Être et avoir (to be and to have) : a struggle of seemingly opposing viewpoints.
I love these kinds of ideas. I love wrestling with the nature of them. I was reading Marion Milner during my morning’s golden hour (when no one else is yet awake and the new day is just stirring, I read and journal and ponder) and these were the concepts I was wrestling with this morning.
“I wanted to get the most out of life, but the more I tried to grasp, the more I could not understand at all that my real purpose might be to learn to have no purposes”
If I believe that the magic is to be found in the surrender – in the being – how then do I marry that with the idea of perpetual forward motion in line with achieving my goals – the having?
- How can we avoid striving if we are to set goals and measure achievements in order to feel successful/have success?
- How can we avoid dissatisfaction in the here and now if we have not yet achieved the goals we have set for our success?
- How can we know what purposes we should choose in life?
I believe in Brian Tracy’s concept of finding a major definite purpose (MDP) and that if you haven’t got one, your MDP is to find one. But I also believe that true freedom lies in the ability to surrender, to stop grasping.
“I did not know I could only get the most out of life by giving myself up to it.”
This morning’s resolution was a reminder that if your everyday activities are in line with your MDP, it’s all good. The next step (and the one perhaps most often overlooked) is to introduce present-moment awareness. To become mindful of each and every action in the very moment. This allows you to stay in the present, avoiding any dissatisfaction because you have not yet reached your future goals.
“My greatest need might be to let go and be free from the drive after achievement – if only I dared”
Today I am daring myself to let go of the expectation of achievement, by practicing mindful awareness of each moment, safe in the knowledge that each of my activities is in line with my MDP.
Do you believe in having a major definite purpose in life? Have you discovered it? Are your everyday activities in line with it?
>>> all quotes from A Life of One’s Own, Marion Milner
I’m not at all sure about a MDP, other than being fully yourself. But this is a question I am good at wrestling with!
Do you think everyone can afford to search for and express their MDP? If financial circumstances are such that they can’t, do they in fact just express it other ways? Or is that their selves that they express?
More questions I’m good at 🙂
Much love to you x
Bring on the questions, Joanna – I gt myself tangled up in this one all the time!
I believe most of us don’t know how to figure it out and many of us don’t even come to the place of thinking of an MDP as a reality.
I don’t think financial circumstances has a bearing (assuming reasonable health, war-free, democratic, civilised society etc – and even then, those aren’t an automatic restriction.)
I certainly wrestle with whether living your best self is enough, or if your MDP needs to include the element of “how do I serve?”
The teachings that I lean towards all suggest that it does, but I’m not sure I can yet articulate what that means to anyone else.
Thank you for visiting and questioning xo
Interesting, thought-provoking post. To be and to have. I honestly don’t see it as a dilemma at all.
As Joanna says above, being fully myself, or true to myself, is the guiding factor for me – and, if I do that, it usually means I’m fulfilling my Major Definite Purpose. Being mindful means freedom from the distractions, disappointments and pressures of goals and desires yet leads to ultimate fulfillment anyway.
‘Goals’, conscious or not, are achieved (sometimes as a great surprise to me) if I stay mindfully on the path that is true to me being me, whether that’s solely as me (stripped of roles), or as a mother, wife, daughter, friend, citizen, writer, employee – particularly if I let go of outcomes and ego or Self.
Getting out of self, through say communication with nature or art, or by connecting with/helping others, is the best present I give myself and my spirit. Being present in the moment enriches my life. Not that I’m perfect at it but, when I remember to do it, life is all the richer for it.
Of course, it’s not always easy. There’s one thing that can make me swerve from that path and from experiencing those delightful surprises. And that’s people. If I let them!
Please forgive such a long comment but it was refreshing to come upon such a tantalising topic. I enjoyed seeing your work and can tell that it comes from the heart!
Hi Heather – thank you for taking the time to visit and to comment. You are most welcome here.
I love your strategies for staying in touch with your self, your path, your MDP and agree wholeheartedly that other people are usually the worst culprits for necessitating swerves (hopefully graceful!)
May your path run smooth and artfully, may your communes with nature continue to enrich your present day soul. xo
Your post was the first piece of synchronicity for me today. I have been pondering writing a blog post on just ‘being’. I still may as I struggle with it except when I’m making art.
At the moment I’m heartily sick of being exhorted (by supposedly spiritual/creative people) to have, to be successful, to write the world’s best blog post etc etc
It’s the ‘having’ I struggle with. I want to thrive not just survive, but at the moment my MDP is not about making huge amounts of money, it’s about being creative.
This response is a bit garbled, but I wanted to reply and say thank you for sharing – I’m inspired by your words again and your images are wonderful
Lovely Rachel, I know just how you feel. I so very often have to stay off the networks to avoid the barrage of advice on how “to have, to be successful, to write the world’s best blog post etc etc”…
I, too, am driven towards making the art. I think being creative is much more in tune with your MDP than making money – however large or small the amounts. Although making money should definitely be a by-product of whatever we choose to act out for a living (the simple truth of currency exchange).
Thank you as always for your support *mwah* !
I thought my MDP today was to work in the morning and go for a walk in the afternoon. But my bones are aching for a walk so I’m switching the plan. I think following the true enthusiasm of the moment is a lot of what the MDP is about.
PS Read about you at Kind Over Matter. Great video!
I like the sound of your plan, Janice 🙂 We tend to take our walks early here as it brings us the most chance of experiencing the sunshine. I need to take more! Thanks for visiting here. I am IN LOVE with your Paris Love Letters!