BY: T. Franklin Murphy |April 2017
Keeping the Wheels on the Track
Life is good but complicated. Our minds spin out of control complicating life. We must slow down to discover the natural enjoyments.
After breaking up with his girlfriend, my adult son recently moved back home. I slipped into his room and discovered him lost in a car racing game. It looked simple enough—the button on the right controls steering, the lever is for acceleration and the button on the left for brakes. I accepted his invite and grabbed a control. I couldn’t keep the car on the track. With limited time, and low frustration suppression, I quit after the first race. A healthy life has many more controls to master than the simple levers and buttons on a video game. Learning to live in a complex world, quickly changing with technology and demands, we stumble like novices driving high speed race cars crashing and stalling on a complex track of turns, stops and changes.
We have three-pounds of evolutionary genius tucked under a protective skull. Our brain is the tool given to learn the intricacies of this complicated life. Effectively controlling our behaviors to create an enjoyable and productive life is not so easy. Our minds are powerful. We plan, act and adjust to life. Motivations that enable change, spill into consciousness as feelings—joys and sorrows. The guiding force can be tremendously painful, shocking our soul and giving wisdom.
The ability to plan, reminisce and create sidetracks enjoyments with endless chattering of guilt and anxiety. Our thoughts routinely embark on fruitless journeys into regrettable past and unrealistic futures. We punish ourselves for past choices. We worry over events that may never happen. STOP! Stop the chattering. We need to slow down—not as much acceleration and gently drift into the curves of life. We’ll make it to the finish line. We are designed to survive. But if we slow down, we can achieve more, enjoying the subtleties; we can flourish.
"The ability to plan, reminisce and create sidetracks enjoyments with endless chattering of guilt and anxiety."
“In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.” ~ Robert Frost
By intervening in the painful spinning of thoughts, we create space for more creative action. Slow down that racing mind. We travel faster with care, enjoying small nuances of living we have previously missed in the blur of fast pace living. Life is good; but complicated. Our systems are not ready for cruise control—we must mindfully intervene to enjoy the blessings of living.
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