Monday, 18 January 2016

"Listless" in 2016

How do you suppose all the various people of note throughout history managed to become "people of note" without "life-hacks" and enumerated lists of how to: be extraordinary at pretty much anything? Now while I can accept to be true that if you come to know of someone that is successfully doing something that you aspire to do (or something similar) then no doubt they encountered some potholes on their personal long and winding road and if they were gracious enough to impart some of that journey you might well avoid those same pitfalls. Of course that doesn't mean you won't find yourself in your own unique unforeseen abyss, however without insisting one must suffer for their "art" or whatever their pursuit might be, while it might serve to not entirely "reinvent the wheel" some snags and tangles encountered on route might well be an integral part of your "personal" development.

Now, I understand the appeal of the idea that by following a simple list of qualities or behaviours one could be the next Leonardo da Vinci, Mother Teresa, Steve Jobs or Oprah - but seriously, I question the efficacy of such lists! Of course these lists are not without ancient precedence - for example, Moses tried to impress a list on humanity, complete with pyro-technics and what has grown to be a fairly significant distribution strategy and readership. While I wouldn't go so far as to say it failed - it still remains to be seen to what degree it might be allowed to be effective.  There really is nothing to assure that following anyone's suggested list, even if it worked for them, that it will work for you. The thing is by the time you realize that - you already bought the book. I don't mean to call into doubt the sincerity of those that wish to offer others support with realizing some of their dreams and while these various success stories undoubtedly had a myriad of supporting cast that might never be made known, I would suggest that I am always going to be a second rate imitation of anyone else but myself.

The work, philosophies, quotes, style, path of others, will naturally provide one with something to "cut their teeth" on - but at some point it will be necessary to leave the visible road and chart a course through the unknown where the only footprints will be your own. I see it as a recognition of personal significance. No longer do I look to be "extraordinary" while at the same time I need to lay to rest my personal demons that would otherwise continue to reverberate not just the possibility there exists a "lack of credibility" but that I innately "suck." So then, a quiet confidence is required to continue to place one foot in front of the other, without the need for the constant accolades and approval of others.

No "one size fits all" list is going to get me there. I actually can't think of anything that I've accomplished that was attained through the use of "short-cuts," though to be sure I've most certainly sought "the path of least resistance." Now I won't diminish my own successes but at the same time I acknowledge that I have not attained "world caliber" proficiency in any arena. What I can say is the "path of most resistance" I discovered was internal, and looked like a lack of acceptance of what it was going to take to allow myself success, not always but frequently. The thing with short-cuts I can elucidate with a metaphor involving roads. On the island I live on there still exists an "old highway" that traces the coastline of the island that is such a beautiful journey! Quite sometime ago now an "in-land" express highway with sections that post 100-110kph speed limits was created, to cut time off the journey. It certainly effectively accomplishes this time saving strategy but it does so while compromising the winding scenic beauty of the coastline.

I suppose there are those that would lay claim to having turned in a "successful" book report reading the Coles notes or watching the movie but at what cost?  I won't speak in terms of "absolutes" short-cuts, lists and "hacks" undoubtedly aren't as popular as they are because nobody is interested in employing them or they would just disappear. I would submit the world doesn't need further conformity or imitation. The fact remains the map and I would suggest, the same holds true for the "list," is not the territory. Once you embark on your own you will discover you are living your own list which can be inspiring, intriguing and might even become the framework of your legacy, but I would suggest caution where insisting that anyone else can expect the same journey following your list!

Monday, 11 January 2016

No Problem

I suppose all things considered, this current post, should a descernible theme be sought, might then be  introduced to contain elements of what I've heard described as "first world problems." To begin with I wish to state up front it is not my intention to complain about them, instead just state what is & along the way perhaps examine what constitutes a "problem."

