We talk a lot about what matters.
So what does?
Looking at everything I’ve ever done; everything I’ve learned over the years — it comes down to four things for me.
ENJOY THE RIDE
Quiet contemplation — a genuine reflection of everything that’s going on. Just observing things — looking first and then seeing. Reflecting on stuff you just heard, the ‘saved things’ you’ve kept in some way for later. Rereading something again after a while. Sitting quietly and working your way through something carefully.
Spending time really listening. It’s hard so you have to listen twice. Watching what’s actually happening. Hearing others experiences and statements of what they think and asking them questions about it. It’s hard — you have to ask twice. Paying attention. Engaging in what’s being discussed and why it’s gone off at a tangent — that’s OK sometimes.
Making sense of things — anything in a physical way. Sketching it, writing it down — making a representation of it and then turning it into a better thing/idea. It can be a process — a whole series of steps, stages — evolutions of an idea or even a plan to go all the way. It’s all design.
Never let anything be. Especially inside your own head. Always be reflecting, challenging, provoking, investing, designing and evolving. Nothing stays the same and nothing should. We are alive. So is everything around us — if it isn’t change what’s around us. You may have to do that twice.
It’s easy to spot the difference between the ‘riders’ and the others. Those who don’t RIDE the waves tend to PARADE about and get in the way.
Those folk of an unshakable conviction that a given thing is inevitable — it’s going to happen — despite evidence of the opposite — always of a negative nature. The ‘projector’ has a permanent premonition of doom. They will call it realism but they ‘project’ their world view onto the entire situation — to them nothing new or different will ever work.
Instead of facing up to a challenge — attempting to fix something — the ‘avoider’ will put it off making excuse after excuse. They’ve become masters of disguising the fact too— especially to themselves. Thereby consigning their continued existence to the same path it’s always been on.
Everything new that happens is an immediate cause for ‘knee jerk’ concern to the ‘Parader’. It’s as if there’s a planet ending crisis about to overtake us all at any minute. The end result is short term, poorly thought through responses to everything plus severe implications for everyone around them.
No matter what the situation, or whatever the group that’s assembled, there’s a persistent sense of blame in the air. Their demeanour swings from competitive to accusatory to cynical glare and back again without you knowing what’s going down.
Before you can blink and whenever there’s a fresh idea emerging, you’ve already been told why the current situation is how it is. Even if it’s mostly OK there will be protectionist talk — disguised with an unnecessary explanation of why it’s like it is — but mostly why it should remain. No matter what — there’s the denial.
No matter how hard you try there will be a constantly evolving position. A moving target as to why we can’t or why we shouldn’t do something. Just as you feel you are making progress up pops another damn good reason why progress is a seriously bad idea.
There you have it, what matters and what doesn’t summed up in two words. Are you a rider or a parader?