence, and vigilance; take action only when you can do it appropriately and with optimal effect — but when the time has come, put your mind to it, and be decisive, quick and forceful.

What the right times and best courses of action are depends on many factors: you won't find a recipe for leading your life. There are no general rules prescribing for arbitrary circumstances what to think and do, there is no standard behavior that always fits, no attitude that's right no matter what happens. And just in case you were wondering: I'm not saying that there won't be a right thing to do, a correct view of what's going on, or an adequate way of feeling about it; there usually is — it's just that we have no simple and unfailing means to find out which it would be at a given time, in a given situation. Finding out requires judgment, good sense and a willingness to decide.

But just as the art of reflection is well worth studying and perfecting, so is the craft of putting the results of your reflections into effect. And possibly even more important than that: your actual responses must be consistent with what you've come to think from your reflections. Presence and vigilance must extend over your own actions, they're not just for what happens around you. Take care.
Copyright © 2007-2012 by Leif Frenzel. All rights reserved.