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Dealing with habit energies - goals
Recently I have been noticing that my mind feels different, lighter. After mindfully examining my sources of stress, and finding there was nothing to get stressed about, I've started mindfully examining my habit energies relating to goals.
The ideas of work immediately bring to mind goals - why do you do the work. I now have a job interview tomorrow, what shall I say? Do I want a lot of money, safety, authority, status, challenges? With thinking about goals there are associated thoughts of ambitions and fears. Most of the fears are empty shells based on habits, they seem to have been hollowed out by examining their roots. But there are a few thoughts of ambitions which I notice I have not yet laid to rest.
- Money? Money is freedom but ultimately what do you need it for? I've been unemployed for six years and in that time the most useful thing I've found to do is study the dharma ... nothing else has even come close. And I think a job might actually be useful in studying further because contact with the real world presents us with different problems. I only need a limited amount.
- Safety? I think all of life is impermanent, and to over-focus on security is to excessively attach to it. That applies to job safety as well as other aspects of safety, including the roof over our head and the safety of our physical bodies. There is a middle way to be achieved here, in care for our body
- Authority? I used to be a manager of a team of thirty or so software developers, but thinking back carefully it was a burden more than anything. Perhaps following the watercourse way in a simple engineering role might be better.
- Status? Examining this I actually found respect to be more valuable than status, it tends to be earned rather than conferred. Status is a marker, something of largely hollow value, although it can be useful. The people who are excited by it tend to look at the surface of things, and I've gotten in the habit of looking more deeply. Still this is one I tend to come back to.
- Challenges? I used to love a good problem to solve. But I think I have largely moved past that when I started studying the dharma, it tends to change your focus.
When I look at my CV through a recruiter's eyes, I'm kind of looking for an upwards trend. Why not look for a tech director's job, I have the background. Or a really interesting job in AI development, I know quite a lot in this area. But when I look at it through Buddhist eyes, I know these kinds of upwards trends are fool's gold, that there are other things that are more valuable that lie within.