In the 1840s Henry David Thoreau swapped his busy schedule in Concord, Massachusetts, for a wooden hut he built himself near Walden Pond. We had the privilege to visit Walden, five years ago, in July 2012; it exceeded expectations in its tranquility and beauty - and the swim in the pond itself was unforgettable.
Many people increasingly appear to feel an explicit need for "authenticity" in their work and in the rest of their lives.
Authenticity is also becoming an important issue in business. Authentic leadership involves business people beginning to look for perennial spiritual truths as the source for a new, deeper, and higher perspective from which to engage in the global marketplace. However, there is much inauthentic lip service posturing out there too...
"I have no reader in mind - the reader is me as I re-read" - Philip Roth
Roth's words resonate, and feel comfortable, to those of us who are still, slowly working ourselves out on the page. We don't necessarily need comments, feedback...not yet, anyway.
However, as Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, "many people die with their music still in them", so to avoid that sense of feeling, ultimately, unfulfilled, perhaps we should urgently try and find ways to create an authentic outward expression of the inner one, even whenthat vision is problematic, or even nightmarish, as in Hieronymus Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights in the Prado in Madrid.
Imagine a job "big enough for the spirit".
Roman Krznaric gave a talk on his book, How to Find Fulfilling Work, as part of the launch of The School of Life’s practical philosophy book series. Krznaric offered five essential ideas for career change, drawing on career advice from Leonardo da Vinci, Aristotle and a woman who gave herself the unusual 30th birthday present of trying out 30 different jobs in one year.
Imagining not allowing our "projections" to hold us back, as argued in this thoughtful piece? The idea that we are often very wrong in the assumptions we make about what other people are thinking and feeling strikes a chord. Is there a word for "false empathy" - i.e. for trying to put ourself into the other's shoes, but coming to completely wrong conclusions? Maybe we'd benefit from "cognitive reframing".
So often we seem to impute to others far worse feelings and motives than we subsequently learn were really there, and often isn't the truth that the other person was focused on his/her own problems and, far than condemning us, was probably not thinking about us at all? Even if/when they were, what harm does it really do us?
Someone once said "CDs beat vinyl, they don't have surface noise." I said "mate, *life* has surface noise." John Peel http://bit.ly/KCS13M
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away - Philip K. Dick