Friday, June 02, 2017

Personal Manifesto

It’s not about me

A focus on identity is a recipe for unhappiness. Identity is temporary and is a manifestation of our shared existence. I believe in an infinite world with no beginning and no end. A world I have no way of understanding and yet will continue to try understand. My deepest held belief is something I do not believe. I do not matter, but if I believe that, then nothing will matter. I stand for empowerment. The ability to see in others beauty and strength to which I aspire. I will define myself as someone who is unwinding his definition.

My drawing of a friend

It’s all about me

I can only understand the world through the tools I have been given. This includes my reality, the skills I have and grow, and the way the world interacts with me. Fighting this is not constructive. In understanding myself, I have the greatest ability to contribute. I have to look after the vehicle (physical self) and emotions (how I respond) to participate fully. I will continue to be curious, using the only fully willing ‘model’ to draw. All I need is a mirror. So I will not be afraid of the mirror. I will be a half-hearted fanatic, willing to give generously but fiercely defending the boundaries needed to protect my ability to give sustainably. I will not throw my life away. It is precious. I will also not live meekly. I will take calculated risk. I will let my emotions lead me where indecision would stifle my ability to engage. I will be brave. I will not fear death, I will fear not living.

A friend's drawing of me


I will live my life by walking lightly and loving deeply. I work on built-in redundancy. Building resilience, and the ability to cope with whatever the world throws at me. When I face disappointment, I try and do something amazing that I couldn’t have done if that milestone had not happened. This doesn’t make me celebrate and enjoy the ‘dreams that died’ any less. I like to imagine infinite parallel universes in which anything that could have happened, did happen. This is just my opportunity to make the most of this particular random set of events. I try let go of the idea that everything happens for a reason. Reasons are added in hindsight. Detachment helps give life meaning rather than having meaning given to me.

Self-Portrait (2000, 2001 & 2002)


I am not a bat. I can not see through the eyes of a bat. It is not possible for me to imagine being someone else. I can only imagine myself in their world. It is not possible for me to let go of my own tools of understanding. It is worth trying. We have wonderful imaginations and can expand our realities by learning the tools of others. By finding a way to connect to and enrich our worlds through others. That is one of my primary motivating factors. Curiosity to expand my ability to see.


I do not believe creativity is purely about bringing visions to reality. It is a conversation. A dance. A relationship. I try be an active participant in the world and celebrate what it has to offer. Creativity is cultivating the art of appreciation. Developing a deeper knowledge and mastery of the way different elements engage. Developing a deeper knowledge of how we communicate. Through words, music, drama, colour, line, form, phrasing, tone, silence, contrast, energy and warmth. Diving into creativity is the source of our ability to thrive.


There are 7.4 Billion people on the planet and too many problems, even in my own family, even in my own life, to sort out. It is not my job. I am not able to sort out the worlds problems. There will always be challenges. There will always be pain, sadness, suffering and darkness. That is part of beauty. Developing a life approach where I feel comfortable with the balance between appreciating the world for what it is, and nudging it in a way that adds and sustains value.


I believe the heart of understanding is tangible connections. In intimate relationships, we can develop an understanding of things that goes beyond the conscious. That taps into our Tacit Knowledge. I treasure, cultivate, and invest in relationships. I experiment with ways to grow and sustain my connections to others. I learn how people communicate, and how I can best communicate with them. I want to help build communities, and believe that starts with individual connections.


I hate Archy. It drives me bonkers. I believe in empowerment rather than power. I do believe in rules, but as a tool. Rules are simply the consciously understood terms of engagement. If the rule is not followed, it is not really a rule. I try manage this by lowering my expectations of others, but being generous in what I give out. In accepting that other people’s irritation and disappointment is their own to manage. This is counter to my natural emotional wiring which is a ‘Saviour Complex’ and a hatred of ‘getting things wrong’. The only thing I can control and impact is my own emotional world, and my own actions. I take responsibility for that. I will shift my Saviour Complex to an Empowerment Drive.

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