Posts Tagged ‘exploring’

Latest Lesson from the Kittens: Exploring the Boundaries

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

Our babies are growing up now and are about 4 months old.  Yesterday they discovered the cat-flap and can now explore the outside world on their own.  When we first took them out, they didn’t know how to handle grass, and stayed on the patio.  Today the girl caught a mouse!  They are charging round the place like mad things, and have even experimented (unsuccessfully) with walking on water…

It makes me wonder if we are as energetic and fearless about exploring our world and expanding our boundaries.  We spend so much time in our comfort zone (we’re too busy to look outside..) that we don’t see all the new possibilities out there.

Perhaps we need to make regular time for a little exploration if we want to bring new possibilities into our lives?

“Exploration is really the essence of the human spirit.”   Frank Borman

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Are you an explorer?

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

I had three conversations today with three different strangers.  We talked about their businesses and their problems.  I have to say, I’m never happier than when I am exploring new ideas, new problems, new places; I guess that is one reason I love walking so much, a surprise round every bend.

The thing is if you enjoy exploring you are constantly going to be looking at new ideas and new ways of doing things and new people to do them with.  Obviously there is also value in working with the tried and tested and optimising the existing systems.  As ever, the art is in balancing these drives.

Bringing in new ideas can not only create new options but also help you to decide which of your existing ones really work for you and which ones might be ready for a change. Today maybe a good day to talk to someone new, read a different paper, ask instead of tell….

“What is the difference between exploring and being lost? Dan Eldon

Lost & Found

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

Those of you who are regulars will recall not only that I am a keen walker but one of my chief delights is when I find a whole new dimension to a place a I know well.  This involves straying from the ways we know into the unknown, and usually getting lost!  I suppose getting lost is just another label we give for places we don’t know.  However in life, if we just stay safe all the time, if we never go off the beaten track, then how do we learn?  How do we move on?

So today, me and my faithful companion were planning to use what I thought was a path on the map, but when we got there, it turns out it wasn’t a path, just a boundary line.  We ended up wading through chest high ferns and nettles trying to find our way, crossing little streams and traversing mini-bogs.  It felt like a real jungle adventure of the Boy’s Own variety!  We had a great time.

So perhaps today is a good day to depart from your well trodden paths and open yourself up to something new?  Perhaps to enable someone close to you to move into a new space too?  Change begins with leaving the familiar behind and opening yourself up to the unknown… why not give it a go?

“What is the difference between exploring and being lost?”   Dan Eldon
“Your current safe boundaries were once unknown frontiers.”

Busy doing NOthing

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

Yesterday I was writing about the importance of sometimes allowing yourself to do nothing, and I really did take my own advice. One reader thought that I was advocating never moving into action, which is certainly not the case. It is more like night and day, where you swing from one natural phase to the next and then back again.

So, back to yesterday…. Having finished writing, and having dealt with a very welcome business call that delayed me still further, I looked out of the window and my sunny day had vanished… only to be replaced with grey and wet! None-the-less, I was off to the woods to test out my new satnav1 system and see if I could navigate round some places I really didn’t know. I have mentioned before that I love ‘exploring,’ which for me, is going places I don’t know, even (and sometimes, especially) if they are close to places I do know.

So I took myself off to some woods & heath not too far from here and surrendered myself to the unknown. I was on my own so there were no distractions. During the course of my walk which last about 2.5 hours we had every kind of weather from sun to hail. I was moving at a fair clip so by the end I was pretty tired.

However, and here is the point of my ramble about rambling, all this time I was very active, but on another level, fitting into my ‘nothingness’ mode. I had no work to do, no purpose other than to open myself up to my surroundings and experiences. I won’t be so arrogant as to claim it was a ‘zenlike state’ but it was a very English version of that.

By letting go of the focus control and just allowing ourselves to notice what we notice, by going somewhere new and surrendering control, by being open to getting lost we can find so much. So if you are not sure what to do about something, perhaps you should put Nothing on your menu…

“Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing” Aristotle

“Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing” Lao Tzu

“Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself” Zen Proverb

Resources:

  1. Bing Crosby is busy doing nothing

An unexpected gift

Friday, March 28th, 2008

One of my great loves is walking, and I am lucky enough to share this with a good friend, who makes time every week to be lead off into the wilds of South England. I try to keep finding new places to visit, but obviously we revisit old favourites to enjoy them again, in all their different seasons and aspects. Sometimes we are pushed for time and just have to stay close to home, which in reality, is no hardship as we have some of the most beautiful countryside in the world right here.

Yesterday was such a day and I was taking us back to an old and special favourite of mine up on Puttenham CommonÂŒ. Now, despite this being a place that I love, a little bit of me was disappointed not to be going ‘somewhere new’. There is a strong vestige of the little boy still in me that loves to go off and explore.

We set off with a new GPS I had been given for Xmas because I needed to check it out as it had been faulty. I’d programmed in a route, solely from a map and wasn’t sure how much of this route I would actually be familiar with. I knew the area well enough that I’d be able to get back if I or the less-than-reliable GPS got us lost!

So off went the intrepid pair, following the little line of electronic dots on the virtual map. We quite quickly diverged from my favourite route and initially it was a little dull, we were on a ‘green road’ rather than just off in the wild. However, we tramped on enjoying the views and each others conversation. Little by little, we got to areas I had never seen before, and they just got prettier and prettier. We had a wonderful time, in a beautiful place, under blue, blue skies.

The lesson for me was that we can find wonderful surprises in places (and people) that we think we know. When we surrender a little of our usually tight control we open the door to all sorts of wonderful gifts. So today, my gift you is the chance for you to enjoy a similar wonderful surprise in something or someone familiar.

“Be ready to be surprised” Loeje (a dutch fictional character)
“Man is always more than he can know of himself; consequently, his accomplishments, time and again, will come as a surprise to him.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

 

Resources:

  1. Puttenham on Google