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  • Gary Borland

#28 Sailing or Drifting?



Are you sailing through life, focused and with direction, or are you drifting?


In a recent Blog we looked at these things commonly referred to as ‘problems’ and how helpful it can be to re-frame them by firstly considering what facts are actually present in the circumstances we’re dealing with. Not things we assume or assert, or take for granted, or perhaps are driven by our opinions or biases - but facts! We looked at how few facts are often present and the implications of adding our interpretations to the circumstances to arrive at a ‘problem’. Identifying facts often gives us a very different understanding of where we are. They open up choices that were obscured by our interpretations, then problems we thought we had either disappear or look very different, and the focus shifts.


Despite the numerous ‘problems’ people often share with one another, it seems in many cases there is no real desire to address them. Or the lack of space in our lives leaves little, if any, room to address them even if we say we really want to! In the last Blog we looked at how easy it was to anaesthetise ourselves from things we may not want to confront, and how the busyness in our lives affords us a self-justifiable explanation for why we haven’t addressed things that are getting in the way of what’s important to us.


So, why does all this matter anyway? Well, if it doesn’t matter to you, then it doesn’t matter. But if you don’t really know whether it matters or not because you don’t have the space to consider it more deeply, then perhaps it might be worth putting some time aside to do just that. Not because you need to or because someone else said you should, but only if it matters to you what you do with your life. And if you want to have choice about living in a way that is authentic for you.


The German philosopher Martin Heidegger has a lot to say about this and I found the following short excerpt quite provoking:


‘After all, without realising how transient our existence really is, we could always postpone living authentically to some indefinite point in the future. It turns out, the time to live authentically, to seize the potential inherent in our being, to wrench ourselves out of our lostness and the ‘they’, is always NOW – in the present moment, especially since the indeterminacy of our mortality means that no other moments are guaranteed to us. Against the anxiety provoking and unpredictable backdrop of our human mortality, the time to be deeply and powerfully alive, is always NOW!’


Is your time NOW or is it some other time in the future that might never arrive?

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