Sometimes I think to myself, what’s the best that can happen?
Even though our normal tendency is to ask the opposite question, I feel there’s perhaps even more value in flushing out the details of our fantasies rather than our fears. How would I feel if all my personal ambitions were fulfilled?
If I start with my book… I hope that I’ll be able to make a living off my writing, to have a book to that generates conversation and reflection, to go around speaking with people about these ideas, etc. Sounds like a pretty nice life!
But it I truly look at the nature of ‘success’, I quickly see that many people who achieve ‘it’ don’t even enjoy it because of wanting bigger accolades. If I’m not already satisfied with myself now, then what would make me think that achieving (x) goal would suddenly fill the hole? Wouldn’t it just be a lot easier to just stay dissatisfied where I am now instead of making all the effort?
One way I’ve found to get around this feeling of lack that no amount of worldly success could fulfill is to remind myself why I want to share my writing in the first place. Basically, I dig thinking about the universe and want to share a bit of this wonder with others. Whenever I come back to this fundamental feeling of wonder, I’m brought back to earth.
For instance, one way of speaking about what the universe does is to say that it is a continual factory that brings matter, stars, planets, and life into existence, holds those forms in being for a time, and then destroys everything to furnish the material for the next round of creation. Our own existence is built on the charred remains of millions of species and unspeakable cosmic violence. And yet, as your present awareness testifies, in all the turbulence there is somehow the possibility for the universe to look out at itself and marvel at the entire process to arise.
When I can really come in touch with the wonder of this working, the definition of what “needs to get done” changes dramatically.
Being part of a phenomenon as vast and incomprehensible as the universe is enough. Being able marvel at the fact that I can marvel enough is pretty marvelous! Coming in touch with that is like the feeling I get at the summit of a beautiful mountain, where I’m not worried with why the mountain exists, but simply to stand and appreciate its beauty… this is truly the best that can happen.
Meditation: Ask yourself ‘what’s the best that can happen?’ Really. Write out as thorough a description of you ideal future as possible.