The Deck Chair Diaries Part 4

I have been working away recently (as I often do) and before then I had an attack of the lethargies, where I just sat around and did very little. It reminds me of what the Barefoot Doctor says about comparing procrastination with idling:

“When you are idling you’re following the natural progression from a phase of action to a phase of rest. This is moving with the flow and is good for you as it gives you a chance to rest and recharge. When you are procrastinating, you are blocking that progression by stalling unnaturally…”

It is a subtle difference and one that it takes some skill to recognise. Was my attack of the lethargies a natural transition to a resting state, or was I just being lazy?! Remember, “Slow” isn’t about being slothful or lazy, it is about finding your natural rhythm.

But since returning from my training courses I have been a bit busy catching up on things.

What I have noticed is there is “good” busy and “bad” busy.

Good busy is when I get to move forward on some projects I am working on. I have just procured a 27″ iMac (through a clever bit of bartering, not brand new!), so it means (with additional power, better camera and microphone and much bigger hard drive) I can crack on with some projects that the lack of computer power has caused me to put on hold (my very old MacBook, is really on it’s last legs and held together with tape). Watch this space.

Bad busy is fire fighting, admin and dealing with problems. “Bad” busy does seem to take up most of my time at the moment unfortunately. The real insidious thing I find with “bad” busy, is that this little mind trick that happens to me. I spend some time doing “bad” busy stuff and then my brain goes “right, I have done lots of work today, I can stop now” and I run out of steam before I get to any proactive “good” busy stuff.

I am a Philosopher!

Whilst I was away, I caught up with an old friend of mine Cody (the smartest guy I know. Never get into a debate with him, he will argue, pummel, bully and, if all else fails, mock you into submission). I was discussing with him what I was up to nowadays and how I feel the whole “self help” field is actually too restrictive. I don’t consider myself or what I do as “self help” (being a somewhat of a Wayward Buddhist, I don’t even agree with the concept of self), what I do is a branch of philosophy in the tradition of the Ancient Greeks (particularly Socrates) and Epistemology, In fact what I do is a Practical Philosophy.

I don’t see that as big-headed or pretentious, philosophy used to be very practical, in fact you could argue that philosophy was “self help” before “self help” became “self help” (in fact philosophy was science, psychology and many other things before they split off into separate fields of their own). I want to rescue the term Philosopher from dusty academics and get it back out there as a true profession that adds value to people and the community (actually, I am being a bit mean, Philosophy is still an active subject involved in social governance, it is just often done behind closed doors in think-tanks and committees).

He remarked that he had never met a true Philosopher before and cajoled me to change my profession on my passport. I may not go that far, but that sudden realisation has invigorated me. I am a Philosopher!

It compelled me to write a blog entry on a similar point on my other blog, that you may find interesting. You can read it here.

Right, better get on with it, so I can get on with good busy stuff.

Matt