I am 33 years old now and I feel like I’ve really become an adult just this year. I don’t know what happened exactly, but there were some circumstances that made it important for me to realize what place I’ve come to, and then decide where to go next. About 10 years ago I had an idea of myself that I wanted to make a reality. I realized that I could become anything, if I just decide to go for it. Back then I made a plan of what I want to do with my life. Back then I jokingly said to myself that it would take me until I’m 60 to get there.
I got into self improvement. I started reading books. I learned everything that I thought would widen my horizon. Fast forward ten 10 years and here I am. Most of the things, that I once thought would be impossible to achieve, are now my reality.
Many other folks of my generation have done the same thing, and folks of older generations have done the same thing, too. Some have gotten into self improvement, so that we can build better, bigger, and more efficient companies and relationships. Imagination, fast forward 10 years, reality.
Our universities and schools have taught us from the head upwards that we need to make the right decisions, we need to put a lot of sciencing and efficiencing into what we do.
I feel like we’ve grown up without reviewing who we once were. As kids we were very much into our bodies. As we grew older and got more educated, our head started taking over. That’s not a bad thing, really. It’s what makes some people be successful in the work place.
This year I got into styling and one thing strikes me. I look at people who are about my age, and how they behave at business events. Some people try so hard to be as businessy as they can, but inside they’re just not the person they are trying to convey to be. I’m guilty too. A couple of years ago, when I left uni after I got my first degree, I was trying so hard to be the businessiest guy that I could be. Connecting people, trying to make good deals. That was so totally not me. And when I look at like-minded folks, who try to do the same thing, I just think to myself: “Who the fuck are you trying to kid?”
I mean think about it. There’s this old business dude, once the same age, once maybe trying to do the same things. Don’t you think that dude knows exactly what’s going on? Don’t you think he or she can immediately tell the difference if you just try to make a deal or if you really try to build a connection? Why do we try to make deals at the most unappropriate times? Why can’t we just be present in the moment, appreciate the other person’s time and value the moment? We don’t need to try so hard:
"Everything you need to know will come at the right time". (Unknown source)
Relax. Just chill the fuck out. Trying hard won’t take you anywhere. You can also just do things your way and see how far you get. Trying hard is your head taking the lead. People can feel that there’s a disconnect inside you, between your head and your body.
Lots people about my age just had their first longer-lasting relationships end too. People are now back into dating, and where once was a clear vision are now questions and doubt. A friend had a nice quote. She said: “You know, I know I could try to be in a relationship again, it’s not that difficult. There are so many men out there, I just need to grab one. I can focus on my career right now.” Others like her go the “head” way too. I also went the head way about 10 years ago, when I ignored dating and put learning in focus.
Some go the “body” way. Guys, girls, threesomes, pickup, sex, lust… I’m not saying this is bad. I just want to emphasize the disconnect between head and body. Most are somewhat in between however. When you “test” a new person the hardest thing is to find the right balance between physical and intellectual attraction:
"It is the heart that is the hardest to follow. Your brain always goes for ‘bigger and better’. Your body always goes for ‘sexier and more pleasure’. And your poor heart is always torn between the two."
Of course you can have sex every day with almost every women, but it doesn’t have heart. Of course you can connect with someone deeply on a spiritual level only, but it doesn’t have heart. Of course you can efficience meetings, work over hours, do as much for your job as you can, but it doesn’t have heart. Of course you can go to every business meeting and be the businessiest person in the room, but that just doesn’t have heart.
When you’re into something with your full presence and human being, things change. People can feel when you’re there with your head and your toes. Your body language changes, your posture changes, your thoughts change, your goals change, the way you approach things changes. Once you’re present in the moment, and embrace things with your full heart, head, and body, things suddenly work out.
A piece of art, drawn with a lot of thought, and which required a considerable amount of time to finish, that has heart. A lonely mother of 5 with no money on the bank account still raising her kids, nurturing them with loving thoughts how beautiful this world is, that has heart. A couple that has been together for 20+ years, refreshing their love, that has heart. Not giving up has. Showing up has. Having the guts to be who you are has.
A couple of months ago I wrote about how we create artificial online personas for other people to follow. That’s not me you read on Facebook. I’m the motion designer, so I post motion designery stuff. Tutorials, links to articles, free icon sets, marketing, sales, yadda yadda yadda. But when you look at someones profile who only has these things, what do you think? “Wow, this person has a really awesome job!” or more something like “Get a life!”
My work is part of me, but it’s not me me.
Of course I’m into media production. Obviously. I mean, did I miss anything? But I’m also into meditation, spirituality, sport, reading, gaming. I love to connect with people. I’m open, I’m closed, I’m fiery, I have a big mouth, I’m intelligent, I’m thoughtful, I’m sensible… I’m all of that, but I’m also a producer at heart, a business owner, a vegetarian, I have political opinions, I have a history, I have scars, I love music. All of that, and that all is me, not just my (carefully crafted) online portfolio.
We’ve unlearned to connect. We rather click Like buttons mindlessly, than turn off this stupid machine and talk with our wives. We disconnect. We let our head take us where we want to go, rather than our body. There’s no room left for the heart, because the head takes up so much space.
After mentioned long relationships people want to fulfill their bodily desires. But if you just fulfill those bodily needs, you miss your heart halfway through.
Recently I met a friend. A little bit lonely. Trying hard to be successful. We spent some time together. I listened to what he was said, he listened to what I said. Connecting on a spiritual level. It was nice, really.
He seemed fine, happy, of course some worries here and there, but overall not too bad. He even told me he feels fine. His body spoke a different language however. You can tell that he works his ass off. His whole body screams: “Rest! Please!” I don’t know when it was the last time he did nothing. Not nothing to get some rest, to have more energy, to be more productive again. Rest to sit around, stare at the walls and just do nothing. His body showed other signs too. There was worry, there was anxiety, there were motions of closing and self cuddling. I didn’t know what else to do than be present and help a little. Disconnect of body and head. Head speaks other language than body.
Just the other day I was driving with another friend. Just a couple of hours earlier she told me how she looks at the details and looks right and left, rather than straight. It was funny because as we were driving down the street she literally missed a right exit she was supposed to take. Disconnect between head and body. Body didn’t turn head, to show the head where the exit was.
Back to our business dude. When we approach that guy, as we are, in the moment, as imperfect as we may be, that leads to a better and deeper connection, rather than trying hard to be someone we’re just not. At least someone we’re just not yet. I can’t speak for you, but I’m just not as slick as other guys. Sometimes I’d love to be tall, dress and shave perfectly every single day, but that wouldn’t be me. I’m a little rough around the edges. I mean I take care of myself, but if I’d be clean and smooth every single day, that wouldn’t be me. I am willing to learn the rules, but I’m not going to obey them blindly. I’m the guy who would buy a full-blown suit for an important meeting, but wear flip-flops with it. Well, I wouldn’t, but you get the point. It’s much more me to do something like that, than try to fit in. So business dude, would see me in flip-flops with a suit, he’d smile, because he knows what’s going on. As long as he feels that I’ve got my heart at the right place, am present, and am not just businessing everything out of the moment, he’ll understand.
The takeaway. Do me one favor. Look at pictures of you from ten years ago and then look in the mirror. What did you make out of your younger self? Does this person follow their heart or their head?