Recently, it occurred to me that my friends find value in three qualities that I embody in my own life:
1. Creative thinking
2. An often childlike spirit
3. Occasionally, perspective/wisdom
It’s a new year, so I think I will share some of my thoughts about these qualities. Who knows? Maybe I can help you start the year off right, and make things better in this world for yourself and for all of us.
Creative thinking: I believe in the idea of constructive discontent. Essentially, that means whenever something disturbs my peace of mind, or troubles me about this world, I challenge myself to come up with a solution, an answer, a way forward, even if none of what I come up with is likely ever to happen. The result is I am a creative thinker. You may be surrounded by great role models, mentors and mensches. Yet we know that life brings many challenges into each of our lives, and sometimes those challenges threaten to overwhelm us with emotional reactions and limiting thoughts that keep us stuck and unhappy, unable to do anything, and therefor unable to help make things better. So I invite you to develop this creative thinking ability in yourself, to maintain and encourage in yourself the ability to think outside of the dominant paradigm, to find new ways of approaching old problems, and smart ways to deal with human ignorance, arrogance and stupidity.
A childlike spirit: Being childlike is not the same as being childish. (I’m good at both!) Childish is essentially selfish. It’s the inability to sufficiently recognize the needs or worth of others because of a personal desire or fear that demands attention. As we age, such behavior is off putting at best, alienating at worst. A healthy respect for yourself AND others is obviously preferable to concern only with yourself, as it allows others to care for you and respect you as you give the same to them.
But kids are almost always in too big a hurry to grow up. And then, ironically, as they get up in years, they spend their lives struggling with aging and trying to hold on to their youth or get it back!
I think there’s a better way. Be grownups on the outside if you will, but stay childlike on the inside, in that place where you know you better than the world ever could. A child has an open mind, is curious, is eager to learn, to discover. A child has imagination, finds joy in play, and is unbound by convention and habit. To keep this alive, remember that not knowing has value, that wonder has value, that play for the sake of play has value, and that time will move you along quickly enough without you having to help it along.
Which brings me to the third thing I want to represent to you here, today, as another year is over and a new one just begun:
So by way of perspective, I offer you this. There are only three kinds of people in life. Those who are good at math, and those who aren’t. (Kidding.)
But seriously, 3 kinds of people. There are the people who make things happen. The people who watch things happen. And the people always saying “What happened?”
Be the best you that you can muster. Put all your eggs in your basket. Be a doer, not an armchair quarterback, by taking steps forward every day no matter what. Or be the best at being and doing nothing (I really don’t mind.) This is your life, your moment, and the end is both certain and terribly uncertain. Make your moment count for you.
Thank you for reading my blog and sharing my writing with your friends. It is very possible that it’s later than we think! So I wish you a SUPER 2015! I’d love to read your comments below.