Perhaps I’ve gotten a tiny bit wiser in this process, observed that each time a new crisis du jour shows up, I cope with/deal with if far more easily than I used to on matters far less grave. Why is that?
I’ve wondered if it is some sort of desensitization – I can make a case for that, but there is a better way to see it. It isn’t that I shudder any less when something goes wrong, when surprise expenses arrive, deals or projects go sideways or people who shouldn’t - stomp their feet. I’ve found, more than before, I often vote with mine . . .
SHIFT happens when you hold down the shift key.
At what rate of speed do we get our understanding? In an instant, or does it take decades – does it come packaged on store shelve marked FAST, SLOW and MEDIUM? And new improved SUPER-FAST?
I get it.
I am getting it better than I used to.
Does that mean I’m getting it FASTER, or better?
Cliché to say when a door closes, a window opens – but as metaphors go, that one is pretty good. What brings this to mind? I had an opportunity recently – not that I was looking for a job, but one came looking for me. And then, I didn’t get it. Disappointment was, really disappointing! I snarled for a day and then recognized some business opportunity windows had opened. I’ve not landed anything significant yet, but I’ve opened some discussions and have some good ideas cooking. I’ve listened to some customers and I’m making one of my business ventures better. I’ve listened to my friend who is dying and I’m learning so much about life from him. I’ve taken myself off my treadmill and put myself on two others – one real and one symbolic. I’m making changes.
Do you believe this notion: that every problem is an opportunity in disguise?
I believe it, generally speaking, and it seems to fit me well on those days when I have time for my problems, or when I’m reflecting on the problem I had a knee-jerk reaction to yesterday.
But, when that problem is happening?
I’m trying to change that.
It is a difficult discipline – when someone on the phone says something that stiffens my spine and loosens my vocal chords – to simply say to myself, “Mark, stay calm, figure out what the great opportunity is – the one disguised by this problem”.
When I look back at my unexpected success moments, my unexpected ah+ha moments, to those ‘things I’m most proud of in life’, they happened by surprise, and almost always as a result or by-product of trying to solve some problem. Often, a different problem entirely.
They never looked like opportunity or sounded like one at the time. But they were.
There is no single statement that wraps this up – so I’ll close with a quote that deserves to be painted on office tower walls, campus halls and bathroom stalls:
“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” – Mahatma Gandhi
column written/ published from Calgary
morning walk: 9C / 48F, steady invigorating breeze, lightly overcast; warming up but not slushy yet – lots of treachery out there yet some walks were brilliantly bare and dry; Gusta found it really difficult near the 7-11 store because so much ‘tasty stuff’ is melting through the ice .
Gary is happy most likely because he is planning for his last moments-days. He understands that music is very important to him. Hearing is the last sense we lose, so that even when he will no longer be able to respond, he will hear his most comforting music. It would have been nice to know him, because he 'got it' on his life journey. As he passed through this phase, he felt everyone’s pain and tried to comfort them. The last part we always must step through alone, so he is doing it the way he wants to, setting it up for his last moments. PC, Calgary, AB
Hi mark - am enjoying your daily column. Look forward to seeing what you will write about each morning. Thanks!, DL, Invermere, BC