Some of the most common conversations newbie parents have are about what the kids are up to. Often the best parts of being a parent are the moments you get to observe your child doing stuff without realising they are being observed. Just carrying on in their natural state, busying themselves with something they are intrigued by. It can be fascinating or funny and even bring you to tears of pride and happiness.
We often watch and talk about our kids as if they are visiting aliens, a different species that have come to stay with us. People can do this with pets too – observe their habits and patterns and from that describe their unique quirks and personality.
If we employed the same technique with ourselves, we’d solve so many of our problems.
Observation and noticing what we do, what we say, how we feel in certain situations, how we react, how we are when busy, what quirks we have – all of this stuff is useful to know. How we interpret it of course is a different ball of wax, but just noticing it can be incredibly useful to our lives.
Obviously if you have no problems, no challenges ahead of you, no mountains to climb or dragons to slay in your life then this skill of self-observation is of no use to you. (But I would add that if that is what you believe then you are really screwed!)
The path to fulfilment is one where you solve your problems effectively and without crushing others along the way. The first step in this is to recognise that you do have problems – you must name them in order to have any hope of finding a solution.
Next you must harbour some semblance of self-belief that you can solve them, otherwise you won’t even bother trying.
The next step is probably the hardest – it’s the point where you have to swallow your pride (or box up your ego for a moment) and admit to yourself that the problems you have are a direct reflection of YOU. In other words it is your own flaws or quirks that are creating the problem – it is not external to you – and from this humble realisation you must then take the next obvious step and claim total responsibility for your predicament, or more accurately, claim total responsibility for getting yourself out of your predicament.
Once you’ve gotten this far you have broken the back of the beast – now you can get to the easy part – Observing yourself as if you were a complete stranger in order to learn what you are really like, as we do with our children – as you will do with your children in the future if you can summon the courage to face your problem.
You could call it naming and shaming the quirks within yourself – but it’s only worthy of shame if you don’t do this – if you go ahead and do this you become a hero and your life changes.
Do you know what problem you want solved?