The Ramblings of the Titanium Don

Explorations of Conscious Reality Creation and Other Matters

Month: September 2013

Pathwalking 91

Writers are often classed into one of two categories: Planners and Pantsers.

Planners are the ones who create an outline, sometimes with immense details, and plan out their work to a greater or lesser degree.  They know their characters, locations, plot, beginning middle and end.  They have most if not all of their work pre-planned, and they know where they are going throughout the writing process.

Pantsers are the ones who are more apt to go with stream-of-consciousness.  They have no outline, and write by the seat of their pants (hence the name ‘pantsers’).  They may start with an idea, either a character, a scene, a place, a plot, or some combination therein.  They simply write.  They go where the initial idea takes them, and maybe, in time, they figure out how the beginning, middle and end will all fall into place.

This notion of planners and pantsers can be applied to how people in general live their lives.

Some people need to have lists for everything.  They need to plan their day to a greater or lesser extent.  They might pre-pack meals, lay out clothes the night before, have a strict schedule for how their day will go.  Some people plan out as much of their day as they can, to fit in many things or to make time for unexpected surprises.  Planners have a good idea of how their day will start, how the middle of the day will go, and when and even how the day will end.

Some people just go with the day.  They get up in the morning, and just let what happens, happen.  They go about what they have to do by the seat of their pants, with little or no plan.  They have a loose schedule, if any at all, and get dressed with whatever they pull from the dresser or closet.  They just let the activities of the day carry them along, take then where they will, whatever may come. Pantsers have little to no idea how the day will begin, what the middle of the day will hold, or when and how it will end.

With most things in life, it is perfectly well to be a pantser or a planner, but it is ideal to find and strike a balance between both.

Planners, for example, are often ill-prepared for the unexpected.  Something unwanted like a terrible traffic jam, or something potentially pleasant such as an unplanned lunch date, or something time consuming such as a business meeting might come up.  When such that they do not have on their list or they have not scheduled occurs, they might become agitated and uncertain.

Pantsers, for example, are often ill-prepared when they have to keep a schedule, be it for a job or school or family and friends.  They often find themselves at odds with the necessity of set plans and time and location specific activities and events.  When they have to set or follow a strict plan, they might become agitated and uncertain.

How, you may ask, does this go into Pathwalking?  Simple – when you are walking your path, you are making choices.  Some small, some large, some easy and some lofty.  But in order to walk your own path, you have to fit it into the framework of your life approach, whether you are a planner or a pantser.

Knowing this will show you how you might need to adjust things.  When you are making the choices of walking your own path, planning will need to happen.  If you are more of a pantser than a planner, this is going to require previously unnecessary discipline.

But as often mentioned in regards to Pathwalking, no path is without its curves, bumps, detours and other unexpected shifts.  If you are a more of a planner than a pantser, this requires you to have less discipline, and to better accept those seat-of-the-pants situations where no plan will survive.

Finding a balance between these two extremes is important.  Like with most things in life, a middle ground is important to realize…whatever you are trying to achieve.  If you can be both a planner and a pantser, depending on the situation, you can walk any path with very little complication and difficulty.

So whether you lean more towards planner or pantser, it is good to know and see the opposite, and to study how to allow whichever you are least inclined to do for yourself to also have its place along your path.

So – planner, pantser, or somewhere between the two – how do you identify yourself?

 

This is the ninety-first entry in my series. These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my desire to make a difference in this world along the way. Thank you for joining me.

The first year of Pathwalking is available in print and for your Kindle.

Pathwalking 90

We all want to be appreciated.

Whether it is something little or something big, we all want to be acknowledged.  We all want to feel that our efforts and works are appreciated.

The power of gratitude is important to our own ability to do and to have things, but we cannot deny the power of appreciation.  We need to be grateful for things, but we also need to be acknowledged and appreciated for the things we do.

