Category: Consciousness

The people around us

barrak-obama

Barrack Obama (in the 80’s)

Time to read: 2 mins.

Last night I watched the movie Barry.  A quick synopsis: Barrack Obama arrives in New York City in the early eighties as a college student at Columbia University as he tries to find his own identity and his place in life.   To be honest I found the movie a little underwhelming. At least those were my initial thoughts on the movie…

 

Barry covers themes of identity, race, perceptions and how we label others.  One of the biggest takeaways was how Barrack was surrounded by a wide array of people early on in his life, wealthy, poor, educated and lost. And while these people have some influence on him, Barry never conforms to anyone’s philosophy or way of living.

 

There are numerous long scene’s that don’t drive the narrative forward. Instead, it shows Barrack getting lost in his own thoughts where he is either sitting on a park bench, looking out on to the cityscape, smoking a cigarette, or reading a book in the library;

 

 

The people around us

As many bad influences that are around Barry, he also had some good ones. He is able to see people them for who they are, the circumstances that they are in and what drives them.

 

In those scenes that I mentioned above, I wondered what Barrack is thinking about.  Was it his own background?  And should that determine what his own direction going forward? Without that clarity and definition of who he is, Barrack struggles to connect with anyone around him.

 

 

Finding you and connect with others

As I tried to relate to Barrack in the 1980’s, I found that our situation is analogous to what we see in the movie Barry.  That’s if we are interested in connecting with others.  In Melbourne, 49% are either born overseas or have at least one parent who is born overseas. We come from more than 200 countries, speak over 250 languages and dialects and follow over 130 religions.

 

Like Barrack in the early 80’s in New York, we should evaluate the unique experiences that we bring as individuals and the values we hold. In the same light, we should also seek the insights that others can provide us not just in the workplace but also in life.

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Consciousness & Self Examination

Anthony Hopkins

Time to read: 3 mins

Last night I finished watching season one of WestWorld.  WestWorld is a theme park set in the wild west, which is inhabited by android hosts (robots that look and act humans).  Although the setting sounds less than exciting; It’s the themes that are explored which has kept audiences intrigued.
 
For the android host the story line is driven around the ideas of consciousness and choice.  For the guests of the park (the humans) it is all about finding and following your deepest desires without consequences.
 
Some characters follow their desires which are brutal and perverted.  And others follow their desires to be noble and heroic.
 
As I sat in bed in a dark room.  The only source of light came from the iPad on my lap.  The light illuminated my face.  As I watched the final episode with my headphones on.  I wondered how the pursuit of consciousness by the android host related back to us humans in any way.   The closest equivalent I could come up with was self-examination.  After some thinking I concluded that consciousness and self-examination are closely related.
 
 
Three elements…
There are three elements of self-examination. The first element is the way that we view ourselves. The second is our ideal view, or what we want to be.  The third and final element is the comparison we make between ourselves and our ideals.
 
 
A view of our selves
We think of ourselves differently depending on the roles we are in.  And in life we have different roles that we play.  We are parents, professional, best friends and maybe even a mentor to others.
 
I view myself as a great Business Analyst… and a kinda ok husband.  The way that we view ourselves can (and actually does) determine our behaviour.  With that being said, it’s important that we don’t delude ourselves and hold a view that is fairly accurate with reality.
 
 
Our ideal
This is the ’should be’ point of view.  It’s an ideal that we are setting out to achieve.  We can get ideals from different sources.  But in most scenarios ideals come from observing others.  Another source of ideals come from standards and precedence that have already been set. But again, these standards have usually been set by another individual.
 
Going back to my previous example, I can judge my Analyst skills on a standard that a more senior Business Analyst has obtained.  It could be a qualification like a CBAP certification or looking at the years of experience across different industries.
 
Whatever our ideal is, it’s advisable to have something that is ambitious but still within reach.
 
 
The comparison.
Making a comparison is what we are most familiar with doing.   Comparing ourselves with our an ideal is very similar for performing a gap analysis.  When performing a gap analysis, we identify what needs to be done for us to move from one state to another.
 
 
Final thoughts…
Remember to:
  1. Have an honest view of ourselves, too often we see ourselves as less then.
  2. Choose your ideals carefully, make sure that you select an ideal that is realistic.
 
Without these two points, you’ll end up with a comparison that is unfair on yourself. Self-examination is a process that is used to improve yourself, so make sure you use it in a positive and constructive manner.