Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Whatever! The Curse of Ambivalence

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It doesn't seem that long ago that the one word, concluding punctuation mark, 'whatever' entered the common lexicon. What would once have seemed abrupt in the extreme became the deflection of choice for a generation. Any conversation that needed immediate termination could be executed with the briefest of eye brow raise and the barely audible 'whatever'.

Like a Seinfeld comedy sketch a whole generation embraced this 'in-joke'. What might once have appeared rude or condescending became a rallying call flavored in irony for the apathetic and ambivalent.

Catch phrases act to bond like minded people. A tipping point is reached with inter-generational and cross cultural participation. Suddenly everything is 'whatever'. Debate and rational analysis default to 'whatever'

The interesting thing to me is this: If that little voice in our head that guides our impulses starts to mutter the 'whatever' mantra, that's when the curse of ambivalence kicks in. Ambivalence is the 'devil may care' attitude that abdicates all responsibility for our actions and consequentally our results.

We all have a couple of throw away phrases that we catch ourselves repeating. We sometimes pick up on the repetitive aphorisms of others. 'I'm such an idiot'. 'Life's a bitch' 'S**t happens' (**LOL!) 'Whatever'

Listen to yourself and notice whether your language is tilted toward the enthusiastic or the ambivalent. Ultimately (side bar; my least favorite word) our self talk defines our attitude to life and it's worth the occasional pause to reflect on the phrases we use and how they impact on our lives.

What do you reckon? Let me guess. WHATEEEEEEVER!

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

If the Law of Attraction Works Why Aren’t You Living Your Dream Life?

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This is a confronting and provocative question. It presumes there’s a gap in your life and that you are in some way failing, falling short of your own expectations.
If the Law of Attraction does indeed work, how then do we explain how bad things happen to good people? How can we explain how the worst of criminals can win the Lottery? Indeed we can question whether this much-quoted Law is in fact a myth.
The point of this article is not to ponder the riddle of this apparent phenomenon or get bogged down in the mire of attempting to define the intangible. Rather I would like to posit the following commentary.
Let’s twist the above question. Imagine that despite your initial reaction to the topic, that you are indeed living the dream, but have failed to realize this fact. Perhaps your appreciation lens is clouded. Perhaps you are with your ideal life partner but are blinded to this fact by virtue of your incessant fantasizing of some parallel universe where some Goddess or God is attentive to your every need.
Imagine a world in which some serious health defect was to consume your life. Would you spend your waking hours longing for a dream life that was manifested simply by good health?
The dream car that you drool about and crave, how important to you is it really in comparison to the love and respect of friends?
I prefer the less sexy ‘Law’ that I’ll call the Law of Tendencies.
Perhaps it’s pedantic, and probably ludicrous to call a label such as tendency a law. However bare with me for a moment longer. Imagine a belief system where all meaning was contextual. Imagine that happiness, sadness, joy, wealth and indeed any emotion was a manifestation based on nothing more than a sequence of neurons following a scripted pattern.
People have a tendency to think in a certain way, which then creates their beliefs and certainties. Our tendencies lead us toward repetitive patterns of behavior. We tend to hang around certain people. We tend to gravitate towards certain situations. We tend to surf certain web sites. We tend to communicate with a certain style.

Not surprisingly I would suggest; our tendencies set us on a path of intersection and collision with others of similar tendencies. It’s not so much that mere meditation and visualization guarantees the object of our longing will manifest itself, but rather that in the midst of an infinite universe our patterns of thought and action more often than not propel us on to the same route as other like minded individuals.
Is there a message here? I hope so!
To achieve landmark goals, try hanging around those with similar aspirations. Spend time with those that you admire and whose apparent life experiences you would like to mirror. Network with those you aspire to be like and persist until your new tendencies become ingrained.
You may still walk under a truck, but there’s a more than reasonable chance that one day you’ll wake up and marvel at how your tendencies to all intent and purposes have become a facsimile of that elusive phenomenon called the Law of Attraction!
In the words of Desiderata-perhaps the universe really is unfolding as it should.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Are you A walking Zombie?

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How Engaged Are You?

Another day another story recounting how some poor IPod worshipper has walked into a pane of glass and lacerated themselves to within an inch of their life.

Are we becoming a society of zombies stumbling along like ghosts only incidentally tuned into the physical environment when our most urgent of needs need satisfying?
Earplugs embedded, Mobile at the ready with expectant text fingers twitching in anticipation, and video on standby for instant capture and upload to YouTube, should a major catastrophe occur, and our digitally engaged pale faced sleep walker is ready to embrace the physical world.

Excuse the facetious ramble. Have you ever pondered how engaged you are in your social sphere? Engagement is a step beyond simple connection. There maybe literally only 1 degree of separation between you and a million people. I believe I’m underestimating this figure greatly.

