I started listening to Alan Watts, a British philosopher 1915-73 – check this video out first to see if the rest of this post will interest you – and amongst being more mindful, slowing down and being at peace, I’ve been interested like many others in the big thoughts and questions of life. What is it? What is consciousness? What happens when we die? What are we doing?
Now, I don’t have any training in philosophy. I don’t have the methods and brilliantly descriptive vocabulary of philosophers, so I just consume and try to absorb as much as I can, such as The School of Life. This Alan Watts video, has me thinking of parallels with drawing and a book I’m looking to read, Fall of the West, related to our addiction to growth as the end all and be all. Don’t get me wrong, I’m interested in starting a business, but I think it’s important to question everything we do and why we do it. Our desires. And the consequences.
I’ve been experiencing parallels in my own like by considering the PhD as a journey and not an end to itself. I recall Simon Sinek talking about how companies should play the game: infinite vs finite. Playing to survive vs playing to win. Playing to win implies some kind of end goal. A beginning, middle and end. But that’s not what the whole of life is. True, the little intervals that make life up is like jumping through hoops. But the whole of life is the continually laid out and meandering brick path – just a step or two ahead of yourself – through a thick, dense forest.
It’s like building up a drawing. I think that’s why I enjoy this new hobby. There are many steps and adjustments to make along the way. A few lines here. A few lines there. Take a step back and look at the whole. What doesn’t look right? Where needs more? You’re not 100% sure about the end goal, but you can start to see the finish come together over time.