… If the Apocalypse is nye – Are you a legend?

Just for a moment, imagine the world was ending tomorrow… not difficult I know with the excess media about the Mayan prophecy.. My aim is not to convince readers that the Mayan calendar is correct, nor that the world is ending tomorrow, I’m merely suggesting that this might be a good excuse to pause and take reflection on our current state of affairs, and our personal basis for decision making – a tool of self-reflection if you will – for all lifes big decisions – career, love, family, retirement….

So if the world was ending tomorrow, what would you like to be recognised for?  Which goals and achievements would you like to have associated with your name? Many people ask themselves this question, and of the few that take the time to answer it, a considerable proportion of this few then immediately dismiss this same answer believing it to be unreasonable, insufficient, and ultimately not worthy of any further consideration.

After all, it is likely, it does not coincide with their existing path, it carries impracticalities, and it does not match up to the social norm. However, lets face it, these three ideas are based largely on our concern over the financial implications of such decisions. It is our genuine belief, imposed by upbringing and social norms, that ‘thing’ we would like to be known for is unlikely to be financially secure, as it will likely have been ruled by our heart over the head. This is based on assumptions that matters of the heart are destined for failure, as they are derived from illogical means, or at least, they are considered to be less logical than that which the brain is capable of. Ultimately we are taught to seek out the thing we are most capable of, and so the decision in the mind usually wins. However, this decision does not take into account the potential for you being truely great at that ‘thing’ which your heart desires. It does not include your overwhelming drive and inclination to succeed because of the importance of that ‘thing’ to you.

I recently came across a clip on youtube “What if Money was no object” – read by Alan Watts, a contemporary philosopher and writer.. The clip asks the viewer to consider the one thing that matters to them, if money played no factor. If you could be a painter or a writer, and if you or your family would not suffer financially, would this be the one thing that you would want to be? If the answer is ‘yes’ then you should follow that path regardless of the financial implications. The clip follows on to explain, the reason you should not worry about the money is because in any job you must first learn the craft, practise it, perfect it to become a master. For any master of that craft they are then able to charge a reasonable fee. Money, therefore, as a factor in the decision is argued to be irrelevant. After all, your chance of becoming a master in that craft is dramatically increased by the very fact that your drive & inclination are higher than others that have stumbled into the craft without a strong desire to be in it.

Besides from career choices, the same decision making process can be used for many big life decisions – you are forming some questions in your head as I write this – whether to work, travel, marry, or retire. And by the same juncture, your heart is forming some answers too.. pause.. give yourself some time, and really consider them.

Although I like the Alan Watts clip, I do not entirely agree that money can be disregarded entirely. Ultimately we cannot entirely escape the responsibilities of the society that we live in. However, I believe money as an initial premise can be disregarded to help put you on to the right path, and once that path has been set upon, the financial practicalities can be factored in to ensure its’ success. If you would like to be known as a painter, writer, or musician, then you should try it. Obviously you may have to consider painting/performing evenings and weekends until your skill improves, and until your talent becomes recognised… and then once your craft seems reasonably self-sustaining you can take the launch and ensure you are known solely and whole-heartedly for that thing…

Keep in mind, for every day you reflect upon your current achievements, and aspire to be known for entirely different ones then you must make it your goal to achieve them. There is no guaranty you will reach these goals, nor whether the world may end before you become recognised for the thing you desire to be known for, but if you make a start your chance of success is infinitely greater than if you fail to try.

So, it’s late and I ought to get some sleep in case the apocolypse is nye… if you get to (now) this evening and presuming the world has not ended, take the time to consider… what would you be known for today if it does end… more importantly, if it doesn’t, what would you want to be known for if it were to end soon?

Remember that ‘thing’ you’ve been thinking about whilst you’ve been reading this piece… Make that ‘thing’ happen… why the hell not. Ooops. No heaven for me!


