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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

State of Mind

If only it was easy to change your state of mind, I am sure many people would be able to change their lives. Once a certain way of thinking sets in, I have found it hard to change the course of my thoughts. It is like traveling downhill on a bicycle and you come up to a fork in the road. You somehow wind up taking the left fork, but you wanted to take the right.

Now how can this be? If you wanted to take the right fork, how could you let yourself veer to the left and start going the wrong way? Was it because the left fork was just easier and you are just tired of pushing in the direction you want to go?

Once you start going down the left fork, the longer you let yourself go, the harder it will be to go back and continue on your desired course. You have to stop the downward momentum, push back up the hill (how far, depends on the distance you went before you stopped yourself) and then get back on track. If you let yourself go too far, it will be impossible to climb back up. You will need to continue down this easy path, until the end, whereupon you will find nothing.

You know you are cruising smoothly when it is easy to avoid those left forks in the road. Sometimes though, the road is so slanted to the left and the road to the right is so rocky, bumpy and difficult, that you just let yourself go with the flow.

This is where I am now. I am traveling downhill and I am struggling to stay to the right. I am ok with that. I am definitely succeeding to staying to the right. I’ve arrived at similar forks in the road in my past. This was always after several years of training, where one day I let myself glide to the left.

This easy road on the left side of the fork is very seductive. I’ve taken it before and discovered that at the end of it, I wish I stayed to the right. I arrived at the end of the easy path soft and out of shape and having wasted all of the hard efforts I put in before. I suppose part of the reason why I did this in the past was that I had no set goals in my mind, or if I did, I believed them to be impossible to achieve. I know other people, besides myself who have slipped and taken the left fork in the road. I’ve never heard one of them say they were happy about their decision to go down it. They always look back with regret that they didn’t struggle to stay on course.

This morning the left fork stared me in the face and beckoned me longingly. It was in the form of my warm bed and soft pillow. The right fork announced its presence with howling winds and a cold chill blowing through the cracks in my window. The last thing I wanted to do was follow the right fork to the pool at Asphalt Green for 2000 yards of swimming; but that is what I did.

Right now I am wondering, what was so difficult about that? Left fork, you are a devil.


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