a reply to: BloodSister
Let me let you in on a couple of important, but seemingly innocuous secrets.
First of all, reflection, re-evaluation, a healthy grasp of the concept and the practice of introspection, are vital in order to get through what
life throws at a person. They are analogous to the operation of defragmenting a computer once in a while. Computers require defragmentation because
over time the data they need to access in order to perform functions, becomes fragmented. That is to say, that files which would need to be stored
close together for efficient running of the machine, get pulled all over the place by various programs after a while, and the defragmentation pulls
them back together, so that the computer can access them more efficiently.
In the same way, when you started your life, you may have had some basic framework in mind, maybe not consciously, but there all the same. This
process you are going through mentally is not something which indicates there is something wrong with your life. It is natural to check oneself. It is
necessary after all, to ensuring one does not wreck oneself.
Another thing that it might be wise to bear in mind, is that the plans, everything from well established goals, to the half formed thoughts and
dreams that have driven you as far as you have gotten, whether you realise it consciously or not, are just exactly what they appear to be. Thoughts.
We all have them, but it is important to realise that all human beings, no matter how entitled, no matter how well off, or lowly, have less agency in
the course their lives will take ultimately, and the sorts of stumbling blocks and delays they might face along that path, than most people like to
People see university graduates doing well, and they think to themselves "Oh, look at that go getter there! I wish I was that driven and focused".
But people also see university students who are not doing well, and think to themselves, "What a shiftless, lazy bum. With their advantages, I would
have been on Mars by now." Both statements are interesting, and flawed. They are flawed because success and failure are NOT part of a binary path
system. There are not only two possibilities in any evaluation of success or failure, and by no means only one metric against which to measure that
success or failure. Things happen, and even with the best possible planning, a driven and focused individual can come to ruin. Even with the worst
plan, or even no plan, the most outrageous oaf can make a billion dollars. Trump, for example, is a halfwit by the standards of other halfwits, and
yet that man could smoke cigars rolled with hundred dollar bills the rest of his life, and never notice the expense.
So what I am trying to explain, is that it is perfectly fine to not be where you expected, hoped, or even made solid plans to be at this stage in
your life. It is even fine to never have had a plan in the first place, because God knows you can plan all you like, but it only takes a universe
which contains a discernible entropic effect to scupper even the most detailed plan. In fact, where entropy is concerned, the more details and
complexities involved, the more likely the collapse of the whole endeavour, but I digress.
The point is, while it is totally healthy to examine your position, you should not allow the results of your examinations to bring you low, or steal
from you your vigour or confidence. It is important to know where you are, what you are doing now, but it is not necessary to get an ulcer over the
things you have not yet achieved, and it will hold you back if you do. You can make any plan you like, you can form any expectation you desire, but if
you allow those plans and expectations to shackle you, or enervate you, then they become what is called a "rigid model" in psychological terminology.
The concept is simple to grasp. It is healthy, for example, to eat meals with regularity. Moving mealtimes around can be irritating to the gut in some
circumstances, and keeping a regular flow of nutrients to the body and brain allows for improved regularity of all its functions, both digestive, and
indeed neurochemically speaking. However, hulking out because you have missed lunch on a given day will likely get you arrested for assaulting a
fellow diner with an eating utensil, and will mean you get barred from your favourite eatery for life.
In summary then, it is fine to have a plan. But because it is fine to have a plan, it must also be fine to fail to carry it out, because the plan is
not crucial in the strictest sense. All a plan really is, if one knows how little in life is under ones actual immediate control at any given moment,
is a thing one makes sure to grasp at, when the rare, and incredibly fortunate happenstance of its becoming possible, comes to pass.
I should explain also, that some people will tell you that everything they have, they have because they wanted it. Every success was because they,
the almighty being that they are, decided it would be. Its is nonsense. For all our wisdom, our technology, our alleged sophistication as a species,
we ignore fate, or what ever analogue for that concept makes most sense to you. Your successes should be praised, and failure avoided, of course. But
those who seem to have it all, do not have it solely because of their hard work, or their focus, or because they have something internally that you do
not have. It is because they were very, very lucky, because entropy, fate, the cosmic joke, has not yet found a punch line to suit them.