Let’s imagine you have a combined network of 1000 people. This is includes family, work colleagues, social acquaintances, and social media connections. We all know people who have 1000 Facebook or Twitter followers alone! Multiply that by 1000 and there you have it, a million plus people that are in your sphere of connectivity.
So what you may ask. If you know only one person but they know President Obama then you’re only a connection away from millions. Of far more significance, is the issue of how engaged you actually are.

The degree, to which you are engaged, signifies the amount of influence you hold.
If you are a passionate Yankees or Man Utd fan, then the engagement is one way. They are the players you are the punter. They earn the wealth and accolades, to which you contribute.

Quality engagement is one of communication and influence. Within your ‘tribe’ are you a talker or a listener? Are you an initiator or a follower? In other words do you have an audible voice within your sphere?

So many questions. Here’s an answer.

We have a choice to lead follow or get out of the way in our engagements. Disengagement is the comfortable default for many. I have neighbours that overtly avoid eye contact, presumably for fear of engaging.

Teenagers accompany parents on various excursions whilst hooked up to various digital devices that facilitate this same disengagement.
The message of this scribble is that social skills and courtesies are being eroded to the detriment of all. When it becomes more comfortable to turn inward for gratification it weakens the glue that binds and defines society.
Ultimately we become a herd of followers, connected yet disengaged and hence disenfranchised.

I say reclaim your voice. Demand attention when you speak. Prompt eye contact with the store assistant. When you ask politely how their day is going and they ignore you, ask again. Sometimes engagement needs to be trained. My neighbours have to work hard to avoid engagement with me, as I will continue to say Hello until they get used to this ‘peculiar’ cultural nicety.

Hopefully the incidences of sober outwardly intelligent people blindly walking out in front of traffic or into windowpanes can be arrested!

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Hope your day is unfolding well-Cheers Kiaran

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Did You Know?

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Please excuse the duplicate content from my other Blogs but I think this fits nicely with the tone of this Blog Site.

This Video has had over 8 million views. There's no message or anything like that but it really causes pause to ponder our place in this globe of warp speed change. Personally I enjoy the challenge of embracing it-the alternative I guess is getting left behind.

Hope you enjoy-let us know what you think below.-Cheers Kiaran

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year Resolutions!

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Welcome to another decade (technically we've got another year to go before the new decade actually starts, but let's not quibble!). What's your intention for 2010?

That question didn't exactly roll off the tongue did it? We're most used to saying 'what's your goal?' but I think intention has a bit more substance to it. Some goals can be little more than a wish and a prayer. We set vague goals daily. Some get done, some don't. So what?

Tell your kids that you intend to get something sorted out right now, and you've got their attention!

Enough of the semantics. The most common resolutions that kick off in early January usually include losing weight and getting more exercise. Not incidentally the same thing. I wrote a Blog awhile back where I discussed the relative pointlessness of exercise in contributing to weight loss, certainly compared to diet.

By late January the gym Memberships have been purchased, the body somewhat detoxed, a couple of Kilos lost and a few aching joints to show for our endeavors and before you know it we've defaulted to our usual comfort zone, and on the cycle goes.

Is this your story or am I totally off base? It seems to make sense to start off the year or decade with fresh resolve, yet there is no particular reason to begin in January as opposed to March, yet who sets resolutions in March?

The bigger question is Why? Why should you bother? If it's out of some token sense of guilt that you feel a little out of kilter with your perception of societies' expectations, then it's unlikely you'll really give a damn after the initial adrenalin rush wears off.

If however you can find a really compelling answer to the 'Why' then the whole game changes.
If for instance it occurs to you that continuing to smoke could significantly decrease your odds of seeing the Grand-kids grow up, then your Intention to give up the cigarettes may just be strong enough to make it happen.

If your struggle with weight loss has been never ending then maybe a candid warts and all assessment by your physician may be the catalyst for change.

Perhaps you've wanted to go into business for yourself and drop kick the 9-5 into Timbuktu (or however you spell it) but you've dragged your feet, procrastinated, let doubts and fears pervade your dream and again defaulted to the comfort zone of sitcom TV instead of taking some meaningful first steps toward that dream. Then perhaps a different answer needs to be found. If not now when? Are you prepared to cop another 10 or 20 years of office politics. Are you happy to meander towards a subsistence pension in 5 or 10 or 15 years?

What scares you? What exhilarates you? This is the key to your success or failure in accomplishing your New Year Resolutions. Find a big enough why and virtually anything can be accomplished, else ambivalence kicks in and you're destined to taxi down the run way of life indefinitely without ever reaching critical speed to take off. - Sorry for the metaphor-speak-but there's a hint of truth in there I reckon!

Best Wishes for 2010 and I hope your compelling Intentions happen for you.

Cheers Kiaran