I love to photograph wildlife, I often find myself blaming my busy schedule or the bad weather for limiting the opportunity to get out and take those great shots. The reality is, most of the time is my own attitude that needs changing. Ironically who I chose to be the only thing I have control over. I dot control the weather, or the demands of my customers (I can choose to take business on or not). Yet there are always moments when I forget I have a choice and I end up being chosen by my attitude instead.
The Duck in the water – choosing to be at fault
Probably one of the most sneaky and terrifying attitudes I can possibly fall into. I know I’m not the only one to fall into it though . Like a Duck in the water, to the world it looks all its fine and great. I often get even praise for the stoicism I take on yet another task, project, situation etc. The reality is, under the surface of calm and serene plumage my feet are paddling frantically. My mind is racing, thinking how to deal with the next ten minutes, the next hour. Everything else lay there abandoned, piling up potential future pressures.
The awareness lacking space to plan, delegate or abdicate. External prize and appreciation reinforce the duck and like all reinforced behaviour I feel compelled to repeat it until it becomes a way of living. Running under the surface is a dramatic loss of confidence and the perspective that I’m unable to deal with the pressures of every day life. Confidence translate in self loathing and I find comfort devoting any available time to any sort of escapism in between frantically trying to please everyone around. Just like any real drug inducing a high must be counterbalanced by another drug that induce a low.
The Ruffled Heron – choosing to be at effect
It always comes a time when I reach a breaking point. I become tired of the continuous ups and downs and decide I’m not responsible for the everyone’s whims, mistakes, short comings, and plain abuse. Those are the times where frustration turns into rage and I look for anything and anyone to blame. Like a bulldozer I lose all sense of appropriateness and give voice to what I truly think of everything and everyone. I get ready for battle, like Don Quixote I embrace my spear and charge the windmills.
Needless to say this type of attitude feels somewhat gratifying in the spur of the moment. usually it quickly unfolds into the realisation that it didn’t do any good to me or anyone else. Sometimes, out of pity, someone makes temporary useful changes. The most dramatic change this attitude really causes is the perception others gain of me. The impact of the after mat is always confidence shattering. I realise that blaming myself didn’t work and blaming others didn’t work. It start to look like I’m running out of logical options.
The Loving Swans – choosing to be at cause
“Whether the glass is half full or half empty it doesn’t matter, what matter is you have a glass and there is something in it”. To me this means it doesn’t matter who is to blame. We are all here right now with the situation to face and with some options to consider. Working through these options and see what can we do to make the most of this situation is what matters most. This is an attitude that has the power of subverting any though situation. This is the attitude that lets me wake up in the morning knowing I have the opportunity to do something meaningful with great people. Just thinking of it makes me smile. This is an attitude that breaks down barriers and opens minds to find unexplored possibilities.
Being at cause is about asking difficult questions with a curious tone that engages people to search deep in their heart, mind and soul. This attitude requires I show my vulnerabilities. It requires I accept my shortcomings, let go of any hidden agenda and trust people around me will to do the same. Certainly is not an easy thing to do, but the potential rewards are priceless.
I know we all have these three choices available to us. I know which one is the best choice. I also know in times of difficulties, pressures, and demands it’s difficult to see it. I often find myself being a Duck or a Heron, but I always wonder how would it feel like to live my life like a Swan… 🙂 (and don’t even think pitiful, begging for crumble by the side of the shore 🙂 it’s a metaphor… )