A few days after Christmas I needed to get rid of a few things, bottles, boxes etc, the usual detritus of the season. I loaded up the car and went down the road and joined the long queue of vehicles waiting for their turn to dump the surplus. As I got out of the car I took a few minutes to look at the boxes that had been discarded. There were boxes that had housed exercise equipment, dolls houses and new TV’s. There seemed to be plenty of kitchen appliance boxes and some flat pack furniture packaging too. For all the talk of recession it seemed like many had had a good Christmas and it got me thinking about what we choose to buy / give to help define ourselves (that’s a whole other blog) but more pertinently how we can best “recycle” ourselves.
Right now there is a surplus of reviews of 2011 / predictions for 2012 in the media. We seem keen to mark this changing of the year as the pivot on which new things will happen, fitness will be achieved, weight will be lost etc rather than living our lives continuously and mindfully. Please don’t get me wrong I’m not against the idea of a period of reflection or indeed planning what the year will hold but surely we could do that a bit more often rather than getting to the end of year and just ticking it off and saying “better luck next time”. This relates back to my post last week about living by your values. If you look at your recent decisions, how many of them accord with your values? What if you took to routinely planning the future, your to do list or even your work, according to your values? Surely there would be less need to discard outmoded versions of ourselves, to reinvent ourselves for the passing seasons? We could just recycle ourselves, (and in the vein of eco language, surely that is much more sustainable)?
I appreciate the irony that one could view this as “recycling” last weeks message but you know what? It bears repeating. It’s still on my mind and if anything I’m living true to my values by inviting you to live to yours. Let me give you an example, one of my values is about being “open”. Now for me, that means being open to the views of others and open to change. I’ve been chasing a few bits of contract work recently and I had to get some feedback about my approach (because it’s not been going so well if I’m honest). There was a part of me that didn’t want to be told where I was going wrong, I wanted to stick my head in the sand and try to blame others, I wanted to blame the recession, the weather, whatever, just not myself. However, that’s hardly being “open” so I took the feedback I got, I put my hands up and accepted that there were things over which I had control so best I get on with making the changes. Is it all done yet? No. Do I feel better about it all? Yes, because I held firm to my values.