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Stephen Gill
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Hi Jane, we are usually defined by society by our actions. Some one who writes....is a writer, for example. A perverse logic therefore guides us to think that the more we do, the better we will be; the more books I write, the greater the writer I will be considered. Of course, upon even the briefest of reflection, we know this not true, and yet we still found ourselves rushing around trying to achieve more. Motivation speakers and writers sometimes use the wordplay phrase that we are 'human beings, not human doings' for good reason, to make a point. We may be defined with a label for what we do, but it is not the doing that makes 'us' what we are. It is suggested that only by taking the time to 'be' rather than 'do' that we can be who and what we truly are. I would write more about this, but I'm too busy right now...:) so much to be..rather than so much to do! Steve
Toggle Commented May 13, 2010 on Too Busy to Blog at Jane Wharam on......
Hi Jane, Happy Lunar New Year! According to the Chinese zodiac this is the year of the tiger and according to Chinese custom, on New Year's Day it is beneficial to celebrate, to be happy, to have smiling faces, and to refrain from scowling, quarrelling, or criticizing anyone. To my mind, that sounds like a very laudable aim for any day of the year! :-) I hope that you have a good year of the tiger!
Toggle Commented Feb 19, 2010 on It's All in the Timing at Jane Wharam on......
Don't bother, they're here. :-)
Toggle Commented Feb 11, 2010 on Can Clowns Concur? at Jane Wharam on......
Jane, this is such a difficult (a judgement) subject and yet you have approached it in your usual (another judgement) interesting (another judgement) and entertaining style (another judgement). Ok…no more judgments in brackets…I hope that I have made a point. Our minds are constantly evaluating our experiences, comparing them with other experiences or holding them up against standards and expectations that we have created ourselves. With all this going on it is very difficult, if not impossible to be completely non-judgemental and you have recognized this. We often tend to see things it terms of whether this is good or bad for me, or whether it conforms to our beliefs and values. If it is good, I like it, if it is bad I don’t like it. If it is neither, I have no feelings about it one way or another, and may hardly even take notice of it. Being too critical of ourselves, and others as you point out can be destructive, not only to others but to ourselves. Negative thinking can dominate the mind and weigh it down. It is like carrying a bag of stones around on out head. It is not until the mind is free of the negative thoughts that the real weight of the burden is often truly felt. Perhaps in this sense…’casting the first stone’ may be a liberating experience. Only we can be the judge of that. Thanks again, for another thought provoking blog
Toggle Commented Feb 9, 2010 on Judgment Day at Jane Wharam on......
Jane, who are you?? :) I know this is sad but I found myself counting how many times you used the word ‘I’ in this blog, and was left with the question; ‘Can the ‘I’ know itself?’ This has been one of the questions troubling some of the greatest thinkers of all time. Some philosophers have replied rather mysteriously with answers such as “Can the knife cut itself? Can the tooth bite itself?” Another question (or perhaps the same as it is all too deep for me) has been ‘Am I my thoughts; the thoughts that I am thinking?’ It would seem not, as thoughts come and go, as your ‘light bulb’ moment proves. So unless the ‘I’ changes every few seconds, we are not our thoughts. So, ‘are we our body?’ Well, if I believe all that my biology teacher told me (some of which I would rather not!) our body cells are constantly renewing, and in a relatively short period of time, I will have a completely new body (not a bad thing some might say). So Jane, thank you for sharing your ‘revelation’. Now the light is on, as you say, perhaps you will be able to see yourself more clearly. But ‘can the eye see itself?’…haha….well, in a mirror perhaps. :) Quick, send in the clowns!
Toggle Commented Feb 9, 2010 on Can Clowns Concur? at Jane Wharam on......
Thanks Jane, you put your finger right on the root of my doubt; it is the association with marketing that immediately springs to mind when I think of a 'brand'. Most of us at some point or other market ourselves to some degree for one reason or another. If we can align our core self, our true beliefs with this marketed version, all well and good. It could certain save much heart ache later on. So I can see the connection that has been made and why 'Brand U' sounds such a good idea. Very interesting way of getting the message across.
