Evaluate life harshly, if you must. But leap right to the next step. Shout, “So be it! Here I am and I refuse to throw in the towel. I intend to live my life in a principled way, doing one right thing after another, to the best of my ability. Boom!”
Even though you may have ample reasons to feel that life is a cheat, you must, for the sake of experiencing meaning, for the sake of your emotional well-being, and because of some core moral imperative, move past that negative evaluation.
You announce, “Life may be a cheat, for which I have ample evidence. But despite being burdened with this absurd hand to play, I see a way to play it. I see what I can do today and I see what I can do tomorrow and I see how to live as a kirist.”
You counter your calculations about life with a dedication to your life as project. You make this leap even though you’ve been harmed, even though you’ve been badly disappointed, even though you find life taxing and unrewarding. You leap.
Because you know that how you evaluate life colors how you perceive your experiences, you attempt the odd work of thoughtfully deciding if you can evaluate life more positively. Maybe, just maybe, a more positive evaluation is possible.
And if it isn’t possible, you sigh and shrug. You say, “Sorry, life is a damned cheat. That’s the fact of the matter. And I had better deal with that reality as best as I can, following the guiding principles of self-obligation and self-authorship.”
You live your intentional life. And you keep checking for signs that your negative evaluation of life is creeping back in and undermining your efforts. You look for clues, which may be abundant, because that evaluation has a way of returning.
You check for a lack of motivation. If you feel unmotivated, you sit right up and exclaim, “Uh-oh. What’s going on here? Am I down on life again? Have I somehow forgotten that, even if I am down on life, I’m obliged to do the next right thing?”
You check to see if you’re despairing. Nowadays we call that “depression” and hope that a pill will make some difference. But you are wiser than that and you say, “Hm, I’m very sad. Is that my feeling that life has cheated me coming back full bore?”
Maybe a compulsion has gotten hold of you. Maybe your drinking has gotten out of hand or maybe you feel in the grip of something you can’t name or escape. Check in. You may be running like mad from the feeling that life has failed you.
This checking in helps remind you that you refuse to be paralyzed by your sense of how life ought to be. That life ought to be fairer, that life ought to easier, that life ought to be rosier, must not stop you from living life intentionally.
Your life is your project. You always knew that you needed to be its project manager. Well, that job is now yours!
Eric Maisel is the author of 50+ books. You can learn more about him at www.ericmaisel.com, subscribe to all of his blog posts at https://authory.com/ericmaisel, learn more about kirism here, and write him at [email protected]
This post is republished on Medium.
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