I understand. I am in my moment and my moment requires applicable thought and action. You are in your moment and your moment requires applicable thought and action. And though we share this moment, it is also two completely separate moments. We both recognize the relevance of 17:18:51 CST, 01/08/2018, and sitting here together we both observe the same circumstance in this moment, yet we are equally distanced from the next moment. I believe that it is not our respective interpretations of this moment that divide this moment, but rather our differing interpretations of the next moment. Having said this, it now appears obvious. I cannot, (nor can you), apply thought and action to a future moment; though it is exactly this effort that divides us. I can make a plan for future moments, as can you, but until the moment arrives, I can only plan. Which begs the question: if I spend this moment agonizing over a plan for future moments, what has become of this moment? Is it lost? Or have I truly spent it in the best possible way? How much agonizing is necessary? Is the degree of agonizing directly proportional to the perfection of some future moment? Or is there some point where it becomes disproportional?
To aid in thinking this through, some added specificity:
- In some circumstance in which the attainment of a perfect future moment, (or even a good, adequate, or preferable future moment), requires the cooperation of another (or other) individual(s), I believe the amount of agonizing should be determined by the liklihood of productive agreement; which in turn should be determined by the degree of accordant personal influence, general life experience, specifically relevant circumstantial experience, and experience specifically relevant to the other individual(s). Rationally, I do not believe that perceived significance that is emotionally charged should factor into a determination of self-inflicted anguish, for the obvious reason that emotion will artificially inflate the perceived significance.
- Recently, in more than one circumstance, I have mistaken delay for cooperation. In hindsight I realize that I enabled this flawed thinking because I so badly wanted to believe that the previously-agreed-upon outcome would come about. I also understand that though the shared desire for the outcome was sincere, I was misled regarding its feasibility. Most recently there has been sincerity, but in past circumstance I have been lied to in order to delay and/or sabotage the current moment. On occasion, (likely more frequently than we want to admit), one is pulled into a whirlpool of quiescent planning; a whirlpool that is buoyant and effervescent, more like a thrill ride than the drowning that it, in reality, is. An example would be a promised promotion.
- I recently made a decision for myself that strongly emphasized The.Moment with less concern for The.Future.Moment. The.Future.Moment, (now that it has become The.Moment), has proven to be a challenge. Did I make the wrong decision? Should I have agonized further, thus delaying a decision? How frequently does delaying a decision for fear of a Future.Moment, effectively result in no decision? And does maintaining the status quo in this manner, ultimately create a quiescence that encourages the status quo? For me I believe it better to act in an effort toward progress and take on the risk of an unknown Future.Moment, than to give in or give up in This.Moment. For me, because The.Moment precedes The.Future.Moment, The.Moment should take precedence; (as long as reason has tempered emotion - see #5 below).
- When working with one or more individuals toward productive agreement, it will aid in the negotiation to agree upon a frame of reference regarding The.Future.Moment. For example, if together we are working toward a perfect (or preferable) future moment regarding a specific (agreed-upon) circumstance, and if I am working toward that future moment thinking ahead to next week, and you are thinking ahead to next August, we have further subdivided this planning moment into an unworkable melee of discordant future moments that will never mesh. I experienced this disconnect this week: I was looking to resolve the next few days, whereas another was thinking months ahead. It is easy to skip steps in the process, thus creating a planning nightmare.
- For this example, two definitions: a) Reaction - an emotional response discharged as thought, words, and/or action: b) Planning - a rational thought process, considering the past, the present, and the future, utilized to predict outcomes and determine a course of action. Planning is necessary, if for no other reason than to temper emotion. To simply react can have some limited value based on its truthfulness, but must be immediately followed with planning, thus making the reaction part of the plan. To simply react and walk away, with no follow-up planning, is not only inconsiderate and reckless, but also potentially dangerous. Truthfulness must be productive.
- It appears to be human nature to want to assign responsibility, not only for a moment that is troublesome, but also for a moment that is good. Blame and credit are an encumbrance to mutually beneficial progress. Even when I blame myself, or pat myself on the back, one part of my psyche is delaying rational planning and/or action. Having learned from the past, I live in the moment, for the future. This is a very difficult concept to live. My mind wants to live in the past, present, and future simultaneously, and my ego wants to comfort me with excuses, which in turn bogs me down. I have found the best way around this challenge is to continue moving forward, physically. I find that when I am physically active, my mind typically follows.
Takeaways so far:
- Though we are in the same moment, our individual perceptions of a future moment may drastically color the present moment, potentially creating discord.
- Self-inflicted anguish may be required, to a point; that point to be determined by productive agreement.
- The entire spectrum, from synergistic cooperation to dysfunctional divisiveness, is a group exercise; I must take my share of the responsibility.
- Within reason, this moment is primary; a future moment is secondary.
- When working cooperatively with another (or others), be sure to agree upon a target future moment.
- Emotionally charged truthfulness should be tempered by reason and should aspire to productivity.
- Past moments as rational planning tools can be helpful: but past moments fused with emotion are not productive.
Upon review, this week's thought feels like I have simply organized for clarification. I don't immediately see a greater depth of thought or new thought. That's okay. To sort through past, present, and future moments in order to make the best possible decisions and not get bogged down in the enormity of the task, requires the occasional uncluttering and selective disposal of nonproductive moments.