Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Retrospective View of Life

Fear is a survival instinct. In early times, it alerted us when we were in peril and protected us from harm. In modern day, our fear instincts alert us to the sound of footsteps that could endanger our survival and keeps us from going into places that could harm us.

But as we get older our self preservation instincts stop us from doing the things that could change our world. We fear an uncertain outcome (one that could be great) and we settle back into the safe, mediocre place where we reside. And yet our greatest regrets are the things we did not do. When I am 85 will I wish I had stayed at my job and not ever experienced my own gig. Probably not. And what about all the experiences and skills I will learn along the way. What if I create autonomy in my life that allows me to see and travel the world. Then it is worth struggling through the fear that threatens to hold me where I am. Even as I write the voice of fear says what if you do not succeed...

Just reviewing the walls I have walked around since I began. Progress has been slow because I was repeatedly stalled - no paralyzed by fear each time something did not work out. Having a mentor who has once been where I am now helps make the process real. She has expectations of my product that makes it far from trivial. She is hugely successful in the exact world where I will go, so her belief in what we are doing is founded in experience and knowledge. It helps me to confront my fears, dispel them and move past them. It moves me faster through this sequence. New skills.

Interesting that those who are near death, get a final hours perspective. Crystal clear visions of how it is. What you have. What you earn. Were you successful on the parameters that your world uses to evaluate you? It all doesn't matter. 'Did you use the years on Earth well' is the true measure of the time spent. We define the word 'well' deep inside of our own heart and mind. If we can hold on to the final hours perspective then it changes how we view things and it creates an almost tangible peace in the choices we make. We eschew the choices that do not resound in the final hours analysis. We need to summon the final hours perspective more often in our lives to crystallize what is real and what is meaningless. It changes what we do with each minute.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I will figure it out as I go. It actually feels quite natural now. I look forward and see the future. In the present I work away at the mundane details to get the product underway. These details are the underpinnings of the future. Not doing them guarantees there is no future. Not easy to focus on them. Want to dance in the future.

I know this is the discipline that ensures that the project goes forward. Endless ideas to expand in the future. Need to focus on now. In this altered view of things, the mountains are just little rocks that can be kicked aside. Each time something does not work out, I follow a new solution. Without fail, that new solution seems to create a better result than the method that was left behind. Sometimes it delays the project and buys me time to see what I could not when I was hurried. It is resulting in a better final product. Just need to get out of my own way and just let it happen.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


In his blog Harris III speaks of his goal of creating the perception of what he wants to be - a busy, in-demand professional...and in so doing he has spent his entire life managing and creating illusions. He does everything he can to create perceptions in people's minds of how he wants them to view him. He is an illusionist by trade but he analyzes how his trade has affected his life and his ability to be authentic.

My reflections on his thoughts. For the first twenty years you are figuring out what you would like to be like. For the second twenty years of life you do not even realize that there is an authentic self. You are working to create the perception of what you want people to see. Then for the next ten years you know there is more but it remains elusive. In your fifties it becomes clear and although you stray, you can easily identify when you are in an authentic place and when you are not. And when you are there it is so completely in harmony with who you are that you strive repeatedly to regain it. And eventually you become who you are rather than who you thought you should be. Imagine that.
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