Archive for February, 2011

Future Factors

Posted: February 24, 2011 in Deeper Things
Tags: ,

You probably think about the future a lot. Anybody would. It’s the picture you’re looking forward to, and the hope you put your desire and faith into. Without a future, the relevance of today becomes so minimal, that it wouldn’t matter what you did, felt, thought, or said. Your future needs today, and today needs your future. Both are necessary to ensure progression in your life.

Some would argue it doesn’t matter what happens today, the future is ‘set’, you can’t change it, you have no power over it.  That’s one way to look at it. It’s an unfortunate way to look at it. Well, at least that’s MY point of view. To have no part in the creation of the future, renders all you do today completely void. I know it to be true that there’s no greater influence on your tomorrow than you. This is why I say:

The story of tomorrow is just the dried canvas of what you painted today.

Action determines the outcome. The statement above is just an illustration of this. What you paint now, will eventually dry, and become a defined entity that will be seen by all, good or bad. As the artist, you must have the vision! Yes, there are surprises, exceptions to the rule…but it’s important you go through life knowing that you can and are already paving the way to your future.

Are there other factors? Is it you alone that decides where you end up? Of course not! I recently read a book called “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell. He argued (quite convincingly) that there are stories behind the stories of success, that revolve around the environment, the history, even the year – and in some cases the month – of birth, as influences on a person’s success. It details how being intelligent is not all there is, that events surrounding your current era can help or even direct where you go, that awareness of your surroundings can sometimes play a much bigger role than what you actually do!

Some of my acquaintances (God bless them) felt the book was quite problematic, in that it seemed to be “telling me that I can’t be a success unless these things happen to me”. I could see their point. All the talk of dates and influences and social structures would definitely leave you feeling like “that will never happen to me”. It’s the same with some successful people we know (you know, the one you’re secretly jealous of! Come on don’t lie to us!!), we look at them and think, “Man if only that happened to me… That door would never open for me… Why isn’t it me up there?”

But something hit me. Apart from starting a sentences with the word “but”, there’s a MASSIVE problem in the way we think when it comes to a fruitful life. We look at the successful and how their lives are going. I don’t know many people who are aware of their OWN lives! You see, it is true that the factors surrounding your life are many, but they are also UNIQUE TO YOU!! What am I saying? It’s easy to look at the story of Bill Gates, and recognise the elements of his life that cannot be duplicated, then come to the conclusion that you can never be the “next Bill Gates” (which is true). Very easy. However, do you realise that there are things happening within and around you that cannot be duplicated by anyone else? Your very own life is full of events that cannot be imitated. People you’ve met, experiences you’ve had, the decisions you’ve made… All of them adding up to the path you’re taking right now! Think about it.

I started asking, whats unique about my life? What are the elements within and around me that set me apart? I call these elements the future factors, because they may not seem to add up now, or make sense yet, but they are absolutely vital to your future and how it turns out. Just like the statement earlier statement, “.The story of tomorrow is just the dried canvas of what you painted today”, this next statement is also true:

The atmosphere determines the way in which your paint will dry.

If you put a painting in the sunlight just after you’re finished, the drying process goes smoothly. If you put it in the rain, well it will take a little longer, you might need to do a few touch-ups, and maybe there’s a chance of the paint running and blurring your borders a little bit. Right? OF COURSE NOT! In the rain, your painting is ruined!! There is no repairing it, only picking up a new canvas and starting again! All the ‘atmospheric influences’ you experience today, in conjunction with your decisions, choice of responses and attitudes…all of these mould into one massive work of art called your future!

What kind of atmosphere do you live in? Is it helping your paint dry, or is it ruining your work, your dreams? You can’t decide the weather unfortunately, all you can decide is how you position yourself. Some people get rained on, but find cover quickly. Others get rained on, and surrender to the elements, saying to themselves “Oh well, I’ll dry up eventually.” That’s true, but your painting is ruined! There are those who stay in the sun long enough to dry, and move on. Others stay in the sun too long, till the paint starts to crack. The effects may be minimal at first glance, but cracks always grow, they evolve into chips of paint falling off, and there’s no remedy for that.

