I am a planner. I organize most things I'm going to do in sequences, then I execute them in order of importance firstly, then I consider convenience secondly. I'm not the most organised person, but I get a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when every thing goes according to plan and I've tucked away another task or activity. Planning seems like the most natural thing to me. I have an idea of what the outcome will be and I shoot for it. Being spontaneous to me means planning a few steps and then letting go to chance.
Planning seems a rather responsible way of approaching important processes in life. By important here I mean decisions and processes that can have long-term life-altering effects. When the risk of failure threatens to have a huge impact on aspects of our lives that we consider valuable. Socioeconomic status, health/well-being, family/peer relationships and self-satisfaction... are some considerations which rank high when we make decisions on and plan important life processes. In my opinion, the ultimate consideration is self-satisfaction. We do pretty much every thing in an attempt to become a little more satisfied with ourselves and our lives everyday, or maybe just attempt to maintain whatever satisfaction we already have. We also hold family/peer relationships in high esteem and our self-satisfaction often comes from feeling that we fit in well in our fish bowl world.
Amid the planning and considering, is the fear of failure. Failure is a state of mind that I'm very familiar with. That is all it is, a state of mind, the way we choose to see life. It comes from wanting self-satisfaction and over simplifying the options that can deliver it. It comes from planning for and wanting only one thing. Like a child in a toy store who only wants a particular toy which just happens to be sold out, thinking I will die if I don't get it. It comes from failing to see the endless possibilities that are still there all around me. It comes from wanting to conform to what looks good on the outside first, hoping it will make me feel good on the inside. It comes from just plain old fear!
I think we only fail when we get something we judge is not as good as what we set out to get. We judge our own failures and condemn our own selves to dissatisfaction. We wallow in self-pity and drag down the spirits of others around us. I'm so guilty of staging my own pity parties regularly! I know it comes from thinking that my socioeconomic status is that of a helpless child who needs rescuing every time I fail at something. It also comes from early and ongoing influences from such party organizers who handed out guilt trips as souvenirs!
I've had a few years to think about why I have been so dissatisfied with life. Is it really true that I am unlucky? Is it really true that my personality sets me up for rare successes in life? Are my principles based on unattainable motivations? I think I've answered these questions sufficiently.
I know that I am very lucky. I am healthy and generally a happy person. Sufficiently intelligent and eager to learn. Talented enough to see flaws in the things I create with my mind and my hands. Able to show love and compassion where it is needed. I have an incredible family and friends that I didn't have to do anything to get. I am immensely lucky!
I know that my personality sets me up to succeed in those areas of life where I derive the most self-satisfaction. The people I get along with are the types of people I would like to have in my life, so my personality inadvertently regulates the ideal conditions in my fish bowl world.
Are my principles based on unattainable motivations? Yes and no. I have to ask further what are my life's motivations? Are they things I want for myself or are they things other people think I should want for myself? I've recently started putting my foot down... a lot! Standing up for what I believe even when I know the way I'm going about it is highly unpopular (Tact is not one of my strong points). Standing my ground because I know there is value in what I bring to the table, even if it is only compassion, sincerity, loyalty, and dedication. Refusing to conform to the idea that I do not deserve a little more effort and thoughtfulness because I am only an African woman without a large bank account. Not settling for shadows created by others, but rather standing in my own limelight, even if it is only a dim one. So yes, my principles are based on attainable motivations as long as I can keep reevaluating what it is that I want for myself, and opening my mind to a wider range of possibilities.
I have a feeling that my self-satisfaction will come ultimately when I can live without compromising my principles to the extent that they no longer exist. When I don't have to be someone else to be somebody, and when what comes out of my life dedication is a reward for what I put in. I think I can achieve these if I can be brave with my life. If I can focus on what's important to me. If I can learn to let go of the fear of failure. If I keep reminding myself that it's only in the way I choose to see life, then there really is no failure in life, only lessons from experiences.