Sunday, April 25, 2010

Judge what’s coming, take time to determine the best course

Consider that everything is opinion, and opinion is in thy power. Take away then, when thou choosest, thy opinion, and like a mariner, who has doubled the promontory, thou wilt find calm, everything stable, and a waveless bay.

By Marcus Aurelius
Written 167 A.C.E.

Understanding how relationships form and evolve is certainly an area of study that can provide fascinating exploration. I’ve been contemplating my approach to getting along with others and for the most part have found the dynamics of relationships intriguing and rich with challenges and rewards. 
An interesting aspect of all of this is the way we respond to the day to day demands which often can become stressful. Certainly at times during the course of running the business stamina, patience and a balanced approach to dealing with issues and people is required.
I'm not sure as I close in on fifty years of age whether harmony in relationships is a more acute priority and I’m searching for more meaningful experiences or this reflection is me becoming more judge mental about who is in my midst. Either way the ability to define character attributes and social intelligence when running an enterprise is a priority. 
Without empathy for our clients after all how can we effectively tell their story and help build their relations with others. This context of relationships it seems to me becomes key to defining the prosperity of an individual or an organization. 
Here is my philosophy about relationships today as it stands for me at this time in my career and personal life. A metaphor is something I’ve been contemplating for a variety of reasons which I won’t go into here but some aspects of my day to day existence have emerged at this time that have me reflecting on my approach so I’ve come up with new strategies which I feel are worth sharing.
An oasis for escape for managing the demands and toxicity in life.
To get at the heart of this I’ve been thinking about an imaginary island. The island is situated in  turquoise waters in a temperate climate. Because this is all imaginary my island is likely in Polynesia. I’ve never been to that hemisphere of the world but my perception of the place is that it fits the vision for my personal imaginary island.  
The island is set apart from other land masses and because its my imaginary island I’ve got white sand, palm trees, bamboo structures and an assortment of watercraft.
My island inhabitants include Louise and Harry and immediate and extended family. The island is accessible at all times to closely related people in my life. A kind of imaginary utopia that when the stress levels are exceedingly high or uncertainty is pressing I go to the island.
The island has coral reefs off its shores beyond that is an expansive endless ocean horizon. 
This imaginary island becomes useful I find at different times. I’ve always jumped in with both feet to circumstances and realized later that my approach might be far to invasive or in conflict with balancing or carefully engaging relations. The Island has space around it with long sight lines. The idea is that you see what’s on the horizon and judge what’s coming you take time to determine the best course of action before the situation arrives or landfalls. The island is a welcoming environment for those whom you extend invitation to or you can repel others or if required set them adrift put space around them should they be coming toward you with conflict or toxicity. I’ve had sage advice and counsel that indicates suppressing conflict is not the best solution and the reality in life is clear, we will encounter tension, anxious situations and conflicts. 
Having a personal oasis is not a bad right brain exercise to support a more healthy outlook.
An interesting outcome from all of this is that I realize today my home in Chelsea has many of the imaginary island attributes without some of the watercraft I had in mind. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like your island metaphor. I like being able to see things coming at me from a distance, so there's time to decide how to react. I've been fortunate enough in my life to have spent time on islands in the south Pacific, and they are indeed idylic -- at least for those of us who don't live there all the time. With global warming and rising seas, perhaps the reality wont' be so great.