Random opportunities to improve abound in our immediate environment. These opportunities become evident when we receive information and experiences with an open mind and light heart. Opportunities to improve disappear when we are focused on ourselves and our particular way of thinking. Our immediate environment will transform into a murky abyss when we allow ourselves to increasingly cut ourselves off with negative thoughts and feelings stemming from an over reactive limbic system.
At the end of work today, my frustration and stress levels were high with the numerous unlettered issues that cropped up. On my way out, I made a comment to someone that I was ready to leave my case of the Mondays at work. He was surprised indicating he had recently found my website and that having a case of the Mondays didn’t go with what I blogged about. It was a quick conversation as I was ready to leave work behind for the day. The observation stuck with me.
I focus on seeing life through a particular set of glasses on this website. The reality is that I like everyone else struggle day-to-day with the trials and tribulations of outrageous fortune. Or, at least it feels like a shakespearian tragic comedy sometimes. I get caught up in my reactive limbic system and cling to unproductive stressful thoughts just like the next person. I have to remind myself I control so precious little in my life. I also seek to cut the half-life of my negative experiences as much as possible. Meditation has helped set me on a good path for this along with the other Taoist arts I practiced so dutifully before starting our family project. For now it seems like surviving rather than thriving is the nature of my experience as my responsibilities at mid-life outweigh my capacity for independent action and available time. Corners get cut like going for walks or the physical practice of the arts I so enjoyed when younger. I also try to turn many experiences and interaction into something I can learn from by seeing different perspectives along our moral spectrum. I find that life just isn’t worth a damn unless I’m learning and adapting to my particular situation day-to-day.
While my comment was in jest and was taken in a light-hearted and all too brief interaction, I found there are couple of opportunities for improvement. I could share more than just my reflections on lessons learned concerning the biz of you. I typically blog using “we” and “us” instead of “I” and “you” because I find we are all in this together. Using “we” and “us” brings us together and is a technique successful leaders use to help build teams. One side effect is some of the darker sides of my daily affairs don’t get passed along which I learn from just as the positive contortions I convey. The second opportunity is in my daily exercises to lighten my heart and the hearts around me with sarcasm and attempted wit. I joke around a bit at work as it helps keep things in perspective and lessen the stress. It’s a mechanism I use to smooth over difficulties, frustrations and the depression that comes from realizing we are all just pushing around the stone blocks of our pharos’s pyramid. Obviously, there are times joking around is completely inappropriate and that takes a lifetime to learn. I still screw up but continuously refining my particular timing. The thing about my comment is that it doesn’t accurately reflect who I am or want to be and thus my choice of wit may be improved.
Some people have told me I pay too much attention to these types of details. I admit I may make a mountain out of a mole hill at times and push things a little far with a friend, spouse or the kids. But the thing is, this attention to detail offers so much in the way of opportunity and has made me the person I am. I like who I am. I like who I’m becoming with the help of friends, colleagues and random interactions with unknown people. I share this as I think we can all benefit from paying attention to the details of our lives and ever seeking improvement. Perhaps it is my illusory correlation, self-serving bias, or attentional bias. No matter what delusion I’m operating under, I’m going with the thought that we can learn from each other provided we have open hearts and minds with good attention to details.
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