To be misunderstood

The Coach's Notes #52

Friday night it was late, I was walking you home we got down to the gate, I was dreaming of the night…Would it turn out right? How to tell you girl, I want to build my world around you…Wanna tell you that it's true I wanna make you understand I'm talking about a lifetime plan…

Reminiscing, Little River Band, swimming around on repeat in my head. This is one of my ‘pining for the girls’ song when I was an awkward ‘wannbe in love’ teenager sitting alone in my room listening to this track over and over again as I ran through endless scenarios of falling in love with, let’s see…

Stephanie

Kimberly

Heather

Kathy (I still bare physical scars from her)

Lisa

Ingrid

Sue

Patty

Ms Boyd

The librarian, Ms Federico (i spent a lot of time in the library)

June

Amber

I was in love with a different girl every other week and Little River Band featured high on my playlist of love songs to pine to.

Listen if you haven’t figured it out yet, I am the most consistently inconsistent person you’ll ever meet. I have a butterfly brain that flitters from thought to thought, idea to idea, intention to intention. I hope you can handle that. I’d tell you that I’ll change, but I’d be lying to you. Besides what did Emerson say:

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with the shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradicts everything you said to-day.”

Ah but you are sure to be misunderstood.

Emerson again:

“Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.”

And if I can’t be great, then what’s the point?

So my friend, if my inconsistency bothers you…read Emerson’s Self-Reliance.


This newsletter thing is a work in progress, an experiment in form and possibility. One of the things I thought about this week was how to make sure all of my digital endeavours join up. I’m spread out all across the Internet like stars in the universe. I need a home-base, and The Notes seem as good a way as any to bring it all together, especially since I’m writing on the blog again.

So what went down this week…

#FromTheBlog

A Statement and a Question

I felt a bit scrappy this morning along with an incredible urge to walk around naked. There must have been something in my coffee to trigger a primal reaction.

Having watched Hamilton over the weekend, I now have the soundtrack on repeat in Spotify. Particularly the lead track Alexander Hamilton, also My ShotTen Duel Commandments, and Non-stop.  I admire people like Hamilton – people who are driven to a fault. They know what they want and are willing to move heaven and earth to get it.

Me, I’m way too laid back for that. I’m more of the Jimmy Buffet type in Margaritaville wearing my flip-flops and strumming my six-string.

Years ago I stumbled across this statement and question: 

It’s your life, what are you going to do with? 

Today, I contemplated this. I’m only a few weeks away from my birthday and I was wondering what am I going to do with the rest of my life?

Invite the Gods of Chaos

It’s amazing how much of life is routine.

I guess it has to be, otherwise we’d have chaos and chaos doesn’t make for good productivity and efficiency. Robert Spencer calls these routines power sinks as expressed by our habits – habits of being, habits of thinking, habits of doing, habits of feeling and habits of perceiving. But according to Spencer, these kinds of habits rob us of our power.

While they make our lives efficient, they also make our lives pretty dull.

If I compare my today with my yesterday, it’s pretty much the same. I drove the same route to and from work. And so far, I’ve sat at the same desk, done the same type of work, followed by a walk to Sainsbury’s for lunch at Starbucks. The variables – I had an egg sandwich instead of chicken, and a lemon-lime drink instead of a raspberry-blackcurrant drink. The coffee was the same in the same black thermos. I sat inside today instead of outside. Some of the people were different, some were the same (we’re creatures of habit after all and eat lunch more or less at the same time and there are only a handful of food options within walking distance of this office complex and industrial estate.

My thoughts were variations of the same handful of themes I think a lot about.

Perhaps I should start dicing again to breakup the monotony of my routines with randomness and chance.

And invite the gods of chaos into my life.

Desert Nights

Obama, ever the great orator. Many were singing his praises as he stepped up and gave a presidential condolence to the people of El Paso, something our current chief doesn’t seem capable or willing to do. 

My memories of El Paso are from a distance as I looked across the New Mexican desert at the shimmering lights of El Paso. I used to dream about escaping my Ranger School misery and disappearing into the city.

My jaw seems to be continually on the floor in shock at the state of madness we find ourselves in these days. The Chinese curse is most apt – may you live in interesting times they said – and boy do we live in interesting times. The rise of populist governments has me shaking in my boots a little bit. Politically the world is becoming more dangerous. There’s too much ‘you’re either with us or against us’ rhetoric going on. People are becoming tribal again and squaring off for war.

My broken body is slowly on the mend. I limped a little less today. I’m off to the doc tomorrow to see about my hand. I doubt that she’ll clear me as one of the wound holes has not completely closed yet and is still leaking out. It’s been 3 1l2 weeks now, when will it end?

Broken though I maybe, I’m back in motion again, so that’s good. I’ve captured some good sunsets over the last two days out on my evening walks (my only form of exercise at the moment as the gym is off limits until I get the all-clear from the doc).

Out of the blue

When you were younger did you ever have the feeling that you were headed for great things once you finished high school and headed off to university or into the world? Or did you feel like everyone else, but you, was headed for something great? And let me ask you this: at what point did you ‘jump track’ and realised after many years wasted, you were on the wrong track to begin with?

