Category Archives: Wayne’s Picks

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Clean up your mess

Good messes vs. bad messes. ✎ By Wayne K. Spear

Photo courtesy of udge, on Flickr

Messes can be figurative or literal.

You’ll find them in your thoughts, your relationships, your habits, your closets.

Messes can be emotional, psychological, physical, and spiritual. Often they are more than one of this list.

My son cleaned his mess. When he was done, he was amazed at how big his room was, beneath all the chaos and clutter that had made it seem cloistered.

How do you feel when you walk into a mess? Your emotional state is related to your physical environment, whether or not you are consciously aware of it.

A cluttered mind can be creative. For years I had a desk that raised eyebrows. I have lived a messy life.

When I was single, my apartment was immaculate. There was a place for everything, and for everything a place. It was great.

Then we were two, and three, living in an apartment. I bought a house. There was much more space, and then much, much more material possessions.

I had a semi-finished basement that we turned over to my son. It was nothing but wall-to-wall toys. When he outgrew his Lego, it filled three large garbage bags and probably represented over a thousand dollars of spending. (We sold it for a hundred dollars.)

The point is that I have not lived a life of austerity and simplicity.

The mess of my son’s play was a creative, fun mess. Allowance should be made for messes.

I am learning the distinction between a good mess and a bad mess.

In his book, Double Your Income Doing What You Love, Raymond Aaron advises us to make a list of our messes.

Pick one each month and clean it up. Maybe it’s a relationship that has gone sour, or a problem you’ve allowed to fester because you don’t want to face it.

“Abundance is everywhere,” writes Aaron, “but you lock it out with every mess in your life.”

He’s right.

Some messes are fun and creative. Others are toxic. They clutter your mind and spirit, and they make you feel anxious and overwhelmed. They are a burden that prevents you from experiencing freedom.

Make a list of your messes.

Clean them up, and feel free.

This is the meaning of your life

When you die, the people who loved you unearth your significance. ✎ By Wayne K. Spear

There we all stood, looking at the man’s tattoo. We knew what it was, but no one could think of the word caduceus.

Everyone knows what a barber pole signifies, few know what it means.

No matter how long your life, it can be reduced to a sentence.

Joe is funny—he’s a man who will always help a friend: he has a big heart.

Significance and meaning.

The word fossil means something dug up. Many bones were dug up before their significance was known.

For centuries, astronomy was the reigning science. The word paleontology was invented in 1822, at a time when the significance of the earth sciences was finally understood.

Until the nineteenth century, we looked to the heavens for meaning. Then, geology taught us to look down.

We forget the dictionary meaning of things because that is not their significance. A barber pole signifies that “I can get a hair cut here”—a caduceus (because it is often confused with the Rod of Asclepius) that “I can get medicine and be well.”

While we live, we struggle with meaning. When we die, the people who loved us unearth our significance. They are the paleontologists of our lives. They are the experts.

Imagine what you want them to say, and live accordingly.

Don’t go it alone

It takes a village to rock. ✎ By Wayne K. Spear

This is a story about Mick and Keith.

Steve Jobs wasn’t interested in computer circuitry, and Steve Wozniak didn’t believe there was a market for the machines he was making in his computer club.

Elton John can write a decent melody. Bernie Taupin has written some of pop music’s best-known lyrics. The two met in 1967 through an audition that both failed. When they joined forces, they succeeded.

In the 1980s, Mick Jagger tried (unsuccessfully) to become a solo superstar. Keith Richards once said that, together, he and Ron Wood were the best guitarists. He added that he and Ron were average individually.

A rock band is a division of labor, a team, a small corporation, and an alchemy.

Many of the most successful rock bands have had four members. Many personality assessments are four-factor. You can plot many rock bands on a DiSC graph.

DiSC Graph

I’ve created several rock bands, and I’ve worked with many corporations. Whatever you’re doing, think of it as a team effort, because it is. The alchemy of personality and talent is not arbitrary or mysterious. It can be assessed and measured. I know this.

Even if you are a novelist, you need a good team behind you.

Who is supporting your success? Do you have mentors, collaborators, colleagues, partners, and role models?

The lesson of Mick, Steve, Elton, and Paul is that you can’t do it on your own.

Don’t go it alone.