…if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live that life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours…If you have built your castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
Henry David Thoreau
There are joys to life, of course, but getting on is mainly getting up every morning and putting some work in. Work at spiritual self-cultivation, work at being you, work at transcending the pettiness and bickering that occupy others. This takes courage because so few people do it.
Taoists quickly become adept at bucking the norm. They refuse to settle for anything less than the life they are meant to live. Taoists do things they have a knack for – things their hearts are telling them to do – and this is enjoyable, but it is also solemn because they recognize their duty to be on their Path every day. They recognize their duty to not to squander their time on this planet. It’s a duty to themselves and the universe.
The only time we have is now. What are we doing with it? Are we squandering it in mindless pursuits that yield no other dividend than having been entertained, or are we putting it to work for us? Even one second ago is a memory and tomorrow only awaits us, time that is unable to be utilized now. And us humans are experts at procrastinating. The diet will start tomorrow. That chair will be built tomorrow. The stone steps will be climbed tomorrow.
Those that get on in this life start today. Those following The Way know there is no better time than right now to show the courage to do what needs to be done.
There is always the commotion of outside influences demanding our attention. Those we know say this and want us to do that, some of it worthy of our attention while some of it are merely attempts to get us to fit into the slots they’ve assigned us. These are challenging to ignore and difficult to refuse.
Followers of The Way, though, regularly ignore and dismiss the regulations others try to impose on them because they know the only truth is spoken by the heart. When it’s time to act, it’s time to act, even if that action is merely standing by and letting matters go on without our interference. Our hearts and our Paths will reaffirm us daily if we let them.