The Bus Passenger’s Dilemma

Passengers have it easy. They can sit back and choose whether to enjoy or complain about the ride. They don’t have to negotiate through the traffic, decide which lane to take, take an alternate route, speed up and or slowdown. There’s a price to pay though, for letting others take control of the trip for you. They dictate the pace of the journey. You cannot get to your destination faster than how fast the driver is willing to drive. You are at the mercy of the quality of that driver’s driving skills. You can complain and then maybe get off the bus if you don’t like the experience but you cannot take control of the wheel.

In life, you can choose to have it easy and depend on others to take you where you want to be. You can choose to be thankful for what you are getting or complain about the driver’s seeming disregard for what you want. But then, you can choose to take the driver’s seat of your life. Run it as fast or slow as you want to. You can go straight to where you want to be or take all the detours you see along the way. Passengers to your own bus can only complain or get off if they don’t like the ride. It’s your bus. When you’re driving, you are driving.

Are you self-driven or are you driven by others?

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That Displacement Experiment

I’m reminded of a science experiment inspired by Archimedes’ eureka moment that we did durindisplacementg elementary school. It’s where we learned a couple of things. One; the amount of water displaced when an object of a particular size is submerged to it determines the volume of the object; two; two objects of similar volume cannot occupy the same space at the same time and third, no matter the weight difference; objects of similar size will occupy the same amount of space.

Now, I’m not good in Science, in fact I’m not even sure I remember this experiment all correctly. However, I am very sure that pretty much the same principle applies to life. That the things you do no matter how important or unimportant occupy a finite amount of space and that no two things of similar size no matter the weight difference can occupy the same space. So I’d say be careful what you put in your life.

I often hear people wanting to be more successful, wealthier or happier or simply wanting to be better but unable to do something about it. More often, this is because their life is full of stuff that do not contribute to the achievement of their goals. There are just no space available for them to place the things that will weigh more heavily in their personal pursuits. So we hear people say, I want to earn more, but won’t sacrifice being out of their comfort zone to try out new ways to earn. Some people ask me to help them become trainers like me. I would give them the tools but they can’t find  the time to use them. They are unwilling to remove some stuff in their lives that occupy the space where these tools could have been used. They can’t take the movie marathons out, they can’t replace their love story novels with books that are relevant to building their training skills. As a Toastmaster, I would hear people say, they want to become better communicators and leaders and Toastmasters looks like their ticket to getting there. They are however, unwilling to pay the price of being there in meetings and participating in the most productive way they can. After sometime, they would quit because Toastmasters is not helping them… No, they are not helping them.

I say look at the principle behind displacement. No two objects of similar size no matter what the weight can occupy the same space at the same time. One will have to be displaced. The question is, which one are you displacing?

Eureka?

Roll with the Punches, etc.

The secrets to boxing success can very much be the same secrets to winning in life. Here are a few lessons you might want to consider as you step up the big ring called life:

Keep your guards up

Life will throw everything at you and at the most unexpected moments. Keeping your guards up means being ready to parry the shots. Diligence, patience and anticipating change are critical to keeping your guards up.

Roll with the punches
A great boxer may be able to knock the opponent out before the latter throws anything. In life it’s different, no one can possibly parry all the blows. One must learn to take life’s punches by rolling with it. Roll with the punches or you’ll end up a roadkill.  As they say, if life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

Jab,jab,jab
You can’t  possibly take everyone down with a single punch, the same goes in life. You cannot possibly achieve everything in a single try. You need to work your way up or through by making small steps that will eventually lead you to the gold. Small hits that lead to big success.

Cut off the ring
opponents are moving targets. If you don’t know how to cut off the ring, you will end up chasing an unreacheable target. Learning to cut off the ring in life means having a strategy for catching the target as you chase it. While hard work is good, smart work is better.

Build your stamina

While a boxer could boast that he could take an opponent down in the early round, the  prophecy does not always become a reality. A good boxer builds enough stamina to survive when the fight goes the distance. Same is true in life. Things don’t always happen as we want and guess they should be. We should build enough stamina to avoid frustration and burn out.

Listen to your coach
This is the best advice. The best boxers listen to their coach. They train and they train hard, as the fight happens they listen to their corner’s advice. In life you’ll find people in your corner. People who has your good in their mind. Listen to them.

Flow

I am a drop of water,

that goes with the other drops of water,

that flows through a river,

that empties to the sea,

that evaporates to the clouds,

that pours down the mountains,

that flows back to the river,

that shapes the land around it,

that sustains the life of the living,

that gives and that takes

I am part of a great flow called life,

not my life, but a bigger life

The persons I meet are the people I should meet

The problems are the ones I must have

The happiness I feel are the rewards of the moment

The emotions are fleeting phases

I am a drop of water that fills a glass

that quenches a thirst,

that cleanses the ills

I am a drop of water

that serves my purpose

as other drops serve theirs

I am part of the great flow called life

everything will be alright

Poker

Life is a giant poker game with everyone playing. The problem is not everyone is good at it. Those who are good take from those who are not and those who are not sometimes have to ask for loan from those are good so they can continue playing the game. Some are stricken by luck every now and then but if you are playing a lifelong game of poker, luck is of very little use. You have to learn the game of life if you don’t want to end up a loser.