I know no one who does not appreciate hearing “Thank you!” or “I appreciate that” or “That was really great of you” or “Dude, you rock!”  The appreciation, whether for an act you have performed or a job you have done or simply for you being you goes a long ways towards how you feel on a daily basis.

I have said many times throughout Pathwalking that we are each responsible for our own feelings.  No one “makes” us feel a certain way, though it is undeniable that the actions of others and outside influences will affect how we feel.  We can choose how to let things phase us, and we can choose whether to let a feeling an outside influence produces linger or be let go.

One of the worst feelings you can have is feeling unappreciated.  In especial when others around you are being shown appreciation, and you are not.  Whether you watch someone you consider a peer receive some sort of award or recognition that you feel you also deserve, or whether someone you have been partnered with is thanked and you are not, there is nothing more disconcerting than feeling unappreciated.

Worse, the feeling of being unappreciated can very easily spiral into darker, even more negative places.  It is not hard to go from feeling unappreciated to feeling disconnected to feeling unloved to feeling unimportant to feeling sad to feeling angry to feeling hopeless…you get the idea.  And we have all been there, haven’t we?

The first thing we have to acknowledge about this is this:  You can do nothing to change how others appreciate you, or don’t.  Once the act of appreciation or neglect has happened, it is done.  Attempting to change it is a waste of time and energy.  All we can do is accept it and move on.

Hold the phone.  No.  I worked hard on ‘x’ or I gave an incredible amount of effort to ‘y’ and I want that acknowledged!  I will not accept this disregard!  I know that feeling, and I am here to tell you that, sorry, this instance is over.  It has happened, and you cannot go back and change it.  All you can do is accept it, and move on.

Now that is not to say that you do not have the right to feel hurt, to feel angry, to feel dismissed, to feel neglected, to feel unappreciated.  We are human beings, and this is a part of our nature.  And since we need appreciation, when we do not get it it hurts.  That sinking, disquieting sensation in your chest is extremely unpleasant, and it feels awful.  I am not telling you to ignore the feeling, because you simply cannot.

What I am suggesting here is not to hold onto it for too long.  We have control over how long we will let that terrible feeling linger, and we can choose to let it settle into our being and fester for hours, or days, or weeks, or months, or what-have-you.  Holding onto that unhappy, negative sensation does not serve you.  It does not let you move forward, it is a roadblock, an iceberg, a canyon with no way across, and it will make your path non-traversable.

Let the feeling happen, because you cannot stop it.  But you can choose to not hold onto it for too long.

What comes next, though, is key to continuing to walk your own path.  What do you do with regards to the person or persons who did not appreciate you?  Do you continue to do good work even though you are not feeling appreciated for what you do?  Do you do less?  Do you do more?  Do you lash out, and seek retribution for the hurt you have received?

Here are my thoughts on these important questions.  First, and most importantly, whether you receive appreciation or no, you should not stop being you.  You should continue to act as you act, within your own nature, no matter if you receive acknowledgement or no.

What if what I was doing I was doing FOR the person who did not appreciate me?  Do I have to keep doing what I was doing?  If it no longer makes you feel good, and it no longer serves your path in life, then by all means move on.  What you should NOT do is lash out.  You should not belittle or show a lack of appreciation in retaliation for the slight you have received.  That will only make things worse.  Remember, negative acts beget negative acts.  You have to break the cycle or it will continue.

In that vein comes the even more important part of this.  If negative begets negative, then conversely positive begets positive.  If you want to get appreciation, SHOW appreciation.  And we circle back to gratitude.  But this is not gratitude for your own things, you own place in life, this is gratitude for other people.  This is showing the same appreciation you wish to receive.

Remember to thank people.  Remember to compliment people.  Remember to show people that you appreciate them for what they do, and who they are.  Appreciation is a two-way street, and when we give it, we get it.  Yes, this is much harder after you have been slighted, but that does not mean it should be neglected.

