I’ve just returned from a great break in Fiji (staying at the Outrigger Beach Resource if you must know) after finishing a nine month stint as part-time Executive Director of TiE Sydney (although it turned into a full-time role to exclusion of much else). The clarity of distance from both Sydney and driving a voluntary entrepreneurial organisation to understand entrepreneurship has given me the opportunity to observe two things – Living in the moment and living in the quiet.
Living in the moment
Many people have talked about this subject using different terminology (the current one is Mindfullness) but it was really brought home to me by my son. He is at the age where he has not learnt to plan his day so he lives in the moment. He desperately wanted to go kayaking. So I told him the plan: get dressed quickly, have breakfast and then there will be plenty of time for kayaking before kids club which starts at 10am. But he wanted to play a different game now rather than get dressed… he was in the moment and enjoying the game he had made up. My reminders fell on deaf ears. We did make it down to breakfast and out onto the kayaks but he was disappointed he only had half an hour. Who was right here? I might be disappointed that we didn’t get much time on the kayaks but he got to do both – his game and kayaking. He had the best of both worlds… so why don’t we adults do it?
Living in the quiet
Noise. Noise. Everywhere. The guard on the train speaking. The text on the mobile phone. Keep up with the news, email, blog… Terrsa May just became PM in the UK and Boris Johnson become Foreign Secretary – what does this mean? Is all this discussion really necessary? Would the world stop if you didn’t read the email? Can you change anything anyway? How long are you going to be thinking about something you can’t influence? With all this stimulus the mind is buzzing with thought after thought with no time to relax. It’s exhausting. It’s amazing we aren’t all a buzzing wreck. Hang on, no time to sleep yet, better check no important messages before drifting off to sleep.
The extent to which our lives have changed was brought home to me by the enforced disconnection of Fiji and reading Tim Ferris’ “4 Hour Working Week”. Forty years ago there were only land lines and news was available on the hour or in a purchased news paper. That was it. Has my influence on events changed? No. It’s time to take a rain check, wrestle back control and work out where the signal is.
All the noise prevents the signals getting though –it’s a common problem for Engineers. For the last year, in my “spare time”, I’ve been working on Lean Commercialisation. It hit accord with a large number of people and I have had some fantastic feedback (and occasional bottle of wine) but it doesn’t pay enough to live off. However it has led me to something that will.
With no noise I can hear another signal coming in…