Entries in living by design (1)

Saturday
Dec162006

Are you Living by Default? Or by Design?

Life is what you make it. It's an active process, a work in progress, a living lesson, and a lesson in living. What life is not is static, permanent, or set in stone. The beauty of that truth is that there is always something we can do, something we can change and some way in which we can move forward; and all it takes are two basic skills that we learned before we could walk - to pay attention and to take action.

Babies soon learn that noticing things and acting in direct response is what gets results. As adults, those of us who keep these two basic principles alive and active are the ones best equipped to go with the flow in life and make some advancing steps come what may.

If you've ever seen a potter at work you will notice that he pays very careful attention to what happens to the clay on his wheel, you may have also noticed that when maleable clay is spinning at a steady speed the slightest adjustment can have dramatic results.

We're pretty clay-like too, we are maleable and we are in motion and a careful adjustment will have results on our future shape and usefulness in a very similar way.

If a potter throws a lump of clay on the wheel, plays around with it for a while and then walks away and turns his attention to other things, will he come back to a finished pot? In short, no. It's just not going to happen. He needs to be there, to pay attention and take action, to observe, to feel, to consider and then to do what he believes to be the best active response to bring that pot into being.

We have a choice - we can live by design or by default. In living experience, that means the profound difference between being an unformed entity at the hands of others, the elements, the weather, whoever and whatever, as we sit and spin inert and unattended on the wheel of life. Alternatively, we might be a wonderful pot in progress, shaped by care and attention to become ever more elegant, ever more useful, and ever more suited to our chosen purpose.

It's never too late to start, it's never to late to change, to pick yourself up and dust yourself down, try something new, learn something new, do something different. And remember that all it takes is to pay yourself some real and valid attention and then to make small adjustments in direct response - that's all. That and to keep it going, keep noticing, keep adjusting and know that all else will follow as night follows day.

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