Objective Adjective: Be Open Or Doors Close.

 Does it ever feel like nothing ever goes your way? Everytime you’re close to the answer, someone changes the question. You hope and wish and pray and sacrifice household pets to get what you want and nothing works out. Your life is so awful, come here and let’s talk about it over Lorna Doones and mocha lattes…

 

Our brains are visually stimulated. Contrary to what the guy in the polka dot sports jacket and plaid tie at the other end of the bar would have you think, looks do count. Without a visual image it is often nearly impossible for us to imagine something. Don’t believe me? Watch this:

Dog.

Hat.

Sky.

I bet you didn’t think of those three words as definitions in a dictionary. What breed of dog did you envision? Did you see a baseball cap, a Stetson or a fedora? Did you see a blue sky at noon, or a red sky at sunset? I told you it’s not easy to think without pictures being attached. And those were nouns, it gets even harder with adjectives.

Is this the dog you envisioned?

 

Adjectives. Oh we haven’t heard that one since high school english. Why am I bringing them up now? Easy, because they are describing words. They solidify what we want when we think of what we want. Follow? Okay here’s an easy example. You say “I want a new car.”. In your mind, you draw an image of a factory fresh Dodge Charger. It’s so new that it’s somehow a 2014 model. Bright red paint with the black stripes and the HEMI logo on the hood. Yeah, that’s a new car alright! You’ll have to use some bad-ass adjectives to describe this one!

So what’s the problem? You want a new car, you have an image in mind but you feel like it’s getting further from your reach the harder you try. You go to work to be a productive member of society but you don’t have enough money for the decked out options you want. Or you have the money but they don’t carry the specific package you want. Or whatever. You did a bunch of positive thinking and all that did was get you excited with no actual results (same pattern as your last few blind dates…ha!). You’ve done nice things for people hoping that karma would give you an advance for your deeds. You even went to a prayer group and led the congregation in singing:

“Oh Lord, wontcha buy me a Hemi Charger.
My friends all drive Camaros, I wanna be faster than them.
Drove slow my whole life, the laughing never ends.
So Oh Lord, wontcha buy me a Hemi Charger.”

How attached are you to the image of the car? Is it locked in stone or are you open to things being slightly different? What if the car was a 2012? What if it had a 6 cd changer instead of a 42 cd changer (who knows what they’ll offer in 2014)? What if someone had it for a month, decided they didn’t like it and took it back to the dealership? Would you take it if everything else was the way you wanted? What if you suddenly realize that you like all black better? Or a different model? What if you had to wait an extra year but could get the exact package you wanted in the first place? A lot of variables to be sure, and some of them negate the semantic definition of “new”. And with a tunnel-vision outlook, those variables would ruin your image even though they all conspire to give you what you want.

 
The car example was fairly straightforward but the concept works with absolutely anything from people to jobs to food, etc. Regardless of what the focus is, the minute you lock onto a single image as the only possible solution, you lock out all other solutions. Last time I checked there were about 999 billion possibilities in the universe (don’t ask me where I checked). Is your love of adjectives going to stop you from seeing alternatives that lead you to roughly the same place? Or someplace better?

 
Regardless of who you are, where you live, where you grew up, what school you went to, etc, you are given a constant stream of gifts, blessings, solutions, opportunities, whatever you want to call them. Unfortunately, if you cannot recognize them for what they are, they are ignored. Behind you is a trail of unused and abandoned “presents” because your rational mind looked at something and could not fathom how to see it any other way that the blatantly apparent.

 
Before you start calling me a self-righteous motivational speaker wannabe, I’ll be completely honest and tell you that behind me is a maaaaaaassive pile of ignored and disregarded solutions and opportunities. It’s a huge pile! It makes one of those “Pick Your Part” junkyards look like a kids’ playground. I was such an infinite ass to people, Andrew Dice Clay demanded royalties for stealing his gimmick. Why they continued to talk to me I’ll never know. I’m not even going to get started on how many opportunities I missed out on. My focus was so far into the future, anything that was not 110% aligned with what I thought was the only path to where I wanted to be was cast aside, often with disdain:

“How dare you offer me something interesting and useful but not synched up with the self-written image in my head that has to be true because that’s the only one I could think of!”
 
“How dare you talk to me when I’m interested in that other person across the room. I don’t care that we have the same interests and we get along, you’re interrupting me from figuring out how to get that other person to notice me!”
 
“How dare you try to give me a job in X profession. You know I only want to do Y profession. I don’t care that Y pays more up front, I’m following my heart!”

 
Aside from being embellished for effect, those are real reactions I’ve had in the past. There is a very real danger from being steadfast to the image in your head, regardless of what the observable evidence is telling you. Sometimes the heart you think you’re following is really your ego in disguise. Think back five, ten, even fifteen years and remember people who may have been trying to help you and you couldn’t see it then. Think about opportunities. How many did you just not see because of that big ol’ picture in your brain of how it “should be”?

 
One particular image that we all need to get rid of is the fallacy of perfection. The perfect mate, the perfect vacation, the perfect wedding, the perfect house, the perfect town, the perfect whatever is all bogus. Nothing is perfect. Perfection is an endless trip, not a checkpoint. The illusion of perfection has caused more anger, depression and therapy sessions than any other image ever thought of in the history of humanity (Probably not statistically true, but it’s definitely a large contributing factor).