Let me conclude with this:  I sincerely appreciate you.  Whether I know you personally or otherwise, whether you agree with the things I write here or not, I appreciate you.  Thank you for reading, thank you for letting me share these thoughts and ideas with you.  You are wonderful, and I cannot express to you enough how grateful I am for your time.  You, dear reader, are an awesome person.

THANK YOU!

 

This is the ninetieth entry in my series. These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my desire to make a difference in this world along the way. Thank you for joining me.

The first year of Pathwalking is available in print and for your Kindle.

Pathwalking 89

I have discussed the power of gratitude before.  But it is SO important to Pathwalking, it really bears repeating.

It is almost impossible to improve upon what you have in life, whether it is something material or immaterial, if you are not already grateful for what you DO have.

Great or small, tangible or intangible, important or unimportant in the grand scheme of things, it is absolutely necessary that you have gratitude.

There are times gratitude feels hard.  When you are in a depression, or fighting with someone, or struggling to make ends meet, or simply unhappy, it is difficult to feel and express gratitude.  When you read the news about unfair practices, wars, hatred, violence and inequality, despite what you are grateful for having it can be difficult to express gratitude.

Nevertheless, gratitude is vastly important to manifesting and acquiring things in your life.  If you are ungrateful for what you have, getting more or different things will be difficult at best.

But worse than that, if you are ungrateful for what you have already, you take no joy in getting the things you believe that you want or desire.  And if they do not make you happy, then what is the point?

I suspect that some of these business and government leaders we are always reading about are deeply unhappy.  They take and take and take, and show no gratitude for what they have, only greed…and they are constantly seeking to take and have more, and worse, to deny others what they themselves want and have and want more of.  What reason could there be for this, if not that they are unhappy, ungrateful, and want more in the belief it will make them happy?

And they will fall.  Because when you are ungrateful, and you are greedy, you will never manage to be happy.  You will never be content or satisfied, and you will create more unhappiness and discontent.

I have stated before that the thing people generally want most is happiness.  What we want from our lives is contentment, happiness, joy, pleasure.  We want to be happy as often as we can be.  Nearly everything we do is intended to bring more happiness into our lives.

We work our jobs to earn money to have things that will make us happy.  We enter into relationships to make ourselves happy.  We find and spend time with friends to make ourselves happy.  We spend money on toys to bring happiness to ourselves and others.  We participate in activities to make ourselves happy.

The things we consciously do we do to make ourselves happy.  But if we are not grateful for the things we have, we will not be happy with the things we do.  If we are ungrateful for the things we buy with our money, we will be unhappy with those things.  If we are ungrateful for the relationships we have, we will be unhappy with them.  If we are ungrateful for our friends, we will be unhappy spending time with them.  And so on and so forth.

Even when we have difficulty in feeling gratitude, we need to work on finding things to be grateful for.  Gratitude allows us to not only appreciate what we have, but to appreciate what we gain.  Gratitude leads to happiness.

No one likes that feeling in the pit of your stomach when you are discontent, unhappy, and ungrateful.  But that sense of peace, that inner happiness that comes of contentment and gratitude is, I believe, what we all are truly striving for.  And it is why we choose to walk the paths of our own choosing.

This is why gratitude is so important to Pathwalking.  If Pathwalking is about choosing my own path in life, and making my way as I would want, then is it imperative that I be grateful for what I already have, if I want more of it.  The ultimate goal is to be happy.

Overly-simple?  Perhaps.  But when I boil every miniscule aspect of this philosophy down to its ultimate core, happiness continues to be the end point I reach.  Perhaps it is time to approach something in life from a more simple perspective.  Does EVERYTHING have to be complicated?  I think no.

If you have not been showing gratitude often enough recently, I would like to challenge you to this:  Every day, for a week, find five things to be grateful for, and write them down.  Don’t just think of them – FEEL the gratitude for them.  I have done this, and found that the practice brings more gratitude, and that in turn brings more contentment in my life.

Gratitude is a necessary element of life, and as such tremendously important to Pathwalking.  What are you grateful for?

