Friday, April 16, 2021

Optimizing Health is the Best Defense

While much has been made about what the whiz-bang experts say should be done -- usually by not following their own example -- most of what every individual can do to improve, enhance and maintain their quality of life, lies entirely within their own hands and jurisdiction.  In fact, that has always been the point of life -- and living -- to do best with what each has -- rather than pining for how they wish things were -- first, before initiating any actions of their own.  Of course, that has never been a good prescription nor formula for success -- and happiness -- but to the contrary, ensures the opposite -- and renders one vulnerable and susceptible to all kinds of assaults, infections, misfortunes, etc.  Invariably, that is a disaster waiting to happen.

Ironically, that often happens despite one being extremely active and tireless -- doing all the wrong things, and solving all the wrong problems -- while the real problems, simply get worse, and are regarded as a hopeless situation.  So first, there must be right perception and right understanding -- before there can be right action.  That is the essential teaching of Buddhism -- and real awakening, and enlightenment.  It is not some far off goal of perfection in the far distant future or another life, but the here and now in every moment and possibility.

That is the Great Awakening -- and not all this silliness of who is righter than anybody else.  One is righter relative to their own understanding and being -- and that is the proper study and focus of every significant life -- understanding their own, and not presuming to know better than others.  That is obviously the distinction of those without any understanding -- usually of anything at all, and so they delight in whatever takes them away from themselves and that mindfulness.

 The world is what it is -- for good reason.  It is like the novice approach of market values in which one is led to believe that only they know the true value and price of anything -- and they are led to the slaughter, never knowing what went wrong -- because they knew the truth, and the rest of the world was only fooling themselves.  So one must first allow, that maybe everybody else could be right -- and maybe they are driving on the "right" side of the road -- rather than the new and improved enlightened way.

And then if that presumption proves more damaging than helpful -- one can then ask, Might there be a better way, and what are the alternative explanations -- that make more sense, but more importantly, work -- regardless of one's previous knowledge and experience?  That is how new worlds are discovered -- and the unknown become known.  It is not that everything was already known -- but lost and forgotten -- and the only quest in life is to rediscover that.  That is a very small view of the universe and its possibilities -- and truth and wisdom lie beyond that.

It is nearly impossible to save one on their death bed, or the bed they have prepared for themselves -- all their lives.  It may begin with successes but end in failures -- if they have not learned to deal with both.  Success is a greater challenge than failure -- and so, many deconstruct their successes so they can rebuild from failure -- rather than taking success to the next and subsequent level.  And that is why so many undermine their own success, and sabotage their lives -- including and especially the great athletes, and great success stories in every field.  They never learned to make a good thing better -- even if it was only themselves, which is the most important to do -- and not compare oneself favorably or unfavorably with everybody else -- constantly and incessantly.  Of course we recognize that instantly in social media and every media of our own making -- and why many spend more than half their lives deleting and canceling everything else they did previously.

Obviously, that is not any way to build foundations for any future successes and endeavors, but always has one starting from scratch -- or worse, with tremendous and growing deficits -- until everything seems futile and hopeless.  Chief among that, is one's own health -- which should not just be thrown away, as many talk about it.  That is the life of endless and unceasing dissipation that many literary characters seem to think was all there was -- and the point of their whole existence.  We recognize such characters today as the "dysfunctional" personalities that we hope to learn from their mistakes -- rather than repeating them ourselves as the only model possible.

That is the advantage of learning from other people's mistakes -- as well as our own.  But if we just cancel out everybody else and delete our own, we predictably never get anywhere -- have nothing to build on, develop no fortifications against the travails and challenges in life.  That ultimately, is what life is -- everything, and not just one thing, or only those things we wish to acknowledge.  That is not good enough.  And if one solve problems that don't need to be solved, while ignoring those matters of great urgency, then life will predictably be short, brutish, and "unfair."  One would expect nothing else.

So for the novices of every beginning, they should learn from everything -- not just to immediately emulate them, but to know of that possibility -- among many others, and once one has seen enough, can make intelligent choices -- and not merely try to become more intelligent, diligent or thoughtful on a path that may be totally misguided.  Those choices have to come at the end -- when they virtually make themselves -- rather than choosing prematurely, and then never deviating from that path although it is the cause of all their difficulties.  Trying harder, is not the answer to their problem that may be something else entirely.

So to ask, how can I do more, without first inquiring whether one should be doing any at all -- is beginning on the wrong foot, and asking the wrong question -- that some even demand that others must answer for them, and will tolerate nothing else.

As long as one regards Time as a friend, it will be a powerful ally -- in achieving what one desires, but if one regards Time as an enemy, then it is an indomitable foe.  Unfortunately, too many are conditioned to think that way -- and so set the indomitable forces against themselves -- as their worthy adversary, not realizing they are way out of their league.  In this, patience is one's best counsel -- so cultivating that talent comes back frequently to aid them in the new.  Good things take time to unfold -- just as bad things -- but the impatient, demands that results be instant -- or they don't want to waste their time.  But time is what we all have most equally. 

We all have twenty-four hours in each day -- and some make the most of it, while many others fritter theirs away -- never seeming to find time to do anything important and beneficial -- and all the time in the world will not make any difference.  However much they have, they will waste.  But if one is in the habit of making each moment precious, it seems to beget more, of ever increasing greater quality.  That is the self-evident truth of optimizing one's health as their first line of defense -- and from that foundation, to launch one's offensive actions -- while those in steadily declining health, are rocked further back on their heels with every subsequent attack.  Everybody seems to know better -- but many feel powerless to do anything about.  They know they should take better care of their own health -- but find some excuse for not doing so.  Eventually, it is too late -- and the windows of opportunity are closed.

It is seldom that one never had any chances -- for even the most destitute and unfortunate, will lament endlessly about all their wasted chances.  Somebody else was supposed to do something -- and then everybody else -- before they could act on their own behalf.  So lacking that improbability, their lives were lost.  All one can do is try their best -- but that's not the same as doing nothing -- and calling it their best.  Some will know the difference, and call it out -- but the most important person to realize that, is each individual for themselves -- that they could have made that difference.

Age is what separates the winners from the losers.  Use it wisely.


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