Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The Truth IS Stranger than Fiction

Most of you, my wonderful readers (smooch!), pretty much know that I'm so close to the end of a rewrite of my book that I can taste it. So close! For you newbies, welcome, I hope that you enjoy your stay with us for a long, long time (PS: There's usually plenty of wine to go around).

I bring up my book for one particular reason, the truth is stranger than fiction.

I don't write about it much here, but I'm a technology marketer in my real life, when my creative flow isn't focused on this blog or my book, then I'm concepting and developing strategy for companies. I was rereading a book last night that I'd read (and reviewed: What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20) earlier in the year because I have an idea and I needed to reread the book with that idea in mind; the template for how to accomplish the idea is in that book. I stray, sorry, in the book it says that there are always problems to solve around us--opportunities that exist--the difference between an entrepreneur and someone else, at this stage, is that the entrepreneur notices the opportunities.

There's no need to make ideas up, they exist all around us.

How does that relate to my book? Well, it might be a stretch, but here goes... I don't have to make things up, my eyes are open and I see my book--several books, for that matter--all around me, constantly. This blog is the easiest thing (and hopefully enjoyable for you) that I've ever done in my life. One post per day about whatever I see around me. Done! I'm going sideways again... back on track... well, last night life authored another twist.

My previous post, "Love Case for Intended Change," caused a stir in the world (I added an update to the end of the post, so go back and read it real quick). The comments that were posted were fantastic, thank you, but it's the ones that never made it to the blog that have really changed my world.

How much do I believe in true love? That's one question that I contemplated last night. Another? Do I really think that people can change or am I just that optimistic? I suppose that depends on how much change needs to be made. Do I often feel like I live alone on an island of understanding? Yes, most definitely and I wonder why I keep inviting people to the island that I have to kick off... but, that's what I was told at a young age... you have a "knowing" and very few around you will appreciate or understand it. In fact, they'll think you arrogant or pompous when you have to wield it.

I see things all around me because my eyes are open.

I've had three opportunities in my life for intense introspection and I've grasped on to all three of them. When I was in college (for 9 years), I made it my mission to ask myself all the questions that I could muster. That's one thing. Answering the question, however, is never enough. You have to take the next step and ask yourself, "Why is that my answer?" "Why?" is the most important question one can ever ask. Seriously, start with, "Why is _______ my favorite color?" and see what happens. After a long stint of employment, I had a year and a half to read, travel and write earlier in this decade. And now, I've been at it once more for about 20 months. It's wonderful and frustrating, but so good for me to know myself... and knowing myself seems to be highly connected to knowing what's going on around me.

So, when a friend asked me if we could go out for a few beers, I thought it odd, but not unlikely. In fact, my first thought was, "Cool, I'd like to spend more time with him because we are quite similar in the way we think. Life's challenges have made us think deeply. I'm glad that he reached out to me." And then my second thought kicked in and I actually asked him, "Can I invite friends to join us or do you have something private that you want to discuss?" Intuition spoke to me and said there was something that needed to be discussed; intuition was right.

There were many things that I realized during the conversation:
  1. If he is like me, a deep thinker, then he doesn't like to be told what to do; he has to experience it on his own. Sooo true for me. So true. Any lecture about my learnings would fall on his deaf ears because a decision had already been made.
  2. If nothing can be learned from shared information, then it's not my place to stand in the way of opportunity. It'd be horribly selfish to deny a man the ability to explore--the opportunity to learn what needs to be learned in his life.
  3. Love is a powerful force. To me, Love is the religion. We have such unbelievable desire to find it, that we're willing to do things that we'd never do if we stepped back a little bit and observed our actions. I know it, I've done it and I've learned from it. Asking for something doesn't mean that what you ask for justifies the action you request.
  4. There are those that keep following the same template over and over and over without learning from the experience. Heck, I just did that exact thing! So, I can't even exclude myself from this truth. Fortunately, I recognized it in a few months instead of a few years.
So, my words of caution can really be summed up to this, be wary of those that throw around words with reckless abandon when they know not what they really mean. I've been accused of "being in love with love," and I absolutely am. Being in love with love is living in the NOW. Except, being in love with love and being in the now make a dangerous combination; it's possible to run people down and keep right on truckin,' oblivious to what really happened around you or what caused the accident. You can be in love with love, but you have to remember, you still want to get to the destination, not just bumble along on the journey your whole life; there is a place that you're trying to get to that isn't in the NOW.

So, my friends and readers, I urge you to stop, get out of the truck, step back and ask yourself, "Why do I keep doing the exact same thing over and over?"

Remove the nouns from the equation, it's not about what things look like, it's not about whether the truck is red or white or what street it's driving down... the problem is driving wherever you want, whenever you want... going where you want to go and never stopping to ask if someone else is heading in the same direction or even wants to go in your direction. My question is, "Do you even know where you're going?" Before you know it, you're making a turn and someone says to go straight and WHAM, accident.

There's a HUGE lesson in that last sentence... and it isn't about the metal, rubber and plastic left on the road; it's about whether everyone is alright. My readers, pay attention to the road, understand your path and be wary of getting distracted by the scenery... you just might total more than your ride and the rides of others around you.
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