The second factor

April.24. 2016

Life is about growing and reaching your full potential.

That may sound like a personal life-philosophy, but it’s not, it is actually a law of nature.

Think of it this way.

To be alive is to exist in one of two states—you’re either growing or you’re dying. There is no middle ground.

To paraphrase the great poet-philosopher Robert Zimmerman, “If you’re not busy growing, you’re busy dying.”

Take a rose. During its short life span, it will bloom (grow) and then it will die. (And during its short life, it will fill the world with the most exquisite scent.)

Contrast this to a plastic rose, which stays immutable and unchanging until one day, maybe you get tired of looking at it and throw it out into the dumpster.

Between growing and dying, I think most people will agree that the former is a preferable state of being.

And that leads us to the second critical factor.

To grow (we’re talking about spiritual growth here as opposed to the physical), you need a receptive mind.

And that is the second factor.

A receptive mind is based on the proposition that the job is never done, the journey never finished.

As soon as you reach one state of being, you’re already moving to the next.

It’s based on the simple philosophy that life is a work in progress, that we never truly reach our goal. (Because to reach our goal is to imply that we have stopped growing which means that we’re already dying.)

How does one acquire a receptive mind?

Start with the self-awareness that you’re incomplete, that you can never know everything. And because you’re incomplete, you’re constantly trying to fill in the gaps, which of course can never be filled.

Because as soon as you fill one gap, you realize there’s another gap that needs to be filled too. And so you keep on moving forward, growing as you fill in the gaps in your consciousness.

A realization that we’re incomplete may seem like a form of humility, but to me it’s more like brutal self-honesty.

Because it is a true reflection of things, it is the reality of our existence.


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