Philosophy may seem axiomatic, but it’s not. We can live by it, but we can’t solve for it.
If we are not first responders or persons paid to save lives because we are trained to save lives, what then is our intention when we aim to save others from difficult situations that are by no means life threatening? The rescue is about what makes us feel good, which robs the other person/persons from the opportunity to learn from a mistake or difficult situation to navigate. “What are we rescuing?” becomes the question more than, “Who are we rescuing?” In these instances, we are giving first aid to our insecurities, giving them CPR and resuscitating them so they may live to see another day. Nobody mourns the death of an insecurity. Fear mourns the death of insecurity.
When in conversation with others, are we truly listening to absorb the knowledge in the room as a means to make more meaningful connections? Or, are we simply waiting for a chance to say something in return that we have convinced ourselves is meaningful just to serve our egos. Waiting to say something can be listening in disguise. How much would we say if we could keep our egos at bay?
When is the enemy of now. It may seem like a riddle, but it’s perhaps one of the truest statements. A thought that deathbeds fear, and therefore should be given great respect – now! It’s called life; let’s make sure we’re living beyond breathing.
Dribbling a basketball serves as a wonderful life metaphor. It begins with potential energy converting into kinetic energy when we apply force. That force collides with a surface and Newton’s 3rd law enters: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
When practiced with patience and desire, this fundamental skill becomes part of our muscle memory. In other words: control is in our hands. We use our potential wisely so that it works for us. When standing still, dribbling is fairly effortless once our controlled initial force is applied. The ball returns, and we begin this rhythmic, graceful dance between wrist, floor and the space between.
However, this action gets complicated when we want to move, especially when we encounter obstacles. Therefore, we must learn to accept that spending the required time on the fundamentals is essential, so that when we choose to move, we can do so with the same control we have whilst standing still. We often get caught up being concerned about learning more, consuming as much new information and skill acquisition as possible as a means of taking leaps forward or to be flashy, instead of focusing on the basics. When we approach life in this manner, we rely more on luck than preparation. Practicing the fundamentals teaches us how to pivot with control and grace.
We can only be as self-aware as our most obvious weakness.
Equanimity is defined as “mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation.” It’s the last part of that definition that we tend to struggle with most in the moment. When we complain about something, that’s a sign that whatever is happening is stirring up something emotional in us. Let us not forget that this emotional response is signaling that something in us needs to change – likely our perspective. It’s foolish to expect that something or someone else is going to change simply because it/they bother us.