Tuesday Talk: Do we really ‘create’ our own lives?

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I often see articles and quotes about creating the life you want, and saw one such article just yesterday on one of my favorite ‘life wisdom’ blogs, Tiny Buddha. We’ve all seen these articles right? I usually feel like they are hinting at me to stop living the life I have and start living the life I want! Actually, some of them aren’t hinting. They just come right out and say it.

So, last night, I got to contemplating this question: Do we really create our own lives?

It seems to me that most of-if not all of- the best things in my life were not things that I necessarily created. They were more like intuitions, vague whispers that nagged at me until I did something about them. Things I just couldn’t get out of my brain.

Now, I certainly believe in listening to and following these intuitions when they come up.

But I don’t believe in force.

I do believe in paying attention to what life is offering, and what life is telling me.

But I’m honestly not sure that active searching ever really works.

The second facet of this life-creation question that I began to ponder was this: Should we be constantly searching for and trying to create what we want, or should we develop strategies for being happy with what we have?

Sure, I believe in desires and goals.

But I also believe in doing the best that you can where you are with what you have.

And, if I’ve learned any big life lesson since college it’s to take each new job as an opportunity to learn as many new skills as I can, and then learn how to apply those skills to many different situations.

The bottom line is this: The idea of creating the life you want instead of living the life you have screams discontent to me. I don’t want to be discontented in my life because it feels yucky. So, even if it sometimes feels like a small piece of the puzzle is missing, I don’t really want to ‘stop living the life I have and create the life I want.’ Does this make me apathetic? Maybe.

But instead of being motivated by discontent and trying to ‘create’ a new life, I’d rather ‘create’ strategies for knowing when to take a good opportunity, learning as much as I can from each one, and being happy with what I have. And a couple of years ago I probably never would have said this, but I don’t want to create my life. I want to continue to be okay with working towards my goals slowly, and with not having everything right now. I want to continue to know my ‘heart’- my true desires- and I want to see what happens. I want to be surprised.

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