Sometimes you’re stressing out about something and you have sneaking suspicion that you’re being unreasonable. Or at least, you can see that your reaction might be disproportionate to the situation. But it still feels as if your behaviour is being caused by the situation. So how can you tell?
Seth Godin offers a simple answer
Has this situation ever happened without you (or anyone, for that matter) feeling the way you’re feeling?
Here, Seth highlights the distinction between having a feeling because of a situation and having a feeling at the same time as a particular situation.
The answer is option number 2 far more often than most of us would like to believe. People have endured all kinds of stress and hardships without giving in to stress or anger or defeatism.
To say that you have no choice but to succumb to these feelings it to say that you’re weaker than those who went before, and this is simply not true. We all have the ability to choose how we respond to life’s twists and turns, the trick is maintaining a wide enough perspective to do so.
Meditative practices are entirely focused on the present moment. “The now”. But this seems a little esoteric when we’re just trying to live our lives. Especially in these uncertain times where we’re all just waiting for things to go back to the way they used to be.
But as Seth Godin points out here, the way things used to be is always changing. Normality isn’t a particular point in time. It’s just the point in time we’re used to:
We’ve got a deep-seated desire for things to go back to normal, the way we were used to.
But this, this moment of ours is now normal.
And then, there will be another normal.
When we were kids, things were a certain way. Not just the way the world was, the way we were. Now they’re different. In twenty years’ time, they’ll be different again. Which of them is normal? The only answer is now.
Seth Godin with a little reminder that as much fun as it is to talk, sometimes it pays to just stop and listen.
There are plenty of opportunities to expound on our version of the world. Every once in a while we have the rare chance to explore someone else’s.
Seth Godin on the gap between something of value being created, and that value being recognised by others.
There’s often a significant lag between the creation of something useful and when the market recognizes it.
That’s an opportunity for speculators and investors, who can buy before the recognition happens.
And it’s an opportunity or a trap for creators, who might get disheartened about the lack of applause and upside immediately after they’ve created something.
In addition to this, there’s the problem of the taste gap, that inevitable period of time where the work you’re producing doesn’t live up to the standards that inspired you to create it in the first place.
The only solution is to trust that you have something inside you that is worth sharing with the world, and to refuse to stop until the world has recognised it.