There’s a kind of magic that happens when we add our willingness to give to our resources. We discover we are generators – generative beings.
Through curiosity and ideas and mixing things up and playfulness and love, we’re able to make more.
But we face resistance …
When we don’t think we have enough or don’t think we’re ready enough to give.
When we think we see the other person, or environment or context, as not ready to receive, and we feat what we give will be rejected.
But more magic happens when we do the thing we love to do – when we give, things happen – not always – but more often than we expect.
Permission and choice. Two words which are both beautiful and practical.
What if life becomes richer when we make possibilities available to others through permission and choice?
Permission, because we all need help from outside. Choice, because the best permission gives people the opportunity to choose the way they really want to go but didn’t think they could.
Some of the most important people in my life are those who have given me permission to move from old thinking new, old doings to new.
Each day provides us with opportunity to provide permission so others may have choose.
What You See Is All There Is.
Some say. “I’ll believe it when I see it.”
Reality is more weighted towards you seeing something when you believe it.
Check out Carol Dweck’s Mindset and you’ll find four sets of portrait drawings. You could be forgiven for thinking four had been drawn by children and the other four by adults. In fact they’re by four people on a five day art course: four before-and-after sets of drawing. The course was really about helping people to see, the art improvement simply followed. How much more are we missing because we can’t see very well?
Our worldviews, paradigms, philosophies and prejudices filter what we see. And these are the things we’re most aware of. Beneath these are the ways Humans prefer to make judgements quickly – we’re told this dates back to when our ancestors had to decide quickly whether to run or fight the eponymous sabre-tooth tiger. But the world is bigger and decisions more complex today than back then.*
Seth Godin recommends a course on seeing as being one of the most important ones we’ll ever take, enabling to see what others cannot.
It begins with seeing yourself; there’s more to you than meets the eye. When you see this, you also realise there’s more than meets the eye to every person you meet. And there’s more to the world in which we live than meets the eye, opened to us by others.
But don’t take my word for it; go see for yourself.**
(* It takes a lot of energy to be what Nassim Taleb names a sceptical empiricist, suspending judgement of people, things, and phenomena for as long as possible.)
(**I had an eye-opening experience several years ago which I’ve referred to in earlier posts; that was just the beginning, each day bringing new things to see. I’ve just got to keep my eyes open – which isn’t easy.)
You already have what you need to move forward.
I’ve mentioned, I think gratitude leads to freedom, autonomy, you choose.
This appreciative awareness allows you to see all you have as resources for moving forward. You are able to see what many others – who may have more but cannot see this. Gratitude gives you the edge, makes you more resourceful, and able to act more quickly.
It’s like reverse seeing, like when I reversed the 10k route I ran earlier in the week. I saw the town and the countryside in a very different way – same scenery but a totally different view.
The problems you and I face are firstly in our heads (in this case, an inability to appreciate what we have) rather than being out there (look at what others have and we don’t), affecting what we think may or may not be possible. But gratitude connects us to our resources, fuel for movement.
Have you noticed how the future is coming towards us ever faster?
My father was born in 1909, his father was born in 1872. Back then, steam transport was just approaching the golden days of steam, altering people’s lives dramatically. My father died the year before the world wide web became a reality. It was also the year we got our first computer – an Amstrad with 256kb memory – no hard drive, black-and-white screen – £1,000 please. 1990: Smith Corona portable typewriter. 1991: welcome to the future.*
I didn’t foresee what this was going to change, but others were shaping the future.
Which gets me to thinking, we can all be shapers of the future.
It begins with noticing the thing our lives keep whispering to us about, and to allow our hearts to be shaped by this. When we are changed by these whispers, then we have set our feet upon the path of shaping the future. Carlos Castaneda was right to suggest we need to find a path with a heart.
(*Only twenty-three years later, 3D printers offer new foods (insects to order), jewellery-printing in gold (my daughter-in-law has access to this technology), and the first building to be printed. Then check out Ramez Naam’s and other futurists imagining of what the future might be because of what is happening now with genetics, drugs, and technology.)
Here’s a paradox. If we’re to become more who we can be, and do more of what we can do, we must live with courage, and to live with courage is not living without fear and anxiousness, but living with an absence of self.
Part of what it means to be Human is our desire to conform – to look after our selves within the collective. Another aspect of being Human is the desire to journey beyond our places of safety – for this we need courage. Without courage we will conform more and more. Not only do we lose sight of the technicolour life but so does the collective, becoming more and more inward looking.
Without courage there is no future, and without future there can be no better now.
Some see the future as being more days like today, some brighter, some not so bright. Others believe the future is not set but is open to our shaping.
With all the experiences and skills and curiosity and energies in your life, there are many possible futures. From these, you can identify which are more probable to follow with your heart. Which of these do you prefer? Which will you pour your energy into?
Step 1: see your many futures;
Step 2: focus in on those which excite and you need to look at more closely;
Step 3: choose a path with a heart and give your energy to it.
The things you do today do not have to be this way. Instead, they can be that way. Our choice. And by our choices, we are changing the future, even as we are changing ourselves.
Imagine, five hundred years into the future. An archaeological dig is taking place over the remnants of your last home. The archaeologist unearths all kinds of objects, including those containing your thoughts and values. What kind of world do they suggest you hoped and worked for in this “time capsule” left behind? (Perhaps it’s more likely to be a collective picture of our lives, our hopes, our mistakes, our endeavours, which will be uncovered, but the reality is, in many ways, we shape the future.)
Humans have been stepping outside of genetic evolution for thousands of years. We understand we are not our genes but also our choices. And these choices change things for those who follow us.
When we talk about starting with a clean sheet of paper, what we’re actually doing is taking on board the many things we’ve inherited. As we look into the future, the same is true of those who follow us – for good or ill.
Perhaps a late Valentine’s thought, but what is the best thing you can leave for the future with love.