What happens when you helicopter-drop a couple of people on the top of a mountain in the Dolomites?
You turns beautiful scenery into a mission: to descend in two days, ending with an almost sheer 500 feet descent to negotiate. Although it’s high Summer, drop a couple of feet of snow and you have a daring-do adventure.
Why mention this?
It’s an illustration of how Humans creatively frame their experiences and understandings of the world(s) in which we live. Humans are able to create significance which isn’t really there, but, it’s astonishing to see the results. There’s no other creature or species on the planet able to do this.
Which brings us to the 1st January, 2014 – a date we make significant, though it’s no different to any other day ( even a day is a way Humans frame what is).
Humans have to keep moving, have to progress – not the latest Hotpoint-washing-machine kind of progress, but we’re not using dolly tubs any more, and we’re not going down to the local stream to beat our favourite Next shirt on the rocks.* It seems that when we lose this need to progress and to achieve, something dies in us.
Bear says to camera that he wants to take Stephen out of his comfort zone, and he certainly does. Stephen remarks how this is the most frightening experience of his life, but he feels the most alive when he accomplishes the deep dive.
Why not deep dive in 2014?
You don’t go into a new year unready. Whilst Bear wanted to take Stephen out of his comfort zone, truth be told, the programme is littered with the kind of quick humour that is Stephen Fry. There are two things you need to know: 1) who you are is enough – you’ve got yourself here, and there’s more to you than you know; and, 2) you are not alone – just as Stephen had Bear with him all the way, we have a crowd of people making the same journey – we just need to connect.
Here’s something practical you can do. Instead of making new year resolutions (even the one to not make new year resolutions), why not just observe things for a while: the things which energise you and the things which de-energise you.
Keep a couple of lists. One list begins, “I loved it when …” – in this list record all the things which energise you (I mean, really energise you). The second list begins “I loathed it when …” – this list will contain all the things which really de-energise you.
Halfway through January, you’ll have some really important information to help frame what will be an incredible 2014 for you. And keep checking in.
(*The world catches up on these developments quicker than we think.)