Thursday, 23 June 2011

Let It Be

Sometimes friendships or relationships aren't meant to work on paper. It might be because it's a collision of two dyametrically opposed worlds, value systems or cultures. Maybe there's an age gap. Maybe you're an extrovert and they're an introvert. Maybe you're introspective and spiritual and they're highest priority in life is the next episode of the a soap opera or the next incarnation of a brand of shoes. It's classic Hollywood buddy movie stuff or the two lead characters in a romcom that are so different but finally get together before the end credits roll.

Personally, I've experienced all of this in recent years with a few friends and a girlfriend. On occasion it has been frustrating - "why can't you see the world through my prism?", kind of way. Other times, I find myself thinking - "wow, you've surprised/inspired me in a very good way."

There's no template for these things, and as long as there's mutual respect and understanding it's amazing what dynamics work. That's something I continue to learn and certainly I've unravelled a lot of my more rigid thinking over the years. Yes, there's plenty of ego behind it all. And I'm sure some of these individuals would be wondering why on earth I'm sitting here on a Friday morning dissecting and writing about such a subject. No need to analyse and discuss - whatever works, works, they'd say (and have said). So I'm going to (try to) continue to accept how dynamics can play out rather than instinctively refer to some manual on how friendships and relationships are supposed to be shaped. Just let it be.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Lose Yourself

One concept I've tried to ingrain into my being in recent years is to get away from the idea of 'searching' - for meaning, for answers, for peace and so on. Searching, to me, suggests a needy quality of 'absence' or 'lack of' which you're looking to fill with external factors; where you will only be happy if you get a complete answer. I've preferred the concept of 'finding' - like an exciting voyage of discovery - where I am in control of what I choose to take on board. It can be a mismash of things and not a perfect suite.

That all said, I recently fell upon a comment on my sister's Facebook page, which had come from an article in the New York Times. It was all about losing yourself:

‎"Fulfillment is a byproduct of how people engage their tasks, and can’t be pursued directly. Most of us are egotistical and most are self-concerned most of the time, but it’s nonetheless true that life comes to a point only in those moments when the self dissolves into some task. The purpose in life is not to find yourself. It’s to lose yourself."

I don't think there's any right or wrong to all this. Maybe it's all just semantics and maybe you can lose yourself and find yourself at the same time. My angle on 'finding' isn't especially about finding myself it's about finding 'stuff' that works for me - in a joyful positive way, not with a need to fill a gap. Ultimately, it's just about an attitude to life. It's got me thinking again...

Friday, 3 June 2011

The Sign

Once in a while there is a sign. Or rather, once in a while you are willing and open to interpret information received as a sign. And so it has been for me in recent weeks. I got talking to one of the guys at kung fu the other day. He wasn't that overweight before but in the last month or two it was very clear that he had lost a fair bit of weight. Coincidentally, we also use the same gym and as far as I could tell he seemed a bit of a gym bunny, always seeming to put the hours in.

So when I saw the dramatic weight change I asked him about it. He basically said that of late he had introduced a bit more intensity and discipline to his workout. And not only that, he actually had a strategy and structure behind it now rather than “playing at it”, as he put it. We’re all very good at faking it – pretending that we are working hard towards whatever goals we have set when we aren't really. Or if we are putting the effort in and it's not working, sometimes we're not willing to or are just too pig-headed to change strategy. It's got me thinking about my approach to development and hopefully with a tweak or two and a bit more effort I'll be able to push on.