 

This is the eighty-ninth entry in my series. These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my desire to make a difference in this world along the way. Thank you for joining me.

The first year of Pathwalking is available in print and for your Kindle.

Pathwalking 88

I know what I want to do.  I can see the Path I want to choose to walk.  That does not mean it is always easy, or clear.  Some days, I do not know if I am only seeing my path, or traveling upon it.

Morpheus says in The Matrix, “Sooner or later you’re going to realize, just as I did, that there’s a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path.”  Yoda says in The Empire Strikes Back, “Do, or do not…there is no try.”  Both of these statements say the same thing – make a choice and follow through.

I have made some difficult choices in how I am going to walk my path and live the life I want.  Some, I am sure, see my choices as good and valid.  But then there are some who see my choices as foolish.  To others, they might even appear selfish.

Some days are simply harder than others.  There are days when I am deeply grateful for the things I have and the people in my life.  And then there are days where I am frustrated, sometimes with the things, sometimes the people, sometimes other issues minor and major.

Some days reading the news is a very bad idea.  So many awful things happening, some local, some global, and it is very hard not to let all that negative energy affect you.  Threats of war and terrorism, rapes and violence against woman and minorities, power-mad fools destroying the ecosystem to make and horde ever-greater wealth.  Some days it simply seems pointless to bother walking my own path…what difference in our messed-up world can this possibly make?

The truth of that question, however, is this – it makes a huge difference.  If I am walking my own path, and showing how content and happy that makes me, it could encourage others to try the same thing.  And if other people try to walk their own path and make their own happiness, they can in turn encourage others along the way.

The concept of “pay it forward” is a part of this.  Someone does a good deed for me, I am encouraged to do a good deed for another, which proceeds to cause that person to do a good deed for someone else…etcetera etcetera.  But this is not about making choices like this once in a while, this is about making choices constantly.

One question I frequently consider – do more people let life live them and let others make their choices FOR them, than live their own lives and make their own choices?  Or is it that they don’t let others choose for them so much as they do not take responsibility for the choices that they themselves make?

I have said for a long time that accountability in this world would go a long ways towards making it a better place.  But we are encouraged to not be accountable.  We are encouraged to shift the blame, to see fault in the processes or the systems, or what-have-you, rather than be responsible and accountable for our own part.  We look to fix the problems of others before exposing, accounting for, and taking responsibility for our own.

I do not know if this is a problem in society, or just human nature.  I suspect this is societal, but that is not the point of my thought patterns here.  I am owning up to the choices that I have made, I am being accountable for them, and saying that, yes, I chose to do that, or be this, or make my life as such.  I am choosing my life experience, and will have it the way I want it.

This is an imperfect process in part because I am flawed.  Nothing wrong with that, it is a part of what makes me, me.  I am going to do and fail from time to time, and I accept that.  I will do something else when what I am doing now fails, and continue.  I am taking action, I am choosing how I want this to be.

Yes, some days I choose wisely, some days less so.  And there are even times when I do not, in fact, choose at all.  There are days I do simply go along with the flow, and let the chips fall where they may.  But I have chosen to let it be that way.  And it is the fact that a choice was made that keeps me walking my path.

Pathwalking is a constant process, but it is a process none-the-less.  Elements of it get easier with time, but it still requires thought and concentration, active work, and active action.  But I continue to believe that in choosing to walk my own path, I am more content, I am happier, I am better able to account for my life, my actions, and my direction.

And I continue to share my process because I believe that you can also benefit from walking your own path.  I believe if more of us make choices, walk our own paths, and work to make our small pieces of the world more how we would want them to be, perhaps we can encourage others to do the same.  And maybe, just maybe, the philosophy of Pathwalking could make the world a better place.

How do you deal with the harder days of walking your own path?

 

This is the eighty-eighth entry in my series. These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my desire to make a difference in this world along the way. Thank you for joining me.

The first year of Pathwalking is available in print and for your Kindle.

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