Posts Tagged ‘living’

Happy People Don’t Write…Or Do They?

June 5, 2013

I find that when things are going well—when I’m happy—I don’t have the urge to write. Or perhaps it simply slides down or off the list of things I “really want to do.” When my two-year-grandson is with us, the sunshine, the sheer unabated joy of life he experiences, and even the intensity of the pains he feels, totally consume my thoughts, and I want to shut out everything else just to experience it. Writing a blogpost is the last thing on my mind.

I got some insight into this thru some sales training I’m taking (Sandler, for the record). It seems that, in statistical studies, people are motivated by a 2:1 factor by pain over other motivators. In other words, people buy to avoid pain at least twice as frequently as they do to satisfy any other need—pleasure, achieving a benefit, security, etc. And that seems to be human nature. It is the basis for most of the advertising media—create dissatisfaction, and people will buy.

So—I’m happy, therefore I don’t write. Simple.

Or is it? Yes, people are far less willing to buy into Pollyannaish stories than into Peyton Place, but still, there are genuinely happy stories to tell. Oftentimes, they are stories of overcoming some great pain—stories of courage, heroism, etc. Most of us really do like happy endings. But the key is in that phrase—“ending”—implying that there was an unhappier beginning, or middle. Every good story introduces conflict to move the plot.

So do happy people write? Sure they do. Maybe they just don’t get the publicity or the buy-in from people whose opinions seem to matter, but they do write. They may even be writing in private journals, pearls they hide away to keep them from being trampled on. Motivations for writing (or any creative art, for that matter) are as multitudinous as motivations for living, for relationships, or for being in business.

I write because I can. I write because it expresses me, it re-creates me, it grows me, it takes me places I’ve never been, and gives me thoughts I never had (this is one of them, in fact), and opens horizons of mind and relationship that would not have been there before. Writing is the vehicle to take me on a tour, around the world in 80 years—hey, I’m 75% there already. But I want the remaining 25% to eclipse the rest, just as the past year with my grandson has eclipsed the 59 that went before. I can’t explain it, but I can enjoy it.

And I can write about it, and maybe help someone else find their way into that joy.

Pooping, and Producing

April 9, 2013

My wife just bought a worm factory. Misnomer, if you ask me. It doesn’t manufacture worms. More like a worm farm, like the old ant farms, with the plexiglass walls where you could see them making tunnels and know that wasn’t how you wanted to live. This one isn’t clear—it’s a rust-brown square box made of stackable trays on legs, with a cover. (You can lift one of the trays and watch them clinging for life trying to reach the next level.)

You buy the factory/farm, then the worms separately, depending on your purpose in growing them. Ours is to get them to produce lots of poop and lots more worms, so they can produce even more poop. The poop is for composting in our garden and raised beds, and comes out the bottom at the side through a spigot designed just for that. (Probably more info than you care to know.) You have to feed them mixed “greens” (lettuce, carrots, etc.) and “browns” (coffee grounds, shredded newspaper, etc.), about a 50-50 mix. Supposedly they can multiply from 2,000 to 10,000 in just 16 weeks. (What’s that in a growth index, assuming you can keep the J-curve going? Something like 125,000% in a year?)

But it struck me that this contains a lot of analogies for our lives, and our businesses. We all want to thrive, to eat well, to have the right mix of “greens” (the growing and productive parts) and “browns” (the dying and discarded parts). We want to climb to the next level, not even knowing what that means sometimes, in the dark of unknowing, but still knowing we have to climb. We “poop” and produce—we’re born to both, and hopefully our “poop” makes someone’s garden productive.

Most of all, we serve a purpose not our own. We give our lives for the sake of those we invest in. We find value in our darknesses, and we yearn to go “from glory to glory, in ever increasing glory.” We are meant to, and we find our highest purpose there. Pooping, and producing.