Hindsight is easy, foresight is hard. In hindsight there is no uncertainty left; we know what has happened, and, if we are imaginative, we can always construct an explanation. In foresight, however, we must face uncertainty.*
Every morning I is going out and snitching new dreams to put in my bottles.**
Ken Mogi writes about the Japanese concept ofikigai (our reason or purpose for life):
Ikigai resides in the realm of small things.^
If we accept this then each one of us can develop a unique knowledge and talent core to our lives. As we elevate these things we become artists, connecting with our truest self, those around us and with our environments:
when the poet is in his gifted state, the world seems generous, exhaling odours and auras toward him.^^
The limits to this giftedness and gift are unknown to us. Too often we commoditise what we do and, by so doing, create false limits to our lives.
These words – gift and commodity – help us to explore things further. Youngme Moon writes:
We have to eliminate the extraneous in order to shed new light on the fundamental. […] Less is more only when more has become a commodity.
This is the opposite of fanciful. Seth Godin writes about unicorns:
The problem with unicorns … is that there aren’t any. […] Instead of aspiring to unicorn status, a pipe dream which is simply a place to hide, we can instead decide to do something useful (and possible) instead.*^
When it comes to our dreams – the kind we wake up to and want to live each day, the kind that push us beyond our present limits, when we take away the unicorns, what we’re left with is the less that is more.
If you want to see what this looks like, here are some ways for stripping back the commodity in order to find the gift:
Articulate your values …
Identify the talents you have honed over many years …
Notice when you are most energised and when energy is being stolen from you.
These have emerged as critical things when it comes to some of my dreams, snitched at the beginning of a new day – and which I’ll be sharing with a couple of people before the day is over.
(*From Gerd Gigerenzer’s Gut Feelings.)
(**The Big Friendly Giant, from Roald Dahl’s The BFG.)
(^From Ken Mogi’s The Little Book off Ikigai.)
(^^From Lewis Hyde’s The Gift.)
(*^From Seth Godin’s blog: The problem with unicorns … .)