Even with all the choices we have made to go this way or that way, whether consciously or unconsciously, we still find ourselves pondering many possibilities
Perhaps, though, there is something which stands out beyond anything else? Something we must do?
Seth Godin counsels:
‘Obsessively specialise. No niché is too small if it’s yours.’*
Sometimes the smaller something is, the more concentrated it becomes, the more powerful an impact it can make.
It’s unlikely we were helped to develop the skills for navigating all the possibilities life affords. Schools, even universities, don’t help people to know how to go about being reflective so they will be able to identify and focus throughout their lives on the twisting path of what matters most of all for them. There can be an assumption that this happens automatically as subjects and courses are selected and learnt. For some it does, though, I suspect, not for the majority. It’s not either/or education and life-skills but both/and.
We need to be able to go to the places our dreams come from.
From Where You Dream is a book on writing creative fiction by Robert Olen Butler. K. M. Weiland mentions it in her writing blog. I like the title very much and also the encouragement from Weiland, which I translate from the story a novelist is working on into our personal stories. This is followed by a reflection from Richard Rohr, who knows something of the value in being able to see ourselves:
‘Sit in a dark room or go outside at night. Light candles or a fire pit. Turn on some powerful music. Just sit there for an hour or two and let you mind wander over your story. Don’t get too conscious in planning your plot or figuring out your characters. Just let the images float through your mind, like the snippets of scenes in a movie trailer.’**
‘Eventually, you will discover s detached place of quiet self-observation.’
The things I take from this are making uninterrupted time to be alone so we can ask questions of our stories, to feel for where they have come from and where they are going. The details are akin to answers, and they will come, but having time to see the big picture of our lives is more about asking questions and is more valuable than gold.