Welcome to Insights and Implications!
This is our final newsletter of 2019. The end of the year is a good time to reflect and look back at life. With the help of Confucius, we will explore how easy it is to let the doing of life overtake the living of life.
Wishing Everyone a Very Happy New Year!
All of us at Insight Principles
We have two lives. The second one begins when we realize we only have one. Confucius
I read this quote on the sport’s page of the Seattle Times, of all places. After six very successful years as head football coach at the University of Washington, Chris Peterson unexpectedly resigned his position. In his announcement he shared that this quote from Confucius had been “ringing in my ears” ever since he saw it a year ago. He realized that he had lost his passion for his job and he needed to take a break.
The quote struck me, too. It’s easy to forget the specialness of every day. I go about my life doing one thing after another. I get consumed by daily tasks. The habitual routines. The endless to-do lists. Especially at this time of year with all the extra activities, the parties, and the gifts to buy.
I spoke with a person today who said, “I was so busy last week with work, my family, holiday shopping. I finally sat down on Sunday night and I couldn’t remember anything about the week. I know I got stuff done but I don’t think I was present for any of it.”
Human doing not human being.
So should you stop and quit your job? Of course not. But it might be a good idea to reflect for a moment on your job and your life. Are you actually living your life and doing your job or is your life living you and your job doing you? In other words do you feel like a victim sometimes? Has your life become a series of unconscious habits? Have you forgotten about the invisible power creating your perceptions and thereby relinquishing the psychological freedom to experience something new?
Let’s return to the person who forgot an entire week of her life. The good news is, when she finally stopped and looked, she saw clearly what had happened. She woke up to the present moment. Though chagrined at the loss of a week of her life, she was not going to repeat it. Back in the present, she had an insight. “I need to take a day off!” And she did, even though she was busy at work and had a long to-do list. She spent time with her kids, wrapped packages, and rested.
I think the message of Confucius’ quote is to be in life. Don’t miss it. The present moment is the only moment that exists – you might as well be there. Afterall, you live in the feeling of your thinking. When your thinking becomes rote or stale, your feelings in life will follow. It helps to pause and reflect to see how you are spending your time in this precious life and if it’s time well spent.
There are many positive outcomes of realizing how your mind works and that your experience of reality is being created from the inside-out. One of them is what happened to the person in my story. When she remembered what she knew, she looked inside. Two insights appeared. “I don’t remember anything about last week” and “I need to take a day off.” Insights happen when your mind settles.
Another, even more profound outcome – you realize you are living in a world of thought. Unnecessary (outside-in) thinking disappears. Quite simply, there is less and less on your mind. You know what we call a mind with less on it, a mind that is quiet and clear? Present.
Be present to life and chances are the one life you get will be enough.