As an adult, I’ve come to realise that life isn’t about finding yourself. It’s about creating yourself. Books are clay for exactly that. Crazy adventures can be found in non-fiction, and timeless truth can be discovered in fiction. Like an artist, you blend them, and out comes a unique beauty: you.*
The industrial era, struggling for the last decade or two, is now officially being replaced by one based on connection and leadership and the opportunity to show up and make a difference.**
Something is coming to an end and something is about to begin.
When we re-enter day-to-day life following the lockdown there’ll be plenty of challenges because the world we return too will have shifted significantly, but there’ll also be opportunities.
One we have full responsibility and control of is recreating ourselves following our experiences and discoveries of the last few weeks, concerning ourselves, one another, the technical world and the natural one.
Tim Ferriss’ words helpfully highlight the questions that are at the heart of my work with others: Who am I? and What is my contribution? These more accurately are Who do I want to be? and What do I want my contribution to be?
In his faux self-help book Lost in the Cosmos, Walker Percy plays with a story set in 2050 when a ship from Earth arrives at the planet PC3 where it has been established there is intelligent life. Communication is established and time taken to work out how different way of communicating and language can be interfaced. When this is accomplished the earth-ship wants to land, but the inhabitants of PC3 want to know what kind of consciousness earthlings have: C1, C2 or C3?
When the occupants of the ship ask for definitions for these, PC3 replies for C1:
Well. something like the consciousness of a child grown mature and sophisticated but maintaining its innocence permanently and avoiding the malformations of self-consciousness, enjoying the beauty of our planet and each other and or science and art without weariness, boredom, guilt, or shame.^
It appears that the C2 person has fallen into the:
pit of itself […] the consciousness becoming self-conscious but not knowing what its self is, and so ending by being that which it is not saying that which is not, and making others what they are not.*
A C3 is a recovered C2, which I think is us, where we find ourselves to be, imagining who we want to become. An ongoing new beginning of self rather than resetting to a norm that no longer exists.