People, the power of change.. or not!… <3

With all the changes that happen in the world, it always surprises me that although ‘some things change, some people remain the same’. Or friends to be specific. Not just any old friends, but true friends that became friends for good reason, and will remain good friends throughout everything. The kind of true friends that you appreciate above all others. Yes I am a sap, and an over-emotional sap at that, but no one talks about the things that matter enough! =D

My first realisation of this was when I was twenty. I met up with a friend from primary school who I had not seen for over 12 years. This friend moved to America, and we completely lost contact for most of this time. Within a few short minutes of meeting, we began chatting just the same as if no time had passed at all. Part of our conversation included that it was strange how effortless it was to talk. Despite other significant changes, it seemed that innately we were the same people. This isn’t an omission of naivety, as obviously we both knew we had developed and had become ultimately different people, however,  there was an unannounced understanding that for the part of us that had made the decision to become friends, when we were  8, that part of us remained sufficiently the same.

Since then I have experienced many similar instances. Many close friends have travelled , studied, or worked in another part of the country. These friends I have been unable to see for a while at a time. No matter how much time has passed, re-meeting these friends feels genuinely the same as the last time we met. I, myself, moved away from my family home  5 years ago, and some people I have not seen… for… too long. Recently I went home for a visit, and finally had the opportunity to catch up with some friends that I had not seen, or properly caught up with, in up to 5 years. This served as yet another reminder that I have some lifelong friends. Even though we were meeting in different places, and had come from different directions, we could still sit and have a natter just the same…

Aristotle said “True friendship is one soul in two bodies” and I think this sums up exactly how I feel about my friends. Outwardly we can become different people, but for the piece of us that decided to make each other friends… that piece is incapable of change. Whether or not you believe in a soul, I believe the part that decides to make that person a good friend can only come from within, and must reside in you and the other to form a true friendship. For me this is an indication of the existence of a soul… but perhaps that is just my hopeful, ever-optimist, side rearing its ‘bright sun beam-like’ head.. The same side that is hopeful there is more of us that remains when we pass then just memories of us that are remembered in others.

They often say “friends are the family you choose” and so perhaps this is why some friendships form as such a powerful lifetime connection… After all, family occasions, such as Christmas and New Years also exemplifies though ‘some things change, some people remain the same’ =D

Many families fail to see each other most of the year, through sheer time demands of work, & general hobbies. This is not ideal, and something that everyone should endeavour to change for family, not least for friends too. After all, often people pointlessly limit their own time, and fail to make time for what is truly important… However, regardless of this, most families when they do meet are able to pick up almost exactly where they left off the last time they met. Things aren’t always the same… often we feel the gulf of those that are missing, for me, especially at Christmas and New Year’s (my Granddad ❤ his birthday), but for those of us that are able to meet, we remain very much the same. Our conversations are not the same, we are often talking about entirely different topics, but the intention and meaning behind the conversations are the same.

The message of this: Take the time. Make the effort with the people you care for. With those that matter! Even if you think "it's been an age". Especially because you know "it's been an age". More importantly, do not allow it be more than an age. Ultimately you are the same people, and your friendship should stand the test of time!

For these people I know to be true friends I am forever grateful! =)

Short of naming names, you know who you are! =D

Thank you stars, mostly…

Les Brown – “Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you’ll land among the stars”.. But.. “When you reach for the stars, don’t forget who you are…. every grain becomes a memory of the past – Life is an hour glass”  Mindy Glendhill

It’s usually true that you can find a quote to express exactly what you would like to say, but in this case I think as much is said in the .. pause.. between the two quotes.

As much as change is inevitable, be true to yourself as it will be the very same you that you will need to face at the end of it all..

Keep in mind, some changes are definitely for the worst! After all “Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.”

Being kind to friends is probably a good place to start, as there is a good reason you became friends in the first place!

I will try to avoid making this blog purely a collection quotes, but sometimes they sum up exactly what you are trying to say… short of naming names… be inspired for your own sake!