Some people believe that life is pre-planned while others believe we make our own way through. These are opposing viewpoints and frankly I’m not sure which is right. In life though, I’ve found that when given two plausible answers, the truth is likely to be a combination of both.
But are both options plausible? Let’s think about it for a bit. If we believe life is pre-planned, then we believe that something beyond this realm already thought things through on our behalf, and now we’re just living out a script. If instead we believe we’re figuring-out our way through this world on our own, then it’s via practical application of skills — or wishes.
There is a large segment of the population that believes in wishing. It can be known as prayer or the “law of attraction” for instance. In my own dealings with life, I’ve certainly thought long and hard about certain things and received them, but then there’s the many things I haven’t received. And what is rarely discussed by these adherents: from where do our wishes originate, what inspires these thoughts in the first place?
As far as the practical application of skill goes, I know my talents have not been keeping me alive. I sit around most of the day thinking philosophical thoughts yet I’ve survived several decades with relative ease. Something outside of myself has ensured my continual existence, that’s a fact. Yet something tells me that I could derail my life if I really tried.
So what I’m sensing is that life certainly does plan our path to some extent. Just look at how we’re born within certain surroundings and influenced accordingly, plus we come pre-packed with all sorts of preferences that are difficult to ignore. Perhaps the wishes we want are just part of the pre-programming.
But do we personally bring fulfillment into being or does it manifest via external means? Perhaps wishers aren’t that far from the mark — perhaps we must trigger the manifestation of predetermined outcomes whenever we’re ready to receive, and we signal by some physical mechanism. Or if fulfillment is externally produced, they’ll arrive no matter what we do.
Perhaps fulfillment is purposefully delayed to induce a feeling of anticipation and heighten the drama. Life is a obviously a show of some sort — we’re consciousness, watchers within observing a character experiencing life. But what we can do is hope — hope is a belief in the ultimate fruition of our want. Whereas hopelessness can make us miserable.
The game therefore, is not in attaining what we want, but in maintaining anticipation and hope for what we want. To win we must hold steadfast to the belief that we will grasp the object of our desire despite doubt. External manifestation is beyond our immediate control, so only our thoughts surrounding such manifestation are within our power.
To summarize, our life appears preplanned to an extent, we can simply look at our innate preferences for proof. We can attempt to deny these preferences, but doing so will lead to severe discontent. We can also see that our survival skills, or lack thereof, are not what’s keeping us alive — we’re guided, our hand held. Unfulfilled desires seem to be the part of our preferences that are purposefully delayed for dramatic effect.
Although, what we receive tends to be the result of commingling imaginations. We’re regularly influenced by others — for instance we often want what’s popular. Circumstances are out of our control but we have hope. It doesn’t hurt to hope, in fact it feels pretty good — but despair does hurt, bringing dissatisfaction and suffering.
In the navigation of this world therefore, the practical application of skill has nothing to do with physical ability, it has to do with cultivating a mindset of unyielding hope. In that sense, perhaps wishers are merely misunderstood, they’re simply practicing hopefulness. And that’s why it seems such a futile practice to outsiders until its depths are understood.
To those of us with a pessimist’s mind it seems to make little sense, but beyond the superficial, we can understand it very well. Instead of anticipating the worst like we do, we must expect the best. Expectation is not something new for us, its just a rotation of focus, from negative to positive. And it’s not about receiving a particular outcome, but maintaining a belief about its benevolence.
Existence is not a physical challenge, it’s a mental one. The circumstances don’t matter, it’s all in the mindset. Obstacles regularly arrive and we overcome them with hope, by maintaining trust in the goodness of life. Stay in the car at all times, riding along the preset path. Laugh at and enjoy the surprises. Always seek to discern the goodness in life.