Row Your Boat

Row Your Boat
Photo by Jamie Morrison / Unsplash

There were always those people that amazed me with their clarity of vision for their own futures. I've often wondered about those with such a clear vision. They always seemed to know exactly what they wanted - they always had a plan on how to achieve it. I have a sort of admiration for those that have their act together enough to have a vision and a plan to get there. I'm a little jealous.

After high school, they knew where they were going to college. After college, they knew where they were going to work. After working for a while they knew that they would get married and where they were going to live and how many children they were going to have. We all have friends like this. I have many friends like this. One by one I have watched as their plans have splintered, unraveled, and just fallen apart. The energy it takes to hold to the vision must be exhausting. In personality terms, these are the folks that love certainty and predictability. They wonder why people do dangerous things.

From the perspective of a psyche, the more certain the ego is of doing something the more obstacles there will be to overcome. Jung called this the 'transcendent function'. It's a kind of pressure valve on the ego and it goes into action exactly when we wouldn't want it to. Imagine walking up to the stage to receive the award that you are absolutely certain you deserve and you trip and fall walking up the stairs. This is the transcendent function in action. It keeps things like pride in check. I'm not saying that having a plan is a bad thing. A plan is a great thing. However, without any built-in flexibility, a plan is certain to fall apart. Be open to what comes and try to welcome adventure. Or in other words...

Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily. Life is but a dream.