Site icon Dag Rune Flaaten

Staying on the right path – and fixing holes

Last time, I wrote about how to create the perfect life. I concluded that the perfect life lies in making the right choices and following the right path on the journey ahead. I also mentioned that when you make mistakes, as we all do, you can find back, as long as you know what you’re looking for and how and where to look for it.

The picture above is from the mountainside just outside our front door. I have walked this very path endless times. There are some boars roaming the same mountainside, always on the lookout for things to eat. Every now and then the path is slightly altered, as they have been digging into a specific area in their endless search for food.

As I do my walks – yes, I do walks – and when I’m not playing fetch with Bonzo, I often think of how to stay on the right path and thus create the best possible ending for this movie called life. Today, I actually prayed that my next 50 years on this planet would be the best ones … so far. Well, as we make our decisions along the way, the path changes. It’s not only the boars who have the power to change the path. No, everything is connected to everything, so that every decision you make has an influence on the future outcome of things.

That, of course, makes decision-making an extremely risky task, but there’s no way to avoid it. Life is an endless line of choices. How to shut out the noice, keep the focus on the most important things and thus being able to make the right decisions … this is what I tend to contemplate on my walks.

If you have the clear understanding that you’re not on the right path at all, at least you know where you shouldn’t be. As long as you stay away from the worst alternatives, you can move closer to the right ones – if you want. And, there’s not only one right line of actions. There are degrees of everything. You can lead a good life, by choosing not to lead a better life, and you can manouver from good to better along the way. And yes, there’s of course that little detail of never knowing how much time you have at your disposal. The song “Stairway to Heaven” is possibly one of the best songs ever, but it doesn’t take into account this little detail … when it says “There’s still time to change the road you’re on”, well … that’s not necessarily correct … in this life, at least..

Let’s turn to something important: Success. I often measure my degree of success in life, not just money-wise, but in all things, as of how much water remains in the bucket, when turning off the water. OK, let me explain: Imagine a bucket, and water pouring into it. The amount of water in the bucket, represents your degree of success, your quality of life. The water pouring into the bucket, might be thought of as time, or even as possibilities. But, there is water flowing out of the bucket as well, through numerous holes. Thus, the bucket doesn’t fill properly. All you faults and errors, your wrong decisions … all bad things are represented by a hole in the bucket. When you want to increase your degree of success in life, or the quality of life itself, you need to start fixing those holes, so that the water stabilizes at a higher level than before. This, of course, is a piece of work that will take the rest of your life, without you ever having the pleasure of completing it.

Not long ago, I made an amazing discovery. I had been pondering on why I couldn’t get the bucket to fill. I had fixed numerous holes and some even higher that the water level. When I made my discovery, it was obvious, of course – like it always is. The problem wasn’t the holes that I’d been fixing, the problem was the holes that I hadn’t discovered earlier. At first I got a little annoyed, wasting time fixing holes less important than those that I hadn’t discovered earlier, but then I realized that it had probably all been a blessing. If I had been aware of all of my faults and problems initially, who’s to say that I would have started fixing them at all? Maybe I would have chosen the easiest path and backed away from it all.

In this there is probably a piece of providence. We tend to make our discoveries when we’re ready for what they will reveal to us. Like the old saying: “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”. The teacher need not be someone else, it may be the same old you, though at a more elevated level than you were before, when you were blind to these issues.

The fixing of holes is never wasted. You may think you start at the bottom of the bucket, like me, which is logical, in order to create a better life for yourself and those you care about as fast as possible. You may do many things right, only to discover, at a later time, that there are underlying problems that still need to be fixed. Don’t let this discourage you, for you were probably not ready to deal with these issues earlier.

So, there you go, another post about creating a good life for you and those important to you. I will finish this post with the following: The fixing of holes is always troublesome, but it’s always worth it.

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