|Source: Humorous Toilet Tattoos|
Thanksgiving is often a time for giving thanks. So, let's take care of that. Thank you for reading, whether you make it through to the end or not. Thank you for being here, a day or for years. What am I thankful for? Well, it's a little more complicated...and I'm going to have to play around with the ideas, which is what this blog is about...playing with ideas and stuff.
It's amazing to consider I've been blogging for almost 9 years, and what a thrill ride it's been. You might ask, "Thrill ride? Blogging?" The answer is YES. When you're writing about what you're learning, you realize that you have to keep learning to have something to share. I'm grateful that so many of you have made those learning expeditions exciting and worthwhile, imparting your wisdom through your own blog entries. Now, I find myself learning and tinkering with ideas, tools every time I turn on my computer or mobile device.
For me, learning that way can be hard. If you take a moment to look at your motivations for learning, you learn things about yourself and what makes you tick. Of course, there are other times when you don't want to learn something because it might shatter an illusion...like taking the time to write science fiction/fantasy. I don't want to write that because I'm afraid I'll ruin the pleasure I get from reading it. It's a silly fear to have but I have it. I don't want to deconstruct what I enjoy reading...I simply want to enjoy it for what it is, an experience not to be catalogued, archived, simply experienced like feeling the sand between your toes on a moonlit walk along the beach. Learning can be hard because I sometimes don't want to embark on learning journey that I know someone else has completed successfully. That is, the IDEA of learning something new is a problem when I know someone else has done it...why bother? Fortunately, I've pushed through anyways enough times to have learned something else.
That something else is that once you discard the IDEA of the problem, the doing gets easier. When you think about mucking around in a toilet to uncork it, it's the idea of the poop that gets you (and the smell). When you accept those and focus on doing the job, then you get caught up in it...the excitement of learning grabs you and engages you. I've learned that the experience becomes more powerful than the idea that tries to stop you.
I'm profoundly grateful for that insight into getting things done.
More now, though, I find myself writing less about what I'm learning, simply content to keep it to myself. I'm not sure why the change, only that it may be there are too many people sharing online. And, therein lies the motivation to blog...to learn AND share what others are not. It's terribly funny to me, as I stare back into "the camera," that part of my motivation comes from that need to share a perspective that is unique because I share it, not because others have already done so. Does that happen when we focus on blogging about tools, but maybe not when we engage in introspection?
Some days, I point out--as in self-dialogue--that I should probably just shut up and let the many other brilliant people expound on their ideas. But then, I remember that my sharing of my perspective may be helpful to others who are trying to find some way "into an experience." When I write memos, I try to craft prose that is unassailable, like a smooth rock cliff rising like a monolith into the sky. Craggy monoliths are too easy to climb, and too many arguments can find purchase in their surface. That's not a desirable description when writing an official memo.
However, blog entries are different. They are rugged, character-flawed creatures who stumble about, easily engaging and mating with other ideas. Their very fecundity makes them desirable. They need not be brilliantly incisive, wonderfully crafted, only nourished with the blogger's sweaty effort. In 2008, I shared this true story of a chat with a janitor in our building....
One gentleman, about to retire from being a custodian for however many years, proudly displayed his toilet bowl scraper. Honestly, I was inquiring about his technique..."How do you get the bowls so darn white?" He took some time out of his busy schedule to show me.
That day, for about 10 minutes or so, garbed in a tie and long-sleeve shirt and dress pants, I learned a lot about scraping toilet bowls. I'm not sure if he redefined his reality to see an opportunity to get ahead. Instead, he saw it as an opportunity to learn....
With Thanksgiving, we all take a moment to reflect on what we're thankful for. For me, I am profoundly thankful for those of you who model how you process the stuff that comes flowing into our worlds, not just the good stuff.
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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure