Every once in a while, I notice some synchronicity in my life, and though I don't attach great meaning to it, I do see it as an opportunity to mull over the meme.
Anger is the current meme.
I attended a class entitled, "Children in the Middle," last night. It's a mandatory class put on for all those in Iowa going through a divorce. Good class, and they go over many aspects of how to carry on with your ex-spouse without eroding the kids and their need for each parent's love. They talked of communication and feelings and the growth stages of children. I thought of my interpersonal relationships class in college and my first marriage and my second and my time learning of Piaget in child development and of my own kids... all good.
There was a point though in the conversation where we talked of the stages of grief. Of course, anger is one of those. Anger has a negative connotation, but anger also provides us with energy, says our instructor. "Don't try to bury your anger. It not only hurts you from the inside, but it also keeps you from tapping a source of energy that might just help you get on with your life and start off in new directions."
That's pretty sage. So I grooved on that for part of the evening.
I come in this morning and browsed Tom Peters' latest slideshow on innovation. 23 slides in, I read this:
"Innovation's 'Secrets' Revealed: Get mad. Do something about it. Now."I've never tied anger to innovation, but in the same perspective of anger spurring someone in new directions, anger spurs you to action - it is energy. Which is either wasted or used well.
A businessowner always has to ask: does what I offer alleviate the consumer's pain so much that they're willing to part with their hard-earned money to obtain it? In other words, am I mad enough about a consumer's pain that I'm willing to do anything to resolve it?
Tom quotes a new book in his slides that I've not seen before. Paul Arden's "Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite."
"ARE YOU BEING REASONABLE? Most people are reasonable; that's why they only do reasonably well." And then he quotes an anonymous source:
"TRAPPED. It's not because you are making the wrong decisions. It's because you are making the right ones. We try to make sensible decisions based on the facts in front of us. The problem with making sensible decisions is that so is everybody else."
"Making the safe decision is dull, predictable and leads nowhere new. The unsafe decision causes you to think and respond in a way you hadn't thought of. And that thought will lead to other thoughts which will help you achieve what you want. Start taking bad decisions and it will take you to a place where others only dream of being."
"The best piece of advice ever given was by the art director of Harper's Bazaar, Alexey Brodovitch, to the young Richard Avedon, destined to become one of the world's great photographers. The advice was simple: 'ASTONISH ME.' Bear these words in mind, and whatever you do will be creative."
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body - but rather a skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, 'Wow, what a ride!'"Chaos is a good thing. It's change. It's angry and roiled. It's unpredictable.
"In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed - and produced Michelangelo, da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did they produce - the cuckoo clock."Quiet and peaceful doesn't resolve a damn thing.
- Source: Orson Welles, as Harry Lime, in The Third Man
Shake shit up. Get pissed off. Innovate. Change the world.
I think my little calculator at the top left of my web site gives you the wrong number. As opposed to showing you how many days you've been alive, it should show you how many days you have left. And if that doesn't spur you to action to make the most of each day, then you might as well end it all now.