Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Following your nose, and giving your nose a push

A group was trying to organize itself.  Lists were made of all the tasks to be done.  Related tasks were grouped together, and committees were formulated to achieve all the tasks that were related to each other.

Nothing ever came of it.  The committees never had people on them.  Everybody wanted to do a bit of this in one committee's domain, and a bit of that in another committee's domain.  People just volunteered for the tasks that fit them.  It worked better that way, rather than forcing things into artificially defined categories.

Sometimes it's better to follow your nose, rather than to plan something beginning to end.  Because before the journey begins, you don't know what twists you'll meet along the way.

My friend went on a date with a woman.  He wasn't sure if he liked her enough to continue to date her.  He gave it a shot and went on another date with her.  Now they are married.

Maybe he was following his nose, maybe he had some instinct telling him it was worthwhile to give it a shot and go on another date with her.  But maybe he was giving his nose a little push, pushing himself to do something he wasn't sure about.

Sometimes noses need a little push.  Usually when I'm home and thinking about going out to do an activity, I don't want to go.  If I followed my nose, I would just stay home all the time.  But my brain also comes into play.  If it's an activity I have done before and enjoyed, my brain reminds me that every time I think about doing it, I don't want to do it, but when I actually do it, I enjoy it.  So I give my nose a push, and get myself out there.  If it's an activity I've  never done before, it's harder, because I don't have the memory of enjoying it in the past, but sometimes I can still give my nose a push.

These days, the things I know I love are dance, music, rollerblading, skate skiing, boats, and rocky ocean shores.  These days, I know that I'm not happy with my job.  I know I'll never earn a living as a dancer.  So in a way, it doesn't make sense to be spending time dancing when I should be looking for a job.  But following my nose leads me to dancing.  What do I do? I think I know the answer.  I do two things.

First, I trust my instinct that doing things I love, such as dancing, are important for me.  I can't see into the future what they will lead me to, but I do see ways that it's plausible they would help me with finding a job.  I've been bearing such weight, feeling that no one values me and that there is nothing I like to do.  No one wants to hire someone who has such an attitude.  When I live my passions, I become a person filled with joy and confidence, and that makes me more likely to be hired.  Also, jobs are often obtained by networking.  By spending time with people I like, I expand my network.

Second, I push my nose to expand my passions.  There's a reason I'm excited about music and dance right now.  I joined a group that was welcoming.  I  joined them for Morris dancing, but their interests include singing, playing musical instruments, contra dancing, and English country dancing.  Their welcoming attitude has shown me that all these other things they are interested in are open to me as well.  Music and dance are my passion now because I have some momentum there already.  But if I dip some toes into other things, I'll develop other momentums, just as my friend had to go on a few dates with a woman before deciding he liked her.  I know some areas in which it's plausible I would enjoy earning a living.  I don't have a passion for those things right now.  But I should dabble in them, give them a try, and see if trying them awakens a passion for them.  If I remain unexcited after trying them, then I can move on.

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