It’s interesting (to me at least) to be writing this as I literally have no idea where it is going to go, or what poignant points I will elegantly neglect in favour of other opportunities. It is probably more interesting to write then very interesting to read. I was once told by a master of content marketing you should always let people know what to expect in general, so that consistency is maintained to reduce any cognitive displeasure for the reader…Well I feel I have been very honest and consistent up to here at least.
In fact a world renown pick up artist told me much the same thing. “Tell people what to expect and if they stick around it is because they don’t mind, and at least then there wont be any unpleasant surprises.”
If a woman came and stood next to him, he would actually tell her if she continued standing there he was going to hit on her. If she chose to stay he knew he had her permission and didn’t need to feel unsure in his advances….This also moves us to a different topic altogether, the art of body communications. Top tip: Set up conversations with questions and statements to present body language that people show…..words are often vapid, and meaning is often better conveyed by action….but let’s not talk on this now.
I have nothing far less interesting to discuss.
Currently I am sitting in Kota Kinabalu on the magical island of Borneo, apparently the third largest in the world, listening to a UK Premiership match on the TV (I’m not a fan of football). I have been snorkeling with Nemo and soon will be spending a week trekking through the rainforest with my kids and wife, sleeping out in hammocks protected by mosquito nets…
After this adventure we will be continuing the larger journey of life, world schooling the kids, meeting new people, discovering new cultures and gaining new references to expand our minds. Along the way we hope to add something to the lives of the people we meet, even if it is only a friendly smile from beneath a bald dome and thick black beard (yes Mum i have grown a beard and shaved my head, and no I will not shave it off and let it grow! )
In the next week I hope to see the largest and smelliest flower in the world, the rafflesia, in bloom, which has been a dream of mine for a long long time (It only blooms once a year so ill have to be very very lucky).
…and I’m wondering what and how should I write? What could I possibly put out into the world that would make your life even just the tiniest bit better, or richer? Seth Godin, one of my personal heroes puts out one solid considered thought a day as a minimum and has said before that rather than focussing on productivity people should be focussing on quality.
So how then can I ensure maximum impact with my words? Is maximum impact even something I should be striving for. To quote the most surreally disturbing (yes I meant it that way round) film ever created, Old Boy ( the Korean original), “Whether it be a grain of sand or a rock, in water they sink as the same”
Well I still peck the keyboard with a single finger, I can use 3 fingers on each hand if I seriously concentrate, but then I can’t even think what I am writing.
The world doesn’t need another “you can do it if you try” piece, Lord knows there are enough, regardless of how true it is.
It does not need another person extolling the benefits of the creativity mindset vs the scarcity mindset; there are enough coaches, gurus and bloggers out there promoting the same message.
Likewise it doesn’t really need another person detailing how to make money online with affiliate sales, or different traffic sources or the tricks which give you the competitive edge.
Here is the secret btw if you are interested, in absolutely no detail:
Ignore simple tricks and techniques and instead invest in understanding the scientific process, how to create meaningful experiments and then how to understand the data and make controlled changes along the way.
My partner spent about $30,000 getting a PHD from Oxford to do it, but you can do it for a lot less, but you still have to pay for it so keep your nerve and spend only what you can afford….If you do this the revenues will follow eventually for sure.
Do not miss the significance of this….but if you really want to…..that’s up to you.
My favourite story goes thus:
Two monks sat at the side of a river. The first sees a scorpion drowning and reaches in to rescue him and place him at the side of the river. In the process he gets stung.
The scorpion falls in again and the monk saves him again, and again he gets stung.
His friend says: “why do you continue to save the scorpion when you know it’s nature is to sting?”
The other monk replied “because brother it is in my nature to save”
For years I followed this story it was a belief I felt I should embody. Something necessary to be a person of good moral fibre. Someone who had the nature to love, to save and to be kind.
But what I hadn’t realised was that I’d absorbed the story into my beliefs in a very particular way. It only became apparent relatively recently when I noticed in all things I did for others I would often be “stung” or suffer. Sometimes intentionally by the other party, but most often just because I believed it would happen I’d bring it into being…..This was not a useful metaphor by which to live life. I basically believed that an act of kindness had no value, could not be an act of kindness if I did not suffer in some way as a result?
I had understood the story as:
It should be in my nature to care and be kind. When I care and be kind I must suffer, otherwise I have not cared or been kind enough.
Actually break that down. to care and be kind = I must suffer!
Imagine the pain that caused me!!!
Then one day I imagined I was the second monk and I continued the story.
As the scorpion fell into the river for a third time, the second monk reached forward and stopped his friend reaching out to save him. He took his bowl and scooped up the drowning scorpion, walked over to a nice sunny rock surrounded by tall grass which was far from the river bank and released the scorpion onto the rock.
“You misunderstand me brother, I am not questioning your nature to save, but why you do not realise there is a better way to go about it.”
My scuba diving instructor once told me ” Only a donkey butts it’s head 3 times”. Well if that is the case then I am the biggest ass in the world. That notwithstanding, I do eventually learn, and this is how I solved my little dilema, by changing the story.
Now no doubt plenty of people will have a go at my interpretation, saying that my criticisms are misplaced and shallow. No doubt one would continue that really the story is about the first monks nature to save regardless of the outcome, even if it is painful. And fair play, I believe this interpretation is as valuable as the other 7 billion interpretations of this story that would undoubtedly exist if everyone on the planet heard it.
I get that….all I’m saying is my understanding was very limiting to me, for a very long time. I now have the belief that there is always a way to be the second monk and improve the outomes for all involved, if you believe it and dare to seek it. Life is not a zero-sum game!
Our beliefs silently shape the world around us….every opportunity we have to notice them is an opportunity to change. Each layer we peel back is an evolution of our learning.
Anyway I think that is enough for today right….. The contents of this post took me about 10 years to absorb and far far less time to put here. Whether they have been useful to you I have absolutely no idea, but well I hope you enjoyed it in some way.
My kung fu teacher in Hong Kong once told me, “to know the road ahead ask the man returning”…..and in many cases this is very useful.
Unless of course he is batshit crazy.
To quote the wisest man ever to have lived in this galaxy or one far far away “Who’s more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him?”
Such a confusing world we live if you’ve ever noticed the urge to try and make sense of it.