Sense of direction

There is something called an irritable mood: everything, even the smallest thing, irks you. It could be the grumpy behavior of your neighbor, a bill that turns out larger than you had hoped, unexpected rain, or simply something that somebody says. Whatever it is, when you're in that mood, it annoys you. But you know that there are other times when you greet all these things with a smile, and deal with them cheerfully. These are the times when you are happy, when everything is all right, when you are in harmony with yourself, the people around you, and the world on the whole. (If you don't like the 'harmony' metaphor, insert your own favorite one here.)

These conditions that we call moods have an equivalent when we look at our lives as a whole. What we're doing, day by day, belongs to a thousand different projects. Some of them are small (such as getting the car washed at the weekend), and some are bigger (finding a new job, for instance). And though we may succeed in many of them, we can't always win — so there are setbacks, and sometimes there's defeat. It doesn't really matter how often you win and how often you lose, however. In fact, have you noticed that some people seem to have everything, seem to be successful all the time, seem to win any fight they pick — and yet they're never really contented, sometimes get even angry when they can't get their way in some minor affair? What they don't have is this: a sense of direction in their life, something that gives their projects significance. Those who have managed to bring that sense of direction into their lives are in the equivalent of the happy mood I've talked about. It doesn't really matter to them if they cannot always win — but every time they do win they know and feel they have made a step forward in their life. As long as they can taste that, they're immune to the occasional knock back — they'll just stand up again.

You may have noticed that I didn't say that people 'find' a sense of direction. That's not by accident. A sense of direction in your life can't be found — it's not yet there, prepared for you by someone else. You have to build it for yourself. Take care.
Copyright © 2007-2012 by Leif Frenzel. All rights reserved.