Recently I met Martin Rogers, an ex-National Geographic photographer and very accomplished print artist. He has Malaria. The title of this post is a subject that we frequently explore. In writing this, I’m hoping to arrange my thoughts and offer a view and perspective on how I’m living my life currently.
Martin and I are much alike in many ways, we have enormous Child selves. We’re both very creative and share the same joys of learning, discovery and curiosity. We’ve both adept to experiencing life with the naivete of a Child. He has been very successful, while I’m getting started and on my way. He tells me that in order to achieve success, you must “Grow up”. Be an adult. Now, this is not meant to be a permanent state but rather a manner in which we approach our duties and responsibilities. The Adult self in essence is there to protect the child. It’s not there to hold the Child’s hand and guide it harmlessly through life, it’s there to watch, observe and act as a reminder that yes, when play time is up, it’s time to go home.
This is Responsibility. The Adult self is there to pay bills, make dinner, do chores, taxes, etc.
“We only need 10% Adult, dedicate the rest to your Child”. Martin says this every chance he gets.
We’re all given a box of crayons as children to draw and create works that represent the way we see the world. As children we have wild imaginations, we explore. Excitement and freedom, happiness and joy is around every corner. Wonder and endless possibilities lie awaiting. But then something interesting happens, as we age, even just slightly, we’re forced into growing up. One we have a choice in, the other we don’t. I think the real problem is that we’re never told it’s ok to go back.
“You’re an Adult now, start acting like one”. How many times did you hear this growing up?
Yes, we must be responsible in many areas of life. Finances, being one of the most important. We have obligations to satisfy and duties to perform in order to secure ourselves for the future.
Now, enter the rat race. More, more, more! Go, go, go! Keeping up with the Jones’s. I see too many people simply wanting to get more. More of anything. Enter Greed, enter Selfishness, enter Ego. Instead of taking steps to live a lifestyle that you desire, too many just focus on more. Yes, the Child goes through phases of Selfishness, but they soon become aware of the Pleasure that comes with Sharing. “I don’t have to play alone if I share my toys”. The Imagination of two playing off each other, simultaneously constructing a fictitious world grows exponentially. Isn’t that a wonderful sight to behold?
I think we work too hard at being secure later on, and once ‘later on’ gets here we’re too old to play, too tired, too exhausted. What was once a part of our imagination has now been wiped away and we’re left with a tightly sealed box called Reality. The Adventure is gone.
The Teenage self is all about Rebellion. Rebel without a cause. Being different just for the sake of being different…and that’s a topic for another day.
How does this tie into “Faces for Change Ride”, my cycling adventure?
I let the Child explore ideas, options and fantasies. I had no shame, no fear or any thought tell me “I can’t do this”. I used the Adult to plan, save money (just enough), and see that the Child is protected (just enough).
Within all three of these Selves we can find Motivation, Purpose and Strength. Each offers a different Perspective and guides us in its own separate ways.
Which one will you use and how will you use it? Share your thoughts in the comments.