I set up my site to allow me to post via e-mail, and so I am writing this on my Blackberry while I sit in a small patch of grass amongst the palm trees and enjoy the breezes and sunshine outside the office building where I work. I have begun to understand a little bit more about the concept of arranging the pieces we are given and allowing the parts of my life to ‘fall together’ instead of ‘fall apart’. I’m thankful for so many things: my family, friends, faith. Each day I feel a little more connected to the ‘oneness’ I’ve heard so much about. I took my first yoga class yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it. I can’t say I made a spiritual connection in it yet. I was still very much in the physical realm, sweating profusely after about 20 minutes of poses. But I am looking forward to letting go and allowing myself to receive whatever I’m supposed to receive. I thank my cousin, Mark, for the encouragement to do it, and to Wayne Dyer who said, “We get (receive) more of what we are, not what we think about.” That’s a big differentiator for me. I’m eager to find out what I am.
Technology has made the world more ‘connected’ and that may or may not always be a good thing. One of the biggest challenges of using technology as a tool is determining which tool is right for the job. If the only tool you own is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail. The right tool is the one that helps you to meet a specific objective or goal in the easiest or shortest way possible. In some instances, you cannot take a shortcut to get to where you want to go, but you’ll still need the right tool. Just because you can’t get it done any faster doesn’t mean you can’t get it done more efficiently. In the end, those who are more efficient are likely to more consistently meet their objectives.
For a while back in late 2009 I was off TV, and I was actually being productive. But it is definitely an addiction for me, and I soon found myself in front of it for 4 or 5 hours a night again. Aargh! Even now, not even Rue Paul’s Dragrace can keep me away. I don’t know how my wife finds these programs, and I don’t know why I watch them. Mainly I just wait for King of the Hill to come on at 10pm. My top 5 favorites are all cartoons: Simpsons, Futurama, King of the Hill, Family Guy and Bugs Bunny. Hmmmm….does that say anything about me? I wonder what I could accomplish if I was spending even a quarter of my nightly TV watching doing something else. If anybody is reading this, let me know what suggestions you have for me to kick this habit and make better use of my time. Gotta go for now, my show is starting in a few minutes.
If your intention is to catch fish, there is no point in going fishing when the tide is wrong. I like to fish for saltwater, striped bass in Rhode Island. For the type of fishing that I do, the tide matters. You might not always catch a keeper when the tide is right, but going fishing against the tide will guarantee that you won’t. There are times in my own life when I have chosen to fish with the tide and when I have chosen to go against it.
The transitional stages of our lives are much like tides. I suspect that science and psychology have not yet identified all of the stages that exist in humanity, and that they probably fluctuate from person to person. However, some very common transitional stages are tidal. I read a news report based on a recent survey that concluded that older people are less unhappy than younger people because they have fewer outside stresses such as: money, children at home, and interpersonal work relationships. I believe older people are also more familiar with the tides, and may bring acceptance to events more frequently. Of course, this is my own general observation.
Whatever your intention is, the more you can align yourself with the tides, the easier it becomes to achieve the results you want. It is entirely possible to create a life for yourself in which you do what you want to do instead of what you have to do as long as you remember that doing what you want to do is not the same as Doing whatever you want.
The word “passion” has many forms, and it is quite often used by self-help and personal development experts to describe that which you must find and follow to have true happiness in your life. Notice that I did not say “balance” in your life. Passion can definitely make you unbalanced, and it doesn’t have to manifest itself as fireworks and excitement at every moment. One of the earliest meanings of passion is ‘endure’. Endure can mean ‘harden’ or ‘firm’. How long do you suppose most humans can endure running at full speed? I have made the mistake of believing that passion is something that must be felt with intense urgency at all times. Fail. Passion without temperance equals burnout. If you want to endure, you must recognize the need for balance and do not allow the fire of passion to consume you whole. It won’t do your cause any good if you can’t see it through to completion.
I am guilty of mistaking activity for productivity. Without an objective, activity will result in expended energy and resources and not much else. Focus is what turns activity into productivity. In most cases when I fail to make a distinction between activity and productivity, I categorize my actions as “planting seeds of opportunity”. Other terms to describe this would be: “a lot of irons in the fire”, “multitasking”, “jack-of-all-trades”, and “complete and utter lack of focus”.
The “seeds of opportunity” analogy is probably one of the easiest to dissect and uncover the flawed logic. If you plant too many seeds, and do not tend them properly, most (if not all) of the harvest will rot on the vine before you have a chance to get to it. And so it goes with business. If you are running around planting seeds, be sure you know where you planted them, and tend to those relationships properly, or you’ll end up with a lot of spent time and energy to build a compost heap.