"All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsions, habit, reason, passion, desire." - Aristotle
Chance - I can't talk about chance without writing my favorite quote from one of my favorite poets. "Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be fish." Ovid was essentially the most impassioned poet of his time, as well as the most controversial (writing about sex acts in 10 AD will do that to you). But, here we see that leaving things up to chance is not merely sitting around waiting for something to happen. It also has nothing to do with going out to find it. Leaving things to chance involves being available to receive it, anytime and anyplace. The world will give you what you want, but you do have to live in the world, here and now, to even know what the hell it is giving you. Chance is a mere myth, just as coincidence is a myth. Things you get by chance, people you come across by chance, were supposed to happen. However, leaving things to chance opens doors you never even knew were there to begin with.
Nature - You can't fight nature. The tides chance, the sun rises, no matter how much you don't want it to. The nature of the person is the same way. You can't fight your own nature to be what you are. We learn to appreciate the tides as soon as we accept that that is what is in their nature to do. We learn to accept ourselves when we truly begin to love our own nature. We learn to accept other people as soon as we stop trying to change what is in their nature to be.
Compulsions - Compulsions are mere obsessions in disguise. I don't think they are all a bad thing either. Some of our compulsions are what makes us unique. Just so long as it does not become OCD I think compulsions are a great thing. Whether it be with chocolate, shopping, collecting certain things, a band, or even someone's ass. ;) We identify with people because of their compulsions. Compulsions are something we do unwillingly, some call it a weakness. I have a compulsion toward shopping and chocolate but that is what makes me me.
Habit - Habit is what gives us character. It is not enough to say we are going to do something. We must do it and do it often until it becomes a part of our character. Habits can be good or bad. Good habits, though, are necessary in life.
Reason - ahh reason, like a drug can be harmful in excess. Reason can be useful in solving problems but reason without any heart is horrid. One must follow their heart and instinct and use reason to HELP with the process, not the other way around.
Passion - Passion is probably the single most important thing one needs to have in life. Without passion for anything we would just be hollow shells. If anything can be deemed the most important quality in life, I would say it is passion. Passion is what drives me every day to do what I want to do. He who has passion has everything they need to make it in life. Yes, passion can sometimes cause pain, but it also is the cause for the greatest ecstasy we will ever know.
Desire - In Kabbalah when one asks, "Who am I"? The answer is, we are what we desire. Essentially what we desire makes us who we are and nothing else. I think maybe what we desire is what gives us a reason to even live.
This day has been a weird one for me. I am faced with a big decision and I am not sure what to decide. I have wanted to study in London for as long as I remember. Now I come to find out that may not be possible next semester. I might just have to do the 5-week summer program. (Hey at least REM are still playing this summer in London LOL). The reason I might not be able to go next semester is money. I come to find out that I just can't afford to pay back the loan right now and because of various reasons I will have to start paying it back right away. This is where reality and desire clash. I always say though there is a reason for everything and maybe I am not meant to leave home for 3 months. Maybe I am supposed to go for only 5 weeks. So I can either go in January and get into major debt that I am not sure I can pay off or I can go in the summer for half the cost. I defiantly have a hard decision to make.