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Our Desires and Impulses: Taking control of your life
I often use the example of road rage in explaining how we tend to behave. I get it, you get it, we all get it…no matter how minor it may be. Imagine yourself in your car and driving in the left lane and realize you need to make a right turn ahead. You scurry over trying to fit between traffic and have to cut someone off in the process. In such cases many of us would put up our waving hand to covey "sorry". On the other hand, no one enjoys being cut-off. Would it surprise you to look behind you and see the driver waving their hands and screaming something? Do you ask yourself why they are behaving in such a way? You did say you were sorry after all…jeeze! Now imaging if it were you getting cut-off, would you react as they did? No really! Think about it! Then ask yourself if you would take the time to understand the circumstances of that driver maneuvering their vehicle the way they did and cut you off. Or would you be more concerned with where you are going and think of them as a distraction or hindrance in you getting there?
Are they less important than you? Are you less important than they?
We are all concerned with the busy-busy daily duties we need to accomplish each day and we naturally make mistakes in performing them. It can even be something simple like being in the wrong lane in traffic. We do not see ourselves as others see us either. We may think the cursing driver has gone mad, but I have always wondered if I have ever been viewed that way. I remember a time when my wife would critisize my driving attitude which I never really recognized until she told me about it. Then I would see the same behavior in her when she drove and I would be the one saying "you think I am bad?". Why do we always look to criticize others before looking at ourselves first? We are all more the same than we are different after all.
We are all right and everyone else is wrong!
We inadvertently put ourselves on a pedestal and spend our lives trying to stay on top of others by living by their circumstances and actions. Instead, we can charge our own path in achieving our own hopes and dreams. We are so caught up in a world of fantasy that we become more concerned with what other people are doing, in comparison to ourselves, than what we are doing. This is why some businesses fail and others soar with success. If their focus is on beating out the competition are they not betting on the actions of other business in order to become successful?
I suppose Socrates was right when he said we are naturally self-centered individuals. If we sit down and write about our desires and what we want out of life, how much of it would include others? I don't mean your family; I mean friends, acquaintances, and even strangers. I hear you now, "Strangers! Why would anyone care about strangers!?!?". I will answer that with another question, "Why would anyone care about you?".
Stop a moment. Look around you in this great big wide open world and take it all in. Observe, imagine, and dream a little more rather than worrying about getting dinner on the table by five. Yes, you may have natural impulses as well as sociological influences which play with your emotions and control your actions and behaviors. You also possess the ability and power to control your own being and lead your own life rather than allow life to lead you.
Put others first and they will put you first.