Toggle Commented Oct 25, 2009 on Brand U at Jane Wharam on......
Jane, once again, a very interesting and thought provoking blog. It is so well written that it raises and then offers answers to the many questions that spring to mind while reading through it. There is a natural association between 'brand' and 'labels', which can be an uncomfortable area to stray into for the unwary and I share you initial doubt regarding this whole subject, but where as you have managed to overcome some of your reservations, I still have a few. You also raise the issue of consistency and the need to consistently demonstrate who you are and what you stand for. I understand where you are going with this, but feel that this approach may not work for everyone because by inference, it develops a need that can not always be met, and therefore, could result in a failure. Be who we are, and if consistent, others could pick up on that with out developing a desire to demonstrate it. As you point out, we are not a company, and although the analogy of comparing us with a business works up to a point, and suits certain situations,but there are just as many that it doesn't. I feel that it is too simplistic and broad. Think of a company where the CEO tries to take control of everything, and you can probably think of as many success stories as you can failures. Your blog raises many complex questions to a complex subject. I love the way that I always feel both challenged and rewarded by reading them
Toggle Commented Oct 23, 2009 on Brand U at Jane Wharam on......
Multitasking; I was only playing at it! To truly be in touch with my feminine side I should have also been cooking the dinner, playing the baby, helping with the homework, cleaning the carpet,preparing the shopping list, keeping a home, answering work emails and soothing my partner's fevered brow! I thought that you came across very well in the interview, but having tuned in early and listened to the previous interviewee, I noticed that your pace of delivery - the speed at which you speak and think - was considerably faster than the American's drawl on the show. They spoke very slowly and although your answers/comments were equally as considered, I wonder how you sounded to their ears? It wasn't disjointed either, but again you did jump around a little more than the Americans had. All in all, it was a good interview and interesting. Like you said, it was surprising just how quickly the half an hour passed.
Hi Jane, to really enter into the spirit of your blog with its 'gross generalisations , and 'sweeping statements of fact', I am currently attempting that exclusively female skill of multi-tasking by listening to your radio interview and typing at the same time. Here goes: I have often heard people refer to their marriage or relationship as being 'strong' or 'solid', but it seems that while rigidity may be considered a strength in some situations, it is a positive liability in others.A rigid building may be solid, but under the stress of an earthquake its lack of pliancy may cause it to crumble, whereas a tree standing next to it can bend and flex to absorb the shock and therefore remain intact. Flexibity in our lives means having a fundamental ability to relate to any new environment and excel in it. In stead of fighting it, greet it with open arms and observe it; instead of criticising it, you caress it and understand it, instead of ignoring it, and make it yours and be one with it. In your writings you often mention the importance of living in the moment and of being aware of ones emotions. Your advice to Sarah not to ignore her ever changing situation fits this very well,but I am less sure about the effect of 'lavishing him with praise' etc. After all,to use another cliché, he may try to 'have his cake and eat it'. He's only a man after all!
