To Seek the Impossible Dream

How important is it to you that your life has meaning, that you be happy, that you find enduring love?

Almost everyone has had the experience of seeking some deeply craved experience, but finding it impossible to achieve.

We may ache profoundly to reach the particular state.  Yet, attempting it directly cannot win it for us.  As long as we aim for the experience, it eludes us.

Such beyond-our-reach goals indeed include much of what is most precious to us.

They comprise quite a list, including:  a sense of meaning, happiness, self-esteem, religious or spiritual experience, sleep, sexual response, deep friendship, closeness with one’s children, getting in better  physical shape, and long-term romantic love.

The very act of aiming to produce one of the above states blocks our experience of it.

Here is the good news:  every one of these states is attainable, just not in the way that people usually try when they seek them.

If you work to produce the goal, whether a sense of meaning or a good night’s sleep, it escapes you.  Yet, if you instead produce the right conditions, the experience finds you.

For this reason, goals like these are what I call “desirable side effects.”

They are enjoyable consequences of certain actions, and the requisite actions are ones that we can directly choose.

These byproduct goals also happen to include the most sought-after experiences in life.   In the weeks to come, we will explore a few of them.

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This entry was posted on Monday, December 5th, 2011 at 9:23 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “To Seek the Impossible Dream”

  1. jeff Says:

    LOVED that article, Rick

  2. Dr. Rick Blum Says:


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