I like to go into my local bookshop once a month and look for my next read.
What’s striking are the amount of self-help books available today. It’s really noticeable how that part of the shop has expanded over the past year.
Now this may be the owner has a particular liking for this type of stuff or that these are the books to stock if you want to grow your independent book business. Makes sense doesn’t it, local supplier, lot’s of self-help, personal development and business success books. I’ve always wondered if bookshop owners read everything in their shop.
Anyway, I’m straying off the point. Where was I? Yes, looking for my next read. Well I found a book by Haruki Murakami called, ‘What I talk about when I talk about running’. It’s a wonderful read; he’s such a talented writer. He makes many an observation of life and one of them in particular stuck out to me.
How much of your time do you spend on your inner world versus what happens to you from the outside?
A question in itself that’s not particularly earth shattering, yet it certainly made my world pause.
I wonder what I do? Is there a particular percentage split, like 50-50? Does it depend on where I am or who I’m with? One thing I did decide is that there is no definitive answer, other than we certainly should do both. Not very profound I know, but a decision nonetheless.
Whatever I do, I don’t always do it consciously. I’ve certainly gone through the motions at times. What I mean by this is that I just get on and do stuff. I make decisions, I ask questions, make observations and comments, often relying on experience and habit. I listen to respond rather than to understand, I agree with opinions readily, I go with the flow of those around me.
I wonder what would happen if I started to consciously think. Really think about what I do, made decisions on purpose, ask questions totally absorbed in that moment , listened to feelings, sped up and slow down conversations and interactions, would I get different results?
What I’m saying is, what would happen if I really spent concentrated time on my inner and outer world?
Because I think too much of our time is spent moving from one second to the next, allowing it to happen. How about for one minute, just sixty of those seconds, you paused either inside or outside yourself and thought consciously about what you do next? Maybe it will open up further possibilities. Maybe it will bring greater success. One thing’s for certain, anything you do consciously stays as a vivid memory.
So what are you waiting for? Start now.