Flow like a river; believe like a rock

Look, I’ve been experiencing a bit of emotional instability, to put it mildly.
This morning I discovered something I quoted from a book by Paulo Coelho (Like the flowing river) which I find consoling:

The more we plan our steps, the more chance there is that we will go wrong, because we are failing to take into consideration four things:

  • Other people
  • Life’s teachings
  • Passion
  • Calm

and

The more we feel we are in control of things, the farther off we are from controlling anything.

I must be on the right track then, not feeling in control :-).

Another interesting phenomenon, which Coelho calls the Law of Jante, explains why we watch celebrities with hawk eyes to see when they’ll screw up:

”You are worthless; no one is interested in what you think, therefore you had better opt for mediocrity and anonymity. Do this, and you will never face any major problems in life.”

The Anti-Law of Jante would imply the following:

“You are worth much more than you think. Your work and your presence on this earth are important, even though you may not believe it. Of course, such ideas could land you in a lot of trouble for breaking the Law of Jante, but don’t be intimidated, continue to live without fear, and you will triumph in the end.”

How different would life not be if we all subscribed to the anti-law!

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Focus on the process: sipping is better than gulping…

Do you know that MSWord shows you your most recent documents when you click on the round button in the top left corner? I have 17 documents listed. Even though someone (who shall remain nameless) is supposed to be working on her research proposal, that research proposal document is not one of those 17 documents listed…

Oh golly, miss Molly. The research proposal has been on vacation for more than a week now.

I battle with thoughts like: “Ag, so what? What for? Who am I to think I could have something to contribute?” and then of course, the dreaded What if’s? “What if I’m wasting my time? What if I’m wasting money? What if I never finish?”

I read a book about the human body to my son the other night. It referred to Santorio Santorio who, for 30 years, weighted himself, everything he took into his body and everything his body discarded. I thought to myself: “Why would you want to do that?” I’m sure I’m not the only one.

But then I googled him. In addition to “living” on his weighing chair, this man also discovered the thermometer and pulse monitor and is considered to be the father of quantitative research. Who would have thought?

I am tempted to have visions of grandeur … you know, that one day people would be able to see the value of my research even if most people, and I, wonder why I spend my time on it. I’m not quite sure that I’m prepared to devote 30 years of my life, though.

So I did what I often do in times of uncertainty. I sought solice in books and I got some apparently conflicting “messages”:

You have two choices: to be invisible, anonymous, uncriticized, and safe, or to take a chance at greatness and uniqueness… – Seth Godin The Purple Cow – paraphrased

and

When we take our time, we have more of it… – Victoria Moran Living a Charmed Life

 Maybe they are not conflicting messages but rather two sides of a coin. Maybe I should be concentrating more on the process than the product: sip it slowly like fine wine and not gulp it down like cheap beer…