How To Live A Life That Sustains Enthusiasm & Makes Existence Worthwhile?

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What Potentially Overwhelming Ideas Do You Choose To Ignore?

There are times during our lives when the great philosophical questions seem to make more sense than under whatever passes for normal circumstances and day today. These times are normally when we have had our coping mechanisms compromised or taken away. We then understand that we all use such mechanisms and the challenge becomes to deal with life – to “cope” without our normal network of protective behaviours. These protection behaviours can be good or bad for us as their job is to keep us from dealing with the really big questions not to develop our characters which in all probability would be more developed by trying to deal with the big questions.

Coping

Going to the gym, meditating, reading and walking in nature would be considered good as coping strategies whereas getting drunk, playing computer games, social networking or endlessly consuming are still behaviours that are open to debate and not doing very well. But, whatever we choose once that is taken away we are once again faced with far greater questions. For me, the main coping strategy has been over 45 years of gym use and the associated behaviours that accompany that habit.

Another morning just like any other

I wake up on the 2nd day of the second lockdown period unable to go to the gym. I do not really want to get out of bed. It is a very cold morning. I make myself some tea and sort out an electric heater rather than use the central heating as others are still in bed and it will get too hot. I am not in the mood for anything. I don’t fancy reading and I can take or leave my music today. This is highly unusual for me to feel like this. As a norm, I love my 3 am starts and look forward to my alone hours prior to going to the gym at 6 am. Before the first lockdown we would go to the gym by 4 am but due to covid gyms didn’t go back to 24 hours and we tailored our routine to 6 am starts. I had already readjusted my coping mechanisms once before and now I am back here again.

Just do something

Sitting here! Writing I know not what just writing to stop myself staring at the walls. What is the question that I am avoiding? Why do I feel so restless? What does my lifetime obsession with gyms and fitness mask from me so efficiently and what is it that I struggle so hard to acknowledge?

Write to discover yourself

I continue to write here (a journal on my lap) in the hope that I will find enthusiasm for my life. I will go for a walk with Julie and my four dogs at 5.30 am. Yesterday after the walk I spent most of the day watching television movies and box sets. A largely mind-numbing experience – no growth to be found in that behaviour. Today I would like to find something more rewarding! But, I am far from inspired and quite frankly a repeat of yesterday is the most likely outcome. At times like this, I question my existence! And there it is one of those big questions coming to the fore.

Why am I taking up space on this planet when I contribute nothing? Oh my! what a big question for 3 o’clock in the morning.

I am aware that many people must ask this question of themselves indirectly on a regular basis. Lock-down just makes the question and other similar questions jump out from where we have buried them. I guess that is the core issue of most addiction and distraction behaviours. Keep bust doing anything but for pity’s sake ignore it and it will go away! To the depths from whence, it rose. Anything goes to escape the feeling of the utter hopelessness of our individual existence.

Existentialism

Existential philosophy has grown out of this all too common human feeling. This and similar questions are probably the root cause of most mental illness and anxiety, depression and a whole host of moments when we feel unable to deal with the rush of angst coming from deep and feeling unable to explain or rationalise with language. The feeling is limited by language and words are rarely up to the task or even able to get close to describing it.

For now anyway -The Solution for me came from the problem

My project today became to write about this question and hopefully bring it to others awareness. If I am thinking it then my ideas may help others deal with it in the same way or in their own uniquely original way. It matters not as often awareness shines the light on it and things never seem quite so bad. Particularly if we discover that we are not alone and many if not all of us have the same root questions that need to see the light of day to make them less scary.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

I think C.B.T. is the process I have just been through which started by writing the mundane about my morning and evolved to more important matters. The important point is to work out our thoughts and behaviours in a way that increases one’s peace of mind, For me! This process of just sitting writing has led me to a different place than where I started. A much brighter and more optimistic place. Whilst at the same time acknowledging that there are many existential questions that require our attention and just because we bury them we are not free. These ideas will ambush us when we least expect it.

My short conclusion

The way to feel better is to live a worthy life – Primarily by sustaining enthusiasm and making the gift of existence worthwhile upon deep reflection. This is more easily attained with small moments with those you are with at this moment

Adam x

 

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