Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Why People Act the Way They Do

me: Why do you dress up as a scary clown? him: Why do you find me scary?
We're all guilty of it...At some point or another, we've questioned/analyzed/scrutinized someone else's behavior. Probably because that person's behavior seemed (at the time), well...totally irrational.

So we ask ourselves, "What were they thinking?" or “Why did they do that?" or "How could they have done that?"

The reality is...we'll never reeeally know, because those questions are unanswerable. How could we possibly ever understand another human's motivations when so few of us even understand our own?

To even begin to scratch the surface, there are so many factors at play:

  • Upbringing
  • Handling change 
  • Conflict resolution
  • Cultural background 
  • Neurons firing (or misfiring) 
  • Levels of advertising/media consumption 

To make things even more complicated, there are pieces of our identities that lie deep within, maybe even hidden away from the conscious self.

Someone recently told me a good example of how this plays out. He said, “If you ask me why I bought a Mercedes Benz, I won't say it's because my ego demanded it. I won't say it because I'm probably not even aware that my ego is driving me. The logical part of my brain will step in and make me buy a used one, and that will make me feel better about the decision and distract me.”

There's also the rich tapestry of personal experience, from which springs varying interpretations of reality.  It all comes down to that fact that human experience greatly differs from person to person.

Man, are we complicated! Fully figuring each other out doesn't seem possible anytime soon (unless we learn the Vulcan Mind Meld).

But depsite all of these intricate innerworkings, what blows my mind most is how well humans get along.

We live in cities and work in corporations. We communicate, live in harmony, and create masterpieces. Humans come together for mastery and fulfillment. It seems like achieving harmonic balance in relationships enables people to do more, whereas misalignment holds us back.

I guess, in the end, we don't really need answers to those unanswerable “why” questions, because that's just the way things are. What's more important is valuing healthy relationships and working toward healthier interactions between people.

That's the sweet spot because that's where inspiration lives.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Watch Samsara and Baraka

I just watched the non-narrative film Samsara directed by Ron Fricke.

There is no plot, no storyline, no actors.

I can only describe it as a visual journey that inspires the imagination and thinking.  And it's absolutely stunning.

Watch it, and you'll be shown the world in a new way...a way that might even reinvigorate your perception of it. 

While waiting for it to arrive at a theater near you, check out Fricke's first documentary Baraka online for free. It has a slightly different theme, but I'll leave it up to you to make the comparison. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Why I Write

Someone asked me recently why I write this blog.

Drawn by Lesley Speed Willcockson with inspiration from Pinterest

Because it reminds me to stop and think. It's a public pledge—to remember the promises I've laid out.

Like a personal memory bank of the thoughts I have about myself and toward the world.

And there's a certain kind of freedom that comes from trusting oneself and bowing to self expression.

Many Gentle Lift posts focus on exploring the inner world. That's because I think it's critical to understand the self in order to understand other people.

It does take time: to cultivate the inspiration, to find the resources, to deliver the goods. But it's not a chore or a burden, because it's a way for me to get in touch with me, and hopefully a way to reach out to you.

yup, that's me

Gentle Lift dives into some deep topics, but I hope that my "straight arrow" writing style is at the very least a breath of fresh air in this seemingly dog-eat-dog world.

If by writing this blog, I get to know myself better—well, that makes the extra effort taste all the more sweeter.

Or maybe even inspire some readers to take a timeout... I think that would be a great thing.

Life is too short not to try.

Someone once told me, "Live in the moment, that is perhaps what the meaning of life is." I like the "perhaps" in this statement because it depends on the person. The person has to care enough to find out. Care enough to pause for a timeout. To avoid autopilot. To seize the moment.

I have a lot of respect for the kiwi in this video. Putting forth all that energy because to him, it's worth it.