- Thoughts for inspired living

April 17, 2009

No Splinters

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:09 am

There is one deterrent that keeps us from reaching the top of the totem pole – splinters. My personal and professional experience is that we are looking for an elevator ride to the top – a splinterless shimmy, if you will. It’s the one piece of fantasy that makes lazy, lazier.

This is not to say there isn’t an easier way, there usually is but we don’t find it because we spend the bulk of our time looking for ways to get around the necessary work. We divert ourselves with the grandeur of magic that keeps us focused on the hocus pocus rather than what’s behind the curtain.

I’ve told the story before about the head of our computer department taking 20 minutes to tell me why he didn’t have time to complete a 10 minute job. Fear of splinters.

Spending all your time avoiding splinters may keep you sticker free but you’ll continue looking at the top of the pole from the bottom. It makes your neck ache with more pain than any splinter will contain.

I’m not suggesting you become a glutton for pain. That’s someone who’s filled with guilt and looking for forgiveness in an area where it can’t be found. My nudge is to have you recognize the pattern that has you focused on splinters rather than on what you want.

There is a martial arts philosophy that if you get to choose the weapon for the battle with your opponent, you will choose the weapon that scares you the most. The savvy martial artist will allow his opponent to choose the weapon and use their fear to his advantage.

We focus on the fear rather than what we want which always leaves us with a continually pregnant to-do list.

I’m all for making life easier but for many that quest is a diversionary way of life.

A wish list will remain a wish until we recognize the fear than stands in the way of success. Fear is a pattern of thinking that produces some pretty scary feelings in our body. I’m wondering if you’ve ever taken the time to feel fear fully. Have you ever invited it in for a pow-wow? We rarely stare fear in the face and find out what’s on its mind. We keep it in the shadows where we can’t get a clear glimpse. That practice keeps our imagined image of fear scarier than fear itself.

Splinters are fears. We want to go through life without encountering either. We dwell on life being splinter free and fair, and as The Grasshopper reminds us, “Fair is a fairy tale.”

This myopic focus keeps more splinters than necessary coming our way.

How many ways can I divert myself? Let me count the ways. Rather than counting, notice. Notice when you divert your attention away from fear. Just by noticing, you begin to keep your eyes open more often, only to find that the scary parts of life’s movie aren’t so scary. This gets your focus on your goal and off the pitfalls.

If you’re afraid of heights, your downfall is looking down. Stay focused on the step you are on and the next step up will present itself at the opportune time.

Not noticing our diversions keeps us looking down and in lock step with unexamined fear.

Doing diffuses fear. The key to doing is to notice the diversions. Once you recognize their many costumes, they can’t fool you anymore. You recognize them for what they are – splinter producing side roads.

There isn’t a splinter free path. Fear preys upon that reality and exaggerates the odds keeping us from starting our climb. Noticing diversions and allowing yourself to face and feel your fears will keep self induced splinters to a minimum.

Which of these questions will get you into action quicker?

“How do I get to the next step?” OR “Who’s got the tweezers?”

If it’s the second one, your life won’t have many fun banister rides.

All the best,


Be Sociable, Share!