26 days — 26 learnings: Part sixteen of looking back & looking beyond.
My word for today is:
One thing I probably knew for quite some time but realized it the more so last year, is just how paradoxical wisdom is.
I read and listen to White Hot Truth by Danielle LaPorte, and it was enlighting. I wrote about it earlier this year; it made such an impression on me, that looking back, I’d like to dwell on it a little more.
There are many ways or perspectives to look at one and the same object or occasion. That no one will deny. Taking this even further, while one thing may be true, the exact opposite can be as well. And that’s not just a matter of perception.
In chapter 3 Danielle covers a list of paradoxical statements.
I’d like to pick out a handful and share my thoughts:
Raise your standards & Be more flexible and accommodating
Aim high but be gentle with yourself and with others. That’s exactly how I want to live. So how do you put that in practice? I am tempted to say; the heart knows; it knows whether we’ve given it all we had, or not. It knows, when we deserve a pad on the back, and when we ought to give ourselves a kick in the butt. It also knows that it’s wise to treat oneself, just as we would treat our very best friend. If that friend, for example, wanted to run a marathon but then something happened; say she injured her knee halfway through and had to give up. Would we then say, “Gosh, you didn’t try hard enough.” Sure, hell, we wouldn’t say anything like that. We’d say something like: “There will be a next time! You will run your marathon another day.” And have hot chocolate together.
Have a vision & Go with the flow
Tony Robbins is known to call out, that we overestimate what we can do in a week, a month, or even year; yet we also underestimate what we can do in a decade. When I turned forty, I set a 10-year goal as well as a 20-year goal.
Those are my North Stars if you will. There are many ways to get there. In the end, it will be trial and error, dealing with failures and successes along the way. Everything else would be highly suspicious. There are no straight paths. There will always be surprises. Rule number five in the top ten rules from Simon Sinek gives a good description of why knowing the destination is so much more powerful than knowing the route or journey.
Trust & Do the work
I’m not sure where it comes from, but I have some deeply rooted faith, that whatever I do, it will turn out just as it needs to. Which means, if I fail, that’s ok. That doesn’t mean though, I just sit there and wait for things to happen. It is said that luck happens where hard work meets opportunity. It doesn’t happen while playing with the remote control on that comfortable living room sofa. Trust also means, not fearing to get out there and get soaking wet.
Get real & Be idealistic
I like this one. A lot. Pragmatism can be oh so practical. In Holland, there is a saying: “Doe maar normaal, dan doe je al gek genoeg.” It translates into something like: ‘’Just act normal, then you’re acting crazy enough as it is!’’.
We’re quite down to earth people, I guess. At the same time, there is tremendous potential for idealism. Whatever can be imagined, can be done! Which reminds me of beautiful words from Wilferd Peterson:
Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. Let their spirit ignite a fire within you to leave this world better than when you found it.
Lead with your heart & your head
We need both. And the reality is; they won’t always agree. In fact, at times it might not even be clear which one, is which. They’re often considered two separate steering pieces. I am not so sure about that. They both live in the same person, and can’t be separated as such. And none of them speak, right? Nor does our gut. I guess it’s a matter of how you’d like to look at things. For sure, we’d be well off finding ways for them not to argue. Not playing “Welles, nietes” where one screams “No!” and the other screams “Yes!” When they do, our longs can intervene as we take one or more deep breaths. The game is big and there are many players :-)
My sixteenth learning:
There are many truths. Countless truths. And many of them seem more contradictory than they are.
My takeaway for 2018: Trust yourself to know what feels right and what doesn’t, and then go and give the world what you’ve got to give.