Are you being reasonable?
That’s your first mistake.
Are You Present? #3G #lifelessons
Pictured above is my friend Benjamin Jordan, paragliding over the Rocky Mountains. Ben holds a record for longest and speediest flights across the Rockies and he also runs a number of foreign aid projects in his spare time, providing sustainable work and development to some of the poorest areas of the world. Oh, and he is an indie film-maker. Ben is one heck of an amazing, unreasonable guy. I did that to him.
When I met Ben he was working as a freelance photographer in downtown Toronto winding down from a pretty decent scam he had managed to figure out through coding on the web. The way Ben saw it there were no real losers, it was all corporate, so what? I admired his brazenness and that the way he did it he could not get caught. I also thought he had an amazing eye for pictures and I could understand that he was really financing his startup ‘by hook or by crook’ as the saying goes; and hey, who did not bend the rules at first…
At first, I found Ben a bit difficult to work with. He had the typical ‘me-first’ attitude and he had a bit of stuff going on in the background. But there was something I saw, so I persisted in mentoring Benjamin in aspects of his life for a number of years while I was doing event production. Later we were even roommates for a while at the beautiful house on Rivercrest Road. When I participated in the Landmark Forum, I invited Ben along as well, because I thought he would get a lot. He did, including an incredibly sexy and beautiful girlfriend, named Iryna, who I had met at one of the Landmark courses. Iryna went on to become an amazing psychologist with a beautiful life story as well. But that is a story for another day.
Ben and I went on to participate in a number of Landmark courses and seminars and learned a lot that helped turn Ben into what he is today. Ben is someone who is at choice in his life: now living exactly the life he designed for himself. Now he has taught me as well. I am now getting what Ben got sooner than I did. Thanks for never giving up, Ben!
Here is the key distinction that I think got Ben the life he leads today.
the distinction of being at choice:
DECIDE vs CHOOSE
- Decision: to select based on consideration
- Choice: to select freely and after consideration
Note the difference? There is freedom in choice not present in decision. This is because decision is limited by reason. Reasonable is a subsistence way to live, there is nothing wrong there; it is just that nothing very fun happens here (at reasonable).
When we get beyond the reasons why we do things, life opens up and richness is exposed and becomes available to us.
Nobody went to the moon, got married, went paragliding or had kids by being reasonable. Likewise, no one invented sticky notes, created alternating current or perfected smartphones by being reasonable. No. Reasonable people stop at status quo. Unreasonable people push. They push what’s possible. They push their idea, their practice, their passion. They push the envelope. They’re unreasonable.
Putting this into practice, however, is another thing. That is why I have come up with this simple, easy to remember 3G ‘recipe’ designed to leave us at choice (and ultimately at the source for our own lives).
Forget 4G, the real opportunity today is 3G all around us
(Works even when there’s zero bars.)
Way more powerful than a smartphone!
3G Recipe for Happiness
This is a recipe you should add as much as possible to, just keep it balanced. Sticking to it is required for lasting effect–the good news is, it gets easier the more you do it!
- Gratitude and appreciation in the present for PAST
- Grace to embrace what is offered in the PRESENT
- Radical Generosity in the present creates FUTURE
All this: INSTEAD OF and/or in CONTRAST to
- Taking for granted
- Putting yourself first or last
Notice how everything only occurs in the present.
The present is our only opportunity.
Questions to ask yourself?
- What or whom are you taking for granted?
- What do you assume about yourself, about others, about life?
- Where are you putting yourself first (be honest)? Where are you putting yourself last, as well?
Don’t think about: apply it today!
- What is the root of the word wholesome?
- Do you see how radical generosity includes ourselves?
- How is accepting what is offered in the present wholesome?
- What would be the benefit of embracing the whole of what is?
- Can you see how true appreciation for the past would be peaceful?
- Can you see how being radically generous with others today could create a better future?
Pitfalls to guard against:
Overthinking, for instance if you find yourself making ‘reasons’, especially lists of reasons for things. Reason is a helpful tool but a poor decision-maker as reason calibration excludes higher vibrations of joy, love, appreciation, ecstasy etcetera, hallmarks of modes or ways of being beyond ‘REASONABLE’. It could be said, indeed, that you only begin life when you start to be UNREASONABLE!