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