"We can march with dogged determination towards our goal, or we can dance, with no destination in mind. We can take the shortest route from point A to point B, or we can embark on a magical mystery tour." Happy Cow
Here at Happy Cow we have been known on occasion to suggest that there might be an alternative to the traditional set firm goals, work hard, achieve stuff and you will become happy approach to life. This is sometimes countered by a supporter of the traditional approach, who wonders whether our more relaxed approach to life may lead to a kind of stagnation in which one just sits about doing nothing all day long.
"If you do not decide a direction, then how will you know which way to move?" they might ask.
It is not an unreasonable question, and one which leads us to a clarification between the terms direction and destination.
The other day I was watching the TV programme Merlin on BBC IPlayer. The show is a fantasy drama set during the time when the legendary Arthur was still a prince and yet to take the throne. In it there is a dashing character called Gawain, who heroically helps Arthur and Merlin out from time to time, but refuses to be part of the strict order of knighthood and chivalry, preferring to go about his business in his own brash, spontaneous and unpredictable manner.
At the end of the particular episode I was watching, Gawain had helped Arthur and Merlin to avoid various perils and fulfill a quest, and the three were about to part company.
"Where are you going to head for?" Merlin asked Gawain
"Mmmmm. South," answered Gawain with an unmistakable grin.
"You can't keep living like that!" Merlin replied, half laughing.
"Maybe, but I'm having great fun trying," replied the irrepressible Gawain.
Although Gawain had no particular destination in mind, he did set for himself a general direction in which to travel, ensuring that he continued to take himself into life's unknown adventures with gusto.
If we think about a dancer, he also has no particular destination in mind, but nobody would be able to call a dancer stagnant. Direction is decided and then decided again and again, not to reach anywhere in particular but just to keep on moving with the rhythm and the music.
These two are examples of the possible alternative approach to the traditional goal striving model which we sometimes suggest here at Happy Cow. Far from leading to stagnancy, it tends to lead to a greater freedom of possibility, where destinations and outcomes are not known in advance, where the life dance is undertaken as a means to and end but as and end in itself, with excitement in each new dance move and each unexpected change of direction.
Unexpected opportunities, chance meetings, new ideas, fresh discoveries. When the blinkers are off, new trails are blazed and dance moves are danced that have never been danced before.
"You cannot decide direction, you can only live the moment that is available to you. By living it, direction arises. If you dance, the next moment is going to be of a deeper dance." Osho
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