A statement which seems contradictory or absurd, but which expresses a truth.

Freedom is not doing what you want, freedom is wanting to do what you have to do…this kind of freedom is always rooted in practised habit. – Northrop Frye

If you want to move forward you have to stand still. To achieve certain goals it is important to first understand them and instill the right habits and practices which will enable you to achieve your goal. Most importantly – allow your goals to be altered because of the willingness to re-examine them.

If you simply jump in without hesitation the haste will cause error. It is like a child that wants to ride a bike without standing still first and listening to his father’s instruction. It does not mean that you remove error completely but perhaps disapointment and pain can be reduced greatly or even removed.

We are not brought up to embrace paradox, only human rationality which serves our own purpose. Everything has to happen quickly and efficiently and decisions have to be made faster than the speed of light because there is no time. Not true!

By doing less you achieve more. Take the concept of ‘time management’ as an example – I don’t believe in it. How can we think that by organising the details of my life I am in charge of time – it’s absurd. Instead I believe we have to detach ourselves from constraining kronos time (watch time) and attach ourselves to kairos time (season time). In other words look beyond the ticking seconds to the important matters that stretch beyond our own reality to make every second count.

Now just to be clear: I believe in punctuality and I will not let the falling leaves in autumn dictate my approach to life. To get a grip you got to let go.

Don’t plan, prepare. If I want to be prepared I cannot consider only one option. To be truly successful we have to be uncertain where we are going but not about who we are. Knowing who we are empowers us to know how we are going and that is the destination.

It is like a ship on the open sea. If you see yourself like this you position yourself to innovate, in other words you are ready to embrace different opporutinities as they arise and are in line with the purpose of your voyage. It is important to mention that once again you need to know who you are and know your final destination although you don’t know every detail of the course. Always have your true north!

This brings an important question about where we are heading both individually and together. Perhaps this could be the source of the next discussion…

Training for Defeat

In our Formula One lifestyle we are orientated to be prepared to take every turn in the road at life-threatening speed and be ready to overtake! We are flooded by books, TV, films, and myriads of direct and indirect messages that tells us to step up the pace or be left behind. I always thought that it did not affect me – I was invincible!

To my utter disapointment I realised the opposite. We picture that there are people out there that were born that way. By ‘that way’ I mean they were born with a remote in their hand, a mobile fone in the other, and a overpowering desire to prove themselves. We are so fortunate not to be like that! I discovered that within me lies potential – for great things and for terrible things. None of us just wake up one day and realise that we are now that dark figure hiding away somewhere finding delight in all the world has to offer yet never finding de-light (literally and figuratively).

Disgusted, I realised that slowly but surely I was starting to place my hope in things that will most definately disapoint. My desire was after that which does not fulfil. I had to be brutaly honest and ask myself ‘what do I desire’ and because of this ‘where am I heading’? Simple, yet difficult; because you need to become quiet – almost detached. This is not about taking a pit-stop. This is about parking the car and getting out of the race because the finish line could in fact be the end of the line. I thought I was OK just taking the pit-stop every now and again – refueling, new tyres, wipe the helmet – there we go! Now everything is the way it should be and this lap is going to be the best yet. I’ll pass everyone by, leave them in the dust. Oh man I got excited!

…But excited about what?!

I felt defeated, ashamed, even lost. This life is not about a race – it is most definately a journey in which we have the pleasant privelage of stopping, helping others stop, and enjoying that which lies behind (the good and the bad), where we are now (the good and the bad), and where we are going (yip, you guessed it THE GOOD AND THE BAD). I am not a masochist but life will have challenges and our character is determined by how we react to the challenges.

In formula one they race around a track – they go NOWHERE. When you take a journey – by car, boat, plane, truck, etc. the destination becomes sweeter. Sweeter because you take the time to taste life with those around you. And most importantly you grow. You become more – you don’t do more. The journey becomes the destination.

I am therefore gladly training for defeat.

The King and the Clown

Young as I am I have a natural sense of urgency and seriousness about life and hence the focus on strategy in my day to day work. I do however feel the tension within myself which is evident in the world around us: On the one hand we need to plan, look into the future and try to make some form of predicitons so we can adequately apply our resources. On the other hand we do live in a world of uncertainty and applying constructs that are too rigorous around us will smother creativity. The chinese have long looked at this problem and we are all familiar with the Ying and Yang – it is a philosophy of synergy, not balance. Balance is taking a little from both to act as counter weights in order to reach a desirable position/situation.

Synergy on the other hand is where the two actually compliment, or coexist to form a interdependent relationship. This is true in my personal life as well – off course whatever you learn in your personal life you will apply in your professional career (and vice versa) and in this manner it is also synergy. It becomes a kind of synergy within synergy. Knowing how much planning is necessary to guide spontaneity to reach greater levels of effectiveness is necessary in your professional career. It is also necessary in your personal life where yo need to grow – structure – yet you can’t do it without spontaneity, e.g. humor. What would life be without humor?! The two spheres then interact to form an interdependent whole that creates the synergy, not balance, to generate growth. In the end it is like the king and the clown: we need visionary leadership that can prepare responsibly and yet be as spontaneous as a clown to overcome the unseen challenges.

What are you?

To type or not to type?

This is the question I asked myself recently. At first I thought it useless to add my voice to the jungle of information an knowledge on the web already available. On the other hand…in history there has been no-one like me, the words I type have never been typed before and that in itself is reason to put them down so that many years from now when truly intellectual beings visit our desolate planet they are able to observe another part of a colourful rainbow that spans history. Sometimes it’s the little dots and odd marks that can lead to great things.

Welcome to The Konstrukt! Based on the adventures of Jan-Derick Nel. This blog is a challenge to everyone out there that believe there is more. More to life than being born, growing old and dying. I believe there is more; much more! I however cannot define ‘more’ on my own – I need help. That is where you come in. I do believe it was Socrates that said: “An unexamined life is not worth living”.

I enjoy traveling but there is no greater journey than the one inwards. Change is the only constant and being prepared is what this blog is about.
Please hang around while I develop this blog into an area where we can change minds and hearts, especially our own.

Stay tuned for further konstruktions.