 
The perfect vacation will have rain and a flat tire. The perfect wedding will also have rain and surprise attendance from all your exes. The perfect house will have some hidden problem you didn’t notice on the walkthrough. The perfect town will give you a parking ticket and raise your taxes…on the same day. If you want a guy or girl to be your perfect match, guess what? They won’t be. Oh they may be up in the 90th percentile but there will be something that they do that grates on your nerves and begins to drive you batty. Not because they’re trying to but because your image is in conflict with the real thing. 

Your ability to cope with these situations is inversely proportional to your attachment to the images, perfect or otherwise, harbored in your head. And the more open you are to what is in front of you means the more you have to work with in life. What you think is perfect may not be the best thing for you. Just because it works for someone else doesn’t mean the equation holds true for you…you’re a different variable.
So what have we learned so far?

  1. That being fixated on one possible result limits your ability to take advantage of the other possibilities.
  2. That perfection is a myth sustained by marketing departments, interior designers and modeling agencies.
  3. That you most likely already had everything you wanted and didn’t know it.
  4. That you have everything you want but don’t know because it’s wrapped in a different “package”.

My older friends always tell me that I’m young and I started figuring this stuff out early. To me, I find that statement funny since it still seems like an intolerably long time to be smashing your head into the wall in order to fit the square peg into the round hole. Getting older calms you down and it’s only with a bit of calm observation that duhhhhh you realize there’s a square hole also. But that’s how we’re programmed, especially in the United States. Move! Do something! If you aren’t busy, you’re taking up space! While nobody should lie around for 50 years straight, there is also something to be said for slowing down and making sure you are paying attention to everything around you.

 
Decide instead of reacting (I still have trouble with that one). Feel instead of forcing. If something tells you that the purchase, or the location or the person or whatever is not right for you, trust the feeling. Don’t start banging on the square peg to “make it work because it just has to”. Take a look around. I promise you’ll see a lot of things that you want just sitting there waiting.

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About Christopher Williams

It's easier to lie about being boring than it is to be honest about being extraordinary.
This entry was posted in Consciousness, How-To, Problem Solving, Self Help, Sociology, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Objective Adjective: Be Open Or Doors Close.

  1. Very interesting ideas, and pretty true. Personally, I don’t have much of a future fixation; my problem is too much looking backwards, which is as bad or worse. So, I’m working on that, focusing on what’s in front of me – and like you said, all those possibilities.

    I don’t necessarily agree that we have what we want in front of us and just don’t know it. I think there are things that we still want or want to achieve, and that can be a good thing. You have to have something to look forward to, goals and rewards. And you have to have hope for the future, or what’s the point of moving forward? Having said that, I get your point that we need to take a look around at all the great things that are in front of us and be appreciative of what we already have. (Forgive me if I missed something there, but that was my interpretation.)

    • You are 110% correct that it is important to set goals. If I didn’t set goals I’d probably never get out of bed! However, goals and tangible results are two different things. I can give you an example of how everything you want is in front of you. Lets say that you set a goal of getting a higher paying job in 3 months. You may say “I’ll do anything but it has to pay more than what I’m doing now.” Guess what? There’s plenty of jobs out there that will pay you more right away but they may involve some things you may not want to do.

      Since you have self respect, you mentally list the things you won’t do and keep hoping. The 3 month marker rolls by and you get upset. Now 6 months goes by, you’re really mad and write me an angry letter. But somewhere around the 8 month mark, you suddenly end up with a new, higher paying job. It’s in a completely different city doing something you’ve never done before but happened to be very interested in. What happened?

      The job, the tangible result, was there all along. It just showed up in different forms. Perhaps for 2 weeks you had the opportunity for Job C and then for 1 week you had access to Job C and Job E, followed by access to only Job G. But regardless of which job you took, you had to be ready first. If your physical mind, subconscious mind and physical body are not prepared to move to the next level, you will not go.

      Sometimes things that hold you back are to allow you time to get ready. Other times you’re kept from doing something at the wrong time. How often have people wanted to do something, had something come up and were upset until they realized that they had just dodged a bullet?

      So set all the goals you can. It helps to expand you to new and exciting planes. But just know that whatever it is that you want is already waiting for you to be ready.

      In the end, it’s always us!

      • skippingstones says:

        Ok, I think I’m understanding you now. Maybe what I want – the object, job, result, whatever – is not sitting at my feet. But the means to obtain it are already in me, already there “right in front of me”. I choose to, or not to, do what I need to do to achieve the results I want. In your example, I could have had a higher paying job within the timeframe set, if I were willing to do a less desirable job. What I wanted was in front of me and I rejected it. It fits with my own examples, too – things I want, but somehow I just expect them to fall into my lap. The means are in front of me, I just have to put in some effort. I don’t know if this is exactly what you’re saying, but it making sense to me.

  2. It’s like being really hungry and living less than a mile from a really great restaurant. Some people sit in their room and complain how hungry they are and how they never get to eat any good food. Others drive to the restaurant and won’t go inside for various reasons. Still some of us go inside, look at the menu and can’t decide what we want. (ex: even though you wanted lobster, you say “I’ll just have a salad”). Very few people are able to recognize that they are “hungry” and take the steps to getting something really good to eat. These are the people we call lucky or fortunate.

    Like the restaurant, you don’t have to put in a lot of effort in life. Nobody shows up at a steakhouse, throws on an apron and cooks their own food. They do it for you, but again, you have to show up and decide what you want. There is effort involved, but not as much as people would have you believe. That being said, I have seen people struggle more with what to get at dinner than when buying a car!

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