Simon Ekin

We will find a way if we need to (great video)

My wife recently read a book by Martha Beck called Steering by Starlight – How to fulfill your destiny, no matter what. One of the things that the author talks about in the book is intention – i.e. if your intention is strong enough, you will make your dreams come true, no matter what.

She gives an example of the work that she did with heroin addicts. Many of them were living in appalling conditions, often on the streets, without very much by way of clothes or food to eat.

What she found astounding, though, was that they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars per year maintaining their heroin addiction. How could this be? These people were broke and on the streets, how could they possibly come up with all that money? The answer was simple – you don’t give yourself a choice, you go out and do whatever you need to in order to make sure that you score your daily fix.

I know this is an extreme example, but I think it’s a good one. So many of us have big goals that we want to achieve, but year after year we find that we are falling short of making our dreams come true. What do you think would happen if you gave yourself no choice about achieving them? If we treated those goals like a fix that we absolutely had to have? I suspect we’d find that we make far more progress than we currently are.

Another example, from nature, below gives an extraordinary demonstration that seems to defy gravity, of how, as beings, we can do extraordinary things when we really want to!

The incredible ibex defies gravity and climbs a dam | Forces of Nature with Brian Cox – BBC

He wasn’t a genius – he just went searching

Werner Erhard with the Dalai Lama in 1979.Credit: Werner Erhard Foundation

I get some of my greatest insights in life when I do simple things like having a shower, boiling the kettle, or in this case, opening the fridge. I was opening the fridge recently and as I did,the phrase, “this is it and I’m satisfied,” came to my mind.

It was a distinction, or phrase, I learned from a Landmark Education seminar many years ago and I thought how incredibly profound and simple it is because I notice how much of my life is spent in a state of ‘this is not it and I am not satisfied!’

What I learned from that phrase was that when I can be in the present and accept things they way they are – that is, love them the way they are, and the way they are not, with no judgment – well, that’s pretty close to joy as I see it.

The trouble is the way we are constructed is, ‘this is not it and I am not satisfied…but I will be when I have x, y or z, or when something changes, hopefully, and normally for the better.’ Werner described suffering as, “things shouldn’t be this way.” Most of our lives, most of the time then is probably spent suffering.

I began thinking about Werner, whom I met on a couple of occasions and I found myself saying, “wow he was a genius!” Then a thought followed that, “No, I don’t think he was necessarily a genius – he just went searching (to find out what made human beings tick.)”

And that option – of searching – is available to all of us, all of the time.