a hanging emotion?

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I’ve just been overtaken.

Overtaken on a blind bend.

The car in question then overtook the car in front, also with insufficient visibility for the manoeuvre.

The area and time of day tell me that half a mile ahead there will be a substantial queue at a roundabout. I know this because I am familiar with the area.

The driver in question had earlier been waiting in a side turning and they had slotted in behind me as I had passed them. The side turning I also know would suggest they live or work in the area, so would be familiar too with the upcoming queue.

What motivates us to get ahead? To take risks to get in front?

Is it time? Lateness or a need to get somewhere quickly?

Competitiveness? A desire to win?

Peacock syndrome? A need to show personal power; to showcase capability or self? Look at me, look at my car, look at our potential?

Or maybe it’s a hanging emotion? Maybe work or life had recently delivered an emotional experience leaving the driver with frustration or anger or some other feeling? Maybe the thrill of speed, the rush of risk is a venting of a hanging emotion?

Whatever the reason, I hope they live long enough to enjoy what was a nice car.

 

 

how do you do becoming?

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I love the phraseology that juxtaposes ‘human being’ with ‘human doing’ and also with ‘human becoming’. I don’t know who first coined it?

The ‘becoming’ piece intrigues me most.

It suggests evolving, learning, growing. It infers movement, change, desire. It implies a different state.

We say we’re becoming better, or we’re becoming a teacher (substitute any other skill/profession of your choosing). We say we’re becoming clearer, or becoming irritated. We’re becoming addicted or becoming curious. I’m becoming numb to it, or I’m becoming a recluse. And so on…

But how does one do ‘becoming’? What’s going on? What makes ‘becoming’ possible? What’s the process?

More significantly perhaps what’s my process? And what’s your process?

How do you do becoming? Is there a pattern? A recipe? A methodology? Do you have a style, a flavour, a posture for becoming?

How do you know? Know you’re becoming? Where’s the evidence? Is it tangible or is it a sense of becoming? Are there feelings, thoughts, behaviours with becoming? And when do we stop becoming and just be? When do we reach the destination?

Then does ‘being ‘ inspire us to strive, to grow, to move forward into another spate of becoming? Does ‘being’ bore us, frustrate us, drive us to more ‘becoming’?

What triggers becoming? What fuels the becoming?

Becoming curious?

the pain of living and the drug of dreams

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T. S. Eliot wrote in his Animula poem of ‘the pain of living and the drug of dreams.’

Dreams can be like that, can’t they? Addictive.

And like a drug, somehow drawing us away from reality. Taking us to another world.

We speak of them quite lightly. We talk about such things as ‘our dream holiday’, ‘my dream job’. We speak about ‘a dream house’ or ‘a dream car’.

Dreaming about material things seems easy. Dreaming about things we might do, almost as easy.

Dreaming about who we want to be, often harder. So we avoid it. For the most part.

We  just plough on with life. With living. Same routines. Same thoughts. Same feelings. Same pain.

But dreams bring about change. Dreams inspire. Dreams provide hope. Dreams enable. Dreams motivate. Dreams create reality.

What I dream matters and for that moment the world exists that way

Benjamin Zander

green man, red light

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I cross a busy junction in London regularly, and noticed something yesterday as I waited with maybe sixty or seventy other commuters.

It’s a pedestrian crossing, so comes complete with red and green men.  The crossing is on a bend in the road. A busy road in Central London.

The traffic lights began to change, amber to red, signalling the traffic to temporarily cease its urgent flow through the arteries of the capital.

Around me, several people urged forward as the red traffic light shone brightly.  Some cast a glance at the vehicles looming down on the crossing, presumably to check that the drivers were obeying the rules of the road. I moved forwards too, moving around someone in front of me; someone diligently waiting for the little green man to shine his instructive self.

Across the other side of the road, the other 50% of the crossing pedestrians were also dividing into two groups for a couple of seconds.  Those who acted upon the traffic signal and those awaiting the pedestrian signal.  A melee briefly ensued as human beings paused, thrust forward, side stepped and chose.

I wondered about motivations.

Rule breakers and rule followers?
Safety conscious and risk takers?
Aware of bigger picture and focused on linear instruction?
Patient and impatient?

How did we divide up and were these behaviours and motivations present in other aspects of each of our human lives?

needs and wants, wants and needs

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Waiting in for a plumber. I’m not good at waiting for someone. Deliveries, tradesmen etc. My choice is removed. I’m in their control.

I want to get out.

I need to wait though. We may have a leak. A telltale little brown patch has appeared on a ceiling.

I should wait. The leak could get worse. Despite this more sensible course of action, I’m still drawn to go out. Nowhere special, just to have the freedom to decide. It’s the freedom I want. The expert opinion I probably need.

The tension between what we want and what we need is intriguing. Are needs more powerful than wants? Are needs more fundamental to our sense of self and our wellbeing? Certainly needing shelter, water, food would seem to be basic needs. Yet wanting something can be a pretty strong draw too. Wanting to move, wanting freedom, growth, learning, progression, choice. These too are powerful motivators.

Refugees and economic migrants pouring into Europe seem to demonstrate the power of wanting a better life for your family. Wanting opportunity. Wanting freedom. Or is the migration need driven? The need for safety, for security?

I wonder if our modern world has confused the two? Do I need a new phone, or do I simply want one? Do I want a hug, or are there times I absolutely need one?

Do we know the difference any more? The difference between a need and a want? How the difference motivates our thinking? Which has more feeling? Which trumps the other? Which do we value more? The things we want and have, or the things we need and have?

Are the words interchangeable, or is it some other orientation in our lives that motivates us to prefer one word over the other? Do independent people have a penchant for wanting things? Is wanting essentially selfish? Wanting something certainly implies choice, preference. Needing something suggests less choice. It suggests necessity.

But is it the same for us all? Is there a common thread to our humanity? Or is this a more personal matter?

Maybe you want to know? Or need to? Maybe you don’t? Understanding that which motivates us would seem to be useful though? How your choice of language impacts your thinking, your emotions, your behaviours?