Monday, 10 March 2008

What needs changing

I said some time ago that it's very easy to identify when someone is not doing something well. I myself can criticize almost anyone or anything which is a bad habit and I'm trying to get rid of it. More precisely, I'm trying to get rid of criticizing only. For me, it has been a long process to learn how to criticize constructively and not just saying what's wrong even if I can say how that wrong could have been done better. A bit complicated statement but to cut it short: I am changing from negative to positive.

It's like a long lasting (maybe everlasting?) learning of the steps of how to improve. My current guidelines for myself regarding changing things are something like the following (and it doesn't really matter whether or not I'm thinking about aikido when applying these steps).

  • It's easy to see what's wrong. I should note these things and think about whether I can or want to change them.
  • There have been some wrong steps that happened in the past, those can't be changed so I need to learn from them (My affirmation from Saturday: "I accept the unchangable". See later in another post about ITP). Sometimes I'm still struggling with wanting to change the past. When this happens I usually take my little book about peace and read from it, especially the parts saying "let go the past". I feel much lighter after reading a couple of these lines.
  • If something is happening in the present, I still need to think about whether I can or want to change it. For example, there was an article I read about communication, thanks to Mark for posting the link in his blog. One paragraph from this article was particularly interesting and gave some lighter feeling, too. It described the sunset and the main idea was the following. When you see the sunset, you just admire, look and accept it. You don't say "Soften the orange a little on the right hand corner, and put a bit more purple along the base, and use a little more pink in the cloud color.", why would you want do it another times, especially with human persons. It's easy to try to control others, especially if you are in a higher position, but is it really necessary? When I feel unsafe for some reason I tend to try to control others, too. One of my aims is to look at them like I look at the sunset. Maybe I want to look at them as sunrise in which there is the opportunity for a nice day and I don't even need to want to change in the way other's day will go unless they ask for it (or threaten me like an asteroid which is nice to look at but can make a lot of mess upon impact). It's similar to moaning about the rainy wheather. It has to rain sometimes, doesn't it? I take my umbrella or go faster to get some shelter (just like this morning I was running away from the London storm as I didn't want my laptop to become wet). I'm learning to let happen whatever doesn't need changing.
  • When I decide I want to change something I should do my best to make it to as good as well as possible. Sometimes it's not the 'doing my best' part which is hard but to completely decide and be committed that I want to do it and it also needs my best. This applies to my current PhD work. For a long time I was almost convinced that it was useless for what I felt I needed for myself. I'm still not entirely convinced but at least I'm close to finishing and the other thing is that I haven't really experienced any alternatives (workwise) for which I could say "that's definitely better both for short and long terms". So I convinced myself that I needed to do my best to finish, even if I felt there was some lie in it.
  • When I have changed something I should look for something else that's worth making better, more importantly, it feels better to make that thing better. This is the hardest part for me. To leave the safe and finished business (university, finished contract, PhD, etc.) and start a new one. I'm currently thinking hard on what to do next after submitting my thesis and probably I should have started looking for work but I haven't made up my mind yet as to what I should do, should I continue what I do (and should I stay in academia or apply for some research job at a good industrial company) or should I change completely (for probably less money which is currently a big thing as my PhD funding has run out exactly a year ago)? This is the current question of the month for me, possibly the question of the previous and upcoming months as well.
Change is an interesting thing. Probably I shouldn't think about it this much but make it happen if I can and want to. What do you think?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good, good. Now: keiko, keiko, keiko.