Day 77: Thursday
Good morning Zak,
I was having a conversation about music with a friend one day, when he just randomly volunteered something:
“Tim, you seem like you live a really peaceful life… like you’re really self-aware, or something.”
This surprised me. I wasn’t aware of myself coming across that way.
I guess that’s in right now. Everyone’s trying to be ‘self-aware.’ I’m not really sure exactly what that means. Seems like it has something to do with tweeting inspirational quotes and taking selfies. I suppose that helps. You know, it’s hard to be unaware of yourself when there are, like, tons of pictures of you all over the internet.
By the way, I’m really good at taking selfies…
…on second thought, no, I can’t show you that.
But self-awareness is definitely a big-city thing. It’s the kind of thing people think about with podcasts blaring in their ears on their way to swig down a quick mocha-grande… or whatever. Clearly the problem with our society as we sit alone in little cars honking angrily at each other for hours on end is that we aren’t aware of ourselves. We just assume that the strange smell in the car is coming from the engine or from something outside. No one would have guessed there was a person sitting in the driver’s seat.
Well one way to achieve self-awareness is to hold a four-hour session at work to talk about yourselves.
In your last entry:
“It’s a long time to spend not doing work…while at work. Yet, the insistence on and discipline in taking time to be introspective, to reflect on how we work well with others is admirable.”
Now I love hearing people talk about themselves. Really. But as far as introspection goes, I’ve found that in my experience it begins to have diminishing returns after a certain point. I say this as someone who spends probably most of his life alone thinking about things.
There’s nothing inherently right or wrong with self-reflection, but there certainly are limits to how effective it can be. People need something more. Something that Oprah or Dr. Phill can’t give them—nice as those folks are. I mean self-help is great, but let’s be honest. There’s no amount of money we can spend, no amount of therapy we can do, to solve the human condition. I want a quick fix as much as the next guy, but I’ve never heard of a tweeter feed that causes the lame to walk or the blind to see.
Anyway, Zak, you’re a great sport. I’m sure you were able to see the good in all that.