ArticlesComments Off on Giving meaning to our steps
Article By Delia Steinberg Guzmán
Among many other psychological diseases, our time is witness to frequent crises of indecisiveness and confusion in people. Many are those who let their lives slip by in a constant state of dissatisfaction, produced by not knowing what to do or how to do it in order achieve effective results. To escape this emptiness, there are those who throw themselves into particular activities, hoping that these will give a purpose to their lives. Thus, they make their studies or their job their salvation, little realizing that the situation has its roots, without a doubt, deep within the individuals themselves. All practical activities are valueless if the person who performs them is unaware of the reasons behind his or her actions. We always have to ask ourselves why we are doing things and what is the direction in which we are going. Why we are doing things: because we should know the real usefulness of the things we do. Everything that is aimed purely at filling a void or covering up some anxiety will not produce the desired results. Once the period that has been artificially filled, merely for the purpose of running away from ourselves, is over, the restlessness and confusion will return. Let us take the case of someone who believes they have chosen the wrong vocation or activity and looks for another to remedy the mistake, only to find themselves in the same psychological state again soon afterwards. The blame will be put on those who teach us, on society for not making room for the many types of work we could do, but – without failing to recognize that this may sometimes be true – most of the time the fault lies in not knowing why we do things, and doing them without knowing what we want to achieve. Why we are doing things: do I want to know more, to improve myself internally, to grow psychologically, to master a subject in order to apply it to some specific work, to help others? Or, in the simplest of cases, do I want to make more money, to buy the things I need, to be able to travel…? Why?: this question cannot be absent, but the answer must also be provided, as long as it is not “to fill the time.” The purpose of our actions should always be practical, applicable, and have a meaning which can fill gaps and needs in the world and within ourselves. Where are we going? Whenever we move, we should have a marked, clear and well-defined direction in front of us. The “why” gives us an aim, and the “where to” shows us the steps to be taken and the direction of the path to be followed, so that they will lead us towards the proposed goal. Without direction, our actions run the risk of becoming lost in some hole in space and time, increasing our anxiety when we realize that we are unable to achieve concrete goals. When a person defines where they are going, they also establish the means to get there, because knowing the end point provides the ability to obtain the appropriate tools.
Excerpted from the book “What we do with our Heart and Mind”