In 2011, a video of a kid speechifying after learning to ride a bike went viral. His dad “interviewed” him after his accomplishment, asking him whether he had any “words of wisdom” for all the other kids who wanted to ride a bike.
ANOTHER IPS (Inner Peace Symptom): An understanding that Life is an opportunity to play. [What you play (and how and why and when you move) often makes for a lot of difference in the results you get.] Playing and helping other people play is my greatest “happy.” I still think that one of the best things I ever did was to choose to look at all of the different aspects of Life-Its-Own-Self as play. The possibilities inherent in that one…
One of the wisest thoughts I’ve ever encountered about impermanence is this one from English writer W. Somerset Maugham’s novel, THE RAZOR’S EDGE: “Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it.” It reminds me of a Hawaiian aesthetic that holds that beauty is made more precious when we understand that it is ephemeral and will not last.
All of us with inclinations for tinkering with our own heads and playing around with the structure of our lives seem to be prone to spending at least some time wandering around “looking for ourselves.” It’s like somehow, in the press of living, we have lost our own “True Self” (a.k.a. “TS”) and like the person who’s misplaced her glasses, we wander around hoping to notice that TS sitting on a shelf or something.
For weeks now I’ve been hung up on the saga of the resurgence of Pinball — that American-made quintessential mix of skill, chance, and enticingly challenging distraction in a glassed-in box that swept up the world and wrapped it up in the epitome of American “cool” and then nearly got killed off by the advent and rise of the now-ubiquitous video game. The pinball industry lay there gasping at the end of the 20th century.
We’ve all experienced it, that d-d-d-duh moment when somebody snarks at you or disses you big-time in front of the smirking crowd and your mind blanks out. Half an hour later — or maybe, if it’s really bad, three days later (after gnawing over the mauling) — your inner Clever Dude or Dudette finally kicks in and hands you a totally brilliant, absolutely useless “I-should’ve-said” come-back thought. ARGH!
Try it. Google “personal branding.” Wo. See that? The little search ‘bots retrieve 297 MILLION results! Since leadership guru Tom Peters first presented the concept of marketing yourself and your career just like a brand in that article, “The Brand Called You” for Fast Company magazine in 1997, the thing has developed some legs and has taken off running in all directions.
In America, dating since the original Social Security Act of 1935, retirement and making it intact to the “Golden Years,” (when you are supposedly free to stop working and “enjoy” lazing around in the little bit of life span you have left once you stop working) has been a gold-standard goal.
Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom): an understanding that setting goals and self-discipline are important but you need to leave doors and windows open to the unexpected. [Serendipity and dancing in the Mystery takes you to wonders that all your plans and willful intent would have you ignore….]
“Maintaining clarity of vision is an essential difference between those who conceive and realize great ideas and those who simply conceive great ideas,” it says here. That quote is from Carol Lloyd, author of CREATING A LIFE WORTH LIVING: A Practical Course in Career Design for Artists, Innovators and Others Aspiring to a Creative Life, a book that first came out in 1997. The book’s been through four editions since then. I’m re-reading my dog-eared, marked-up, well-worn copy of it…