Becoming Real

I started listening to a new book. It’s titled “The Warrior Within” by John Little. It’s about Bruce Lee’s philosophy on life which was embodied by his unique style of martial arts. Within the first thirty minutes of listening, I was struck by three things:

  1. Bruce admired the works of Alan Watts, a philosopher himself, who popularized Eastern philosophies for Western audiences during the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. I was introduced a few years ago, to the teachings of Alan Watts. Every time I listen to one of his talks, they leave me deep in contemplation, challenging society’s norms.
  2. According to Little, “the problem with the Western approach is that it attempts to explain life as opposed to revealing how to experience it”. I do prefer an experience first, explain later approach to teaching and learning. Learning something after experiencing it first makes it more relatable.
  3. According to Linda Lee, “Bruce’s mission in life was to become a real human being”. Not something you would expect from arguably the greatest martial artist ever. Yet, I feel there are so many layers of complexity underneath that simple statement.

The last point is the most profound for me as I look back at 2021. Another year blurred and tainted by Covid-19.

Professionally, it was a much better year than the wasteland that was my 2020.

  1. I re-engaged with a former client through the extra efforts of a kind advocate in the organization.
  2. I was invited to join a nascent community of like-minded agilists to co-create something special.
  3. I continued to grow by reading regularly, writing in the moment and learning, albeit virtually, with others.

Personally, it was an even more eventful year.

  1. A health scare in the family that made us all remember what really matters isn’t work.
  2. Checking in with my 93-year old father daily as he clings to his independence.
  3. My eldest daughter got engaged to be married.
  4. My youngest daughter gets ready to move out for a new job in a small town leaving an empty nest behind.
  5. I continued to grow by reflecting daily on my rough edges as a husband, parent and friend.

What three words would I use to sum up my 2021?

  1. Family
  2. Community
  3. Growth

All things involving real human beings that are helping me become a real human being.

As I look ahead to 2022, my New Year’s resolution will continue to become a real human being because I continue to be a work-in-progress.

I’m grateful for all that I’ve experienced in 2021 and thankful for the gift of a new year in 2022.

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