(This was originally published in 1999. I still find it clear and inspiring. Have a Thriving 2017!)
I believe that the experiences of Love, Joy, and Creativity are the fruits of a well lived life. They are pleasant in their own their own right, and form the foundation of fulfilling relationships, successful/prosperous enterprises, and a satisfying life.
I believe that they are also a choice. We choose to be happy or we choose to be sad. We choose every emotion we feel and every action we take.
There are a thousand and one voices/forces that exist in the world which guide/suggest/imply/assert that we do not have a choice about our emotional responses to what happens in the world, that we are victims of the world and our social conditioning.
I hereby state that these thousand and one voices are simply inaccurate. We choose first how we will interpret, second how we will evaluate, and third how we will respond to every experience we have. Those choices (in every moment) determine the quality of our life experience. End of story.
I hereby claim complete and total responsibility for how I choose to feel.
I choose to experience Love, be Joyful, and express my Creativity through and in my life. I choose this in the face of experiences that the entire world might call catastrophic. I choose this in the face of disappointment, loss, and plain failure in achieving my goals. I choose this in every area of my life and with every person in my life.
I do not claim perfection in this path. I do state that any variance from this path on my part is a failure/mistake/problem/challenge/opportunity-to-learn/gift. I choose to take full responsibility for how I respond to such events, and resolve any “challenges” that I use as an excuse to leave this path.
I choose Love, Joy, and Creativity in the face of people who would attempt to guide/suggest/imply/assert that I should feel something else, whether through ignorance, malice, or even their belief that I am deluded. They may find this a “cold” and uncaring position. I do not care. They may find this uncompassionate and selfish. I have no compassion for that stance – it does not serve my self interest. They may find this close-minded. I assert that people who have an open mind often find other people throwing their garbage into it. Some may find this inspiring. I want to hang out with them. 🙂
I prefer my world to theirs and simply will not enter theirs (except in ideological debate) unless they are paying me to coach them.
At the same time, I choose complete flexibility as to how I will respond to people who attempt to engage me in any reality which is other than love/joy/creativity. I state now that I am a wildcard here. Let nothing surprise you in this realm, unless you want it to.
I believe that experiencing Love, Joy, and Creativity is the purpose of and foundation for an ideal society.
- In metaphysical/epistemological terms, that which leads to them is fact/true/truth/accurate, and that which leads away from them is fiction/lie/false/inaccurate.
- In ethical/moral terms, that behavior which leads to them long term is good/ethical/moral, and that which leads away from them is evil/unethical/immoral.
- In interpersonal/political terms, that which leads to them is justice/responsibility/choice/freewill, that which leads away from them is injustice/blame/chance/fate.
- In aesthetic terms, that which leads to them is beautiful/inspiring/art, and that which leads away from them is ugly/disgusting/trash.
I believe that all the mental emotional tools anyone needs to create this experience of life for themselves are readily available, though they might take time, money, and focused energy to master. I will learn/discover/create/use any such tools I find necessary to keep myself on this track I am describing.
I believe that a community (whether 2 people or 2 billion people) who live by this creed will create an environment of heroism, creative genius, fun, and lust for life more fulfilling than that of the most magnificent “heaven” yet imagined.
I am committed to creating such a community and to making it available to any and all who wish to participate in it.
I love life.
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