March 4, 2018
According to Simon Sinek, (author of Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action and Find Your Why), “Finding why is a process of discovery.”
The discoveries associated with finding “why” are unlike other questions, such as who, what, where, when and how. These inquiries are factual based and can be answered with a general consensus. Why, on the other hand, can only be definitively answered by the one who owns the why. Others can and do question the cause or reason of someone's words or actions; however, what motivates an individual is highly speculative. Nevertheless, in court proceedings we still attempt to discover the motivations of a defendant even if the suspect is deceased, which underscores the importance of discovering why.
Discovering our own why, what moves us to action, resides internally (i.e., loko); it is hidden from view and often even from our own understanding. It is with some diligence we seek to reveal to ourselves these very personal loko motives and subject them to scrutiny in order to better achieve our goals.
Why we acted yesterday may be different from why we act tomorrow, which is why “why” matters today!
The Rules of the Game
April 22, 2018
When learning how to play a game for the first time, we are taught the “rules,” generally speaking, by one who has already had experience playing the game. Most of the time the game is learned “on the fly” or as it arises. “We will explain that later,” the tutor might say, anxiously wanting to get on with the game. The tutors themselves may not necessarily be experts and may only have played the game once or twice, yet in their enthusiasm we trust.
All is well until a dispute arises when playing the game with somebody who may have learned about the rules of the game from still other players, maybe even experts or the very least, one who has actually read the rules! This is the time that the rule book is usually pulled out to reference and a discussion begins on how to proceed. A game cannot be played with players playing by different rules (unless you are a politician…but that's another subject).
Do we play by the book? Playing by the book is usually how the pros play, such as in professional sports teams. They also utilize referees or judges, ensuring fair play and penalizing cheaters.
Do we change or make up our own rules? Rule changes may sound like an oxymoron or a paradox, such as the adage “the only constant is change.” However, this too is an option, as long as the rules are agreed upon before the game begins. Even professional sports leagues occasionally make changes to their rules at the end or beginning of a season.
Do we go our separate ways unable to play together? Parting ways because of the failure to reach an agreement is always an option. Playing a game and constantly arguing about the rules is not fun so WHY play a game if it’s not fun?
These are all very good and valid questions.
The game of life has many rules and regulations that have been passed on from generation to generation. Some still function and others need to be updated or eliminated. Our challenge is to try them and put them to the test and see if they are working as intended in order to win our confidence and gain the prize.
“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” Pablo Picasso
The Virtues of Vice and Vice Versa
May 6, 2018
As children, most of us have probably been taught by our parents or guardians the differences between right and wrong, as in the virtues of selflessness and the vices of selfishness. The adage “It is better to give than to receive” is an oft quoted one we might hear with some angst when tempted to satisfy our carnal desires. For the most part, these moral teachings have served humanity well.
As we reach the age of adulthood, these teachings are reinforced in the real world. Subsequently, we inherit an expectation that “as you sow, so shall you reap,” implying that selfless acts will somehow transform or satisfy our selfish desires.
However, what many of us discover is that genuine selfless acts are often taken advantage of by the selfish and resentment starts to build. If resentment is the fruit of our labour of love, might our efforts be misplaced? Would we be better served in re-evaluating our motives?
The truth may lie in yet another paradox of life. As we recall the teachings of our childhood, the virtues of selflessness and the vices of selfishness, we need to remember another and equally important lesson, and that is of self-sufficiency. How to make it on our own is the ultimate example of a successful parenting job. To be self-sufficient, we need to TAKE care of our own wants and needs knowing that if we do not, we will have to RECEIVE them from others.
The challenge we all have is to differentiate and balance between the wants and needs of a selfish motive and that of a selfless motive. Give AND take are a natural process in life and as natural as breathing. Sometimes we hold our breath and sometimes we breathe too fast; however, both extremes are unsustainable. When we are faced with circumstances in life that require us to TAKE for ourselves, it is then that we discover the virtues of vice and vice versa.
“I prefer a pleasant vice to an annoying virtue.” -Moliere
Questions & Answers
June 3, 2018
In the beginning was the question, and the question was with us, and the question was of us. Many people seem to live their lives in fervent pursuit of the answers to life's questions. This might be an attempt to assuage the apparent frustrations of the need to know. As helpful as answers can be, the importance of the questions cannot be overstated. It was the questions which first appeared in our collective minds and beckoned us to discover the answers. As in the game of Jeopardy, the answer we seek is what is the question.
To be a searcher after questions is to be contented with conflict. The conflict is this, that all answers to life's questions produce even more questions. The attempt to rid ourselves of this internal struggle by feverishly answering life's questions would seem to deny the very nature of our very paradoxical existence.
When it comes to answers, they are almost synonymous with opinions...everyone seems to have them and they are anxiously waiting to shower them upon anyone passing by. Furthermore, there can only be one answer to each question! With so many experts out there with all the answers, perhaps this is why we rarely meet those seeking the questions.
In understanding the importance of the question and why it is vital, perhaps we can come to accept a life without definitive answers and find harmony where there was disharmony. Still the burning question remains: If we could answer all our questions, why would we want to sacrifice our gift of discovery in the process?
”Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.” -Voltaire