As children we enjoyed life immensely. Almost everything was a party, an opportunity to discover, grow, have fun… But over the years we have sacrificed our happiness on the altar of duty. We were taught that we had to apply ourselves more, try harder, always go further ... We were told that to be satisfied with what we had was for conformists ...
They have instilled in us the idea that our value does not depend on who we are, but on what we get. In this way we have learned to set goals and focus on them, not to give up until we have achieved them. And so life, without realizing it, has turned into a sort of salon in which to hang our trophies. We have become the perfect victims of the virus that infests our society: the conclusionism.
There is a very simple test to determine if you too have fallen into this trap: imagine having to explain who you are to a person you have just met on the street. That person only has 30 seconds, so you have to choose your words carefully to get the most accurate picture of you. What would you tell him? Think about it for a moment.
If you mention your profession and the things you have achieved in life, chances are you are a victim of conclusionism. Surely the things you have achieved are part of you, but they belong to your past, they are not your present and, above all, they are not you.
You are much more, you are your passions, your dreams, your hopes, your plans for the future, the things you like and dislike, what you think, what you love, what excites you and what you despise, what you refuse.
Why is conclusionism so dangerous?
Living under the banner of conclusionism means binding our life and happiness to the achievement of certain goals. It is the tendency to think that we will get better and happier when we get something, but it is always in the future.
Obviously, the conclusionism contains a death trap, because it is impossible to put our life on standby, time continues to pass inexorably, even if we do not take advantage of it and enjoy life, even if we keep lying to ourselves by repeating ourselves that tomorrow will be better, that when we have achieved what we so desired we will be happier, we will be more relaxed or we will be able to afford certain "luxuries".
But the truth is that it is not necessary to have everything to enjoy life, we already have life that allows us to enjoy everything. There is no reason to postpone the happiness, joy, pleasure or inner tranquility more than the conviction, or rather the urgency, that we feel to finish something we have started.
This conviction is based on considering life as a ladder of which each step is a mission accomplished. Obviously, the company is structured in such a way as to confirm this image, just think of the different degrees we get as we advance in level at school. However, often what we remember from those years is that brilliant professor, friends or how we had fun. It is therefore understandable to ask ourselves if we are truly living our life.
Life is that thing that goes by while we are busy doing other things
The concept you have of life will determine how you live and, above all, with what spirit you will face the different situations you will encounter on the way. This is not a simple philosophy, this concept has very practical implications in everyday life.
I like to think of life as a river that flows continuously and in which many projects, objectives and goals are overlapping, but all end up being carried away by the current, forming our past. This means that life is not a race whose goal is the finish line, it is not a competition that allows you to determine who is the best, but a flow of experiences, sometimes pleasant, sometimes not, but always precious.
Those who do not understand the difference are likely to live constantly in a rush, always waiting for "better moments" that will probably never come, because they are passing right now. The good news is that you decide how to deal with them: in a heartbreaking race to a nonexistent goal or in a sweet flow where every experience counts.
A reflection by Charles Chaplin is particularly illuminating in this regard:
“When I truly loved myself, I realized that under all circumstances I was in the right place at the right time. It was at that point that I was able to relax. Today I know that all of this has a name ... esteem.
When I truly loved myself, I came to understand that anguish and emotional pain are nothing but signs that we are going against our own truths. Today I know this is ...authenticity.
When I truly loved myself, I stopped wishing my life was different and began to see that everything that happens contributes to growth. Today I know this is called ... maturity.
When I really loved myself, I began to understand why it is offensive to try to force a situation or a person just to achieve what I want, even knowing that it is not the time or that the person (sometimes myself) is not prepared. Today I know that the name of all this is ... respect.
When I really loved myself, I began to get rid of everything that wasn't healthy: people and situations, everyone and everything that pushed me down. My reason initially called this attitude selfishness. Today I call it ...love for oneself.
When I really loved myself, I stopped worrying if I didn't have free time and I avoided making big plans, I abandoned the mega-projects of the future. Today I do the right thing, what I like, when I want and at my own pace. Today I know this is ... simplicity.
When I really loved myself, I stopped wanting to always be right and, in this way, I was wrong far fewer times. So I discovered ... humility.
When I really loved myself, I stopped closing myself off reliving the past and worrying about the future. Now I stick to the present, which is where life manifests itself. Today I live one day at a time. This is called ... fullness.
When I truly loved myself, I realized that the mind can torment and deceive me. But when I place it at the service of the heart, it is a valid ally. And this is… knowing how to live!"
We must not be afraid to question ourselves… even planets collide and stars are born from chaos.