If one scheme of happiness fails, human nature turns to another.
There's gold at the end of the rainbow of the tried and true, the old story, the good old song. It has been said over and over that important things in life really depend on what we think, and how we think.
To establish a goal of happiness, a standard of living that ensures joy and fulfillment is everyone's right. There are as many pathways to achieving goals as there are people who are trying to. In fact there are more. But there is a danger along the path, a fierce hungry lion is in the way, the lion of discouragement.
An actor working on a role will determine what the overall objective is for his character. Then he will discover all the ways the character tries to achieve that objective. That leads him to be able to identify all the obstacles in his way. In overcoming the obstacles the character will make certain adjustments to his pursuit. Whether the character succeeds in his quest is up to the playwright. But the actor will play the role as if the outcome is inevitably in his favor.
That principle of the actor's craft is metaphorical for all our lives except that we are our own playwrights. The goal may be clear in our minds but the script is yet to be written as we face the obstacles and make the adaptations. That's when the trouble starts.
The projected path we have chosen and laid out for ourselves may be deceptive, it may be blocked by too many obstacles, too many lions, and we have to turn back. That's the point at which a lot of people give up. "I tried it. It didn't work. So I stopped trying."
It seems foolish to keep trying something that doesn't work. And it is. But what happened to the goal, the objective, the end result we fell in love with and wanted to make ours? To turn back from one trail up the mountain does not take away the mountain. The summit is still there. The rewards of life are still there waiting.
To go far and have to turn back is a deeply depressing and discouraging thing. And in that pit of unhappiness the temptation is to forget the goal. That's the danger. That's what the lion feeds on. "Oh, well, I didn't really want that anyway."
Nonsense. It is merely time to revise the script. The overall objective remains the same, the pathway to get there changes. But the vision of happiness that we started out with must remain fixed in our thoughts all the time or we'll never get there and will wander in pathways that go nowhere hoping that we stumble upon joy unexpectedly. But if we really want what we want in life then it's worth striving for no matter how many trails we have to take to get there.
"Chase the dream." Or as Shakespeare wrote "My project may deceive me, but my intents are fix'd and will not leave me."
DB - The Vagabond
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