The devil’s in the detail

We get so stuck in the details of life, the daily grind, the endless to-do lists, agonising over issues we’re facing at work or home. We’re so close to the rungs of the hamster wheel, we end up counting them endlessly as they cycle by, over and over again. The alarm clock wakes us up at the same time every morning. We eat the same breakfast, read the same news sites, drive the same way to work every morning, greet each other in the same automatic way when we get to our desks, and get our regular cup of coffee to get us going to do it all again.

Our lives can be more than this, yet we often don’t see that. We have our faces so closely pressed up against the window, the screen, to try and see more of the detail of what’s inside. Step across to the other side of the street, then have a look. You’ll see that there are more shops than just the one you usually shop at. There are more people walking by than you usually talk to. There are other streets that you’ve never been down.

The world has been around a lot longer than you. It’ll be around a lot longer than you too. Step back a bit and get some perspective.

Thank you Jovanka for inspiring me to start writing again.

Slide away from me

Death by PowerPointThere’s a serious evil lurking in our corporates. It’s in our faces all the time. It flaunts itself in front of everyone. It keeps us looking into its eyes, distracting us from the real story going on around us.

The slide deck is not your friend.

How did it become so pervasive? No longer simply for presentations, it’s become the only mechanism to convey corporate information. Gone are Word documents, with their boring and tedious “longer-than-140-characters” paragraphs. There no longer seems to be a place for prose, for exposition, development and recapitulation. Where are the powerful storylines, their arcs of narrative and their rousing climaxes?

Instead we’re force-fed the spam of uniformity, of visual sugar packaged into wide-screen bite-size chunks, lulling us with the lie that – click – the world moves – click – predictably forward in – click – linear steps.

Perhaps we present because we feel the need to present, not ourselves, but the self we want to present, never truly present?

I won’t fit into that box. No, you won’t draw a border around me or fill me with your conformity. There are stories to be told, characters that cannot be aligned, adventures beyond the fourth wall.

Yes, I know everyone else is doing it. Exactly my point.

Questions? No?

Thank you.

Yes I want to change! No, I don’t want to change that!

Change is a strange thing. We want it, but when we realise what’s required we often rally against it.

Take the example of buying your own house. You’ve been renting for years and you know it’s high time to get your own place. The process takes a long time but when all the paperwork and admin is done, you celebrate! Next looms the move. You dread having to pack everything up and work through all the junk you’ve accumulated over the years. There’s so much to do and so little time! Isn’t moving supposed to be one of the most stressful experiences ever?

You chose to buy a house. You chose to make a change in your life. Did you think there wasn’t going to be tough times ahead, stuff to let go of, work to do to make the change successful?

You could change your perspective, become excited about opportunity to go through your belongings, take stock of your possessions, discard that which is cluttering your life and which you really don’t need anymore, even though you’ve been carrying it around for years. You could embrace the hard work that’s required, strong in the knowledge that you’ll be grateful to yourself for doing so, making the new place a fresh start.

Or you could avoid the entire experience and continue renting your small, well-worn apartment, sitting in your favourite frayed armchair looking out the window wistfully, wondering what another life out there might be like.