Taking A Hike & Definition Of Purpose

Posted in For Meditation on  | 3 minutes | 1 Comment →

Yep, I'm going to say something totally cheesy that I would usually expect only from the most unconvincing, mass-marketed self-help guru out: Life is like taking a hike. Whether we wander aimlessly or hike with purpose is of course up to us. I can respect both approaches and I can find something positive to glean from all hikers, whether they approach the hike nomadic and existential like Kerouac, or focused and determined like Obama.

Once we have a sense of purpose, the next step becomes fully integrating daily life in accordance with that purpose. To maximize the benefit of anything it is helpful to prepare the mind for the task at hand. Before undertaking any task, one could ask the question, ‘What is most conducive to this purpose?’

Mathematics requires a different mindset than sex. 

A conscious decision to live in health and be happy is made in vain without a pruning of everything that obstructs health and happiness. Once we define the purpose, we must live the purpose, meaning that we reevaluate ourselves in light of the purpose. We unlearn acquired habits, attitudes and behaviors that are in contradiction to the purpose. We completely rethink, restructure, redefine and reprogram our lives with the purpose in mind.

There are many distractions on the path. Sometimes one will encounter other hikers. The sociability may be well, and these folks may ask you to follow them. If their destination is not the same as yours, then following them, even if only for a few paces, takes you further from your destination. The shortest path between two points is a straight line, and regarding deviation, be sure it’s worth it.

One will also encounter others who will have the same destination. By walking with them, one can learn more about the hike. One can learn from the mistakes of others because we all hold valuable knowledge or special skills that can make the hike easier. There is no need to carry unnecessary items on your hike, as they will take up space and energy, diverting you from your destination. Emotional baggage, bad habits and other mental cobwebs serve nothing except to encourage backtracking and stagnation. They simply add to the burden of the pack.

If one is sincere in their hiking, the destination will eventually become a function of the subconscious mind. This is both liberating and dangerous. It liberates in the sense that our purpose becomes habit, but it endangers in the sense that as soon as something becomes habit, we tend to stop thinking about it critically. On the first few legs of the hike one must continually remind oneself of the destination, but after a short time of constant fixation on the destination it becomes the motivating factor behind one’s existence, and the energy previously used for planning, preparation and affirmation is now freed and accessible. With this extra energy one decides the details such as the exact route to take, when to rest or when to work double-time.

One comment

  1. ben


    It’s weird that barely anyone wants to comment unless they wwant to argue..

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