Everyone needs to get tapped sometimes

bmw


(50 seconds to read)

I was parallel parking this morning and a woman was sitting in a new shiny BMW behind where I was parking. I got out and she beckoned me. I thought I had boxed her in.

“Did I box you in?” I asked. She had long black hair, and fine cheek bones, she was expressionless, eyes hidden behind her sunglasses. She answered me no, but as I moved off she said something else. I couldn’t hear, so I approached her. “What?” I asked.

“You tapped my car,” she said. My heart sank and my eyes grew wide. “Oh no,” I put my hands to my face. “Really?

“Yes,” but she was weirdly calm. “It’s fine,” she paused, then said, “We all need to get tapped sometimes.” I  nodded warily, and moved off, worried and uncomfortable.

I thought about it later, after settling into my chair in the cafe, opening my laptop to work. I thought how she was being petty, seeking attention, and I grew angry…Then I stopped and thought, She was seeking attention…from me. “Everyone needs to get tapped sometimes”?  She was hitting on me. And I had totally missed it.

I missed it because I was worried about myself. Giving others the attention and love they are seeking, and deserve, this requires confidence. Which is the opposite of fear. The fear that filled me when someone told me I had just bumped their spotless, current model BMW.

Oy.

I was radically honest, and she ignored me

rejection-ignore-no-ss-1920

(35 seconds to read)

“Those jeans fit you almost perfectly,” I told her.

She looked at me and said nothing, but turned back around to wait in line for the cashier. I stood behind her awkwardly, then asked brightly, “How are you doing?”

“Fine,” she murmured without turning around.

Well, ok then, I thought to myself, I can’t do anything else. So I stood in line behind her and waited for the cashier.

It can be embarrassing putting your heart out there. But it’s not about how you’re going to be perceived or accepted or respected. It’s about being true and doing good. And those two things together are never wrong. It’s about her, too, and her feelings.  And him as well, because everyone deserves to be complimented if you think they are deserving of one.

It’s a cascade that starts with your initiation and then moves to their feelings: Just be genuine and go from there, because whatever happens is ok if you’re putting positive vibes out there.

In which state do you spend the most time?

Care by the Lorax


 

There are three states: love, fear/anxiety, and apathy.

The proportion between the states should favor love.

Love requires passion and a curiosity of  life. Love also requires confidence that whatever happens, it’s going  to be alright.

Let go, and gain that confidence to love.

And when you reach a love at a high enough level, that love will power you into action. And that kind of action is unstoppable, inspiring, and evangelical. It changes lives, and people, and society.

The alternative proportions are not wrong. They’re simply less fulfilling.


Follow me and I will take you away from the everyday.

If this is something you care about, then SHARE it. Let’s get out of the stands and into the game. Let’s interact.

 

The echo chamber is the ego’s home.

baby in womb


It’s warm and comforting not mingling with the other tribe, like when we were cavemen.

The echo-caveman-chamber is constructed by our unconscious doubts about our self. Leaving it means being challenged, and even being told we are wrong. But what’s wrong with that?

The ego doesn’t like it.

This chamber is like the mother’s womb that the ego wishes it had never left. But it would never admit that.

The umbilical is the chain that keeps us there and sustains our ego, but it holds us back from getting out of our comfort zone to grow.


Follow me and I will take you away from the everyday.

Evolution

stop following me

Let’s EVOLVE…beyond us and them, beyond teams, beyond party.. beyond religion, dogma and nationalism. Adopt abundance not scarcity mindsets. OPEN up…open lines of communication, don’t close them. Don’t assume. Ask, test, share priorities. The risk of murder, starvation, having your village raped and pillaged is practically gone. It’s time to leave the fear behind.

Let go of what you think you need

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” -Thoreau

Most of my life, I didn’t have a problem with building castles in the air. Instead, I was laying solid, immovable foundation, hard and fast… on a swampy marsh. But I was totally invested in that career path to be a doctor. The familiar path. Without realizing it, I became that path. My identity was becoming that one thing, and all other things were unacceptable. Other options would be failure. Mindless, thoughtless, I was putting down a foundation for the foreman in charge, society at large, the unseen owner, for his approval, for the reputation, for my ego. I might as well been a bank thief, because I was taking something. Rather, I was a Wall street bank executive, because I was violating a trust. But I was violating my own trust. My self’s needs, and freedom. I was so focused on the goal, I lost sight of the why. The most important question of all. Why do you need it?

Let go of what you think you need. And then you won’t be afraid to risk big in order to get what you really need.

What, or who, do you need to let go of? Or what have you already let go and where has it taken you as a result?

Comment and let me know.

TED Talk Tuesday: Social networking isn’t so social

Sherry Turkle hits a little too close to home:

“Across the generations, I see that people can’t get enough of each other, if and only if they can have each other at a distance, in amounts they can control. I call it the Goldilocks effect: not too close, not too far, just right.”

I don’t even have a smart phone and I’m getting sucked in. The instant companion, the reassuring presence of people in my texts. They’re there, but not too close. Technology is good at providing what we want. But not what we need. Sherry describes it well:

“…I believe it’s because technology appeals to us most where we are most vulnerable. And we are vulnerable. We’re lonely, but we’re afraid of intimacy.”

Isnt it true? The prickly pear. The conversation with someone that seems like you’re peeling an artichoke to get to the goodness inside? Well, that’s ok. TV and movies has us thinking we need to have the perfect response and the right gestures, but that’s not life:

“Human relationships are rich and they’re messy and they’re demanding. And we clean them up with technology. And when we do, one of the things that can happen is that we sacrifice conversation for mere connection. We short-change ourselves. And over time, we seem to forget this, or we seem to stop caring.”

