Thursday, April 28, 2011

New Beginnings, Taking a Different Road

"Closing time

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."

Closing Time by Semisonic

Change is Constant
Every so often, I find myself going through changes. Some of them are far-fetched, some require lots of input, some are inevitable and yet others are mere enhancements to what is already fine, but can get better with a little tweak here and there.

As previously stated on this blog, I recently decided to let go of a big part of my life, to be better placed in attaining my goals in life. Not everything I have had to relinquish has been of no use, but as happens many times in life, I had to let go of many things I really wanted in order that I may gain what I really need.

New Beginnings?
Interestingly, I keep wondering just how NEW these beginnings are. After careful consideration, I realize that NEW is not what's really important. What matters is that it is a beginning.
From the Safe Haven personal story in the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book, the alcoholic in question realized the following,
I cannot go back and make a brand new start. But I can start from now and  make a brand new end.
Taking a Different Road
For those who subscribe to the Christian faith like yours truly, Kathy Troccoli's A Different Road captures the very essence of change - change that is inspired and unrelenting.

Are you in need of change in your life? Do you feel that there is need to begin walking a different path? Well, you can start right now and by so doing, make a brand new end.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Selling Ourselves Short

"No one believes their life will turn out just 'kind of okay'
We all think we're going to be great
...We are filled, with expectation...
Expectations of the trails we will blaze
The people we will help
The difference we will make
Great expectations of who we will be
Where we will go...
And we feel a little bit robbed when our expectations aren't met"
- Meredith Grey (Grey's Anatomy Season 3 Episode 13)

Late last year, a very dear friend asked me why I often loudly and proudly claim that I'm awesome. She opined that I risked coming across as arrogant and immodest.

I partly agreed. Yes, OTHER people would think so. But to what extent does their opinion matter?

In growing up, I have learnt to
not let the noise of others' opinions drown my own inner voice. And [even more] important, I [now] have the courage to follow my heart and intuition - they somehow already know what I truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
Steve Jobs Stanford 2005 commencement address - Go to 12:42 - 12:57 below:

Check out some highlights of the above speech in our post about living in 2010.

Speaking of knowing what we want to become, we invariably have lofty ambitions and grand schemes about what we'd like our lives to be in the future. We however rarely do anything to make such dreams and aspirations come true. They remain just that - dreams :(
In his book Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't, Jim Collins begins by stating a fundamental truth:
Good is the enemy of great.
The abundance of people, things and situations that are just good enough is the key reason why so little becomes great. Why break your back trying to make something great while good works just fine? In a recent post, a fellow freelancer dwelt on establishing the worth of services rendered by freelancers when they leave employment.

Our willingness to settle for and make do with what is good is a big problem. In so doing, we no longer push ourselves to the limit. We no longer go the extra mile, much less the requisite distance. We become too tolerant, we simply walk the already trodden path and never challenge convention.

How then, can we deal with this unfortunate situation?

I believe that each one of us needs to have more faith in him or herself. It is however equally important that such a firm faith in self be qualified by action.
Remember that the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that "little" extra. Everyone needs to go the extra mile, deliver much more than what's required and unrelentingly go beyond expectations. Only then can we move from good to great.

In any case, it is the unexpected that changes our lives.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Dealing with Feelings of Loss when we Let Go

Following @Carolkmail's comment on yesterday's post [about remembering and letting go to move on], let us take sometime to look at loss or feelings of it.

In his book Drained: Stories of People Who Wanted More, Johann Christoph Arnold quotes George McDonald,
a man is in bondage to whatever he cannot part with that is less than himself.
In another chapter, aptly titled 'Let Go', he outlines the need to only bite that which we can chew. In Thomas Merton's words,
To surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to violence.
In September 2010, I painfully watched as my dog succumbed to poisoning. My brother and I both knew it was already a good number of minutes after it had swallowed the poison, there was little we could do to help. What really irked me at the time was knowing that I could in no way help it.

When we deliberately let go of persons, things, situations and other matters, the situation is slightly different. I however contend that our resolve to move on should make the juice of progress, no matter how tiny its drops, totally worth the while.

