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Life is Defined by Availability

By Scott Shaw

I have long discussed the fact that life is defined by availability. What this means is that your life is defined by what you have available to you. Whether this is people, money, culture, language, beauty, size, learning opportunities, friends, family, or whatever, that is what ultimate makes you who and what you are and leads to who and what you will become.

Some people are very good at pushing their opportunities of availability to the maximum limit. You see this in people who come from literally nothing and rise to the top of their profession. Many times, these are the people who are revered and even commonly referenced in the statement, “If they can do it, so can I.” But, in reality, this is not necessarily the case. Whatever it was that gave them that ability to rise to the top was also set in motion by their set of availability. Meaning, it was a combination of their personality, desire, drive; plus who and what they knew. Plus, what they have or had is not what you have or had.

This is not to say that taking advantage of your particular set of availabilities is a bad thing. But, you cannot define yourself by what others have achieved. Moreover, you should not judge yourself or be hard on yourself due to what others have achieved and you have not—because if you are behaving in this manner, what you have set up is a mindset of self-deprecation, which only leads to a low opinion of self. From this, all kinds of negative life events are given birth to.

This being said, lack of life availability can also be seen as the one factor that holds each of us back from achieving our dreams. Lack of life availability is the ultimate demon of actualization.

This is because of the fact, we are each a creature that embraces desire. Through our culture, through the time period in which we live, and through all the desires that we are told we are supposed to have, in combination with all of those we develop, desire is the common point for all of human existence.

Our families tell us what they hope we will become. Our friends guide and share our desires as per our specific socioeconomic and cultural environment. And, we, in the quiet of our minds, focus on the dreams we hope to achieve and hold.

Now, in terms of spirituality, it is commonly taught to, “Let go of desire.” And, this isn’t a bad ideology. But, it is much harder that the words proclaim.

Desire is the defining factor of life. With this as a basis, you can either choose to live a life defined by desires—attempting to get everything that you want, which will make you live a life continually defined by gain and loss—leading to a constant state of un-peace. Or, you can choose to desire no desire. Each time a desire arises in your mind, you can beat it down. In both cases, though they arise from differing sides of the spectrum, you are defined by desire.

Life is lived by availability. You are born, you are educated, and you are surrounded by a specific culture—all framed by a specific point in history. Within that framework you are provided with a very unique and specific set of circumstances. From this, you decide which desires you allow to rise. You can decide what you want to desire. Once you have decided what you want, defined by your family, your friends, and your culture, you will then decide to either pursuit it or decided that you can never have it. So, what is ultimately the point of its pursuit? In either case, what you do next will set the next group of availabilities in motion in your life.

Most people do nothing. They do not try. They give up before they begin. Or, they try for a moment, decide it is too hard, and quit. This is not bad or good; it is simply a defining factor and a condition of the life of most people.

Others try and try. But, the sad truth is, they try for something that is unhavebable. For example, many go after relationships with people who do not want to be in a relationship with them. An, this is just bad. It haunts both of the lives and no good ever comes from it. Ask, receive a, “Yes,” or a “No,” and move on. In other cases, people go after careers that they were just not meant to possess. Many want stardom. They want to be on the silver screen. Or, want to have their music heard across the globe. And, these are just two examples that are common here in the twenties-first century. A few generations ago, these careers would not be a source of desire at all. And, in a few generations forward, they will probably fall by the wayside. These are just a couple of examples but they may provide you with the foundational idea of what is taking place.

But, people don’t want small things. They want it, “All.” They go to all these lengths to get that, “All.” But, what does that, “All,” mean? You don’t know, because you’re not there. You only think that you know.

Every life situation is completely different than expected. Every life situation you live changes you forever.

Relationships go bad. Then you don’t want them anymore. You’re sorry you ever got involved. Jobs and careers each take their toll on your body, your mind and your spirit—no matter how seemingly great they once appeared from the distance. You never, ever know until you know…

The problem is, if you spend your life in purist, all you are left with is that pursuit. If you do not achieve it, you will be sad and unfulfilled. If you do achieve it, and it is not what you thought it was going to be, you will be sad and unfulfilled. But, the reality is, in either case, this is life, what you do is what you do. What you live is ultimately what you lived. Your life is here for only a moment. Then it is gone.

You are given a specific set of life availabilities. Maybe it is karma, a gift of god, a blessing, or a cure. But, the availabilities you are given are what you are given. Each step you take in life provides you with a new set of availabilities. Within the definition of those availabilities you must choose who you are and what you will do with them.

You are given availabilities. Your life is lived by availability. What do you choose to do with them?

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