At the moment I’m surrounded by advice and philosophy that tells me not to care any more, ranging from the ‘F***it philosophy’ http://www.thefuckitlife.com/ to ‘http://howtonotgiveafuck.com/‘ and other ‘motivational’ posters such as this one http://9buz.com/youre-ghost-drivng-meat-coated-2013-11-14/ telling me “I’m a ghost driving a meat covered skeleton made up from star dust and not to be scared of anything. ”
Advice telling me that in the grand scheme of things, I have no importance. Or that the things I worry about aren’t important or aren’t worth worrying about. Not to ‘give a fuck’ about things. it’ll all come out in the wash.
Well the big problem is that I do care. I do care what people think. We all do. That’s why we spend time doing a good job. And investing in ourselves and improving our skills. Because we take pleasure from learning and improving and because we do care about the other people in our landscape.
We tell ourselves that ‘I don’t care what the others think’ but in reality its just a big security blanket and a double edged sword. We say things to ourselves ‘It doesn’t matter what they think just as long as I finish this contract/get the next contract/score the next home run/ whatever milestone you want in here. So we concentrate on that milestone , because if we get that, then they’ll notice what we can do, right? So We really DO care about what they think. Its dangerous, too, because other parts of our lives suffer , as we concentrate on that milestone and we forget other things, and become obsessional and isolated.Nothing else matters but the job in front of us. Now.
Sometimes, milestones are important in our lives, getting that new job, adopting that child, winning that game, or that wedding day. Because in reality, we do care what others think. Its part of our self esteem. I have a friend from school, who I see from time to time.
I like to think that my friend thinks I’m a nice person to hang with.I think he is. OK, so now I start to sound like the drunk in the bar who loves everyone and there all his best mate……
I’m not saying we shouldn’t have goals. I’m saying that we should have goals , but not at the cost of other things.
Get that new job, but not at the cost of your health, or your marriage, or your self esteem. Or maybe what I’m saying is ‘Think about what you have and not what you want’ What you want shouldn’t be at the cost of what you have.
My colleague recently told me ‘You have to fight for what you want’ and perhaps that is true, but you also have to really think through what you want and be sure that what you want ,is what you want. OK, I’m starting to sound like Jean Claude Van Damme and his ramblings, or even Donald Rumsfeld with his ‘Known Unknowns’ quote, but here goes”Knowing what you want is as difficult as getting it, if not more so”. Remember the saying ‘If you want to hurt someone, give them what they want’ and that is very true. People think they want a new car, or a new house or a swimming pool then they get it, but they have the pain of paying for the car/pool/house afterwards.
Abandoning goals is always difficult, recently, due to financial costs and health issues, we decided not to adopt a second child. We tell ourselves that ‘we’ll raise one child real good, and live for now’ but part of me found it very difficult to let go of the dream.
But once we had decided to stop , we knew it was the good decision. Even before we decided, we knew it was the good decision. That’s why we decided, right? The little voice again.
I’ve had a feeling that I’m at the crossroads in my career for a while, the ‘little voice’ in side tells me that in a years time I don’t want to be in my present company; that much I know. The problem is “I don’t know what I want to do’ and I never have done really. i did ecology at university and then drifted into teaching, I wanted to save the world, or to change it somehow. kidding ourselves that we do that 30 kids at a time or that recycling will help, is just that, a load of codswallop.
Oh, I tell myself the dream of writing poems would be good, or telling jokes to make people laugh, or translating , all things I enjoy. I enjoy teaching too, its just got a bit stale now. Like I’ve lost the audience. Like I’ve lost my talent. Besides, with the new technology that is coming, language teaching will be a thing of the past. Or does that just sounds like a bad excuse?
There have been times when I’ve not listened to the voice, and regretted it. Small things that became big, or everyday things where I can hear the voice telling me ‘I told you so’
Last year I applied to do a Doctorate and didn’t get accepted, the funding wasn’t in place. Now the voice tells me to try again, and to hope. But another part of me says ‘head in the clouds or in books won’t pay the bills’ and another says ‘Well, what difference does anything you do make anyway?’
I don’t want to wake up in 4 years and be told that my job at the University isn’t there anymore because now they only take doctors.
If I have to work hard in my life sometime, it may as well be now.
I tell my clients that ‘winners find a way, losers find excuses’ to motivate them; or to motivate myself. The problem is that realistically, we are all losers sometimes, nobody wins it all. And sometimes, losing teaches you stuff winning doesn’t. Losing and winning, perhaps Kipling was right to tell us to treat the two impostors just the same.
So we do care. That’s what makes us human. That’s why we want to touch people and events. That’s why we love and are loved. That’s why we work , play, and keep on living. Do we do what we do for others to applaud or condemn, like some crazy pantomime?
A boo and a hiss and a cheer and a tear?
A walk on part or a lead role in a cage?
So observations that we are just dust from the stars , and don’t touch the bigger picture, are just that. Observations. Chaos theory tells us that very small events can lead to bigger things. Even the Big Bang was caused by some very small event . Life, is about events and dealing with them. Telling people “not to care” doesn’t fit any philosophy because I don’t know anyone that can’t care.