open mind

Are you really free if you are bound by habits/desires you fail to muster the willpower to shake?

Habits are a fixed way of thinking, feeling, or doing. Habitual behavior often goes unnoticed by the person who possesses the habit. This is because “fish discover water last” i.e. the behavior is so ingrained in the person’s life that it becomes the unquestioned norm and thus other ways of living and being are not considered. This is why travel can be so broadening; not only are our normal routines shaken up, we also get to observe other cultures, other ways, other norms.

I’m as fond of my routines and norms as anyone; I find great comfort in traditions and my morning cup(s) of coffee, my favorite restaurants and standing order, my evening racquetball games with friends I know well and look forward to seeing. At the same time, I’m a firm believer in living the aware life (“The unexamined life is not worth living.” – Socrates at his trial as per Plato in Apology). Journaling and introspection are a vital part of my existence and I try to surround myself with strong minded people not afraid to tell me the truth. I’ve sought out therapists at times in order to get an unbiased opinion and for over a decade I’ve met monthly for 3 or 4 hours with a band of other CEO’s and business owners, a group of peers quite willing to give me honest feedback.

True freedom is self-mastery and lies in a disciplined self, with the courage to be willing to expose one’s thoughts and beliefs to challenge.

Closing Quotes:

“Most people are not really free. They are confined by the niche they carve out, they limit themselves by the narrowness of their vision.” – V.S. Naipaul, b. 1932

“Every grown-up man consists wholly of habits, although he is often unaware of it and even denies having any habits at all.” – Georges Gurdjieff, d.1949, said humans do not possess a unified mind-body consciousness and thus live their lives in a state of hypnotic “waking sleep”, but it is possible to transcend to a higher state of consciousness and achieve full human potential by the discipline called “The Work” (connoting “work on oneself”) or “the Method” (date of birth uncertain)

“The second half of a man’s life is made up of nothing but the habits he has acquired during the first half.” Fyodor Dostoyevsky, 1821-1881

“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.” – Scott Peck

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier