‘Unconventional’ – it’s not pretty, and it works. Start now.

Living, working, being ‘unconventional’.

It’s definitely not safe. It will necessarily be polarizing, and can seem like utter madness.

It is not ‘normal’.

Yet if we take the leap, take it with heart and from a place of respect and curiosity, of service and dignity onto others – remarkable things can happen.

(Source.)

(Image source: Steal Like An Artist.)

This requires us to divorce ourselves from an overwhelming need to be liked. It pushes us toward being OK with living in a certain degree of uncertainty and doubt. It flirts with the possibility of hitting rock bottom.

It demands that we stop making excuses and start owning that what we have right now is enough to start.

•  •  •

We were lucky to have Mark Brand speak his story at TEDxVancouver 2012 in October. Having lived quite the eclectic story growing up, Mark brought his fire to Vancouver in 2006, and pours everything he’s got into his now soul-home(s) in Gastown.  I actually only watched his talk for the first time last week. (Funny how leading the action Front Of House and being so close to the event actually led to my missing out on the very talks that TEDx is all about… But I digress. That’s what labors of love are – sacrifice in service sometimes comes with the territory).

Make 17 minutes in your day to watch & listen to Mark’s thoughts and words on “The Impact of an Unconventional Solution”. Listen to what a story of user-centric design and ‘living your work’ can looks like. Listen for the difference dignity makes. Listen to the full story – not just the ‘highlight reel’. Listen for the real.


There is nothing more invigorating than understanding how flawed you are, and still believing that you can do good. – M Brand

•  •  •

If the incredible souls mentioned in Mark’s talk can do what they do, you can sure as hell do what you’re yearning for.

The question is not whether it will be easy. (It won’t be). The question is: is it worth it? If your answer is “yes!” then I say – whatever that leap looks like for you – do it.

Leap, already.

Humbly,
~ H

One absurd practice we could all question…

As I see it, the sentiment is quite widespread.

• Offered to someone starting a new chapter, whether it’s a new year of life (hello, birthdays!) or an exciting travel adventure.
• Thought by many a well-intentioned parent, guardian, and friend.
• Hand-written in cards and notes of all sorts.

I feel like it either (a) comes from a good place or (b) is expressed ‘just because’ – it’s socially acceptable, essentially expected at times.

Either way, I propose we all immediately put an end to this ‘polite practice’ of wishing one another “nothing but the best“.

"I wish nothing but the best for you."

Sounds good, right? (Source.)

Why?! It seems appropriate. Kind. Certainly polite. Generous, even.

Yet having and living “nothing but the best” robs us of context – without which we cannot really truly understand, cannot grasp reality, and cannot truly empathize. A life without context is absurd, to me.

Life without context is living in blindness, ‘blissfully’ unaware. If “the best” is all we know, then our perspectives are uni-dimensional, inexperienced, untethered, out-of-touch, unintentionally ignorant… Frankly, I think these skewed perspectives are an insidious danger, to both ourselves and for those around us.

So instead, I propose we all do one another (and ourselves) a favor and take to the habit of wishing one another “enough“.

•  •  •

“(This is) a wish that has been handed down for generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.” (…)

“When we said ‘I wish you enough’ we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them”.

“I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
//
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
//
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
//
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.”

(Modified and abridged from this post.*)

•  •  •

“Enough” reflects reality. “Enough” gives us a well-rounded perspective, encompasses a spectrum, keeps us in check. “Enough” helps bring us to what I consider an ‘ideal state’: head in the clouds & feet on the ground.

Otherwise, we human beings have this pesky tendency to habituate, to compare up, to take things for granted, and fall into the bottomless pit of entitlement. ‘Nothing but the best’ can (and does, as I’ve seen it) spoil us.

Seems like sound advice. (Source.)

Seems like sound advice. (Source.)

So I leave you with “enough”, as a suggestion. Wish yourself enough instead of ‘the best’. Wish enough onto others. Swap out the vocab – swap out the sentiment – and see where it leads.

Humbly,
~ H

What do you think? Is moving towards wishing for ‘enough’ something that you agree with, or is this all crazy-talk? Do you see any applications in your experience? Any ‘exceptions to the rule’?

Connected:
Ivan Illich – To Hell With Good Intentions
Nurture vs. coddling – on a.musing.
How to make everyday great

~ ~ ~

* In curating my inputs over time, I’ve amassed quite a few online resources that inspire me to spontaneously reflect, question, rethink, pause, innovate and integrate. I’ve designed these habit triggers into my everyday, via all my social media channels. My Twitter feed, Facebook news feed, Instagram roll, Tumblr dashboard… each constantly delivers value and interesting content whenever I log on — it’s a cross-pollination haven. I have The Idealist on Facebook to thank for the discovery of this little tidbit.