M1. Is your goal to take action and change things around you?
Is dreaming of any value?
What is your vision for your life?
Joel Barker is famously quoted as saying:
“Vision without action is merely a dream.
Action without vision just passes the time.
Vision with action can change the world.”
I was listening to John Gray who reminded me that almost every piece of coaching advice I have ever seen is based on the widely-held conception that the meaning of life is to be found in one changing the world in some way.
Nowadays, everyone seems to think that they need a grand project for, say, to create world peace; or to cure the world of hunger; or to become rich and famous; or to make progress on some self-improvement program (usually offered by the Coach)
However it is portrayed, it is a commonly held belief that one needs to make a difference in the world (and change it) to achieve fulfillment and happiness.
And of course, if you fail to change the world as you desire, then you may feel that you have failed to achieve your potential as a human being.
This is all a modern (Victorian) idea, I think.
I also listened to a cosmologist who said that in the current views of the science of the universe, there is no room for any interaction with the spirit.
I must admit I find this strange, since for as long as history records human enterprise, the realm of the spirit has been often more important than even life itself. Monks in great abbeys in Europe illuminated books about religion; India produced amazing temples and religious writings; China built it’s culture around Taoist and Confucian writings.
I guess that is why our city centers now are full of skyscrapers owned by banks and big companies, and not by the churches as was normal at least in Europe in the 13th Century.
For me, it’s the everyday world of dream that reveals wonder and enchantment. And here I don’t mean any supernatural environment, but instead, simply another way of perceiving the world.
The trick here is like any other viewpoint.
If you look for the mundane in the world, then it is there and you will find it in it’s dull abundance. But if you look for joy, wonder and mystery, then you will find those there too.
It’s all a question of perspective that can provide you with your most valuable of human experiences.
How do you feel when you pause to smell the roses, or look into the eyes of a loved one, or encounter the curiosity of a child? Don’t you see the world differently? Isn’t that a positive choice of wonder and joy rather than seeing the dullness of paying the bills?
Being not Doing
Action, as Joel Barker points out, can be just passing the time and doing stuff for little benefit.
Even purposeful action can stop you experiencing what is actually going on in you and around you. This is one reason why mindfulness meditation has caught on so widely, perhaps.
However, just being and not intending to take action as a result of some perception is exactly, for example, what true Art is all about according to many artists.
Taking a moment to set aside your purposeful actions and just seeing the world through your dream perception can be one of the most rewarding of experiences.
This can also change your life and give it a new meaning that you have never understood before.
You are a human being, first and foremost.