What Do You Desire?
Some very thought provoking words by philosopher and writer Alan Watts (1915-1973). Many, particularly those with the lowest job satisfaction levels as evidenced by surveys like this, would be wise to take this particular point to heart:
It?s absolutely stupid to spend your time doing things you don?t like in order to go on spending things you don?t like, doing things you don?t like and to teach your children to follow the same track.
Although I don't suggest that all of his points in this segment be interpreted too literally, it really does highlight the importance and value of introspection, made all the more essential when our day to day lives keep us increasingly occupied with other responsibilities.
It also suggests that all too often we provide the next generations with the wrong lessons, that if we don't get what we desire, it's always someone else's fault - that it's fine to be miserable so long as we have someone else to unload the burden of blame on. Ultimately, no matter how how high the odds are stacked against us in any given situation, we always have the power to influence our own success and happiness. For most of us, whether we choose to exercise that immense power is - and always has been - a matter of personal choice.
I would also suggest that given the opportunity, you read some of Alan Watts' writings and listen to his recorded lectures (this one in particular). Even though some of his thinking might stray a bit too far into the spiritual realm (at least for my taste), his application of Eastern Philosophy to Western psychology still provides some interesting food for thought. He was also very much ahead of his time in recognising that to understand human behaviour it becomes impossible to separate psychological patterns from patterns that are sociological, biological,or ecological.[acp footnote]Alan W. Watts, Psychotherapy, East and West (New York: New American Library, 1961), p. 13.[/acp]
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