At some point I sat down for a bit and tried to consider some defining mission or purpose in my life - an outlook to rely on and guide my choices, if not totally, at least to act as a major influence.
The best I came up with was that I should always act to find the ability to acknowledge and understand my circumstances truthfully and accurately. I essentially believe this is important because without an accurate understanding of how things are you cannot act within your environment effectively - you can't make choices with any basis, and you cannot purposefully influence future outcomes.
A big part of this process - and this is the part where the "finding the ability" comes in - is uncovering ugly things. Weaknesses, failures, things I've denied to myself, a lack of skill, that circumstances (perhaps in random ways) will stop or control me, that other people are - whether they are aware or not - competing for many of the same resources I am - and even if I try to play fair I'm taking things that other people could have had, and people who either are more skilled or play by different rules, fair or not, have and will take things from me. My outlook is limited enough that most events are seemingly random and I have and will encounter surprise, failure, accidents, and tragedy.
My 3 pound brain is woefully inadequate to get me through most problems efficiently and I'm a prisoner in this meat-carcass of a body which - with no other options - is my instrument to affect change I want to produce. My body is a delicate piece of equipment, liable to damage and disease. It needs constant attention or else I can't do things I want to do, I have to fill it with substances and keep it moving around lest I dehydrate or atrophy. It's full of irrational motives and instincts. It operates poorly under stressful conditions and it needs seemingly constant redirection to train it. And it will wear down and out and stop working.
All of these items are accurate depictions of things that I have to deal with, that influence me, that are in my reality. Bees in my bonnet. Ha! Truly, I don't have to deal with them. I can ignore them, put my mind elsewhere. Distract myself while they fester. But they don't go away. That's why I'm big on "finding the ability." This piece of equipment, brain and body, doesn't seem to really be able to acknowledge things it doesn't know what to do with. It panics and shuts down and gets confused.
But that's ok. Because if you direct it, train it, force it, eventually you can beat answers out of it. Ideas. Philosophy. Plans. Strategy. What a proud endeavor! Small, weak, and poorly equipped - push! I'll be lucky if a life full of struggle lets me move a single step toward where I want to be - that's how weak I am! But do you feel that? That momentum building in your chest? What a rush, how foolishly intoxicating this is, this struggle.
Breathe the filthy air into your lungs and smile. There's work to do.