Life; Lost in a ‘Maze’ and the Rules of Finding a Way Out.
Life is very complex, and that is a fact that needs no emphasis. When we are born, and perhaps the only time we are largely innocent, makes the most enticing and fulfilling part of our entire human existence. At such a time when we are toddlers, life’s complexity is as foreign as the fact that humans can ever live on Pluto, which we aren’t sure if it is a planet or not in the first place.
Take a moment and remember what life was like when you were one month old. Do you recall anything when you turned six months? What about a year old? Most likely you remember nothing. Why? At that time, our world revolved around our parents. They worried on our behalf.
Even if one day your mum forgot you somewhere, that is if she was a forgetful type, the only thing you will remember is the stories others tell about the boy who was forgotten by her mum and which you never want to believe happened to you.
Yet one fact remains, that still the complexity of life, as a general principle, existed even then save the fact that at that young age, you weren’t aware of it. Then we started growing day by day and learning a few sad realities about this life. In other words, we were thrown into the simplest maze and allowed to learn. And now in our teens, youth and adult lives, the maze has become more complex.
For instance, these younger generations will never understand what it felt like growing up in an era when our mums were better described as the double version of ‘Magret Thatcher.’ Being brought up in the village was a way to get rid of the naughty boyish and girlish behavior that naturally existed in us. And today, a lot of us are partly grateful for that.
The more things change, the more they remain the same
We walked long distances to school and any time things got out of hand, we got disciplined societally. There was little known about what life was like or would be like post the walls of our classrooms because access to information was a privilege. Only those with the means would listen to, read, and/or watch news that was tightly controlled as well. We only hoped things would work out well in our favor.
Fast forward, the only thing that has perhaps remained the same is the fact that children get born, people marry, and people die every day. And if anything, that is what we picked as the mission for our life in those early days. To go forth and get married, have children, and die. Yet today, we are debating about the fact of getting married and having children. We wonder, must we get married and have children? As for death, it is as complex on its own as the fact that we can die at any time.
Interestingly though, even for the children growing up today that have the privilege of access to information and a rough idea of what they want their life to be like ideally, things seem to continue remaining the same.
Touch the Walls and follow them
If anything, the way to maneuver the maze is another thing that seems to be the same irrespective of the maze’s complexities. For instance, the concept of living one day at a time may have been around for a better part of human existence and it is still relevant. Then, recently another one was coined known as YOLO (You Only Live Once) which needs a whole discussion altogether as to why it may be a wrong ideology.
On a keener look, there is one aspect the concepts could be converging about the fact that in the maze of life, simply touch the walls and follow them in whichever direction. The only difference might be that it will take a longer or shorter time in one direction compared to the other one.
For instance, you may have wanted to grow up and be a lawyer simply because you had a passion for matters of law as a young person. True to your desire, you may pursue a legal profession but after a few years in practice, you feel the need to change. It may not matter the years spent in law school and in working, the most important thing is that you would have found yourself at the place you love to be.
Another instance could be that you wanted to be an engineer but because of circumstances beyond your control, you ended up in a geography profession. There is no harm though to go back to engineering school irrespective of the time and pursue your passion. Just touch the wall and follow them.
Leave a trail
The other important rule is to ensure you mark the path you walk to avoid wasting time walking it again unless it’s very necessary. It is as simple as leaving a mark or markings to help you take a different route should it happen that the first route doesn’t take you out.
In life, there is something called failure. Let me digress for a moment. I had a chat with a young boy I was guiding through some math years ago and I remember asking him for a rubber to rub off the wrong arithmetic he had done. To my surprise, he told me he didn’t have one because he rarely made mistakes.
That caught me by surprise. The truth is that for the few moments that I had guided him, I had picked out some mistakes including the one we wanted to rub which he acknowledged. The point is that we will always make mistakes, yet the most important thing is to learn from them and pick the lessons. That is akin to the marks left on the path already taken.
Living in denial about making mistakes will cost precious time and resources in going circles around the maze. As a fact, there is never growth in not making mistakes and learning from them.
Being aware of these rules is very important. They can be adapted for application in as many lives’ real situations as possible. Be it in marriage, education, career, profession, or any situation in which you are unsure what to do, pull the strings with these rules and you can unravel part if not whole of life’s complexities.