What A Fool Believes

‘Lying is still lying even if it’s to yourself’, a friend once said. I can be quite convincing. I’m a sucker for my own bullshit.   I can be like two drunks at the bar trying to keep each other sober.

I’m not always giving myself the straight goods. I don’t trust my thoughts –they can be under the influence of everything from brain chemicals to ego. Often, looking back, I realize it’s my own garden path I’ve led myself down.

Then there’s that ‘core limiting belief’. The indelible thing that was imprinted from when I was a kid. It’s not true, but it’s there, and seems to have a super majority when it comes to me making choices.

Hindsight, like guilt and regret, is not all that helpful. I haven’t found I learn well from mistakes. What I need is a new conversation up front.

I want to develop my own voice of reason. One that might suggest “hang on here, let’s take another look at that”. If I’d had that around I’d have saved a ton of money, marriage anguish, poor parenting decisions, and very likely would not own those blue shoes that I thought looked so awesome in the store.

In other words, I could stand a good dose of self doubt. Before running headlong into the next potential disaster I’d like it to grab my cognitive arm and suggest I give my head a shake. While I have many around me who are more than willing to step in on my behalf, it’s really up to me to stand in my own breach.

At least one of the drunks needs to get off their stool and head for the door.

Feeling Groovy

This past weekend I was accused of not walking fast enough. I think that shows real progress.

I’m not known for slow. Not that fast means I save any real time. Instead of measure twice, cut once – I’ll measure quickly, cut too short, then end up driving back to the building centre for more material. Speed may not always kill, but it can screw things up.

I had a sailing instructor once tell me the difference between a power boat and a sail boat is that on a power boat, you get on and go somewhere. On a sailboat, you get on and are there.

I like getting somewhere, whether that’s physical, emotional, whatever. Waiting is very hard for me. I don’t do line ups. I barely do traffic lights.

The thing is I should be in no hurry. I remember reading about the guy who became the youngest president of Chrysler motors. He sat at his big desk, in his big office, and thought to himself, “Now what? Why did I rush to get here?”

I have a young friend, he’s 18. He wrote me a sad note, “I feel like life is passing me by”.

There is virtue in lingering and meandering. There is passion in taking it easy. It takes time to see, feel, wonder. Slow is way more sensual than fast.

Time moves at the same rate – I gain nothing by trying to out run it. As I recently read, I do need to slow down. Even slower than that.

Learning vs. Doing

The conversation was about flow. “skills are on the x axis, while difficulty is on the y. The goal is to find the point where the two intersect, up there, on the right”. Something I am good at, that is really hard to do.

I thought about how much time I spend on the lower left, the stuff of Facebook, random email, meetings, and, well, more Facebook. Meanwhile, the art project remains undone, books unread, skills unlearned.

I am not afraid of difficult things, but for some reason I think I should just be able to do them without having to go through all that hassle of education. So, I try, inevitably fail, and give up. The only thing I’ve taken any courses in over a decade is skiing – and it’s the only talent where I know I can get up in to the top right corner.

With my writing I am muscling through. I keep trying, but without any formal training or guidance. It’s the closest I have to something I can’t not do. It would make sense that if I want to move along the x, I’d be well advised to get advice.

What stops me from wanting to learn? Whether its surfing or Italian, piano or leadership, baking or Photoshop – it’s a matter getting past my ego and inertia.

A buddy told me he’s decided to take up kite surfing. He recently spent an afternoon going up and down the beach flying a kite. It’s going to take time, and it’s going to be frustrating, but he’s committed to it. I gotta think that’ll pay off in other areas for him.

I’m not much of a linear type guy, but I do like the idea of that line moving upward, left to right. Anyone know a good piano teacher?


I Can’t Get No

I am having one of those weeks where I can’t come up with anything great to write about. I’ve started this blog about a dozen times so far. From the dog that kept me awake, to the people in the bike lane with their selfie stick, none of it seems good enough.

It’s not like my head hasn’t been filled with its usual voices of doubt, fear, arousal, and happy – I’m just having a tough time getting them down on paper.

A friend said the other day “I’m not so sure you’d be ok if all of a sudden the shit you deal with just went away. It’s what makes you interesting, and your life interesting.” Easy for him to say.

He’s on to something though. I don’t tread lightly on life. I tend to stomp around, raise dust, and get crap all over my boots. It’s a dis-ease that translates into deeper exploration, conversation, and experience.

I can’t seem to leave well enough alone. My questions all start with ‘why?’

My brother took me to an intro to Buddhism night. Afterwards he said he did it because he was curious if I could sit still for 45 minutes. Body maybe, mind, not so much.

Years ago I told a friend that I was doomed to live a dissatisfied life. He said that was the saddest thing he’d ever heard. That surprised me as I thought it was an expression of me wanting to suck the marrow out of life. But he’s right.

I can spend so much time reaching beyond that I lose sight of what’s right in front of me. I can get caught up in the noise and be unable hear. I can pass over the good in search of the perfect.

Am I Rich?

In his later years my dad used to say he was rich – rich in family. We didn’t grow up with a lot of extra money. My mum made do with the clothes she had, and we ate a lot of casseroles. I remember the first new car they ever bought – they were in their 60’s.

I guess what my dad was saying was that he was proud of his kids, and happy with where we are all at. He had peace of mind.

Lots of studies show that money only buys a certain amount of happiness. Once one’s passed the first couple of rungs up Maslow’s hierarchy, dollars are of little benefit.

This morning there was an article in the financial section of the paper “How to tell if you’re wealthy.” What is someone hoping to achieve by reading that?

Lisa passed on a quote “You are who you love, not who loves you”. The common trap is to measure who we are by some external standard – whether that’s love, wealth, intelligence or beauty.

I am at best distracted, and worst consumed, by trying to meet what I assume are the prescribed standards. Approval, acceptance, validation. It’s easy to get sucked into someone else’s idea of who I ‘should’ be – so much so that I start applying the same shit right back.

I have a absurd combination of admiration and indignation for anyone who is clearly striking out on their own, damning the torpedoes of public opinion. I want to be like them, but then, I want them to be like me.

I figure my father’s reaction to the newspaper query about how to tell if one’s wealthy would be – if you have to ask, you’re not.

Talking Turkey

There were ten of us at dinner last night. The conversation turned to food, and its cost and quality. Everyone there was involved somehow in growing, distributing, buying, or financing. We were united in our belief that we’re fucked.

The common conditioning is that we should expect to pay less for more – Costco sized amounts at ‘budget’ prices. Any wonder why as North Americans we are in such a contradictory state of being over fed […]

Sowing and Reaping

This weekend it’s time to plant garlic. I thumb each clove into the dirt, cover the bed with straw, and that’s it. Nothing apparent happens for a very long time. It’s not until next July that we’ll see any harvest.

The garden is the one place where I am forced to practice foresight and patience. The plants won’t have it any other way. Everywhere else I have a choice.

I so enjoy spontaneity. “Let’s go do this” […]

What A Fool Believes

‘Lying is still lying even if it’s to yourself’, a friend once said. I can be quite convincing. I’m a sucker for my own bullshit.   I can be like two drunks at the bar trying to keep each other sober.

I’m not always giving myself the straight goods. I don’t trust my thoughts –they can be under the influence of everything from brain chemicals to ego. Often, looking back, I realize it’s my own garden path […]