Learning Personal Development Ramblings relationships

What I learned this week!

Here’s a quick summary of things I learned this week:

  • Everyone you meet is on your side until you do something to annoy them or send them running
  • Everyone you meet is fighting their own battle, so go easy on them (If they don’t go easy on you, ask them why.)
  • Losing sense of yourself is a slippery slope
  • Those who have good, strong friendships can weather any storm
  • Riding a bicycle in the rain can be fun and takes me back to childhood when rain didn’t stop play!

And here are some questions I ponder:

  • Does light have/is it affected by friction?
  • If you are not self-aware…what are you?
  • How far in this world someone can get TRULY on their own?

How about you, what are some of the learnings/observations/questions from you this past week?

15 replies on “What I learned this week!”

Hi Andrew.

a) Recalling school physics, light doesn’t weigh anything so is unlikely to be subject to frictional forces (would need to check this). Friction is a result of interactivity between objects (of mass).

b) If you are not self-aware, surely what are you becomes redundant??

c) Everywhere and nowhere – often the darkest hours are the loneliest and the brightest spots attract the crowd.

Interesting thoughts to ponder, Andrew. Thank you.

Robin 🙂


Your questions were brought to my attention by Robin’s tweet. Excellent post Andrew…

Firstly, I believe we set ourselves up for disappointment if we believe everyone is on our side, on the contrary no one is on my side. If I believe everyone is on my side, I labour under the delusion they will always grant me a yes.

Secondly, everyone’s battle is unique and for some, a long dark night of the soul.

Suffering is no guarantee you will come out a better person, however what it does do is clean out your unrealistic expectations of others.

Having danced with your own dark side, you become more accepting and compassionate of the dark side in others.

No one owes me anything Andrew; not a dam thing — and that’s the truth I live with.

Anything granted to me by others, their time, resources, friendship or love always is always received as one receives scraps from the table of a king.

It’s I who owe life my best, in which case I frequently fall short.

@Robin Dickinson
Thanks for your answers, Robin – questions like mine pop up at the oddest of times.

re: Light – I thought the same as well re: it has no weight…but then thought of something like fog/mist that can alter the ‘straight’ path of light by dispersing it. Friction was the term that came to mind but also realised that it didn’t quite fit!

Woah, your ‘everywhere and nowhere’ has gone far deeper than I’d thought of it! I think there is value in exploring this even more! My initial thoughts were simply that we can never be successful (in any capacity) without requiring someone else’s help along the way. Behind every successful person (in their eyes or the eyes of others) can only have achieved that through not having had to worry about the small things. Darkness and light is an interesting angle because some people are very very creative in ‘dark’ moments but still require/need others to help them be/become successful. Conversely, Bright sparks (such as myself) also need others to help become successful – I am self-aware enough to know I cannot do it all myself and others help me achieve success! So the question still seems to be: ‘can’ anyone claim they did it by themselves?

@Catherine White
Catherine, as with Robin, you’ve shared some great, deep thoughts there, and summarised well. I work on the principle that everyone out there is going to want to help me should I ask and should they wish to say yes. It’s a positivity angle that I approach it from and equate it to an up-front trust model where trust is offered 100% up front, and it can be eroded over time. (There are situations where this model is required, such as a new work-group that you become a part of, a work project where you are involved for your necessary skills, etc). On the other side, there is the model which says you build up trust over time, and there are situations where this is called for.

I like to ‘think’ I start with the upfront model – perhaps I am deluded in thinking that’s how I approach people/opportunities?

Precisely ‘ everyone’s battle is unique, and my thinking here is that we cannot ascribe what we ‘think’ they’re going through without their permission. However we seem to do this regularly (generalisation here) with our biases/prejudices – most of which are implicit/hidden. Self Awareness here can help us catch ourselves in those times where we may be relying on our own view of things and not what is.

As long as we live our lives to the best of our own ability, what more can be asked?

Well said Andrew, and points taken in implicit trust in unfamiliar environments.

Even so, pardon me asking this question in these terms. Could we be a little naive operating from a position of believing everyone wants to help me?

Or let me put it this way, if we are trusting the force to which we subscribe, the Universe or God, isn’t it safe to believe the people that cross my path today have been destined to help me?

From which position, whatever the experience, negative or positive, then everyone in our life is there to help us.

While I take the point of difference in terms of the definition of help, I’m not convinced everyone that crosses my path today want’s to help me.

For instance it would be reasonable to assume there would be very few people going through customs at LA Airport, prepared much less willing, to help me.

Interesting discussion …

What an excellent discussion – I am not sure what to add as I’m just absorbing it all: some deep thinking and experience going on here across you three (3 of my favourites on Twitter you are: Andrew, Robin and Catherine)

Catherine’s points particularly resonate as through experience we learn the truth that not everyone we work with wants us to succeed – Andrew you allude to this with your point that everyone we meet is “fighting their own battle” Very true, and as a result, it is important not to take things personally.

Personally – I strive to help people – I just enjoy it – only today my daughter and I were on a bus together – a young mother and child were getting on with pram – we assisted – she was grateful – my daughter (12) got to hold the baby while the mother folded the pram – I felt fantastic helping the mother and child. Its the same online: its so easy to give help (like @iconic88’s tweets) and mainly we don’t know the effect it is having. I am pretty confident the effect is positive though.

Extrapolate to our business lives: as you say Andrew, we can’t become successful on our own. We need others around us to be inspired: we need to lead. Leaders inspire others to success. I count you all as part of that team – leading me to be better at what I do, and more successful.

