Living with skill
BY: Troy Murphy |February 2014
The fork in the road; we encounter several. Should we go left or go right? Should we leave, or should we stay? Or do we miss the choice altogether. Trajectory often trumps mindful thought. Instead of recognizing a significant choice, we simply hamper our futures by continuing in the same tiresome direction; relationships missed, intimacy rejected, and careers stagnated. The mind can logically evaluate, gathering knowledge and examining options; but the mind also can justify.
The masters of living excitedly detect important forks in the road, carefully examine the opportunity and make thoughtful decisions. A master acknowledges divergent paths, considers where the paths lead, and then chooses a direction most in line with their values, hopes and dreams. The chaotic drones of living just react, pushed by underlying emotions and past learnings, they leap and dangerous opportunities or ignorantly bypass promising but obscure possibilities.
We miss avenues to change our unhealthy trajectories through inattention to life. We must carefully watch for distorting thought mechanisms—rationalizations, confabulations, and ego protecting projections. Unrecognized opportunities dissolve seamlessly into the past. Powerful illusions blind us from seeing chances to change. Discouraged by life, we feel like a victim of misfortune. We are not. Our misfortunes are not punishments from a cruel universe but a consequence of blindness.
We don’t escape the womb endow with skills to compete in a competitive world; our parents may model effective living or chaotic submission. Some gather effective skills during the formidable years without knowing the value of the learning. Other squander with the trajectories from their fathers and mothers—often set in motion by their fathers and mothers. If life is failing to bring the promised blessings, intentional practice and wise guidance is needed to produce the life-giving skills—perishable skills need constant attention, or they slip and dissolve.
A carefully chosen path, partaking in the abundance of opportunity, blesses our lives. The mindfully directed life creates desirable futures. This path improves relationships, creates opportunities and diminishes hurts. The results of living right don’t magically materialize but grow in small—almost imperceptible—steps. The small movements accumulate, we become skilled, and our lives become a masterful creation.