I got a chance to catch up with my friend Naomi on the phone today. It’s been an easy while since I last had any contact with her. Her face has cropped up from time to time on my social feeds, but that’s about it.  I like out of the blue calls like this. They’re interesting because you both have to fill in the gaps of time which causes you to reflect on what exactly you’ve been up to in the intervening time. 

Naomi is hardcore Gen X. She’s kind of on social, but not really into it. I think it’s FOMO, more than anything else’s, that spurs her on.

 Her go-to social is FB which, of course, according to marketing stats, is the place most Gen Xers hangout. My guess is FB reminds them of the old walled garden days of AOL. I have a love-hate relationship with the Face of Book. I much prefer Twitter, but if I want to reach people who fall in the same demographic as I do, then Facebook is the place to do that statistically. 

And just to be totally random with you, I bought one of these reusable Starbucks flasks…

the other day because I am determined to move more and Starbucks is the furthest coffee shop from where I work most weekdays. Gotta get those extra steps in, especially as I’m banned from my beloved weights. But we make do with what we have.

At breakfast, they took away my donuts

WB: Of course you’re mad. Why do you think they’ve gone through such lengths to confine you to the back pages of the Internet. If your ideas got out and went viral, it would be the death of nations.

SC: And so what, the people have a right to know, a right to decide for themselves.

WB: Please, don’t be so naive.


#ReadingPlaylist

On rotation this week in my world of books:

  1. I started reading the Alexander Hamilton biography that inspired the musical. Ron Chernow is a great storyteller.  I love narrative history books. They really bring the his-tory alive.  And Hamilton is such an interesting character. I’m looking forward to taking a deep dive into his life.

  2. Zero Hour for Gen X - Matthew Hennessey

  3. Engaged: Unleashing Your Organization’s Potential Through Employee Engagement - Geoffrey Matthews

  4. Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture - Douglas Coupland

  5. Art Matters Because Your Imagination Can Change the World - Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell

  6. I Smell Esther Williams - Mark Leyner

#MusicPlaylist

On rotation this week:

  1. All I Wanna Do - Sheryl Crow

  2. Goodnight Saigon - Billy Joel

  3. The Fear - Lilly Allen

  4. Groovin’ - The Young Rascals

  5. My Shot - Hamilton Soundtrack

  6. Non-Stop - Hamilton Soundtrack

  7. Reminiscing - Little River Band

#AppsPlaylist

If you’ve ever seen my iPhone, you know that I have a gazillion apps! I’m an app fiend. I thought an app column would be appropriate so I can share some of the tools I use on my iPhone for productivity, creativity, and fun. This column might not appear every week.

I had to do a lot of video editing this week, so I took the opportunity to experiment with editing video on my iPad. The two video apps that come up most are:

  1. LumaFusion

  2. KineMaster

I like them both for different reasons. They’re both super easy to edit in, although KineMaster was not as intuitive to use as LumaFusion. For straight editing, LumaFusion has the edge for me. It’s intuitive to use and you can edit you audio. But for adding video effects, I side with KineMaster. It has tons of effects and transitions that are easy to apply to your video.

You will have seen all of my cat trauma on social. It all started when my cat went missing for more days than he normally disappears for. So we bought a GPS tracker for him. It’s super awesome. Now I can stalk him LIVE and see his activity and historical movements.

The blue lines show his movements over the past 24 hours. He’s a real wanderer!

After pouring through loads of reviews I settled on:

  1. Tractive GPS - the cat and a dog version, the collar is super lightweight and has the quick snap release so you don’t have to worry about your cat choking itself. Plus since it’s a GPS collar you can find easy if it does come off your cat.

And for a little bit of fun and wind me down, I’ve been playing the trading card game:

  1. Lightseekers - Happy to battle you up if this is your sort of thing, drop me email and we’ll link up.

#Movie/TVPlaylist

Heck since I’m making lists. Here’s what’s been on the big screen and little screen for me this week.

Netflix

  1. WU Assassins - just started this Netflix original series yesterday. If you like martial arts flicks this is a good jam.

  2. The Other Guys - very funny, cop comedy with Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Michael Keaton, Eva Mendes (cameo Sam Jackson and the Rock).

Cinema

  1. Hobbs and Shaw - didn’t disappoint on the action.

Amazon Prime

  1. New Girl - don’t judge me! We all have our guilty pleasures and this is my dinner time watch (yeah, yeah, I know i should be focused on eating and having conversations with the family - but we’re kind of like the Simpsons in my house - the TV is our after work wind down bonding time).


Whoa!

Ok this has turned into an epic edition of The Notes. Two things going through my mind at the moment, one…if I’m going to go this kind of length, then for your sanity and my sake, I’ll most probably, definitely only be putting The Notes out once a week. And two, with my expanded topics, I’m wondering if The Coach’s Notes is an appropriate title considering I’m neither overtly talking about coaching nor personal development. What do you think? Should I rebrand The Coach’s Notes? Or does it not matter?

#LastWords

Look if you’ve made it this far, give yourself a BIG round of applause. You’re a champ and I applaud you and appreciate you!

Much love,

Clay