THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

The Perfect Imperfectionist – Step 11 of 11

You ARE the perfect version of you. PLEASE – NO NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS

  1. no diets

  2. no giving anything up that you enjoy

  3. no promises that you don’t really want to keep

  4. no alteration in the way you are

People aren’t designed to evolve that way. All those books, tapes, self-assessment programmes, DVD’s, get thin quick, get rich quick, get laid quick, get fit quick, get smart quick. They are designed for a species that doesn’t exist. We are designed to spend 80% of our time at leisure and 20% hunting. Read Robert Winston’s Human Instinct (possibly one of my top 10 books of all time) to understand how over 80% of our habits were formed in East Africa. To understand that, since Homo Sapiens spread to populate the world, there hasn’t been enough time on an evolutionary scale for us to lose those habits. We evolved as nomadic hunter-gatherers. 20% hunting and gathering. 80% resting. We must have been great parents. I’ll bet that, in the good times, we weren’t worried about being a little overweight, not having read enough, how big a home we lived in, the chances of promotion! For over 250,000 years, Gods were worshipped as women – explained by observation of the cycles of nature – seasons, tides, the moon and the female body. Women were clearly in touch with nature, with the universe, part of the greater scheme of things. The most ancient artefacts yet discovered are of many-breasted mothers. About 10,000 years ago (a blink ago in time) we became agricultural. We stopped wandering and grew crops. The crops had to be protected. Strength in combat became central to survival. God became a vengeful, intolerant male warrior who struck down his enemies without mercy. God as a man is a recent development. Resting “on the seventh day” – a new idea to facilitate productivity. Artefacts become symbols of strength. Weapons. In western education we are taught the sequence….. Iron Age, Bronze Age, Assyria, Greece, Rome, Dark Age, Viking, Saxon, Norman, Plantagenet, Tudor – on and on – battle, territory, possession, crops, spices, rubber, diamonds, gold, oil, power, glory, conquest, blood, terror. Other cultures tell similar stories of military and economic domination. Aboriginals stay the same – a remnant of our true nature. The Industrial Revolution creates a 24/7/365 production line. We are no longer limited by the capacity of a single man, woman or child to toil until they drop. The machines become the masters – and the masters of the machines become the millionaires. Religious intolerance joins fascism and economic exploitation as a trinity of fear that subdue the weak and focus power, wealth and control on a misogynistic minority. Sport, politics, business become a replacement for the need to win/lose, to dominate, to hate, to exercise xenophobia. Alcohol, drugs, affluenza, sex, entertainment become an anaesthetic for the stresses of a life we are just not cut out to live. BUT a change is taking place. The information revolution is slowly restoring democracy, freedom and individuality to the world. The people are slowly becoming more important than the machines. Because the machines are being operated by the computers. The microchip is the most important invention of the 20th Century and will be the most important of the next thousand years. The microchip controls the computer, the computer controls the machines and the people who control the microchips become the billionaires. The internet, the most important development of the 20th Century, is beginning to set mankind free. Whether the Chinese want to close down Google or the Americans want to render Julian Assange – there is an inexorable tide of freedom of information and liberty of spirit that the historically powerful cannot resist. Now, the people who “deliver” the ability to speak freely on the internet are becoming the trillionaires. In our souls, we are still configured to be nomadic hunter-gatherers, investing 20% of our time in provisioning. Slowly, very slowly, we are moving back towards our core habits. There is no longer a desire to work, work, work until you drop. That was the industrial revolution – it is over. Why should we be surprised that our children don’t want to be like us? Who would? We must look forward with them – in optimism – to a time when mankind will work for 20% of their lives and rest for 80%. Maybe the orthodox and unorthodox fanatics of organised religion will re-discover love and toleration, in the way that many of my individually religious friends demonstrate every day. Maybe God will become a woman again? “On the seventh day, thou shalt labour – for now, put the kettle on and let’s just chat.” Most likely not in our lifetime or that of some generations to come. But it will happen. The circle will full turn. In the meantime. I hope my thoughts over the last 11 days have helped you a little. I’ve had fun with this. It is not necessary to be perfect. It is necessary to be imperfect. Because its the imperfections that make us human, make us interesting and make us a pleasure to be with. We are all of truly blessed with what we already have. You are not broken and you don’t need fixing – somebody loves you just the way you are – you just have to make sure they get a chance to tell you – that you are not so busy trying to fix yourself that you can’t hear them. It is Annie’s birthday today and I end this with a declaration of my love for all of her fabulous imperfections, for her gracious loving spirit and for the happiness she brings into my life every single day. Perfectly imperfect – just like you.Things I’m going to spend 80% of my time doing Things I’m going to spend 20% of my time doing Surrounding myself with technology that will make my life easierMaking my life difficult by not using technologySurrounding myself with people who make me feel good about myselfTolerating people who make me feel bad about myselfSurrounding myself with a support team who can make my life easierMaking my life difficult by not using my support teamBecoming incredibly selfishBecoming incredibly self-lessLook forward and imagine a fantastic futureLook back and reflectEnsuring that my environments nourish meGetting the hell in and outLiving today and tomorrowTaking a moment to give thanks for the pastHolding the people around me accountableHolding myself accountableAllow things around me to get smallerRetain my love of certain big thingsObsessively, fanatically, measuring and managing my financesPersonal and professional retail therapyEncourage people to stay the sameHelp people to make genuine and lasting changes

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