Bravo Patrice, you have started a debate! As Jane said, if used properly, this blog should be a forum. There is certainly no need to apologise; one way of helping a blogger is by challenging their ideas. It also helps other readers, like myself, who in turn may be encouraged to enter the fray. I would like to add my two-penneth to just one of the many juicy issues raised. I can understand why Patrice feels that we ‘learn more about ourselves when we look in the other people’s eyes than when we stare into a mirror’ because it isn’t easy to self-observe, and often easier to see ourselves as others do. In business, and in politics, a person’s success or failure can depend upon how others view them. I can also see how our social skills matter in our daily interaction with others. So, to learn what others think of us can be extremely useful at times. It may even seem like a revelation, but can we truly learn more this way than from self-observation? I don’t think so, not when it comes to our true-self, our inner-self if there is such a thing. Do we really want to learn more about ourselves when we look in other people’s eyes? It all sounds so mechanical, so controlled. They press a button and you are up; press another and you are down. Is that how you wish to live? How many people do you know that are unaffected by praise or blame? It is only human you say to be affected by those around us you may say, but does it have to be? Does being human mean that you are a monkey, so that everybody can twist your tail and you do what you ought to be doing? If you ever let yourself feel good when people tell you that you are good, you are preparing yourself to feel bad when people tell you that you are not good. As long as you live to fulfil other people’s expectations, you will always have to watch what you wear, how you brush your hair, what car you drive, where you live; in short, whether you live up to every expectation of theirs. Can we call that being human and a suitable method of learning? Imagine a young child given drugs and becoming addicted; the poor child, so addicted to the drug that it is so unbearable to think of a life without it. Think of this image; not a pleasant thought, right? If you can only learn about yourself from others, this is exactly what has happened to you. You are unable to enjoy the solid, nutritious foods of life, namely work, play, fun, laughter, the company of others, the pleasure of the senses and the mind. Why? Because you were given a taste of the drug called approval, appreciation and attention. You have become so cravenly dependant upon others that you have lost your freedom as an individual. Now others have the power to make you happy or miserable. You crave your drug, but as much as you hate the suffering that this involves, you find yourself completely helpless. You are completely addicted and there is hardly ever a minute when you are not aware of or attuned to the reactions of others. Don’t get me wrong. We all depend upon one another for all sorts of things. We depend upon the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker. That is interdependence. This is fine, and a healthy aspect of society, but to depend upon another psychologically, or emotionally, implies that they can control. There has to be a better way, and learning through self-observation, naval gazing if you like, seems a preferable to dependency on others. Congratulations to both Patrice and Jane for producing such a though provoking debate. I hope that others will also take their time to add their thoughts and challenge ours.
Toggle Commented Sep 6, 2009 on A Slice of My Life at Jane Wharam on......
I recently met a man that can speak more than a dozen languages fluently. However, unfortunaltely, while he may possess remarkable linguistic ability, he is sadly, a very poor communicator, and I can only assume that he was unable to say anything of interest in any of the many languages that he knows. As you say, effective communication is a two way process and if I ever meet him again, I will politely point him in the direct of your valuable book and this blog. I wonder if he will get the message?
Toggle Commented Aug 25, 2009 on Communication Let Me Down at Jane Wharam on......
I love this little story about Luke living in the present. As you say, we are often to too busy concentrating upon the 'bigger, better destination' , than just 'living happily in the moment.' Have you heard the story of a group of tourists sitting in a coach that is passing through beautiful countryside; lakes and mountains and green fields and rivers. However, the blinds are pulled down as they argue amongst themselves as to who should have for the best window seats; they spend their time competing to have the highest seats of honour. They seek to be applauded and highly considered with the best seats. All the time they do not have the slightest idea of what lies beyond the windows blinds of the coach because they are too busy. This continues for the whole journey until they reach their final destination. I hope I can be more like Luke and take pleasure from every 'stone, stick or puddle' than travel to my journeys end with the blinds down.
Toggle Commented Aug 9, 2009 on Luke's Lesson at Jane Wharam on......
Thank you for the wake-up call. Most of us rush around as if there is no more to life than making a living and to not thinking about dying. We usually do not allow ourselves enough to wonder about our lives until the bubble bursts or until something unexpectedly jolts us to take stock. These 'cosmic pokes' can take many forms, ranging from a disturbing close encounter with death, to the gentle; a simple shaft of sunlight through a window, or the bewildering bliss of a purring pet cat. Whatever form these 'virtually kicks up the backside'take, you remind us to notice and act upon them. The alternative is to carry on with 'normality' and ignore these signs, until we eventually find ourselves immersed in the overwhelming, unfathomable numbness, that is drowning in everyday life. I hope that there is room on the helicopter for two before the waters rise too high!
Toggle Commented Aug 9, 2009 on A Sign of the Times? at Jane Wharam on......