Letting Life Do Its Thing

April 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

featured_2Most of the things we do we think about the result and not the process.  What ends up happening is that the end result more often than not is different from what we had hoped for or expected.  And so we become disappoint, angry and regret the time we spent trying for whatever it was we were trying for.

John Lennon said: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”  So why not be in the moment appreciating and enjoying the process? If we can manage to do that, the result becomes part of the process and whatever ends up being is just a peg in the wheel.

For example, of course I want this website to be successful.  I want people to find inspiration, solace and community here.  But if I only concentrated in the site being successful, I would miss out on how fun it is to think about things that are important to me that I want to share.   And how moving it is when I get an email from someone who really appreciates what I’m trying to share.  If I only thought of the result I would suffer when I didn’t have many readers in a day and I would rejoice when I had many.  I would blame myself and the outside world for the few readers. In essence I would become a prisoner of the ups and downs of internet patterns without having any control over it.  Instead of doing that I choose not to think of the outcome and just enjoy the process.  I write what I think its important and inspiring and then I leave the door open for life to do its thing.

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Stop And Smell The Flowers

September 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

I was just reminded by a friend of the Washington Post story of 2007 where Joshua Bell, a violin player and one of the great musicians of all time, was asked if he would play at a metro station in Washington DC incognito as an experiment to see if genius would be recognized in an unlike setting without proper introduction or explanation.

Three days before Bell was to appear at that Metro station, he had filled the house at Boston’s stately Symphony Hall and two weeks later, at the Music Center at Strathmore, in North Bethesda, he would play to a standing-room-only audience.

So on January 12th 2007, at rush hour for forty three minutes, as the violinist performed six classical pieces, 1,097 people passed by. Almost all of them were on the way to work.  Each person had a choice to make: Stop and listen? Hurry past without paying much attention? Throw some money because they felt in a kind mood? Or get completely irritated because they were going to work while someone else was trying to make a buck playing the violin.

A short version of the forty three minutes is posted below but the sad result is that 99% of all people just walked by without taking advantage of this incredible gift; listening up close to a superb musician. 

I think this experiment illustrates how most of us live our lives.  We’re always in such a hurry to get somewhere, physically, emotionally or psychologically that we often miss out on real gifts that life presents us on a daily basis. 

How many of us have walked by talent performing on the streets?  How many of us have missed out on life changing conversations?  How many of us have missed out on the kiss of a child, a mother, a lover, because we were in a hurry.

John Lennon had it right: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”. That’s something I try to remind myself constantly.  To be in the moment and appreciate what’s been given me.

So maybe next time you walk by a rare flower, or Joshua Bell playing in the metro, you too will remember to stop and smell the flowers.

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Coming To A Camp Near You

August 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

I just read this story on CNN.com about a camp in Chongqing, China, where kids as young as two years old are sent so their talents are discovered by “experts” and then cultivated by the kids’ parents.

The Chinese don’t want to waist anytime figuring out how to make their kids excel – watch out for coming to America – but in my opinion what they are leaving out is life is not a science.  Actually, as John Lennon so famously said: “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.”

Trial and error is such an important part of life.  It creates thick skin and determination.  Also, how many people have been able to overcome their perceived short comings for a particular profession to go on to excel?  What about Clayton “Peg Leg” Bates, a tap dancer who overcame losing a leg in a childhood accident and had a long career that included frequent performances on “The Ed Sullivan Show”?   Would you have told Peg Leg that he shouldn’t tap dance because he didn’t have a leg? Then what would have happened to him? Would he have ended up being a factory worker or been supported by family or charity?  What about Tyronne “Mugsy” Bogues 5’3″ and a NBA player?  How many players 6″ and over didn’t accomplish what Tyronne did? 

And what about the stress that these parents are putting their kids under?  Such focus on succeeding.  Imagine if one of these experts tells the parents that their kid is destined to be a doctor and the kid flunks medical school.  Or develops a blood phobia and can’t be in a hospital or clinic.  What would happen to such a person who has spent their life up to that moment thinking they would be doctors?  I’m willing to bet that person would spend many hours on a shrink’s couch thinking they were a failure.

I wish parents would just love and respect their kids and support them in finding out for themselves what they want to do with their lives. I wish before people had kids they would understand their kids’ lives belong to them not the parents.  After all, the world is plentifully populated.  These days having children is a choice not a species necessity.


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