“I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.”*
‘If your “winging it,” you’re doing improv … Platform theatre allows for little variation’**’
‘[George Eliot] believed that the most essential element of human nature was it malleability, the way each of us can will ourselves to change.’^
A slow journey in the same direction is the other life we live.
Often unobserved, it’s who we are becoming over the long journey of our lifetime. On the surface we’re getting educated, eating, looking for work, eating, meeting a significant other and loving and hurting, eating, failing and starting over, eating, doing sport and holidays … .
“Being busy is a form of laziness – lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.”^^
All the time, beneath the surface, or in the background, there is the life of who we are becoming, learning from everything in our past and being open to new futures. When we observe this life, we feel we’re hardly the person we were ten, fifteen, thirty years ago – we have changed and changed more times than Madonna has reinvented herself. And we can change again.
It’s the slow, long journey that provides hope that we can continue to learn and grow and become. On the surface we plan – like platform theatre – and are blind to what our plans do not include. Beneath the surface, our lives unfold – like improv; knowing our plans are too small, we’re learning to be open and present to serendipitous possibilities in a random universe.
This is about observing, being present to, and realising our other life.
(*Thomas Merton, quoted in the Northumbria Community‘s Morning Prayer.)
(**From Joseph Pine and James Gilmore’s The Experience Economy.)
(^From Jonah Lehrer’s Proust Was a Neuroscientist.)
(^^Tim Ferriss, quoted in Michael Bungay Stanier’s The Coaching Habit.)