Posted by: Brad Stanford | November 11, 2013

Insanity Prevention

I used to get frustrated with people who said, “It’s all about the journey.” It was quite offensive to me, to put it nicely. It took me years to figure out why, and only really hit me once I found myself in a situation where it really was about the journey.

It’s so simple, yet we forget to remind each other. Sometimes, you’re up against the odds, the clock, the competition, or some other opposing force. And sometimes you’re not.

That’s it.

If you find yourself in the first category, then you are trading scenic drives for jet flights, or bicycle tours for race cars. You have to specifically choose not to be distracted. You are choosing to experience crossing the finish line at the expense of not noticing or participating in everything in between. This is called focus.

But there is a second category (or first, depending on your wiring) that says, “Life is short. Enjoy everything. Never waste an experience.” This , I will admit, is valid as well. But it, too, comes with the expense of never knowing the heart-pounding, adrenaline-exploding, super-sweet victory that happens when you achieve personal greatness against all odds.

However you are wired, you will tend towards what’s easiest. I suppose this should go into the category of “two kinds of people” that I like to think about. When you have an action/adventure person coupled to a scenic train ride person, the former will feel bored, while the latter will feel intimidated, shamed, or at least misunderstood. Regardless, connection will be difficult.

When armed with a mutual decision of what type of situation this is, it’s complimentary. The action/adventure type wants to hurry and get to the finish line to claim victory. The scenic train ride person wants to hurry up and get it over with so they can go back to gardening. Together, they can accomplish the mission. Then, while action man is recovering, he can enjoy the spoils of victory over a bout of gardening with scenic woman.

As long as each one knows that it’s taking turns on the playground, the unnatural parts can be enjoyable. And if life doesn’t allow for that, then don’t complain about the weekend paintball for him, or having to watch the kids for her. It’s simply insanity prevention while waiting for the right time to really enjoy whoever they are.

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