Journey of Life

the place formerly known as control your destiny

Monthly Archives: September 2009

Look inside!

DSC00342A beggar had been sitting by the side of the road for over thirty years. One day a stranger walked by.
“Spare some change?” mumbled the beggar, mechanically holding out his old baseball cap.
“I have nothing to give you,” said the stranger. Then he asked: “What’s that you are sitting on?”
“Nothing,” replied the beggar.
“Just an old box. I have been sitting on it for as long as I can remember.”
“Ever looked inside?” asked the stranger.
“No,” said the beggar. “What’s the point? There’s nothing in there.”
“Have a look inside,” insisted the stranger.
The beggar managed to pry open the lid. With astonishment, disbelief, and elation, he saw that the box was filled with gold.



The video below is one of my favourite pieces of music of all time and I have always had this dream of being able to play this on the guitar. The guitar has always been, and still is, my favourite musical instrument and the feeling I get when playing a piece of music or even just playing random notes or chords (what Frank Zappa would refer to as “Noodling”) is just wonderful.

Maybe one day I will be able to play this! So far I have come to grips with the first section (No! not at that speed and accuracy) but it’s no longer about getting to the point of playing it perfectly. It’s more about really enjoying the process of learning and enjoying playing the parts I have learned.

Written by Isaac Albeniz, played by John Williams

Finding the Why

Possible Dream HomeI am not sure if my previous post had anything to do with this one and I suppose it’s not really important.

It has been quite an interesting day at work. I can’t really call it work as I am still going through their training, which at the moment involves a lot self study around products, procedures and policies as well as learning their systems and sitting various tests. I like studying, even if the subject matter isn’t the most fascinating in the world. I still have 3 weeks of this before I am going on a two week course in London and if I carry on at this rate I will have completed all the pre-course work by the end of this week.

I have been very impressed with how organised the training structure has been. The pre-course work is all self study, which suits me perfectly, but in addition to the compulsory material I found a whole section on their intranet with all sorts of additional training material ranging from time management (I could do with learning that!) self awareness, emotional intelligence, body language etc. I have never worked for an organisation  where this kind of material was so readily available and where one is encouraged to actually schedule time to study it in work time. Obviously, at this point, I am not contributing financially to the organisation but it is encouraged among all staff.

I needed a break from products and policies so decided to start one of these modules and for some unknown reason ended up with one on goal setting!

It may be an idea to explain that whenever I hear the word goal setting or reading about the importance of goal setting I always develop the urge to do something else. This time was no different! My first thought was to pick another subject and I was very tempted to shut this module down and look for something more appealing but managed to force myself to start the module determined to complete it.

I didn’t exactly finish it but this time for different reasons. I ran out of time for a start but more importantly I learned something that may help me explain my adverse attitude to goal setting.

Whenever I have tried it before I usually start off ok but soon ran out of ideas/goals to write down, which for the most part were just material things anyway. When I read them back I really didn’t feel all that excited about any of them nor did I understand why I wanted some of these things in the first place.

Today, however, the experience took a different turn when instead of just writing a long list of things I wanted, like my own house, car, a lot of money, all the latest gadgets to impress my friends, I instead started to write a very detailed description of each point. In addition I wrote it down as if I was writing my journal thinking back to the time when that particular goal became a reality for me and as if I was living that reality. I take no credit for this format as I am confident I have read it somewhere before, where at the time I gave in to the urge of doing something else. However, doing it this way made the process flow and it really was very enjoyable. It also motivated me in a way I haven’t experienced in a long time and got me really fired up about one particular goal, which I spent some time afterwards writing down ideas and plans on how to at least get it started.  Another thing happened as I was writing down these detailed descriptions. A voice started asking why I wanted to achieve these goals and why they were important. At first this felt like a distraction as I was in the flow and didn’t want that tobe interrupted, but in the end I chose to go with the voice and dig deeper into the why of the goal. A little while back I read about a “5 why technique” used primarily in business to identify the root of a problem but decided to just try to keep asking myself why until I couldn’t come up with anymore viable answers in the hope that I may just find the real why.

This turned out to be a slightly longer process than first anticipated but it did bring up some answers that on reflection were there to serve my ego rather than being the real why. I wrote a very long description of what my ideal home would look like and feel like and how it would be mine as opposed to having a mortgage on it. When I started asking myself why I wanted this and why it was important, the first few answers were relating to social status and comparing myself to people around me. I currently rent the flat I live in and at my age one is expected to at least have a mortgage. One of the answers was to have more space so that friends and family could come and stay or so that people could come over for dinner parties.

The answer that made me stop and more importantly made me feel I had found the real why was this: “The reason I want to own my own home is because it will make me feel secure.” This now begs the question if the real goal is a feeling rather than the object itself! I am sure this question has already been answered by countless experts in this field and I am not discarding their expertise but I feel that, at the moment, this is something I need to explore at my own pace.

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