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Home > Trust30 > #Trust30 Day 13: Alternative Paths

#Trust30 Day 13: Alternative Paths

June 13th, 2011

Today’s Prompt:

Alternative Paths by Jonathan Fields

When good is near you, when you have life in yourself, it is not by any known or accustomed way; you shall not discern the foot-prints of any other; you shall not see the face of man; you shall not hear any name; the way, the thought, the good, shall be wholly strange and new. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The world buzzes about goals and visions. Focus. Create a vivid picture of exactly where you want to go. Dream big, then don’t let anything or anyone stop you. The problem, as Daniel Gilbert wrote in Stumbling Upon Happiness, is that we’re horrible at forecasting how we’ll really feel 10 or 20 years from now – once we’ve gotten what we dreamed of. Often, we get there only to say, “That’s not what I thought it would be,” and ask, “What now?” Ambition is good. Blind ambition is not. It blocks out not only distraction, but the many opportunities that might take you off course but that may also lead you in a new direction. Consistent daily action is only a virtue when bundled with a willingness to remain open to the unknown. In this exercise, look at your current quest and ask, “What alternative opportunities, interpretations and paths am I not seeing?” They’re always there, but you’ve got to choose to see them.

(Author: Jonathan Fields)

Read the post online: http://ralphwaldoemerson.me/jonathan-fields

I tend to see many alternatives in my life, simply because I am involved in so many things. I change hats from moment to moment throughout my day — now I am a computer consultant — now I am a gardener — now I am talking about hiking and the outdoors — now I am acting as a math tutor to my son. Such varied activities tend to keep me open to all the opportunities that are available out there. I have often said that I would be bored senseless if I were required to focus only on one thing for days or weeks. In my life I can bounce from topic to topic, activity to activity and then come back around the circle to do it all again.

That said, I see a lot of people trapped within their own narrowly circumscribed lives. They all seem to profess a desire to break free, but often lack a plan to do so. I try to help where I can — inviting them to activities and projects outside their normal sphere of travel. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t, but we are both better for the trying.


#Trust30 is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on your now, and to create direction for your future. 30 prompts from inspiring thought-leaders will guide you on your writing.

 

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