Bring on more discussions like this.

Tony Hollingsworth

@Catherine White
Catherine, I am likely to delete the comment allowing me to edit your reply…your reply is just that, yours! I’m not going to edit! 🙂

You are right – not everyone who crosses our path WILL or WANTS to help us – there are those out there who will want to TAKE whatever we can give, and even with those people there’s a learning experience to be had. My thinking is that ultimately we do need others to succeed, and you are right – both positive + negative are there to help us in some way, as long as we can see the lesson and not take it personally (as Tony said).

@Tony Hollingsworth
The “fighting their own battle” line is more in reference to understanding that whenever 2 people meet, they both bring along their experiences, prejudices, and burdens. Sometimes, these will affect the quality/nature of the interaction or exchange, but it helps taking a step back to ask whether this is the ‘true’ nature of the person or is it something akin to them having a bad day. It’s difficult not to take things personally when the exchange isn’t healthy or happy or everything you want it to be.

One of my goals in life is to find out more about the people I interact with – I love hearing peoples’ stories and enjoy connecting with them on more than a superficial level. Catherine, I know you are wonderful at stories, and one day soon I am hoping to tap into you a little more and find out more about what you do/who you are….same goes for you Tony (although you know I’ve started that ball rolling already ;-).

Robin (aka ‘Mr Sketch’), I’ll be knocking on your door soon as well! 🙂

Now, here’s an interesting tie-in – when I started this post the first 4 points were (in my mind) loosely related – now, having had other thoughts (both yours and mine) I can see they’re all related to each other a little more than I originally gave credence….By design or coincidence?

And on the lighter side ….

1) creative friction intensifies light, destructive friction diminishes light

2) probably very comfortable in

3) surprisingly further than those whose who join with others would like…

In all seriousness, loved the post and really enjoyed the responses and the learning through e-dialogue. Thank you:-)

(a) re light & friction:
light has relativistic mass, meaning that it has energy which can be transformed into mass (E = mc^2). it does not have rest mass though, because it can’t be at rest (although this isn’t strictly true either!), meaning that it does not exhibit or experience a gravitational pull. light can’t escape a black hole, NOT because it’s being influenced by gravity, but because the space/time around that black hole is so extremely curved that the light’s straight-ahead motion looks to an _outside_ observer who’s not significantly influenced by the black hole’s gravity to be looping 180 degrees back into the black hole.

i found this decently-worded summary of what is a complicated topic ;):
“In reality, the speed of light never actually slows down. It is just
delayed as the photons are absorbed and re-emitted by atoms in the
intervening space. When a light beam exits a transparent medium into
a vacuum, it continues traveling at the same rate as when it originally
entered, without any added energy. This shows that slowdown is merely illusory.”

so, no, light doesn’t exhibit friction, per se. not sure if this what the gist of your question though!

(b) non-self-awareness:
ummm, if you don’t have self-awareness, then you’re an object that has little or no self-determination & are largely a tool for use by other entities?

(c) if by “this world” you mean “civilisation” as we know it, then not very far at all. for “short” periods, sure, we all can make progress through the world with little or no input from others, but in the long haul i don’t think you don’t get very far at all without engaging with people.

although, if you’re abandoned as a child & raised by wolves, then you might have a different perspective on the question :p although i guess having wolves for family doesn’t qualify as being on your own…

and learnings…
i love the way y’all have expressed yoursleves! it’s so easy to take (interpret) stuff from other people personally (& oh so common on twitter!). i keep learning that ‘friction’ with other people is more often nothing about or to do with me, just stuff in their head, and which they may project onto me, almost always inadvertently. AND vice-versa, me onto them. it’s a daily challenge to see past yourself, your own shit, and see the person in front of you with your own ‘filters’ minimised, before you can start to see through another’s filters, to see them.

and i love walking in the rain :).

@Robin Dickinson
Yes, I think it was by design, but at a subconscious level – the topics must have been swimming around together when I created the blog post.

@Catherine White
Catherine, can you elaborate on your comment a bit further?

I believe in serendipity and fate (to a small extent) and believe you can set out to live your life ‘by design’. Yes, some peoples’ designs may be malicious or something that does not work out for the benefit of everyone. I’d go back to the 3rd question (can it be done alone) + 1st observation (I’m here to help until you damage the relationship). If someone’s design is not serving more than themselves, how long will they last in relationships?

If I’ve missed the mark about your comment…let me know 🙂

Hey Andrew,

1) At the photon/atomic level – yes, I believe light is affected by friction. This is exhibited by refraction, which is the effect you see in fog (as well as causing magnification in denser media such as water and glass). If you dive you learn that the different frequencies of light fade out, which is why you lose colours underwater.

2) Amazing how many people I know who aren’t (very) self-aware. At some level we need to have sentience to have consciousness I guess, but it’s more likely to be a spectrum than binary. Is this spectrum affected by friction I wonder? 🙂

3) Not very. No genius has innovated anything without the help of a team, support of a spouse, and previous discoveries of others. There was a case of a girl raised by dogs in the Czech Republic (I believe). She was discovered at 13, and never learned to speak or walk properly.

I agree with Catherine on her last two points. Everything is by design, at some level, and much design is certainly the antithesis of magnanimous. Even design in tool creation has an ethical bias (I had to study this in my Masters in IT and Ethics). A gun is designed with an ethical bias to kill or destroy at large distances, and a scalpel has an ethical bias to incise precisely.


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