By Philippa Baines
Minimising demons for 2018
The New Year is a good time to change bad habits. I’ve got a lot of these that I hope to make some progress on. I thought this next SCAB was a good opportunity to organise my thoughts along these lines and start the new year heading in the right direction. Here are four things I’m pledging to work on for myself.
- Find your goal
There’s a beautiful scene in Alice and Wonderland, and it goes a bit like this:
Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don’t much care where.
The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.
Alice: …So long as I get somewhere.
The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you’re sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.”
This scene captures something about my situation. 5 years ago, I used to know where I was going; it was clear, it was reasonably simple and then I realized I didn’t like where it was taking me. So I stopped walking in that direction, and I started walking in High Brooms, I tried to get into consultancy and eventually became an admin assistant.
Sometimes I look in the mirror and I wonder what the hell I think I’m doing?
This term, I hope to find an aim or goal to set my sights on, that will lead me in a direction I’ll want to walk in for a long time. I need to talk to mentors more, seize more opportunities to get out of the school and set my sights on a ‘thing’ to truly want. I’m sure then all the ups and downs of term will make infinitely more sense.
- Be more accepting
Part of my inner narrative is prone to self-loathing and cynicism. It can be good, it’s a big driver to improve myself and has meant generally I’ve done well in exams etc. Problem is, creativity needs you to be quite carefree in the initial stages of ideas generation. This is a big hurdle for me. In 2018, I want to stop loathing myself, my ideas, my work and my existence more. Because I’m not that bad.
- Make more mistakes
So to balance me out, I want to aim for mistake-making term 2. Hopefully up to just before D&AD. I will make as many mistakes as possible so that I learn as much as possible. More than that though, I want to learn to like my mistakes. Ouch, that sounds painful reading it back already. But I think it’ll be a good exercise. Hopefully given my brain, I’ll reach a nice equilibrium where I’ll generate more ideas through loving mistake making and then when I put back on my sometimes all-encompassing cynical hat, I’ll have more to throw out and some true gems will emerge.
- Stop dwelling on meaning
‘Just remember that your sitting on a planet that’s revolving…’ goes the Python song. It lays a nice backdrop to my final point.
Often I sit in ‘the pit’ at school thinking why is everyone here? What is the whole world doing here? What am I doing? I read an interesting post by psychotherapist and all-around good guy Irvine Yalom recently and it said:
“Imagine a happy group of morons who are engaged in work. They are carrying bricks in an open field.
As soon as they have stacked all the bricks at one end of the field, they proceed to transport them to the opposite end. This continues without stop and every day of every year they are busy doing the same thing.
One day one of the morons stops long enough to ask himself what he is doing. He wonders what purpose there is in carrying the bricks.
And from that instant on he is not quite as content with his occupation as he had been before.
I am the moron who wonders why he is carrying the bricks.”
This is from a suicide note as quoted in Yalom’s book, Existential Psychology.
I’ve thought like that a lot in the past and even now it returns.
I think finding my goal is going important so I don’t think I’m just moving and returning bricks all the time. This might take time but I hope to forget about meaning and just love, in general, the moment so much that everything else just fades into the background.
So there you have it. Four things to do for 2018 to make my life better and to become a better person. Limbs are crossed for success.
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