Saturday, 28 February 2009

The parable of the slippery slope

(Please note - no humans were injured in this story. However, a wall and a tree were innocent victims, and a motor vehicle and some human pride were dented!)

We live on a hill, which a friend of ours used to call 'Perth's ski slope'. We also live on a corner site.

A couple of weeks ago it snowed - quite a lot in a short period of time.

A man was driving down the hill - following a snow plough. He realised that the brakes of his vehicle were having no effect as an icy crust had formed over the snow.

At the foot of the hill there is a main road.

The man - correctly in my view - decided that it would be unwise to reach the main road, without effective brakes. So he decided to turn left, into a less hilly road to avoid probable catastrophe and to regain control over his vehicle.

The turning manoeuvre was not completely successful...

The moral of this story - sometimes in life we need to change course or take evasive action to avoid catastrophe. This may lead to some damage, bruises, dents but this is preferable to the alternative route. Even when we think that we are following a safe option (e.g. behind a snow plough), we may not have the control that we would like.

Sometimes wise choices may be painful, but we recover more readily from minor bruises than from major crashes.

To add to the interest of the story - the driver of the car was Dolly D's English teacher (we expect some good marks from now on!)

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Good morning Perth!

See That Hideous Man for an alternative view of this morning in Perth!

Monday, 23 February 2009

Striving - the inner struggle

"If a man lives without inner struggle, if everything happens in him without opposition... he will remains such as he is."

- G.I. Gurdjieff

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Silhouettes in the exits

I came across this CBS interview with Chris Martin of Coldplay. It seems to fit with a number of themes that are on my mind just now - including striving. It lasts 12 minutes or so, and I think it's worth watching - probably best to watch it before (or instead of) reading my ramblings below.

Watch CBS Videos Online

I love Steve Kroft's summary towards the end which includes this:

"They're... confident that they're not yet as good as they are going to be."

This epitomises the striving aspect that I was writing about yesterday. In Coldplay's position, it would be easy to cruise along in 'survive mode' for a while, using their back catalogue to generate royalties, resting on their laurels or just bumming around. Instead they're continuing to write new music - seeking the unattainable perfect song. I like that!

I thought that the way that Martin seeks feedback at concerts was intriguing - the silhouettes in the exits. Makes me wonder if we have learned where to look for genuine feedback on performance.

I agree with Chris Martin's sentiment:
"Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically..."

I'm pretty sure that my own worst performance occurs when I'm half-hearted about things.

I enjoyed the way that he didn't take himself too seriously, and admitted his difficulties in dealing with questions about his wife - there seemed to be an honest approach throughout the interview.

Also, I can identify with his electronic messages and scrawled notes - I'm struggling to organise the various scribbled notes that are cluttering the study at home, as well as dealing with all the electronic articles etc that I've accummulated in recent years. I carry a wee voice recorder with me in the car, so that I can capture any thoughts that come to me (my memory's not too great).

Finally, I liked the way that he gave credit to Dylan for the quip that he used. (I have a bit of a hobby horse about acknowledging the source of material!)

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Survive or thrive

In all aspects of life (spiritual, financial, work performance, creative etc.) there is a level at which we can settle. I call this the SURVIVE mode. It's not necessarily a bad place to be, but it does stop short of the optimum at any given point in time.

The optimum place is what I call the THRIVE zone. This is where improvements have been made and we feel energised and inspired. This is where we are most creative and alive.

To move from SURVIVE to THRIVE, we need to STRIVE. This is where we see the potential for improvement and through commitment, discipline and grind we take steps towards our vision of what THRIVE looks like.

of course, THRIVE can become SURVIVE after a while - especially if you're ENDLESSLY RESTLESS.

Sunday, 8 February 2009


Inspiration is wonderful when it happens, but the writer must develop an approach for the rest of the time... The wait is simply too long.
- Leonard Bernstein

Inspiration seems to have deserted me lately - at least in relation to blogging. I seem to recall Lins posting something about Paul Simon saying that you should just keep writing, no matter how much rubbish you produced. I don't think that I'll adopt that approach, but maybe a few more entries wouldn't go amiss - even if they aren't works of genius!!