Monday, August 31, 2015

The Ideal

It may not be reasonable to assume reason will win out. We view the world around us through the lens of our own emotions. What seems logical to us is usually a combination of deductive reasoning and emotional bias. Most often the mind will follow where the heart leads it and not the reverse. Consequently it is important that our heart leads us in a helpful direction.

We have examples all around us of how destructive behavior is rationalized by tailoring reason to fit emotion. When we act in this way we are unable to understand why others cannot see how reasonable our position is. Yet, the mind will go only where the heart has first prepared it to. Using this as a “reasonable assumption” it seems practical that we proceed in such a way that our intellect will grow in a productive direction.

One of the most helpful ways in which to prepare our self to grow in a helpful direction is to set an ideal. Our ideal will be our direction, one that will enable us to chart a course to navigate through life. With an ideal, each time the storms we encounter blow us off our chosen path we will have a practical way of returning. Our ideal, if well set, should apply to all things in our life and everything we do should express a portion of it.

One of the things about an ideal is that we are either expressing it or we are not. If we believe we are preparing to express our ideal, we are not expressing it at all. There should be nothing we do, no expression from rising in the morning to retiring in the evening that does not in one way or the other express our ideal.  As a result we have not only a direction but a way to measure our activity.

Those of us that set ideals have a tried and tested way to avoid living them. Instead of expressing only a part of our ideal we compel our self to express too large a portion at one time. We are quickly overcome and we use this as justification for abandoning our effort. Our ideal should be large; it should be magnificent if it is the direction in which we will live our life. However, the portion we should require our self to express should be reasonable and not self-defeating. Judgment is essential to insure we are challenged yet not overcome.

The leading cause of a life lived without direction is the absence of an ideal to guide us. A life without direction is chaotic and it will sap the mind and body of even the strongest among us. The road that leads to our healing is one that lay in the direction of our ideal.

Let us travel in an orderly direction guided by our ideal. When we will inevitably step off the path we may simply step back to resume our journey. Our ideal is not our destination but our direction and we can change our direction any time we wish.