Friday, 20 August 2010

Leader of the pack

I’m at peace that I’ll never be CEO of General Electric or a President at Disney. Sure, the free invitations to film premieres would be nice, the private jet whizzing you around the world would be cool, and the gold name plate above your river view office and incessant fawning of staff might even be quite entertaining for a while. But sometimes you know it’s just not what you’re all about. There’s a trade off with all these so called perks and if you’re just not wired for that world then that’s a lot of misdirected energy you’re expending trying to get there.

I was at dinner the other night and one of my friends mentioned that having been made boss of her team on an interim basis it wasn’t actually as much fun as she had hoped it would be. She’s a creative thinker, a journalist to be precise, and she found the bureaucracy and man management that comes with the role was preventing her from doing what she was good at and enjoyed – writing. Similarly, an email went round at work today telling us that a team leader had requested to step down from his role so that he could focus on what he liked best – servicing clients. Not all of us are cut out to be top dog or have that inner drive to be so. It’s become more and more apparent to me what I like and what I don’t like, regardless of what everyone else thinks I should or could be doing. We all need something to shoot for, otherwise the merry-go-round could get quite tedious, but as long as it's in keeping with what you're all about. I'm comfortable with that.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Human nature

I was walking around the supermarket a few weeks ago when I bumped into a friend, Olivia. I've known her a few years now and she comes across as a party-loving, red-blooded Australian that works in sales. Her basket was filled with various meats, taco shells and an assortment of less than dainty foods. We chatted about a new butcher she had discovered that did decent cuts of meat that could be thrown onto the "barbie", before we went on our respective ways. I thought nothing of it all until about a week later when I noticed a posting of hers on Facebook. She had set up a side business making cupcakes for all manner of occasions.

Looking at her exquisite and funky designs I was so impressed by this creative streak that I'd never seen and it just showed firstly how little I knew about her or her passions, but also reflected the prejudices I was happy to pander to. Maybe some of it was down to a persona that Olivia had created. I'm not sure yet. But at the same I'm sure many people have an impression of me that isn't really "me". We're all like that. Pretending to be, for want of a better phrase, for so long does become second nature but also has its limitations - it can hide some of our natural vulnerabilities and some of the really interesting bits. For example, I've written over 100 songs but it took me years before I showed any to anyone. The challenge for me is to provide a more honest and open image gilded by as little ego as possible. I can but try.

Monday, 16 August 2010


I went to watch the film ‘Inception’ yesterday. I must say it’s pretty crazy. Brilliant at times but still a little left-field and crazy. Without ruining the story for those yet to see it, a couple of central premises revolve around the concept of planting an idea inside your head and the grey area between what’s real and what’s imagined. My dreams tend not to have Leonardo DiCaprio running around in them but the film did get me thinking about how ideas come to us, how deeply some of them resonate with us and how much we are able to consciously control.

There’s a lot to be said about pondering how we think, from the perspective of being a little more conscious about it all. It makes me want to immerse myself and connect a lot more into all the realities I try to project for myself, even if I can lose focus (and not that there’s a film worth making about my world, to be honest). ‘Inception’ admittedly dances around a lot more weird and wonderful places but it’s nice to come out of a movie theatre and actually find yourself thinking on a slightly deeper level to when you walked in.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

I'll do it all again

I've had one of those weeks, I guess. In a good way. You know when you've been thinking about doing something and before you know it 10 years have passed you by. Well, a couple of situations were addressed in recent days. I can be the master procrastinator, but once in a while I just think "to hell with it" and just get on and do whatever I've been putting off. So I bought a flute.

I don't entirely know why I did but it was something just gnawing away at me in the last year or two. Admittedly, I learned to play one between the ages of about 11 and 13 but I wasn't really that good at it. My excuse at the time was that I didn't like what I was being taught. Notwithstanding a clinical aversion towards regular practice, I think now that there was something to be said for that. Okay, the laziness element hasn't entirely been cured but at least now I can blow away to my heart's content on my own terms.

The other thing I did was get a tattoo. Just a small one, mind you, but it reflected something that I had for so long talked about but never gone through with. It's in the form of an insignia of the sun, and takes me back to the middish-90s when I first had the desire for such a symbol after meeting a girl while I was backpacking around Asia with a bigger and bolder version. But that's another story. The fact is I'm actually quite pleased with myself and my silly little whims. I didn't let the critical and negative voice inside sensibly talk me out of it. I would even pat myself on the back for what I've done, only it's still a little bit sore...