A couple weeks ago I identified a battery issue with my laptop computer - I probably could have use the colloquial "laptop" & for the most part be understood, but for the sake of clarity I defer to the syntax dinosaur to be sure I'm not discussing my physiology. While the computer remained functional while plugged in, another issue rendered the operation of most functions quite literally, paralyzed.

The battery was replaceable & even covered by warranty the second issue can only be resolved by a costly logic board replacement. So while I ponder whether to direct resources to a machine that might yield me further experience with some other form of planned obselence or invest additional resources (which in effect I don't have) & get a new one; I have had somewhat of an electronic media hiatus. I'm not as inclined to do as much reading, "surfing" etc. via my "smartphone." I actually still prefer a book in my hand, never mind doing so on a postage stamp size screen. That metaphor alone might reveal something of my vintage as might disclosing that a phone conversation earlier today struck momentary terror in my heart when I was informed that soon it would be "mandatory" to have my payroll records ("cheque stub") available only in electronic form - no more "hard copy." It's not as though other aspects of my financial world aren't already transacted through cyberspace - it's more like actually - I don't care for it, I'm a half-hearted participant. I might never get "rich" busking however the proceeds are tangible, when I'm finished I scoop it all up & put it directly in my pocket, none of this electronic smoke & mirrors, no "the system was down."

I should include at this point I am aware & grateful that I'm "employed" from which I derive the "payroll" situation, & various electronic "tools" are replaceable, certainly not life-sustaining and really not much more than an inconvenience.

The work I'm doing on my book, which I'm certainly eagerly anticipating completing even if I'm the only one; is on hold until I get up & running on some alternative to my ailing computer.  I've not been dwelling on any of this, choosing instead to focus my attention on whatever is presenting day to day while at the same time exploring options. I realized today I was missing writing - of course I could scratch that itch any number of alternative ways, however at present I was Jonesing for my blog & expression that at least had the potential to be shared. Consequently I decided "the show must go on & for the first time ever, I'm "blogging" on my iPhone. I love feeling the flow of creativity & expression the medium I will maintain serves best for phone calls.

In contrast to my first world problems (which is to say - inconveniences) right in the midst of our "first world city" is a tent city, inhabited by approximately 125 homeless people. I am as part of an ongoing process releasing redundancy in my own living space (again, a good problem to have - hard to mount a viable complaint about having "too much!) Occasionally I direct such stuff to the homeless shelter, sometimes "Thrift shops" sometimes I'll give it person to person. Today I decided the next bag full would go to the folks at the tent community.

How graciously I was received! I enjoyed informative conversation, was gifted a beautiful abalone token (described as "community currency"). I was acknowledged & appreciated, educated & received   easily more than I gave. Oh how I strive to "keep my feet on the ground" still my heart & humanity can always stand an expansive injection & paradoxically it invariably comes from people, places & situations where many "mainstream" folks would swear you'd never find it.

I'm humbled to consider that once I compiled a garbage bag full of stuff (not a statement of virtue just  a perspective giving statement re: relative effort on my part) I thought to my self now I've got to carry  this to the bus stop, ride into town & then walk the rest of the way carrying it; oh & then I will add it began to rain. Of course when I arrived there & received such a gracious welcome & saw more closely how these folk are currently living - I blushed within myself in the presence of my previously thoughts colliding with what I was now experiencing.

I'm the last couple of years I experienced being a credit card away from "homeless" I know how easily one's situation can profoundly change. Much of what I previously took for granted I now do without. This is again not a ploy for sympathy I choose this simplifying & getting back to "basics" as part of a complete life values reevaluation.  Still most if not all my challenges when all is said and done are inconveniences." Even at my most fiscally compromised I have experienced varieties of wealth that were & are life changing. I don't know that I necessarily need to experience "living rough" - who knows maybe so. At this point I honour those that can, have & do. Shit, I don't even know how I would begin to compile the skill set to do so.

The bottom line is that if all you have to complain about is the equivalent to "my thumb joints are aching from having to type out a blog on a smart phone" your (my) situation, is not the problem - it is one of attitude & perspective!