Absolute maximum potential. Strip everything away from The Project and those three words are what remain. To the core, The Project, is my journey of maximizing my experience on this earth. I already dabbled in the path of lethargy and apathy. To do nothing is easy. To do nothing is painful. To do wholly nothing is not simply self suicide but a pure waste of life. Writing this right now, I am alive. I am living. You, the reader, are alive as well. There is nothing to argue or discuss over. These are facts. Stop, Breathe. Look up, then look around. Who controlled those actions?
You did. This is your life. You can choose to sit or to stand. I can suggest for you to look up and look around but the neural impulses to do so come from your mind. In this moment you have the power of choice. Society, environment, family are all external entities that fail to have explicit control of your mind.
To conceptualize the idea of an absolute maximum potential, look at the timeline of all that has ever been and all that will be.
At one point on this timeline, you were born. Let’s call this Point A. Assuming only those living can be reading this, then there must be a point in the future when you will die. Call it Point C. All that lies between these points is your existence. This moment where you are breathing, reading, and existing is Point B. On the timeline, the track between A and B mark your past. Whether you choose to look or not, that line is visible for you to see; there to analyze and to understand. Although it is there, it is merely a stream of knowledge and facts from transpired events. It is up to us to decide whether to empower our past or to release ourselves from it. Point B is truly the only moment that matters as it is the only moment we can ever experience. In Eckhard Tolle’s book, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, he discusses the importance and consequences of truly living in the moment.
As every moment is fleeting, Point B is continuously approaching Point C. Unlike how time, events, and history can be recorded and documented from A to B, there is no information other than mere prediction between B and C. It is impossible to discern how far away Point C is from the moment you are in now. 5 minutes, 5 years, 5 decades, it does not matter.
Now, in this moment, during this brief time you have the oppurtunity of live, ask yourself:
“Am I happy and satisfied with my life and how I am living?”.
Stop and think about everything from point A to where you now. Although the past is important for understanding how to handle future situations, Tolle describes how clinging to the past in place of embracing the present is the cause of much pain in peoples lives. Release yourself of your history and ask the above question. If you happen to be in a state where you are fully content with who you are and what you are doing, than I applaud you. I know many people, including myself who can not say the above statement every moment of every day. The entire purpose of this writing and discussion is to find the source of negativity in my life and understand how to release myself of it. So for those of us who haven’t reached the level of happiness that we so desire, let us ask this question:
“What is there in my life preventing my happiness?”
This is a biased question. It inherently assumes other conditions as the cause for the lack of happiness. It is not a unique concept and it is not my concept to realize that we have the power to understand how we let the world around us affect us. It is not my own thinking that realized we also have the power to control how the world around us affects us. Steven R. Covey discusses the importance of realization that we have the power to choose our response to situations in his novel, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: Power Lessons in Personal Change.
I also understand how easy it is to put blame on the world. That guy cut you off as you were about to choose a parking spot. What a jerk! The professor gave way too much homework during finals week. I can’t believe him! Theres no challenge at being angry at the friend who failed to acknowledge something you did for them. A slice of cake to be pissed at the boss piling more and more work on you. Easy as pie to blame that which is out of your control with the responsibility of being accountable for that which you can control. And if you find yourself blaming a person or an event as the source of unhappiness, then ask this:
“Why does this have a hold over me?”.
“I don’t know. It just does. I can’t change it. Life isn’t fair. He needs to change. She needs to call me more. You all need to fix yourselves.”
The power to control the allocation of ones emotional dependancies is not something that can be changed instantaneously. It involves a long term process and shift from outward recognition to inward satisfaction. To not depend on what happens to us and instead focus on how we react to what happens to us. Its a shift from simply responding to outward stimuli to understanding and modifying the way in which we perceive that stimuli in such a manner that allows us to control our response. To control a response that falls in line with our inner goals and long term desires.
When our state of self is dependent on external factors other than an inner state of presence and consciousness, we subvert our control of our lives to those factors. What I am focusing on is understanding how these external factors have influenced on both my emotional states, self image and actions and how to regain control of my mind and my life (future post).
The crux of this notion of an absolute maximum potential is to understand that although what lies between Point B and Point C is fully unknown, we can make the choice to either better or selves or not to. I can choose to type this blog post or I can choose to watch television. I can choose to exercise or I can choose to eat pizza all day. We have the ability to choose to work towards a better self. To learn, to grow, to mature. Or we can enjoy fleeting pleasures and vices (future post).
Absolute maximum potential is an abstract concept that identifies the idea of a self where all our goals are met and achievements done. All things that we wish to know have been learned and all abilities we wish to master have been mastered. In a sense, reaching this stage is actually impossible as time is finite. The goal, however, is to see how close we can get to that standard as we approach is asymtotetically.
The purpose of The Project is to figure out what it takes to change my life from long term procrastinator to life long kick-assinator, make those changes, and then ultimately share the process with those who wish to make the same changes.
My next post will expand on what it means to work towards an absolute maximum potential in “3. Striving for an impossible goal. Is it worth it?“.