As I write about my move to Colorado, a move that has very few plans attached, I hope you don’t interpret what I am saying as a sort of New Agey passivity, a ‘Let’s see where the wind takes me!’ path through adulthood, an ‘Everything will work out fine and blissfully!’ dreamer’s delusion. If there’s one thing I have learned in the ‘real world’, it is the power and necessity of intention.
Highly successful and admirable people I follow continuously converge on this bit of advice: reflect deeply on what you seek, visualize the world you wish to build, establish practical, realistic steps to get there, and patiently start putting those steps into practice. It may take years for something to happen, but you must not give up on the goal.
Keep focused on the intention, keep putting yourself out there, and unexpected results will come to be.
So long as we overcome doubt and fear with perseverance, we can accomplish so much more than we realize. It’s like Newton’s Third Law: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
“Put out fear and they’ll feel fear, it’s a chain reaction…
Put out love and they’ll feel love, it’s a chain reaction…”
A large part of my purpose in writing this blog is to become more aware of my intentions for my future and career, a sort of canvas to Pollock-spill the paint and find the patterns in the splatter (though not so formless at the outset, as I wish not for you to bear all the wild workings of my mind). At this juncture, here’s what I have in terms of intentions.
I intend to write, I intend to learn more about sustainable relationships to the earth, I intend to expand my knowledge of bodily and mental health, and I intend to look past myself in an effort to better serve my fellow man. As I farm, I will nurture these intentions, reminding myself of the metaphorical power of planting seeds, of watching them bud, of patiently helping them grow. I will seek new, unpredictable opportunities in alignment with these intentions, contacting local papers and online magazines in hope to become involved with spreading the word on diverse regional places and activities. I will put myself out there. I will trust that as I nourish and make conscious my intentions, so they will find external manifestation in the forms of lifestyle, relationships, and career.
So my approach is not a simple ‘go with the flow,’ nor is it a ‘plan every step of the way.’ It seeks—what do you know!—that elusive middle ground. (Once the Buddhist’s got that in my ear…)
I enter into the unknown to make new things known, to embed new habits, to establish a new foundation.
If I insist on this embedding and establishing at the outset, I am defining the future based on the past and so bringing this fixed, established identity to a new landscape, reducing the unknown’s potentiality for the sake of some idea of security based more on fear than necessity. Without that growth potential the unknown bears, I might as well have remained where I was.
I’ll conclude with a brief anecdote. One of my dad’s close friends, a kind, happy, successful man whom I respect a great deal, recently asked me the “What are you going to do?” question in a fantastic way. He said, “If money and security were not being considered, what do you see yourself doing out there? Go.” On instinct, I replied, “Writing.” Instantly, my intention was made known to me. His question did not inflict pressure. Rather, it helped guide me toward the vision, the dream, the intention. He then said, “Great. Now, how do you get there?”
The answer to that seemed simple. I just have to start writing. And lo and behold, this blog has now come to be! Though the vision is still a bit Pollock-esque, my emotions tell me that I intend for Alternate Pathways to become something more than a simple reflection of my journey. I look forward to nurturing these intentions toward growth.