It is known that science is wasting a lot of negative results by not reporting them. This is "waste" because others might try again something that doesn't work (thus wasting time and other resources), simply because the knowledge has not been shared.
When you reframe a "failure" as a "learning", you save yourself from wasting a past investment. You also can look forward other attempts, with significantly less anguish vis-à-vis "failures": less anguish, more exploratory fun!
Of course, after enough carving away, you might realise that there never was a solid self to be found: only the qualities you decide to embody now, the selfless "True Self" (gplus.wallez.name/3pnjLP3xrTN).
This weekend, I am celebrating my sixth wedding anniversary. Less than a decade ago, I'd almost given up on the idea of being in a loving, intimate relationship. I'd already had twenty years of 'failed' relationships behind me and was simply fed up with the whole dating game. In this day and age, it had to be okay to be on my own, I thought. And it was actually when I let go and released the pressure valve of expectation (both for myself and the ideal man I had to meet), that I invited Denis into my life.
I've been reflecting this month on how we approach problems and challenges as a society. In my management development career, I came across many theoretical models of the 'how to' variety; how to be an inspiring leader, an effective manager, an inclusive team player, and so on. Motivation is big business, and it pushes us to take control of every aspect of our lives: People with goals succeed because they know where they're going! Grab opportunity with both hands! Success doesn't come and find you, you have to go out and get it! Victory belongs to the most persevering! Be committed, persistent, and disciplined and you can achieve anything!
Increasingly however, I'm realising that 'control' is an illusion. Because, thankfully, we do not live in an isolated bubble of individualism (though some sections of society would like to) where striving for an heroic 'ideal' of who we want to be, or should be, always leads to success. It does not. Control can become a bad habit, as can any of the laudable quotes cited above. When we move towards over-controlling, somehow the universe has a way of redressing the balance and bringing us 'back down to earth'.
Solving any problem or challenge, we are never in isolation, including in our aspirations to develop and grow as individuals. I recall how grounded I felt when I first got married. With Denis's support, I felt courageous enough to take on any challenge my future held. Six years on, the ground is shaking and I am as unclear about who I am now, as I was when I was a nervous teenager. The delusion was in assuming that being married gave me a sense of 'control' over my life that I never had before, or that my husband would provide a constant and solid environment for me to grow. Yet how could I imagine that I would keep growing as a person, while expecting Denis to remain as he was when we met? The real adventure of marriage is to accept that we are both changing continually, and learning to release my grip from the delusion of what seems 'solid' creates the ground for both of us to evolve and have fun together.
If you have any comments about my newsletters and blogs, I would love to hear from you.
Have a wonderful August and stay in touch.
The attached blog is titled Carving Away the Parts That Are Not Me
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