Mostly about routine things in interactions – at coffee shops, gas stations, passing things at the dinner table or discussion in every routine meeting.
The second half of that question is asked less often.
Why? On trivial matters, this seems unimportant – to ask ourselves why we want a drink of water or that plate of food – why we want our newspaper, dry cleaning we are collecting or some report or service we requested, because we have clear obvious universally understood reasons.
Most often our why? never changes.
Why re-ask (or re-think) an old question when we know our answer?
When what we want changes at every recalculation, doesn’t our reason?
Why I want to know someone, or learn something – these fleeting changing motivations and curiosities involve light-speed decisions.
Without thought, or so I think.
My non-conscious works faster than I realize. Doesn’t yours?
I don’t know what will show up today, or tomorrow, which causes me to decide same-old matters the same-old way, or to act/decide/speak differently of them – I just do. It isn’t because I lack boundaries or that I intentionally move the goal posts, but because those conscious and non-conscious parts leap out of my brain. Some come in silence. Others are given a voice, the voice is broadcast and there is no pulling back the spoken word. We all understand that. Also, there is no pulling back thought. Once we’ve thought something – there is no retreating. At first blush it might seem we haven’t given that thought a voice. Ah, but we have! We’ve given it a voice in our head. And once that voice starts talking, there is no shushing it into submission.
I didn’t pause for a mid-life crisis.
Didn’t postpone it – just chose not to have that experience.
Or maybe it is still in my future … lurking.
When I see and meet people who are in mid-journey malaise, I can’t help wonder if they are stopping to ask the second part of that question – not second-guessing choices, but asking themselves the why part of their decisions.
Why did I do that?
Why did I say that?
Why did I think that?
Not to self-judge or necessarily self-explain, but to realize there are reasons – because we all know there ought to be a reason for everything. Often not until it has faded from view in our rear-view mirror, but better to know it than not.
Life’s purpose and meaning – elusive quest that Frankl’s book Man’s Search For Meaning explained no better than Cervantes’ Don Quixote – driving force that gives us all our raison d'être.
That we have courage to speak our mind for things, and against things, when everyone else is silent. That our life made someone else’s life better than if they never met us. That our life makes better some element of this human condition.
We resist change, critique, input – quite stridently when it comes from others.
More vigorously within ourselves.
When did I come to know that?
When I did, did my conscious mind realize it?
written / published from Calgary, AB
morning walk: 14C/57F, fallen leaves litter the landscape and fall colours are in tune with the calendar in these waning days of summer (Sept 23 is first day of fall – yikes, where did summer go?), Gusta romping beautifully and my steady-gait confirms my gout medication is working!
Hi Mark. Thanks so much for putting me on your mailing list! I really enjoyed this! Great to meet you yesterday... It's not everyday we get to play with horses, eh? Warm Regards, DT, Calgary, AB
You have been thinking about the day! Thanks for the suggestions and ideas. I have had many senior leaders as well and what I have found is they often are the most revealing in what they learn - a huge part of the experience is what participants share and what some of those guys (yes mostly men still in senior leadership positions) have shared is remarkable. I think that is where the vulnerability of great leaders truly comes through, when they are willing to share what they are experiencing and feeling versus limiting it to statements on how they are getting along with the horse. The intrinsic rewards of leadership. The horses can be an external source of satisfaction when things go well however when things don’t go so well, it’s the what ‘I learned' for the next go round, NL, Balzac, AB