Normally, on a day like today I’d write about football and share some quotes from Vince Lombardi in advance of the super bowl, however; today I want to talk about something different.
What is the big experience that has driven your life?
Each of us has a series of experiences, things that have happened to us, books that we’ve read, or people that we’ve met, that have changed us. Often times without some introspection, those experiences influence us and drive us subconsciously. The more time you take to explore the influence of these moments in your life the more you’re able to fulfill your life journey or destiny.
Understanding what motivates you, what motivates each of us, has always been a fascinating subject to me. I find there is so much to learn from one another. I fundamentally believe that the human condition hasn’t changed, we struggle with the same things ancient Egyptians did. The difference is that technology is making the world a smaller place. From stories carved into cave walls to the advent of the printing press and now the social media age, we can connect with virtually anyone in the world.
So much of social media is a projected image and not an honest conversation between people. We’ve traded connection for a genuine shared understanding of what makes each of us great. All of these new tools can help us find our better selves or fall prey to our worst inclinations.
One of my favorite songs is by Pink Floyd “Wish You Were Here” released in 1975. The second set of verses in the song are profound and have always resonated with me. Is what you’re choosing what you want?
“Did they get you to trade
Your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
Did you exchange
A walk on part in the war
For a lead role in a cage?”
I have been working on how to create a forum in which people can share the big ideas in their life. How their hopes and dreams drove them and what lessons could they share with all of us about their journey.
I’ve started a new brand called Wonderingbuddha.com. Not to be confused with the wandering Buddha, which is the story of Siddhartha. After leaving his Fathers kingdom behind him in the renunciation of his former plentiful life as a prince, he began to drift from place to place as a devoted wanderer. In search of the ultimate meaning of life he found and studied with the wisest men of the time. But to his disappointment, no matter how far he traveled, not one knew the answer to end the suffering that had so greatly affected him.
The Wondering Buddha is a place where we contemplate the what and the how. What is the big experience(s) in each of our lives? We are working on the creative and have secured all of the social handles to build this brand. Our initial effort will be focused on a series of podcasts in which I’ll interview a diverse group of people and talk to them about their journey and their big ideas. I want this to be a series where we learn from one another and share perspective.
Along those lines, I thought I’d tell you a story about me…
When I was very young, my mother enrolled me in a swimming class. The methodology for this class was the Sink or Swim method. The lessons at first were learning to put your face in the water and blow bubbles, then we practiced kicking while being held by the coach, then we moved on to pushing off the wall into the arms of your coach. Well, I was terrified to push off the wall for some reason. My coach said to me that he’d throw me in the pool if I didn’t push off, of course, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. He in fact threw me into the deep end of the pool to force me to swim. It was a horrific experience, to say the least, and has been seared into my consciousness ever since. It goes into my top five worst experiences of my life.
Several years later, I had the opportunity to join a swim team. I immediately signed up for the team. I had to prove that I could be a great swimmer. I spent the remainder of my childhood swimming competitively and achieved significant success. Swimming had a profound impact on my self-esteem and shaped my personality in many ways. The big idea for me is that I had to prove to myself that I could do it, that no matter what, I was going to prove the coach wrong. Throughout the course of my life, every time I’ve been challenged by someone or something, I have to prove to myself that I can overcome the situation. I just won’t quit until I’ve succeeded. I have a dozen similar stories to share about overcoming difficult situations, it’s why I am so optimistic about life. That drive within me has been a thematic narrative in my life experience, some of it great, and some of it not so great. But that is what the podcast is for … to talk with people about these seminal moments in their lives how it’s shaped them and what they’ve learned.
I hope Wondering buddha can be a place to share ideas and spark inspiration. I’ve identified about 50 people on my list to be interviewed. We’ve found a broadcasting booth a couple of blocks from the office in DC that we’ll be utilizing while we get this off the ground. Don and team are working on the creative and we’ll have our site up soon.
If you’ve got a story or stories to share, I’d love to interview you for the podcast. Just let me know.
Let’s go be great!