This quote of Gurdjieff is a nice title to begin this post. Indeed, to accomplish an aim, one must be tenacious. A common aim is shared by several people who focus their efforts to accomplish it, and in this instance, it is really strong. However, it’s been years since Gurdjieff stated these marvelous words. It seems that in the last decades, most people have lost the concept of “common”, and prefer to do things by themselves.
The aim of this post is not to criticize such isolation which seems to divide humans, instead of unifying them.
What I would like to share, is the principle in this quote which evokes in me, the principle of Perseverance.
Indeed, being capable to persevere in our own or shared decisions, especially in those decisions which could make a difference in our life, is not a small thing.
How often does it happen when we awaken one morning and decide that, from that moment on we have to change something? Perhaps we don’t feel well physically or emotionally, or because we are not satisfied with ourselves, or something in our environment. In inadequate words, because we feel that “there is something wrong”.
Therefore, we decide to change our diet, our way of communicating with others, of loving others, our behavior. We change our daily routines and activities, we introduce new things and shed old habits.
That bright morning is fed by a Force that flows inside us. Do you remember the famous Star Wars quote “May the Force be with you”? In such a morning, we feel the reality of this quote: we know what we wish and from where to begin the change.
Then, during the next days or even hours, such a Force begins to diminish, as a light which gradually transforms into a faint flicker until it extinguishes, leaving us in the dark. And, that’s the end of our shift.
It’s important to understand how this process occurs, but we usually can’t perform such an observation, because deep within us, we consider ourselves incapable, obtuse, and misguided.
Let’s put aside our self-pity. Let us recover a bit of self-confidence, and try to discover the reason why we have failed in our intention.
As probably many know, our actions are subjected to some laws that, if we are not aware of them, we will obviously suffer their influence.
When we decide to bring about a change in our life, we are exiting from the deep-rooted mechanics from which we wish to emancipate, and transform them into something else. Translated into easily understood words: the inner and outer habits which are deeply-rooted within us which we wish to change. And, for making a shift, we need much energy, mainly, a huge Motivation.
After a while, the Power, the motivation of the bright morning seems to extinguish, and the old habits return – and when they return, sometimes it seems that they are stronger than before.
We have to remember to again find the motivation, the same feeling of that bright morning when it had been explicitly stated.
It’s true that to restore that motivation requires a will and a conscious self-governing. It’s also true that such a condition can be reached through a serious path of inner research.
However, I would like to go deeper, and transform the words that I wrote which you have probably read and heard dozens of times, by offering a possibility by outlining what usually is practically ignored: the Goal. Many know about the Laws of Three and Seven, the “we can’t do” and the “we are subjected to external influences”. Nice information that, by themselves don’t help very much, because they don’t give a bright perspective, however true it could be. What most ignore, is the “how” to state a concrete goal which could keep the motivation alive. I’ll be sincere and say that this is a topic which would require more than a book. Also, a goal is not only a statement, but it’s also a concrete tactic on how to change our actual state (what we wish to change) to the desired state (the goal).
I’ll just mention how to state a constructive and concrete goal. Better than nothing, isn’t it?
So, in order to state a goal, it must be concrete (“I wish to feel better” is not a concrete statement and “I wish to be calmer” is concrete); achievable (stating that I wish to become the president of the USA is a little bit out of my range, so not achievable); stated in the positive (not “I don’t wish to be nervous”, but “I wish to be calmer”); measurable (what concrete result do I wish to achieve and how will I know what event will have to happen so that I may understand if I have achieved it?); “ecologic” (does the aim comply with my values and ethics?).
Also, don’t think about your limits. Don’t say, “I don’t know if I’ll succeed”. Rather, think as though you have already achieved that goal.
I don’t like very much the “positive thinking” movement, seen that such an attitude is a double-edged sword – it’s better to be a bit more optimistic than pessimistic. Do you feel to be a shy or insecure person? Act as though you are already secure and self-confident. This means to act.
Of course, this is only an outline about how to make a goal achievable. There are many things to say about this. A whole education, as said above, would require at least a book or some seminars to be explained… and practice to be understood and realized.
However, in my opinion it’s far better than repeating like a parrot that “we can’t do”.
What’s more important is to act.