An observation: As a species, humans tend to naturally look toward their leaders. They are also willing to cede much to the authority of those leaders. Unfortunately, our track record for selecting leaders is not particularly good.

A question: If this observation is correct, what are we called to do in how we live our lives and interact?

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

I didn’t have an opportunity to watch President Trump’s State of the Union Address yesterday. However, I did see two or three clips. In each clip one-half of the assembly stood mindlessly like automatons clapping (regardless of what was said) and the other half sat mindlessly like automatons (regardless of what was being said). I think these images provide a pretty accurate picture of the current state of affairs in U.S. politics.

I would have been encouraged a bit if even one person had stood or sat (depending on their party) because they truly agreed or disagreed with what the President was saying.

Blog Pressure

Having set up this blog, I was feeling a bit of self-imposed pressure. Pressure to post daily and pressure to create blogs that are witty, insightful and intelligent (I know- it is a challenge, right.).

So, after having had a good talk with myself (you see the challenges I face), I have agreed that I will relax and post when I feel inspired or moved to do so. Given the number of viewers of this blog, a little suspense won’t hurt them as they check back to the site

In the Flow

In my first post I used the words “in the flow” to describe how I was feeling (i.e. focused and motivated). I have since become aware that there is a discipline called “positive psychology”  and “flow”  is a term used In that discipline to describe a mental state “in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.”

With just a little searching on the internet, I found numerous articles on flow: how it is defined, how to get in a state of flow, how flow makes you happy etc. My quick research indicates that Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, a positive psychologist, is a leader in this field. I watched an interesting Ted Talks in which he described the concept and explained why he think it happens.

I found the scientific discussions a bit hard to follow but, based on my personal experience, I believe that the state of flow exists. I think that I have experienced flow a couple of times during my life, including one prolonged period six month period in which I felt that I accomplished all of the goals that I had set out for myself at that time.

For me the feeling was elusive and not easy to re-capture but I remember it as being an enjoyable/happy feeling. So, I think learning a bit more about flow and, particularly, how to get in a state of flow, may be a good project for a new leaf.


Learning the Hard Way

I have decided that I want to learn more about chilli peppers and how to cook with them. So, I bought a pepper and chopped it up into my omelette. When my lip went numb, I realized that I had been a little over-zealous in the quantity which I had used. The real lesson came when, without washing my hands after handling the chopped pepper, I rubbed my eyes.

Two valuable lessons were learned. First, I should be more careful to understand my food experiments a little better. Secondly, I should have paid more attention when Monica was trying to explain this to me.

Why New Leaf?

I saw a man who looked down on his luck journalling in the Skytrain yesterday. He was very intent on what he was doing and didn’t notice me even though I watched him for a while. I had the sense that he was enjoying what he was doing. Seeing him write in his journal, made me think of a friend who writes for fun. Not sure why, but it occurred to me that I might enjoy writing too. I thought that trying to write a blog might be good way for me to experiment with a bit of writing (and act as a sort of journal).

The name? It seems that I am always turning over a new leaf (just ask my family, friends or staff). Lately, I have been quite focused on diet (some success) and exercise (not so much success). Nevertheless I definitely feel like I am “in the flow” right now. So, another new leaf – trying to write a blog.