Morning Coffee …

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Coffee in the MorningNobody really knows when or exactly where coffee first emerged to delight Mankind …

My favorite source of quick facts, Wikipedia, tells me that their best guess is pretty much in the middle of the Middle Ages, probably somewhere in Northern Africa.  Before that, the chronicle of coffee is empty.

I can only imagine a world without coffee and I dare not do so for long, ere I go mad … On the other hand, now I understand why early man was so testy … no coffee, no toilet paper, no dental plans … how did they survive and reproduce?

Later I will continue to ponder the working of the modern workplace, workers, and bosses … for now I am content to enjoy a treat denied to many of my ancestors.

For just a bit, I will sip and savor the taste, the aroma, and the ambiance which surrounds this warm and delicious drink … thinking of nothing else, but what I am experiencing.

I recommend engaging fully in an experience, sensation, or emotion on a regular basis. We already have plenty of practice in trying to do times, usually several at the same time, and at always having a goal or aspiration in mind. We need to develop our ability to just be …

Sometimes what comes from just being instead of trying can be surprisingly fruitful.

Feeling slightly whimsical as I drink my first of many cups of morning coffee in the Heartland ….

John

 

 

Two Things About Whistling In The Wind …


Whistling - Hand Flute“Opportunity has to knock, but it is enough for temptation to stand outside and whistle.”

Unknown, but found in many places online

 

Human nature allows us to more easily respond to those things which appear as inviting distractions than that which often appears “disguised as hard work”, as both Thomas A. Edision and Ann Landers have famously observed.

Don’t misunderstand me this bright Monday morning … I see value in regular “distractions” throughout our lives, whether a carefully-nurtured passion for something which none of your friends or family really “gets” or an occasional game or sport just to reduce stress and refresh us in body and spirit.  Personally I like to listen to music or read something that is humorous … that’s all, just humorous … no deep messages or inspiration, no secret to success or ultimate skill builder … just funny and enjoyable.

The issue here is obvious … you have to develop the ability to do two things in regard to knocking and whistling.  Both are critical and your careful creation of skill in doing these two things will make a significant amount of difference in your life.

1)  Develop your ability to tell the difference between a knock and a whistle:

Knocking represents something that will benefit you in the long run.  “You” may mean you personally, a group, a society, or the world.

Knocking is usually about helping yourself and others.  I am tempted to say it ought always be about this, but I am a realist about some things.

Knocking does not overpromise success or enjoyment.  Knocking tells you upfront that work, pain, and struggle are required.

 

Whistling glazes over the details.   Do not look behind the curtain or under the table.

Whistling promises happiness and ease.  Questions are brushed aside and optimism reigns unchallenged.

Whistling relies on your emotional need to feel good or hopeful.  It does not seek or encourage even reasonable doubts.

2)  Know when you need to respond to the knock and when you need to give in to the whistle:

Choose opportunity when you feel a gap in your life in some area.  The opportunity may or may not fit the gap, but it will fill you up just the same.

Choose opportunity when you cannot sleep at night because an idea consumes your energy.  Look for solutions, especially in unlikely places.

Choose opportunity when the number of people who will benefit from your doing so is more than one.

Choose whistling when you feel that your soul is drained and you need to recharge.  We all experience this, some more often and more deeply than others.

Choose whistling if you can honestly say (just to yourself) that you need a short break.  Sometimes a quick detour can reap huge rewards in renewed effort.

Choose whistling if you know beyond any doubt that whatever you are doing has no claim on you.  Better to enjoy life’s moments than trudge onward doing what you have absolutely no interest in doing.

Life can be very complicated sometimes.  Those who tell you different are ignoring some important realities about options, choices, and daily living. Sometimes we need the knock and sometimes we need the whistle. 

When you respond today, are you hearing the knock or the whistle?

Keeping my options open by listening for both sounds in the Heartland ….

John

 

 

IMAGE:  Photo showing the final position when whistling through the hands.  Taken on 8 April 2010 by Jomegat

Seeing Again …


Eye“One sees things for the first time only once.”

Some anonymous person

 

You know what they say about couples in a long-time stable relationship, right?

“I still get a thrill when I see her, just like the first time we met.”   Yeah, right …

Time and familiarity has a way of playing with our perceptions and our emotions.  You might feel an overwhelming and positive emotion when you see someone you care deeply about, but it’s not the same experience as when you first met.  You have added years of shared experiences and growth to your perceptions.

 

Same thing applies in business … maybe more so.

We get used to people, procedures, and activities.  If we see something as a creative and innovative process, we might be tempted to continue to view that process as creative, even as it is eclipsed by more current or evolved thinking.   We see our protégé or favorite co-worker and sometimes still see the young and energetic sparkplug, rather than the quiet and tired colleague of today.

 

So what to do about the possibility that you are not seeing reality, but rather nostalgic perception clouded by memory?

 

Try this … do not rely on your own perceptions.

Seek the counsel of others and listen to their views on what is before you.  This will be especially useful if the person whose counsel you seek is not familiar with what they are looking at.  You are not after technical analysis … you just want fresh eyes looking at what is there to be seen.

This requires some trust and some bravery, but the results might be truly “eye-opening” …

 

Trying to see what is there to see, rather than what I want to see, in the Heartland ….

John

My Mind Is Completely Open …


Trash can“If you keep your mind sufficiently open, some people will throw a lot of rubbish in it.”

 

William A. Orton

 

Okay … I have always heard that we ought to keep an open mind and I believe this to be a good thing.

However, the honorable Mr. Orton is NOT telling us to close our minds.  He is just warning us of what will come when we open our minds to the world and all that is in it.

You will need to sort through quite a bit of rubbish during a lifetime of being open to new ideas and thoughts.  Best to learn how to do so efficiently.

This reinforces the need for every person to develop critical thinking skills.  After all, you need some tools to identify what is worthwhile and what is not.

Thinking critically about a great number of things, much of which appears to be crap in the Heartland ….

John

 

 

 

 

Good Morning, Heartland ….


Kaldi's Morning 1

Sometimes you just have to slow down and work at half-speed … even though it’s only Tuesday …

I will sit here with my bottomless coffee cup and a decent view of suburban America, and work at my own speed today, while I watch the rest of the world rush by.  I will not worry about deadlines or things I need to accomplish or complete.  I will do some things that matter mostly or only to me.  

I will take time to go through files and delete things no longer of value …because we all need to clean up and clean out every now and then.

I will pause to consider how things are going and make sure that the direction holds enough value to justify the energy being exerted … because energy should be worthy of aspiration.

I will catch up with people who I want and need in my life … because these connections are important.

I will engage in the things I really just like to do, like writing and creating webpages … because they make me happy.  

I will let go of the larger concerns that hang like thunderclouds over my life … because they are not going away anyway.

Remembering that, if you just let go every now and then, life can be good in the Heartland ….

John