Here’s the first step

Too much positive feedback seems to have immobilised me with this second post after the l-o-n-g break. I’ve decided to follow Napoleon Hill’s advice to face this uncertainty:

Here’s the first step: Start right where you are. Go as far as you can see. When you get there you will see even further.
– Napoleon Hill

So here I am. I showed up. What can I see?

I can see that my perspective in life is everything. Rory Sutherland’s TEDtalk [] in Athens provided the inspiration for this idea: Things are not what they are. Things are what we think they are and what we compare them to. Wayne Dyer, in his book on intention, basically says the same thing: if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change.

How to do this? I found the easiest way to manage this shift of perspective is to look for something that I am thankful for in what ever circumstance it is that is pulling me down.

As easy as that. Gratitude. Gratitude reframes your perception of your environment and provides a positive context or lens for you to look at your situation.

What can I see further?

I can see further that even though I’m of the glass half full type (and I don’t like the colour or the taste), I acknowledge that I’m grateful that I do, in fact, have a glass.

Create yourself!

So I’ve found that I simply love doing collages and in the process of doing some cutting and pasting (and then often painting over it!) that sometimes you come to a point where you just want to throw your work away or scratch it and start fresh.
I’ve gone through this process four times now: starting with a very basic idea of what I wanted to do, cutting and pasting different materials, painting over it, wanting to throw it out, painting over everything or only some bits and somehow ending up with something that I am satisfied with.

Now I hope to transfer this ability to go with the flow – of living with the uncertainty of not knowing exactly what the end product is going to look like and somehow working through that icky stage – to real life.

George Bernard Shaw said
Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

Locked into these words is the permission to sometimes mess up. To spill over. To not be satisfied with what you’ve got. To go with your hunches on the best way to proceed. Even when the hunch turns out to be in the wrong shade of colour.

Here’s to creating your best last week of 2011!

Facing uncertainty

Here’s the first step: Start right where you are. Go as far as you can see. When you get there you will see even further.
– Napoleon Hill

Tamashii Daiko and Riverdance used in the same sentence? How you learn from Taiko to expect anything.

Wow! There’s just nothing like receiving compliments, is there? Tamashii Daiko performed at the centennial celebrations of the Taiwanese Consulate in South Africa. And may I say this, as a member of the group: We were simply SENSATIONAL!

One guy compared our accuracy with that of Riverdance. Check this out if you’re living in an alternate universe and have no idea what I’m talking about. Now if that’s not a compliment, I don’t know what is.

Nervous energy abounded. We set up so that everybody that was anybody (important from the organising side, that is) could see where the drums should be and then they were moved to the side for the speeches. A variety of people came to offer help to move the drums. Each of them got a calm description and explanation of what were to be done. [The word ‘calm’ should indicate to you that this was not done by me.]

We were there, of course, L-O-O-O-O-NG before the guests arrived. This could be considered a good thing: we did not feel rushed; we knew where everything was and how we were going to do things. But it could also be considered a bad thing: L-O-O-O-O-TS of waiting = ample time for building panic and getting second thoughts…

But once the first note hit the Odaiko we were in the zone. OK, I admit this is my own personal experience and evaluation. When Stephan’s drum rolled of the stand, I’m pretty sure he must have felt not quite “in the zone”, but he recovered quickly and didn’t miss that many beats [not the best of puns, I know].

Not only does Taiko take us to interesting places, it also teaches us to deal with whatever is thrown at us! [Maybe I should rephrase: “whatever is thrown at us” conjures up images of rotten tomatoes.] It teaches us to deal with whatever comes our way. Let’s try again: What I’m trying to say is that we learn to adapt to circumstances. To go with the flow. To change according to the surroundings. As the saying goes: The only certainty in life is uncertainty.

To be able to adapt to uncertainty is a valuable life skill to have.

Bet you didn’t have this on your imaginary list of “Advantages of Taiko”.