Majoring in Minor Things
The late, great, Jim Rohn passed on a lot of excellent and sage advice before he left the planet. One such snippet of wisdom was that all too often too many of us Major in minor things.
What he meant by that was that we go through life focusing on things that are ultimately of next to no use insofar as freeing ourselves from anxiety, fear and general distress brought on by so-called normal daily living.
One of the silliest things I have ever heard is that life would be boring if it weren’t for the troubles, worries and struggles to deal with. My response to this tediously gratuitous statement is, the trees in the forrest do not ridicule or war with each other. A star in the sky does not argue or debate with the none next to it, nor does it covet more brightness and light than the stars around it. Yet who considers the sky, the stars and the beauty of nature, boring? I hazard to guess that not many would because those things are not. Neither is the beauty of living a life steeped in the Self.
A readily given reason for this lack of correct and proper goal setting, and subsequently achievement, is desire, i.e. get rid of desire and everything will be right. Absolutely wrong. The problem is not desire. The problem is desiring the wrong things.
Desiring things is okay, as long as the things desired lead to enlightenment.
The above statement may seem at odds with Buddha’s view on desire; “When we free ourselves of desire, we will know serenity and freedom.” True. But misunderstood.
Yes desire is not only the cause of our issues, desire is the cause of THE ISSUE. Namely, it was desire that landed us in this mess in the first place. However, setting a goal to rid ourselves of desire is erroneous in the extreme. To make eradication of desire the goal is truly to major in minor things. Worse than that, it is to become deeper entrenched in ego. The reason for that statement:
Desire is both the sword of freedom and enslavement, depending on the cause it is put to use for. Only desire can free us from desire.
Everything we do is desire driven. From a drink of water, through to building the worlds largest hydroelectric dam starts with desire. Every action a human being performs is desire driven. The desire to free ourselves of desire, is desire driven.
So while Buddha is right, it needs to be understood that desire isn’t an enemy, desire is, when used correctly, the key to the Kingdom.
Using desire for the right purpose is therefore majoring in the right thing.
As I wrote in Him & Me, desire turned on the light here, and desire will be the one that turns it off.