Monday, November 12, 2007

What Prevents Us From Improving Ourselves?

image by Henry Fuseli

Fighting Our Own Ghosts

It is an apparently never-ending struggle. To reach from point A to point B. To move from one plane of existence, with its specific set of living conditions, to another plane of existence. I have often wondered - what is wrong with point A? And what is wrong with my present plane of existence? Why do I want to go to point B at all? Why do I want to exert my energy to move to another plane of existence at all?

image by andrewcs, stock.Xchng

Unhappiness with where I am is one reason. A perpetual state of discontent that tells me that I have the potential to achieve more, much, much more in life. A bank balance that is healthier than any Tom, Dick or Harry one gets to read in those pink newspapers. A swank house that has all the amenities better than any in the neighborhood. Respect in the community. Loving relationships and good friends who will die for you, as you would die for them. Good health that is everybody's envy. You know, the "Kwan" that Rod Tidwell refers to time and again in the "Jerry Maguire" movie...

I know where point B is. I can see it, right here, standing on point A. I can also see the distance and the path to reach B. In fact, there are so many paths to go there, thanks to all these self-dev experts who set up blogs on the internet and write so many good books, with their happy and cheerful mugshots on the front cover. It makes it all the more confusing - this multitude of paths.

image by pstmonkey, stock.Xchng

What then, prevents me from taking the first step? And having taken the first step, to go on continuing to walk towards B?

I find my own ghosts that come in the way of my taking the first step. I share a love-hate relationship with them. I don't like my own creations, these ghosts, yet I do not let them go.

image by pike_ts, stock.Xchng

These ghosts set up conditions such that I rather seem to enjoy wallowing in my discomfiture. There is a yearning to come out of the slush I am in. But these ghosts drag me back.

image by paulgeor, stock.Xchng

Every night, while going to bed, I vow - "Tomorrow morning, I will begin my walk towards point B." Yet, when tomorrow comes, I conveniently push the implementation to the next day. Ah, I love my procrastinations!

image by wernerbrau, stock.Xchng

I wish I had a "Desire-fulfillment facilitator", like the one Wakko encountered in the "Wakko's Wish" animation.

image of Wakko's Wish

Or perhaps I had the lamp that Aladdin had. Simply rub it, the Djinn appears. You tell him your wish. And that's it. You are at point B. The entire effort, the strain, the travail - is all eliminated.

image by Max Liebert

Which brings me back to the main question. What prevents us from improving ourselves?

image by kitenellie, stock.Xchng


  1. Cool post. In relation, a writer I like, Shafin de Zane, sums up why there is resistance when you want to change: Your subconscious is telling you the change you want is either "wrong timing" or "wrong direction" or both. This makes sense for me to try a different tactic or a different time or go easier on myself.

  2. Interesting,

    Well said. It reminds me of why we really resist change...F.E.A.R. False Evidence Appearing Real!