One Apple A Day #828 – protect me from what I want

I love to read, watch and learn new stuff, even useless things. I believe that there always some golden nuggets hiding in what I don’t know.

I consider this curiosity of mine one of my strengths.

However, like many strengths, curiosity can quickly turn into a weakness if left unchecked. 

In my case, curiosity is a wellspring of distractions.

I remember the chorus of a Placebo’s song saying “protect me from what I want´╗┐“. 

So, I have to protect myself from my own desire to explore any new shining thing that crosses my attention. 

Not an easy task. For sure, I can rely on my willpower, considering that it’s not in the same list of strengths with curiosity.

That is why I create structures that help me harness my curiosity without being overwhelmed by it. 

The funny fact is that to create sound and efficient structures, I have to rely on my strengths, in particular my curiosity.

The best structures are the new ones that allow me to experiment and use my curiosity to keep me focused. 

These days I’m experimenting with a new way of defining my daily priorities and “wifi off” zones for writing. This last one is particularly interesting because it forces me to separate research, that’s often a magnet for distractions, from the actual writing.

One Apple A Day #827 – consequences

“In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments; there are consequences.”

Robert G. Ingersoll

 I found this quote on a sign at the beginning of a path, leading into the woods. I was having a long walking brainstorming with a friend and, like everything we met, also these words weaved into our conversation.

But they stayed with me long after we wrapped our conversation and waved goodbye.

And I still go back to these words almost every day.

This morning they sneak in my morning meditation. 

Nature carries no judgement.

That was my first thought.

In nature, there are no good or bad, right or wrong; just things that happen.

We add these labels to behaviours and events.

Because most of the time, we are self-centred and short-sighted.

It is in the short space and time around us that we may feel there rewards and punishments. But in the infinite game of the universe, there are only consequences. Some are visible and local, other invisible and non-local.

That also means that everything we do have consequences, even when we can’t see them.

One Apple A Day #826 – where do you point your attention?

When a problem or challenge arises, and you become aware of it, you have to make a choice.
There is no way out because even not choosing is a choice.
You have to decide where to point your attention.
You can close your eyes and act as if the problem doesn’t exist. After a while, you may even convince yourself of that.
You can stare at the challenge hoping that somehow it will sort out on its own.
You can point your attention to your feet or up to the sky, waiting for someone or something else to sort everything out for you.
You can look backwards, hoping to go back to life as it was before you became aware of the challenge. When the grass was greener, and everything was better.
You can point your attention forward, beyond the challenge to find a way out or a way through.
Or you can make your unique mix of different nuances of all those choices.
There are not good or bad choices, per se.
It’s your choice, it will reflect who you are and where you are in your life journey.
However, be aware that the decision of where you point your attention will inform the outcome. My wish for you is for your choice to be a conscious one.

Picture from BeTheChange cards by Vanessa Jane Smith.

One Apple A Day #825 – fantasies

Some times, in my morning meditations, I have the most beautiful ideas.
I’m there, sitting in silence, and my mind builds a compelling dissertation a powerful idea.
All pumped up, ready to impress the world with the mighty power of my reflections, I open the laptop and sit down to write.
Then, as soon as my fingers touch the keyboard, the whole idea deflates.
All of a sudden, those inspiring words become the rambling of a sleepy mind.
And it’s not just the morning reflections. It happens when I drive or walk, and in all those situations when I unleash my mind.
I write poems, compose songs, prepare dissertations and talks, create new business models. The fantasy world in my head is way broader than the world out there. It has no limits.
It’s been like that since I can remember.
Growing up, I thought there was something wrong with me, with the way my mind works.
What’s the point in wasting all that energy for something that lives and dies withing my head?
Now I know that this is how my minds, not only the one in the brain, train themselves. Sure, all those fantasies and thoughts get me nowhere most of the time, but they keep active my imagination muscles.
Plus, seldom, beneath all those crazy and surreal fantasies, hides the seed of an excellent idea.

One Apple A Day #824 – Creativity, Courage, Imagination

I’ve created a few things in my life.
But the ones I imagined are way more.
I lost count of ideas that have never found their way out of my head.
Creativity requires some kind of manifestation. There must be an intentional action that transforms the imagined into something that can be experienced, that has an impact in the real world.
In that space in-between the imagined and its manifestation, a lot of ideas got lost. I mean, most of them probably weren’t good enough to survive out there in any case.
But I’ll never know because I never tried.
That is where I struggle with my creativity.
Often, I don’t dare to act on what my imagination creates.
I lack the courage and the trust to take the first step.
Usually, when a new idea emerges from my imagination, it feels great. I feel great. I begin to build worlds in my mind.
But then time passes and doubts begin to creep in.
You know, those inner voices that whisper things like “it’s crazy, you’re crazy. It’s a stupid idea. You’ll never be able to make it.”
And the noise grows until it covers the voice of my imagination, and the idea got lost.
Maybe it’s a test; a way to skim the good ideas off the bad ones.
Or maybe it’s time I go to work to strengthen my courage muscle.