It’s time we recognize that using our smart phone isn’t so smart sometimes. It’s time we unplug. If the cell phone is making you happy, by all means, keep it up. But if it’s not…? If it’s just calling you back to the instant connection to everyone and no one, the intimacy that feels good, but doesn’t satisfy, then it’s time to listen to Sherry:

“Technology is making a bid to redefine human connection — how we care for each other, how we care for ourselves — but it’s also giving us the opportunity to affirm our values and our direction. I’m optimistic. We have everything we need to start. We have each other. And we have the greatest chance of success if we recognize our vulnerability.”

The sound of inevitable death

Agent Smith was right. Death is inevitable.

Neo lived here, but he did later die. I am going to die. You are, too. We’re all going to die. We all will cease to exist one day. It is inevitable. All the bad stuff that happens to us will pass. The good stuff, too. Focusing on any of that while death looms is silly when you think about it. We win the lottery everyday when we wake up in the morning with the ability to perceive our surroundings and make conscious choices about what we want or where we want to go.

I remember feeling like Neo not long ago, when I woke up from my Matrix. I had been following a life that others had constructed. I had values, but they were borrowed. I had causes, but I was only using them to bring meaning to my life. And so awake, I was able to see I was far from the person I wanted to be. I was pretty disgusted when I’d finally lifted the covers I’d thrown over the sordid mess that was my personality. All I did was judge myself and other people. I was such a pessimist I don’t know how anyone wanted to be around me. Listening to your internal dialogue is so powerful, but it can be depressing!

So this was hard. But it’s been even harder to accept myself. Actually, I might never fully accept myself, but that is a goal of perfection: Realizing we are imperfect and not worrying about it.

A great way of pushing thru realized imperfection is pressure

Back to Neo. He was facing some pressures in the real world. He’d just taken the red pill, instead of the blue pill, and woken up from a virtual reality world of a comfortable life. He finds himself in the sewers of a city, being chased by robots. Just as Cypher, one of the other human refugees from the Matrix told him: “I know what you’re thinking. Why oh why didn’t I take the blue pill?”

Cypher wanted to escape the real world and go back to the Matrix. I think we all feel that way sometimes. We want to hide behind a fierce attitude, the pride in our career, the pleasure in a partner or our children, or a respectable cause to fight for. Instead of facing reality, we find it easier to escape it, placing importance on things or gaining value from other people when that value should originate in ourselves.

I think the pressure to survive helped Neo. This is a pressure we don’t have. Consequently, we can get distracted, or we can become so focused on doing the right thing, we become overwhelmed by the task. I’ve awakened from the distractions, but I’m still overwhelmed sometimes.

Whether we’re distracted or overwhelmed, we need to keep the inevitability of death in our heads. This will bring about the gratitude and the focus on the here and now, and once we’re focused, we’re not worried about needing anything from anyone. We start controlling our lives, instead of letting others do it for us. We are better able to make ourselves happy.

The sound of inevitability: It’s good to hear that sound to put things in perspective.

The most difficult decision of my life

There are some actions that are not right, but context defines our decisions. Sometimes we must do the wrong thing at the right time. Me walking away from a medical degree, for instance. It was what needed to be done at the time, much to people’s disbelief. But I wasn’t living my life. My life was living me.

What is indisputable is that we’re here to do something worthwhile. And who is the one that’s going to tell you what that thing is?

Well, that’s going to be you. Not society. Not your parents. Not your neighbors, and not your partner.

The how and the why is answered by you, and you alone.

Your values are what make your actions your own.

The perfect backyard and the perfect person.

I was out walking with Jesse the other day. The sun was setting and the western skies were aglow with shimmering orange and yellow and red. We passed a home with a back yard that was carefully landscaped with evergreen trees. They were clustered within neat rings of stone. A decorative stone bench sat at either end of the yard. There was small, neatly trimmed shrubbery flanking the area.

“That yard looks like a park,” I said.

I thought about the care of the owners to ensure that the branches were trimmed. The stones and benches clear of weeds. The grass surrounding them cut. I said, “I wonder what the yard is going to look like in a hundred years. Will the yard even be there? Will it be destroyed? Will the family have moved on, and will there be another family owning the place?”

The transience of life

I think about how much the yard was appreciated. I think of our constant struggle to keep order. Maintaining our hygiene, cleaning ourselves, walking about, working, exercising, cleaning again. Picking out the soap and shampoo that we like, maybe it’s the cheapest, or the one that has best scent, or the one used in all the salons, or the one that’s not tested on animals.

Finding the restaurant with the tastiest dishes, the ones we must have, and we’ll pay for it, because nothing else is good enough. Maybe getting fast food, because we just want to eat something, anything. Or going to places that get their ingredients locally. Or having a garden, or not eating animals because we do care, we care a lot about our actions…

Does it matter?

Eating, brushing our teeth, eating again, brushing again, stopping the rot, keeping the bacteria at bay. Our diligence! Cutting the grass, cursing the rain, cutting the grass again, trimming bushes.

Again and again and again.

Going shopping to replace worn clothes, or just because it feels good. Trying to make more money, searching for that job that will make us comfortable, that income that’s just out of our reach, if only we could get to it.

Until we don’t do it anymore

Until one day, we stand at the gates to be judged. The gates of truth. Our conscience. And we ask ourselves if we spent our time wisely. Did we make an effort to do the right thing, or did we follow the crowd? Did we work too much, too little? Did we care about our contribution, about the consequences of our actions? Did we care about people, about the future, or did we throw up our hands in helplessness? Did we worry too much, or did we enjoy our life?

I looked at the yard and thought all this, because this is what I do. I thought about the big clock. Tick-tock. And then I stopped thinking of that. And I started appreciating everything a little bit more.

The perfect backyard and the perfect person? Neither is possible. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try for them.