Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Always On My Mind

I've been dabbling with meditation over the years. I say 'dabbling' because I've tried out all sorts of weird and wonderful versions - led and unled meditations, some focused on the breath, others based on a mantra or an external sound. Running water, a candle, with your eyes shut or your eyes open. The lot.

Like many things in life, there are many ways to skin the proverbial cat and as far as I can tell it's not a one size fits all kind of thing. We all have our biases and preferences and some styles will suit individuals more than others.

I recently attended a seminar hosted by The Potential Project, an organisation aimed at providing the right tools for emotional, mental and physiological balance. It was another spin on the use of meditation in life but it's given me another one to try out. I'm a believer that it works - it's just taking a bit of time to fine-tune what works for me. 

Tuesday, 18 October 2011


There are so many metaphors used for dealing with life. Some reflect engaging with nature (swimming upstream or going with the flow), living in the world of sport (in the 9th innings or injury time) or even music (the fat lady singing and all that). But in this networked world that we now live in it seems apt that there should be one that relates to technology. Below is one I fell upon the other day:

"Just as the Ctrl-Alt-Del keys are used to interrupt the operation of a malfunctioning program on your computer, sometimes, we too, need to interrupt our mind by exercising Ctrl-Alt-Del.

Ctrl (Control): Take control of your life, take 100% responsibility and clearly understand what you want.

Alt (Alternate): Look for alternatives to get different results. See things with a different perspective.

Del (Delete): Delete all negativity in your life including attitudes and habits that are not working for you."

Quite an interesting way of putting it, I'd say.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Get A Job

A lot of fine words have been written about the late Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple. A visionary? Very possibly. Someone that has changed the way we live? He could well be viewed in that way, although sometimes you only get a true sense of a person's achievements when the world has moved on a few generations and historians have some true context to assess an individual's work.

One thing I would say, though, is the the famous Stanford graduation speech he did back in 2005 is always worth a read. A friend sent a transcript to me about a year ago, and it gave me such a lift on that specific day that I've kept it on file to refer to in those dark days.

No doubt it’s doing the rounds on social media as we speak but in case you haven’t seen it, it’s well worth a read or a listen. And I'm certain it's message will last a lot longer than my current iPhone.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Born To Run

I spend a lot of time thinking about goals. Refining them, expanding them, creating them, redefining them, getting frustrated with them, embracing them. And so the game goes on.

After all, in order to get to where we want to be in life isn't it important to know exactly what we are shooting for? I say "kind of yes, kind of no" - this is purely from my perspective and this is purely from my perspective right "now". Ask me next week and I may by talking entirely differently...

When it comes down to making the perfect boiled egg, tying a bow tie, learning the best kung fu moves "ever" and playing winning chess, then I'm you're man. The "how to" world of being more efficient and more productive is something I'm getting quite adept at, with special thanks to Youtube, Videojug and all their friends.

But then I've had a few moments of, "So what?" - it's nice to be able to do certain things a little bit better today than yesterday but, in the bigger scheme of things, does it really mean anything? Is it aligned with what I want to stand for and what my life is meant to represent? A lot of the time I'd have to say, "No way, Jose!"

You see, I get the sense that I've been going a bit too micro on certain individual skills and talents while losing touch with a bigger sense of my purposes and passions. 'Doing' and 'Being' aren't the same thing. Just because you don't have a detailed plan in life doesn't mean you can't live fully and be fulfilled. But for those who don't have such a plan and do happen to be fulfilled I think it's far more likely to be because they are aligned with a sense of why they were put on this earth, what they were "born to do". I've known a few 'muddlers' in my time who, when I look back in hindsight, I now realise have always had an inner compass that steered them and all their efforts in a direction they were destined for. For me, it's time to keep asking the right and big enough questions in order to get to the right and big enough answers.

I'm not going to be throwing out Videojug anytime soon (and it's amazing what you can do with an eggplant these days) but a little more listening on the inside is the order of the day rather than reacting to the outside. And I'll try not to be as fixated on the destination and more interested with the glorious direction.