“And I do not assume that my experience is universal. It is simply mine, and I offer it to you as a window, dirty though that window may be.”
opticalnoise (a blogger)
Sometimes young people say things with the type of panache you only expect from older people. This young blogger wrote the quote and I liked it enough to use it.
The basic thought many of us ignore. Experiences are personal <unless there is enough similar critical mass to make it quasi-universal>.
And in the business world I often find myself debating with people when they offer their experience as …. well … not dirty but rather … well … universal (and that is an issue).
Two basic thoughts.
– Research of one is not research.
– The odds that the person relating the experience <in business management> actually reflects mainstream American <or any mainstream consumer> is so low that, well, even Las Vegas wouldn’t take them odds.
Realize that your experience is most likely not universal <particularly when discussing business … but beware when offering personal advice also>. This may seem like a no brainer, but I can’t tell you how often this basic rule is ignored. WE, even the most savviest behavioral people in business, ignore it all the time <alebet in degrees not wholesale>. I think a large part of it is that is because people personalize their experience <or their wife/husband’s/group of friends> that they cannot fathom that no one else feels exactly the same way.
All that said I am now going to share my dirty window experience list <although I actually stole the original thought from a blogger named arina and put my own dirt on some different windows>. I created the list because I almost have it all figured out <yeah … not so much>. Thinking back from my personal experiences I believe there are a few universal experiences <let’s call them windows we all peer through on occasion just for the sake of this post)> that seemingly work without fail throughout life:
– The Karma window
Karma is this random thing floating out there in the ether that somehow impacts cause & effect on all of us. Simplistically … for every action there is a reaction. Yeah. Every action <and thought just in case you have forgotten>. It is amazing to me how often we forget that our actions always, yes, always, have repercussions.
Whatever force we exert … things we send into the ether around us in the form of our thoughts, feelings and actions … comes back to us in kind (if not sometimes multiplied). There are no exceptions and you get no free passes. Oh. Please note I included thoughts & feelings in the “cause” column. That is truly the Karma aspect. Somehow … someway … thoughts & feelings enter into the ether as some type of tangible force (or ’cause’) that often creates a nuclear-sized effect. Never forget that.
– The Life window
This may actually be a different pane of glass in the Karma window. We are all connected by invisible glass in one window … called the Life window. When we hurt someone or when we pass judgment on someone … we are affected as well. Sorry. Life, for some reason, just likes to keep everything balanced.
What that means is you are probably better off (or more likely to be happy) if you attach what you care about (and Life objectives) with good intentions for other people. If you look at it selfishly, when your objectives benefit other people there is less difficulty in achieving them. Oh. And others will assist you. If you don’t look at it selfishly … well … just assume more good shit will happen in your life if you do good shit (and think good shit about other people).
– The Creation window
Everyone is creative and every one has unlimited creative potential. It is just how you define creation. Create art. Create financial success. Create the most awesome balance sheet your company has ever had. Create a kid that will be the next president. Everyone one of us has the potential to create some type of greatness. You just have to make sure the window is open and the blinds are open. Oh. And make sure you know that you actually have that window.
– The Neutrality window
Life is neutral. It does not play favorites. This is probably a derivative of the balance thing. In the absence of good & evil Life probably wouldn’t choose sides but rather stay in bed taking a nap. Life does not decide someone is more important or less significant. Life never randomly punishes. Life never randomly rewards. Nothing is random but pretty much (with some notable exceptions) everything is earned. Everyone is given an opportunity to learn something (which ultimately is the key opportunity for personal success). Everyone pretty much has a chance in Life (albeit it is tougher for some people than others).
– The Action window
This is the window right next to the neutrality window. In the absence of individual action Life will do its own things in its own time. Life does not just happen to us. It requires our active participation. Remember. Life is neutral. If you are inactive … Life is inactive <with you>. It will not take interest in you until you take interest in it. It is too busy paying attention to people paying attention to it.
– The You cannot Ignore ‘What is’ window
“What is” will evolve into “what will be” when ignored. That I guarantee. In other words … you will continue to receive what Life gives you even if you refuse to accept it. If we ignore our problems, they will only get bigger and more urgent. If we ignore opportunities, they will cease to exist. If we refuse to learn lessons from the past, larger, more serious, lessons will be given to us. If we obsessively pursue a goal or idea that is not right for us, it will elude us until we accept that we can live without it.
– The Stagnancy window
This one is the opposite side of the Action window pane. And this one is a warning. Stagnancy is addictive. What I mean by this is, if the view from your window is awesome, you can find yourself sitting there doing nothing but enjoying it. So. This I guarantee … it may be a beautiful view today but if you don’t move … and just stay there … it will lose its appeal. Stagnancy is the death of inner growth and happiness (or seeing beauty in life). When you do not use skills you lose them. Similar, without continuing effort in personal growth, you are doomed to fall back as Life continues moving. What happens then? Obsolescence. Life, and people, and thoughts, and whatever …. just pass you by.
– The Impatient window
Impatience is sneaky in life. Sometimes it can disguise itself as ambition or ‘goals’ or things like that. Because the allure, and desire, of success is something we all desire. And we may like the idea of instant gratification or easy success or short cuts … but deep down all of us know that things of value have to be earned. And that is where impatience rears its ugly head. You are peddling as hard as you can toward success … but as look through this window you are impatient, and it is challenging, because you want it NOW … but this window is about patiently waiting for the reward to come in its own time. Ok. This doesn’t mean you should be scared to do things nor shouldn’t be ambitious … this is more about having some common sense. Good things typically don’t come easy. If it were all that easy anyone could do it. Maybe learn to be patiently impatient for success.
– The Reality-based Optimism window
Here is a reality <2 of them actually>.
- Negativity begets negativity. If you think negatively I can guarantee you will never attain happiness.
- Uh oh. But. If you always think optimistically I can guarantee you will always be disappointed <sorry about that>.
So can you ever be happy? Yup. By being realistic, but being optimistic. A truth in this window? Good things DO happen to good people. Well. Let me be specific … that is ‘good people who exhibit some reality-based goodness’. By the way … for anyone who wants to debate the view from this window …. research (published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) predicted in simulated models that generosity/trust pays. Mathematically they found it pays to be trusting in the long run even though you will sometimes be cheated (so that is how Santa can figure out how to assess naughty or nice).
– The Trade-off window
For everything you gain you have to give up something else. This is an unfortunately simple complex dirty window.
And the last.
– The Desire window
This window sometimes has a weird filter over it that makes things not look as they really are. What I mean by that is not everything we go after is what we truly want. Sometimes we only think we know what we want … and sometimes we don’t know what we want until we get it. Maddening? You bet. But everyone has this window. Unfortunately this window is most typically found in the main room so you look through it a lot. This window is also, individually, often the dirtiest. You will be tempted to go to other people’s houses and look thru their “desire window” and hope for some guidance. Sorry. No can do. Your Desire window is your Desire window. I kind of think they are like snowflakes … no 2 the same. You will probably not have a more aggravating window in your home. Too bad. Every home has one.
There you go. I would suggest these windows are universal but will be individually dirty in different ways. At best you should try and wipe each one as clean as you can <smudgy is better than dirty>. While I made my personal experiences universal … I do look through other people’s dirty windows as often as I can.
Like the opening quote said … they offer a view … regardless of how dirty the view may be.