Life is Wild & Precious

Tell me what it is you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? Mary Oliver Poet

At the heart of FINNA is planning, planning for your future so that it is rewarding, it is satisfying, and brings you to a place of happiness and contentment. Of course this is an ever moving feast, what makes you happy today may not be enough tomorrow and may even bring unhappiness the day after, that’s just life and so FINNA recognises this by imploring you to make efficient, regular and frequent revisions to your plans in light of the changes that inevitably happen around you and too you and even because of you.

However, no man is an island so I’ve been told and I find that I agree with this statement although from time to time I find others just plainly overlooking this fact even when they say they agree with it so that they can achieve (very) short term goals which almost always lead to somebody (but not them) losing out. This is definitely not FINNA, this is a person who is self-serving, who knows the value that others can bring to what they are trying to achieve and is more than happy to have them do the hard work they wont do.

We all know these people, they’re the first to give themselves a pat on the back for a job well done, normally when it’s anything but. They’re the ones who are more than happy to take credit for someone else’s efforts when they have contributed little if anything at all to the end result. And they are fundamentally opposed to the concept of equal opportunity, why would they want equal opportunity when all they want is reward for themselves?

FINNA understands these people exist, there isn’t much we can do about them, they’re a fact of life. But, FINNA does encourage us to make our decisions on the basis of best effect in the long-term. So when we meet these people we are not forced and should not feel obliged to help them, even if in the short term we suffer ourselves because the long game is not best served by short term gains.

Going about our daily lives pushing and striving as we do, we make acquaintances with any number of people from many different walks of life but you will very quickly have to make a decision about how important they might be to you and those you can affect.

The long and short of it is that you must avoid working for people who don’t respect your priorities. This may sound a bit simplistic but it is truly liberating once you get into the habit of choosing not to be around these people. You will come across people who do actually share your values and the result will almost naturally be a synergy with them and if they’re offering employment or the opportunity to progress then it goes without saying that you will and should stay close to these people. They are your kind of people.

The important point here is that FINNA see’s NO as a legitimate option when considering your options. Indeed NO actually liberates you, it liberates your time and you will say YES to the right things. By saying NO you generate time to consider more, to plan more and to make more right decisions than you would do if you only said YES to everything and every opportunity.

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Don’t get me wrong here, saying No can lead to social awkwardness but don’t you think that making the right decision out-weighs this? I know I do. The difficulty and the realisation here is that you are going to have to develop the ability to separate the logic from the emotion. In most cases you will fully understand and appreciate that you actually do logically have a choice, it’s just that emotionally you feel cornered into saying YES when you should be saying NO.

As an exercise, each time you say “I have to do…” or “I have to send this work…” or something similar starting with “I have to….” Then stop and mentally change it to “I choose to…”. If you feel brave say it out loud, it sounds a bit funny and can even come across as quite awkward, especially when you’re asked why you’re using such a phrase, but mentally at least try it out. You’ll soon discover what’s important to you, what you are truly choosing to do and what you are choosing to do because you feel emotionally pressured into making the ‘right’ (wrong) decision.

Saying YES when we should be saying NO in the moment will seem such a small sacrifice but they add-up over time. An Australian Nurse who cared for people in the last 12-weeks of their lives recorded the most often stated regrets were “I wish I had been more true to myself”, “I wish hadn’t spent as much time working” and “I wish I’d had more courage to express my feelings”.

The really deep point being made by FINNA is that it is your life, nobody else’s and it is yours to plan and yours to live, your life should be wild and it is most certainly precious. Do not waste it making other peoples dreams come true or looking out for those short term gains. Living life in the moment is important and great, just make sure you have plenty of moments.

Thanks for reading.

Philip

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