We all have choices in our daily lives in how we see the world, and those all around us. Whether we see others as simply part of the effects we must deal with every day, either helping us, or getting in our way, slowing us down, or completely stopping our progress. Or we can pause and consider that the people we come across have intricate lives and deep meaning, and if we really knew went on in their day-to-day existence, we might view them differently and consider their feelings, not just our own.
This is the core idea in a video that Ed Nemec, the Managing Partner at my financial services firm, showed us for the first time last week. Ed gets it, and I believe he lives his life having learned the lessons of this video, where contemplation and appreciation of others, who they are and why we should consider their feelings, is paramount. The message has stayed with me. Even as I grapple with past mistakes. Too many times, prior to this past fall, before beginning a mission of self-improvement and growth, I was guilty of looking at life through ego-centric glasses. I’m far from perfect and when I watched this video I could see myself as the guy in the check-out line, only considering my “default setting”. Many of us do it. You’ll see what I mean in a moment.
The video is actually a portion of the commencement speech given by author David Wallace to the 2005 graduating class at Kenyon College. It’s nine minutes of your life you will be glad you invested. If you don’t have time in the morning, then watch it just before bed, so you can sleep on it. It’s titled, This is Water (Groundhog Day, Life & Decisions). Watching the video I realized that while I am making progress, I can do even better at making the right decisions, at the right moment. How about you?
Wallace says, “If you really learn how to think, how to pay attention, then you’ll know you have other options.” He says you can view a seemingly, impossibly maddening situation you find yourself trapped in, “through the eyes of love, fellowship, and the mystical oneness of all things, deep down. You get to decide what has meaning and what doesn’t.” It’s powerful stuff, and it’s a really cool video to boot. See how you feel after watching. The link is below, for PC and mobile. Enjoy, This is Water:
Pretty intense huh? And it’s worth repeating….
“This is not about life after death. The capital “T” truth is about life before death. It’s about awareness. Awareness of what is so real and essential all around us, all the time, that we have to keep reminding ourselves over and over, this is water… this is water.”
And speaking of water, the blog will be down for a few days while I go sit by the water and enjoy the three “R”s… rest, relaxation and reflection. It’s all good for the soul. We’ll be back together soon, with a dream (book) update… and more.
So… until next time, thanks for taking the time.