This is Water
So I find myself sitting in a queue waiting for a haircut. Even though I can do the majority of my work remotely from this tablet I am feeling rather frustrated having to wait. In fact waiting for anything is one of my weaknesses. I like things to happen quickly or at least in a time frame controlled by myself. This got me thinking about life here in Port Alfred. We are pretty well taken care of. Everything in our town is less than a 5 min drive away, we never have traffic to contend with, even grocery shopping is relatively painless if you plan your time, so why am I now frustrated? My work is relatively up to date, I have no pressing appointments. I should be relaxing and enjoying this “free” time, yet I am struggling to let go. I feel that I need to do something other than just sit and wait, life is too short to sit around waiting. It got me thinking of a lecture I once heard by David Foster Wallace, This is Water
I have watched this clip many times and I get the message. I understand the big picture yet here I sit, four deep in a queue and getting increasingly frustrated as the time ticks by, and yet I have only been here for 30 min. So I will do my best to just relax and focus on my writing. No one here is engaging in conversation and it seems like the perfect time to get another post out.
Welcome writers block……Now that I have my mind set on writing something productive I am at a loss for words. The irony of it, when I was frustrated I could not write down my thoughts fast enough and yet now I seem to have none.
So who would have guessed, the four people in front of me seemed to magically get done in about 10 min and one of the people opted out as they were about to get into the chair and the next thing I knew I was done with my hair cut and back on the way to the office. So the rest of this story now continues a day later.
This is water. Boredom, routine, frustration, is this really what life is about for the majority of people? I have experienced these exact feelings before. I have gone through long periods where I questioned the point of it all. I have been stuck on the treadmill of life winding down the clock wondering what the greater purpose is. I was during one of these times when a client invited me to go listen to a guest speaker, Tania Adams, at the Port Alfred Business Forum. Something changed on that night when I listened to the talk by Tania, something inside me woke up again and started searching for the passion, the energy, the life force that used to drive me to take charge of my destiny. I needed to choose. Either continue along the path I was on or choose something different. I was in a pretty comfortable space but I was not growing, and when something is no longer growing it is dying, and that was how I felt. I was slowly dying, I was losing the joy of the simple things, I was becoming cynical of my job, our town, our country and the whole game of life, yet I managed to keep up the impression that all was ok and life was just passing by one day at a time.
I chose that night to take control of my own destiny and not be left adrift at the mercy of chance. I knew that I could either carry on carrying on or actually get out there and reawaken the passion of life that used to rage within me. The following few weeks I mulled over my options, I spend hours in deep thought about what really gets me motivated, yet I was not able to break through. I then contacted Tania and discussed life coaching. After our initial meeting I decided that this was what I needed, yet it seemed unaffordable and I was not sure I would be able to make the breakthrough I needed. I decided to try it out anyway, yet I dared not tell anyone about it. I could not bear to face the critics if I embarked on this journey and failed. So on the 28 June 2011 I went for my first coaching session which was on Joy, Anger and Sadness and Controlling the Fire within, I knew from day 1 I was on the right track. The first course was over 12 sessions and by the end of that I was ready to take on the world. Over the 4 months of coaching I had written more business than what I did in the 10 months before. I had regained my rhythm, found the joy in my work, and reignited my lust for life. I had learnt how to make conscious decisions in my daily routine that transformed the way I looked at my life. I was a far happier individual. I was present to those around me again. I was able to consciously decide how to react to certain stimuli.
It all sounds rather simple, but the reality of it is I need to make this choice over and over again every single day, hundreds of times a day. I have to be aware of my thoughts and my reactions. I have to tell myself to Stop, Think, Do as my son taught me. The truth is I fail more times than I get it right. I get frustrated, bored, irritated, peeved and flat out pissed off at times. I am ok with that though, for me I get to reflect and choose again. I get second chances. I know that every morning I wake up I have a choice of how I am going to respond to what life throws at me. At the end of each day I get to reflect on the consequences of my choices and I need to stand up and be accountable for my decisions.
So as David Foster Wallace says, it is not about life after death we need to focus on but rather the Life before Death.
How are you going to choose to live today?