Dream vs Security

On my journey I am continuously challenged by different opportunities.  I dream of freedom, creativity and simplicity.  As I dream I look around me to see what needs to be done practically.  I am continuously aware of the tension between the dreams in my heart and the requirements of living a life that is secure.  Secure, that’s a nice word.  What the bleep is it anyway… Security!?  Is it freedom from danger, risk, etc. as the dictionary tells you?  Is it something that we put on to make us feel better – a little like an expensive coat?  A coat that can be taken away at any moment…

Why does it look like if you choose security you sacrifice your dreams?  I see so many people that have settled for security or have faced the choice of taking greater risks and have chosen to settle for something secure.  I personally also know people that have taken risks and have then burnt their fingers trying a new venture.  The result is that they then choose a more secure option for the future.  Can you blame them?  You have to start thinking of the kids, education costs, retirement…  The list is endless.  The basic cost of a decent standard of living is rather ridiculous.  Have you ever been in a situation where you look at what’s left of your salary/income after deductions for medical aid, cars, house and a few other basics and thought to yourself: “How on earth is this possible?”

I am an idealist, iconoclast, dreamer and believer!  I want to see the small guy win.  I hunger to see a world that really cares but still gets things done.  I hope to find many more inspiring leaders just around the corner.  I see the future for others as they themselves can’t even see it yet.
In all this I have to find peace in tension.  Tension between the dream and security.  Tension between action and rest.  Tension between fatalism and free will.  Aaaagh!  Man this is really frustrating… And actually very exciting.  It is not just one thing.  Not boring.  In actual fact the challenge is beautiful.  The way I see it is that if I can get a little more comfortable with change I can be so much more – BE, NOT DO!

I guess this is why I try stuff.

Measure by Growth

What do you measure by? Results are important but many times results come much later like fruit on a tree or grapes on a vine.
Many times in the past I have looked back when it seems like I am heading in the wrong direction and asked my parents if they think I have made a mistake.  The answer that I mostly got was: “No, because we can see how much you have grown”.
Perhaps they are looking at results but it is results on a continuum.  In other words the result is me being more mature yet knowing that it is the next step on the journey that I have achieved, not a destination or final measurable result.

My current season really reflects such a phase.  I know that I have grown tremendously in the last year and have come to accept myself as I am more than ever before.  I am making peace with where I am and have come to greater insight regarding ambition.  I see ambition as the driving and destructive force behind our current global condition.  Think about what ambition – the desire to achieve, stand out and be something, has done to our world and communities.  Never before have we been so ambitious in our goals and never before have we wreaked such havoc on our planet.  Inequality is greater than ever and even though we have made major advances that contribute to our standard of living we are no happier than 50 years ago.

I believe that it is ambition that drives a meaningless pursuit after our own, predominantly instant, gratification.  We have polarised our societies into those that are rushing forward at a reckless pace and those that seek greater meaning and purpose in what they do.  I don’t think this divide will ever change but hopefully more and more people can meet in the middle where we engage one another in work that centers on love, money and meaning.  I don’t think we have to settle for the tyranny of the ‘or’.  It does not have to be about money or love; why not both?

What I do make a case against is the domination of our ambition that blindly leads us over the precipice into the abyss.  Ambition that looks at monetary results and ignore the growth of individuals and communities.  Ambition that ignores the growth required to make things more sustainable and full of life.

So what are we measuring?  What is the result we are looking for, and more importantly, who do we have to be to realise our dream?