Previously on The Walkabout, we had a post about Paulo Coelho's The Zahir: A Novel of Obsession (P.S.). The following underscores the need to let certain things go in life, simply because by closing a chapter in a story, it then becomes possible to move on to the next one...
...there are always some stories that are 'interrupted,' and they are the stories that remain nearest to the surface and so still occupy the present; only when we close that story or chapter can we begin the next one...
That is why it is so important to let certain things go. To release them. To cut loose.
People need to understand that no one is playing with marked cards; sometimes we win and sometimes we lose.
Don't expect to get anything back, don't expect recognition for your efforts, don't expect your genius to be discovered or your love to be understood. Complete the circle. Not out of pride, inability, or arrogance, but simply because whatever it is no longer fits in your life.
Close the door, change the record, clean the house, get rid of the dust. Stop being who you were and become who you are.
What are your thoughts on letting go, given its attendant issues?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Moving On: To Remember, and to Let Go

Back in March 2009, The Walkabout, nĂ© Peter's Walkabout came into being. It was inspired by the ABC TV Show LOST, in a season 4 episode.

Over the years, I have changed URLs, tweaked the blog's look and even gone into necessary hiatus whenever necessary.
The blog ideals, purpose and intent have however remained unchanged.

That said, I came to realize that writing invariably remains etched in my mind and whenever I stop writing, I still keep coming back for more, even when I think I've had enough of it. I guess it has a lot to do with what my long time goals are, as far as writing is concerned.
I remember reading the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book some years ago, and in the Safe Haven personal story, that A.A. found that the process of discovering who he really was began with knowing who he didn't want to be. I just cannot imagine how I'd end up if I stopped writing.

That brings me to what today's post is really about. A close friend recently asked me why I haven't cut all links with them even after I quit Facebook, Twitter and online chat. In my reply, I explained that the future is always predicated on the past. In fact, I felt that I sounded like Christian Shephard in the LOST finale, when he explained to his son Jack why the Losties once again found each other long after their deaths.

Christian said,
The most important part of your life was the time you spent with these people. That’s why all of you are here. Nobody does it alone Jack. You needed all of them and they needed you…To remember, and, let go.
Looking at my life, I dare not lose sight of the fact that it has taken many others to shape me into something good. It takes other people for us to learn, to improve, to progress. And all that is every bit worth remembering.

So where does letting go come in?
You see, moving on is only possible when you embrace the new and relinquish the old. It doesn't always involve breaking ties or burning bridges. Letting go simply involves acknowledging that the old has passed and the new has come to take its place.

Interestingly, letting go is very rarely possible to those who have in any way given up. For the hopeless, Dionne Farris's Hopeless is a very deep song that addresses the need to let go.
She sings,
Goodbye morning, sorry it had to end / Goodbye morning, you just won't do me right / I stayed just a little too long / Now it's time for me to move on
Goodbye yesterday, I just can't stay around / Goodbye yesterday, I can't take you with me / You see I stayed just a little too long / No, no, no I can't ...
Therefore, beginning this Easter weekend, take time to remember all that has gone into making you what you are today. Decide what needs to accompany you as you move on into progress. And more important, take note of what you need to let go of, and do the needful.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Walkabout Continues :-)

Howdy good people!

Well, it's been quite a while since I last wrote anything online. You see, a few days before April 01, 2011, I decided to re-purpose my entire web site. This called for much needed time to read, research, train and rejuvenate in readiness for a major comeback in creative writing and communication design.

To this end, I stopped posting on The Walkabout, Complit Design, Green Initiatives in Kenya and the Connect eMagazine blogs. Furthermore, I gracefully exited Facebook, Twitter and online chat. It was no longer necessary to recklessly share my stuff online.

That done, I suddenly realized just how awesome it was to finally have my life back, with minimal distractions and lots of time to read, plan my writing, communication design projects and other pertinent life issues. I started feeling like Blake Richman.

It was while voraciously reading that I came across Laurie's blog. This adventurous writer has in nearly all the posts I read, given me the nudge I needed to get back to writing. It finally dawned on me that I need to continuously write. I do have a lot to share, and it's only by writing that I can best add value both in my life and those of others.

This then, is my initial 'comeback' effort. The other aforementioned Complit blogs and the larger Complit Communications web site will be rolled out at the appointed time in July 2011.
In the meantime, I continue to write as I learn and share on this walkabout - a journey of insight, inspiration and self discovery. Posting will be more frequent than before, very concise, timely and highly relevant. I'll also regularly keep you posted on the books that I am currently writing and the online magazine that my team and I  will launch soon.

Finally, I am further persuaded to continue writing every time I look at Stephen King's On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. This is one book I very strongly recommend to anyone who wants needs to write. In this book, King tells his life story and has some priceless advice for any writer worth his salt.

So to all you out there who love a good read online, it just got better. Stand by for some cool posts, hopefully every day and some interaction on your blog(s) as well.


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