No Right Way To Live Your Life" - Robert
From the time we were infants, we were told that there is a ďrightĒ way to
live your life. Therefore, your job is to find that right way. Everyone has an
opinion about how you should live. Some think you should pursue spiritual
growth, personal development, and perfect yourself. Some think you should get
involved with acts of kindness. Some think you should save the world, or have
the right politics, or adopt the right belief. We have been sold a bill of
Most everyone has, somewhere in the back of their mind, an image of the correct
way to live. Most people are not aware of how much they have taken on the
concept of how they should live their lives, so the concept remains unnoticed
even when it is a major influence in how they think of goals, values, symbols of
success and failure, where they should be at certain ages, the types of
relationships, family, career, home, organizations of which they should belong.
Good chance, you have an unknown image in the recesses of your mind. This image
will plague you until it is confronted. Sometimes the image comes from role
models you admired in your youth. For some, itís James Bond, for some, itís
their favorite Rock star. Maybe itís an astronaut like Neil Armstrong. Maybe
itís Mother Teresa or Amelia Earhart. Maybe it is a combination of several
role models, all mixed up, all vying for your attention and acquiescence. One
thing that is important to know is that you will never be able to live up to
Of course, many like to put themselves in a position of authority about how you
should live. For some, itís a business opportunity given they sell their
theories with the promise of happiness, success, and rewards. For others, it is
a calling in that they feel compelled to spread their hypothesis of how life
should be lived. For others, it is confirmation of their own belief systems,
because they feel that the more people who agree with them, the more validity
their beliefs have. For others, itís a way to pass the day, as they think
about their friends and families lives, and how they would change the way those
people would live. As they say about certain parts of the human anatomy,
everyone has got an opinion about the right way to live.
Who can say to what you should aspire, or what you should hold dear, or who you
should love, or what you should think. Of course, this can be a scary thought.
Freedom is a hard issue for most people. One thing that makes it hard is a
common confusion which can be captured in this one common reaction to the idea
that often comes up when freedom is discussed, ďNo one is free to throw their
garbage on my lawn.Ē
Throwing your garbage on someone elseís lawn is not a question of freedom. It
is a question of sovereignty. It is about ownership and jurisdiction. But, when
pursing that line of attack, the deeper issue of your freedom to live your life
anyway you see fit gets lost.
The basic misconception that generates the dogmatic pronouncements about how you
should live comes from societies notion about people. The underlying assumption
is that people canít be trusted, and, therefore, left to their own devices,
they will be destructive. So, therefore, people need to be controlled. If you
thought this, you would feel that it is critical to tell others how to live.
Yet, when people are truly free to make their own choices, they choose health
over sickness, love and relationships over hate and strife, productive and
meaningful work over meaningless and fruitless endeavors, and to join together
to support each other for the common good rather than isolate themselves in a
survival of the most selfish game-theory paranoid vision of a hostile world.
What does it take to enjoy such freedom? It takes freeing the mind from the
chains of all concepts. Concepts are not reality. Thatís why they are
concepts. You donít need a concept to know what you are tasting, or smelling,
or touching, or hearing. Your senses are designed to perceive reality so that
you can make decisions about what you will do in the circumstances. Yet, so much
of our world is in love with concepts. And why not. You never have to prove a
concept in reality. And if a concept turns out to reflect reality, it is no
longer a concept, but a known fact. Freedom, like life itself, happens in
reality, not in your mind. And freedom of thought is a building block for
organizing your life based on your highest aspirations and deepest values.
The next thing it takes to enjoy such freedom is mastery of the creative
process. If you canít create what you truly want, you can wish all you want,
but your chances are slim. Not all things that people want are possible.
But we have been taught from our earliest moments on this planet that you
canít have what you want. At least, not what you REALLY want. And, of course,
all the experts in how we should live have their lists of what we should want.
But, if you are free of concepts, if you no longer have to uphold the image that
is in the back of your mind about how you should be, you can reinvestigate what
you might really want. But this is more than discovery. It is an evolutionary
And here is where the creative process becomes so essential. You can learn how
to think in terms of what you truly want by creating the small things you want
first. A meal, a look for a room, a dinner party, a blog you write, a small
flower bed, and on and on it can go. You become decisive by making decisions.
You build your creative muscle by creating. Soon you will find that, while many
things you may want are not possible, many more are. Over time and experience,
your vision of your own life becomes more your own. And while many people might
have an opinion, no one has a vote.
There is no right way to live your life. But there is YOUR way. And thatís all