BY URVIL JAMES VILLARUEL
Feb. 24, 2016, Toronto, ON - All life is a myriad of choice. Followed by a decision. Influenced by obstacles.
It is this direct formula that propagates our known universe and the lives we live in it. From moment-to-moment, we are each presented with a choice; that, once decided upon, will lead us down a designated path until another decision has been made. The problem arises when “obstacles” enter the equation. Obstacles keep us from following through on what we really want.
There will always be some obstacle influencing our decision making process, which we must overcome. Thus, the only way to ever make right decisions in life is to not let these supposed “obstacles” cloud our judgement; thereby stopping us from doing what we truly want.
I wish to exercise. The obstacle in this scenario would be that I would have to get up, put on my shoes and start working out. But do I really want to get up, put on my shoes and start working out? Exercise is great for the body-mind connection and it’s the right thing to do in order to nourish myself --- but, I’m lazy. As mundane an example that this may be, this example has widespread application towards every other choice in our lives. What we must always be mindful of is not just our decision's outcome, but the obstacle that is influencing our presentation of choice before that decision has been made; thus impacting our future state. Hence, it is also important to learn to discern the difference between desire and duty. Not duty in the sense that something is superimposed on us, as held righteously above by another, but duty in the sense that we all have a duty to ourselves: a duty in which we choose to live active, meaningful and fulfilled lives.
Sadly, we can all become so easily swept up in our own perceived desires --- that is, unless we come to understand the mind. If it feels good, tastes good, looks good, you should do it. Should you? Or should you sacrifice your own superficial want in the present moment for something you truly want later? Something that will make your future state of existence both meaningful and fulfilled. With enough silence and introspection, one can come to realize what the right decision has been all along. The other, simply being a manifestation of superficial desire. However, the mind will try and fool you. It will try and tell you that what you desire is the right thing to do. It will start to rationalize. This is why it is so important to understand the mind; because, in the end, only you will know the difference.
Ultimately, each moment in life serves as a dynamic playing field for exercising choice. What do we truly want to do in this moment that will leave us feeling fulfilled, knowing that we are becoming something meaningful in our lives? Or, in other words: self loved. Only when we can sit honestly and openly with ourselves long enough, can we ever really know the difference between what we truly want and what we think we want. All choices lead down two very different paths. Thus, it is important to stay mindful and make good decisions. Sacrifice the superficial now, for what is better for you, later on --- because when truly looking forward at the most optimal “later” you can conceive, you will see that, in this moment, that decision was the right decision all along (even if it doesn’t seem that way sometimes).