Your future is waiting for you to make the right choices, and where choice is superseded, the right responses. Your current life has had many events that are unique to you. Your story of success will one day be told, and those factors will be spoken of as your advantage: the time in which you were born, the people you’ve met, the determination you had, the events around you, the social structures… etc. They are all adding up to your story, as they have for all before and after you.

Let your future play out the way you desire it. The path may not be so clear, the events leading up to it may be painful sometimes, but one thing is certain: it’s up to you!

The picture above, is a painting done on the actual ruins of a building. It’s not a ruined painting. This is someone who saw destruction, but made art out of it! Not everyone gets the perfect canvas to paint on. But we all share one thing, one choice: to paint or not to paint!

I hope you can appreciate your own future factors a little bit more, because they belong only to you!


what's insideIt has eluded me how life can be so full of mysteries and yet so full of discoveries everyday. You would think there was less and less to discover, but it seems we are still uncovering hints and signs of yet deeper understandings we can achieve. Does it ever end? I wonder about that. Will time allow it to end? I mean, will we see the ‘end of the world’ before or after the ‘end of discovery’?

I guess that’s one of those things we can think about, but the answer would be pointless on this side of eternity (yes, I believe in eternity). All we can do is live the life we have before us, and allow answers to come, to be sought after, to be stumbled upon, to be tried, or to be ignored. So many choices await us, with so many possibilities. The first choice is to actually engage your life will your eyes BOTH open! Everything you need is either inside you, or around you, but it takes something special to find most of what you’re looking for in your life. Let life be one full of discovery.

Apart from being the name of a channel I enjoy, the word ‘discovery’ in the sphere of law, is defined as the “compulsory disclosure of facts or documents”. That fascinates my mind to no end, because it gives me the expectation that life will ‘disclose’ all the necessary and desired opportunities I seek! And yet, we miss so much of it! The mind plays tricks on us, the heart betrays us, fear hinders us, and the opinions and mindsets of others often limit us. Our past, including upbringing and experiences, can dictate the lens through which we see life so easily. It gives us ‘blind spots’ that we have to learn to overcome or face dissatisfaction at many levels.

You should ask yourself “if all things are available, or apparent at the big-picture level, why then are they still secrets hidden from me?”

Well, part of the answer is good news: because the secrets of life – of your dreams, your hopes, all those things – were all meant to be discovered! This is a truth I believe in. Nothing is so far out of your reach that you will never know it or never see it. (Un)fortunately for most of us, it’s the other part of the answer that is also true: almost all your answers need YOU to actually go out and discover them yourself! That relationship won’t pop out of nowhere (unless it’s via a ‘singles’ website), the money won’t fall from the sky (unless a plane full of money that has no reason being in the air or even full of money, spontaneously explodes somewhere above you, and the money is organised in bound amounts so that its heavy enough to beat the wind that would otherwise blow the money everywhere). No, not even the hidden truths of what your situation really means are so obvious, but they’re there. Same with the relationship, it won’t just happen, but its possible. The money, isn’t readily available, but can be made. You see, all is apparent, but still hidden!

Over The Maze will bring some things to light that may otherwise have been concealed. Truth in this day is relative on many levels, though I do believe some things are quite static regardless of your feelings or emotions towards them. Gravity is something you can’t beat if you jump off a building and change your mind mid-trip. You WILL hit the ground. There are choices you can make, that will lead you down a particular path, with a particular destination. Once you are on that road, you can’t decide the destination, it was already decided the day that road was made. No matter how you feel about it, or what you think should be right, once you punch in my address into your GPS, it can only lead to MY ADDRESS… Not the Queen, not the U.S. president, not Burger King… Not even your mother! Only my house will be found at my address.

So think about what you’ve chosen to do, or the people you live life with. Maybe even the systems you find yourself in, like family or work. The nation you live in and its prevailing mindsets. Regardless of the climate, the truth is there for you to discover.

The reason I chose a treasure chest to typify what I’m trying to articulate, is because its right in front of you, but its contents are a mystery until you decide to open it.

Let the journey of discovery commence, and let’s demand that life discloses all documents and facts!