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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Satisfying Desires To Seize Opportunity

Writing my blog is cathartic. Capturing words in posts often cleanses my conscience while allowing me to review my past. Looking back with a new perspective afforded by the passage of time stirs my old mind with both pleasure and regret.

The toughest memories to endure are the times when I destroyed another person's contentment. These regretful occasions resulted when I acted out my selfish ego. To some degree, I'm sure the majority of readers can relate to their own sins. But, I also regret the times I did not take more control and seize opportunities. My own moronic immaturity has cost me. I am sure of it.

I know now I have had too much confidence in fate. At one time I believed that if I led a decent life and concentrated on doing the right thing, then I would achieve my dreams. In believing this, I lacked initiative to reach higher plains. Opportunities arose that required my strongest efforts, but I fell upon the notion that "going with the flow," not "clawing for the best," would be most beneficial. At many junctures of fortuity, I truly believed fate would determine what was best for me.

I must confess I no longer believe in waiting for Camelot. Now, I think a person facing a favorable opportunity should use all his energy to get what he wants. Life happens when we act, and missing a precious chance to act will leave the scar of a haunting memory. Such memories hurt for a lifetime.

If any one thing most hampered me from taking advantage of opportunity in my younger days, it was my lack of initiating communication. I found it difficult to tell a person what I wanted and to explain my feelings. I was stupid enough to think hinting and offhandedly mentioning my desires would serve to inform people of my intentions. Since I always hated the game of flowery conversation, I didn't engage much in meaningful, long talks. I had no experience in practicing sophisticated expression and, thus, no skill in the art of employing exacting dialogue.

Later in life, I began to understand that a persistent voice is an essential tool of attaining fulfillment. Although I soon realized my desires were often impeded by class and cultural barriers, I found that good communication skills could break down social conventions. Instead of wilting when faced with a crisis of human emotion, I began to believe that my energy was best used to motivate my actions towards contentment.

Aristotle acknowledged that reasoning interacts with desire, and Thomas Hobbes asserted that human desire is the fundamental motivation of all human action. So, I think well-planned, honest communication is the stimulus that opens a direct path to desirable opportunities. Wishful thinking -- waiting on chance, fate, and providence -- creates beautiful fantasy, but action -- verbal and physical interaction -- creates fulfilling reality.

Bottom Line

Devise a workable plan and communicate desires. "Go" for what you want. Yet also, realize that the best things for you are the absolute toughest to obtain. And don't be afraid to hear "no" or to fail. The most successful and content people include failure as part of their ongoing plans. They know how to "pick themselves off the floor" and modify plans for continued success.

In saying this, I also believe insincerity and dishonest motives are abominable enemies of worthy desires. Aggressive impulses lead to desires frequently manifested in the need for power and control. Actions that involve curbing or controlling the freedom of others are wicked deeds. Granted, any attempt to attain a personal desire contains an element of selfishness; however, the accurate measure of the worth of desire must be in the ultimate good as it relates to others.

A confident, communicative individual must actively seek personal satisfaction that benefits his life and enriches the good of his social circle. Even the beautiful, rich, and powerful among us need to feel a sense of positive accomplishments and the contentment of mutual love. Those who believe they are a rock and an island unto themselves discover their resources do eventually evaporate, making them sorely dependent upon others.

I think the lessons are to be careful for what you desire and to become happily dependent upon others who aid you in your difficult quest for satisfaction. Human resources -- family, lovers, friends, bosses, confidants, mentors -- want to contribute to your noble goals. You have to improve your communication with those who care. Just remember, such provision requires equal shares of give and take.

I used to conduct mock interviews with a high school Life Skills class I taught. I told the class, "If you really want a job, right before you leave, look the manager in the eye and sincerely tell them the following: (1) you want the job, and (2) three or four specific skills that you will use to benefit the company. In other words, lay it on the line without bravado, but with confidence and desire.

The amazing thing was that three-fourths of the class would forget or neglect to do this before leaving the interview. They would rush out, display little visible desire for the job, and be content to wait for "chance" to play a major part in fulfilling their employment dream. They neglected to build good communication skills that maximized their sincerity and worth.

The eyes emote truth; the mouth lends reason; the touch of the handshake reveals genuine concern. Learning to communicate what lies within your soul is an art. I believe this connection is virtuosity that allows you to find happiness. Hidden desires most often spoil and become misshapen, twisted dreams whereas communicated motives tend to become ambitious plans.  

"In reality, serendipity accounts for one percent of the 
blessings we receive in life, work and love. 
The other 99 percent is due to our efforts."

- Peter McWilliams, author

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