How to judge a fish Print E-mail
News - Final Word
Thursday, 21 October 2010 06:49
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If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

So said Albert Einstein, a name we know as a synonym for genius. Luckily the term ‘genius’ can be ascribed to people with talents other than a maths aptitude.

Everybody is a genius, Einstein said, but it is only fairly recently that theories have been put forth which would grant a dancer, for example, as a bodily-kinaesthetic genius.

According to Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner there are nine different kinds of intelligence: Bodily-kinaesthetic intelligence, typically the case in dancers and actors; musical intelligence in musicians and composers; linguistic-verbal intelligence in writers and, strangely enough, in lawyers; visual-spatial intelligence in artists, architects and engineers; logical-mathematical intelligence in scientists, mathematicians, computer programmers and accountants; inter-personal intelligence in sales people, teachers, politicians and psychologists; intrapersonal intelligence in philosophers and theorists; naturalistic intelligence in biologists, farmers and gardeners; and existential-spiritual intelligence, which not only applies to philosophers but also to quantum physicists.

If you feel like a fish trying to climb a tree, chances are you’ve been forcing yourself in a direction other than one in which your natural genius can bloom. As an ex-colleague of mine used to ask: What’s better, a Porsche or a tractor. Of course it depends on what you want to do.

So, what is it that you’re going to do to stop your fish from flinging itself at a tree? According to author Madisyn Taylor there comes a point in most of our lives when we feel ready to experience a change we’ve had trouble carrying out. Maybe you’ve been stuck in a relationship, a home, job or a town that hasn’t felt right for a long time, but you’ve been unable to do anything about it.

Unfortunately there is no recipe to follow with step-by-step indications, no rules, no sums to make. As Einstein said: As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.

Madisyn suggests doing something very simple: make a declaration that you are ready for change. Once you are clear about what it is you want, write down your declaration on a piece of paper and put it under your pillow.

Too simple, I hear you say. But have you ever given it a try? Look, if you’re like the fairytale princess-and- the-pea and you cannot imagine sleeping with a piece of paper under your pillow, just put it in a little box or something. What is important is making a choice to start anew – it is a kind of promise made to yourself.

But it’s here that you can go really big, girl. We’re moving in miracle territory, so you can prepare to receive the moon, the sun and the stars. As long as you don’t specify exactly how your dream should come true; how the moon should land in your lap. Don’t cling to unimportant details. Just prepare to be amazed as you take baby steps in the dark.

Madisyn says that this forward momentum creates a sort of vacuum behind it, pulling towards you all you need to help you continue moving in your chosen direction. See, you can’t just sleep on your declaration; you have to keep an eye out for opportunities and watch out for synchronicities. Don’t be discouraged if things don’t happen overnight; it might take time to free up energy that has been blocked.

And for heaven’s sake, don’t put your life on hold in the meantime. Don’t think that you’d be a traitor to your dreams if you allow yourself to enjoy what is going on around you at the moment. Imagining something better for your future, shouldn’t stop you from committing to the present.

“This notion that we have to hold back our life force now in order to find happiness later doesn’t really make sense,” Madisyn says. “What might really be happening is that we are afraid to embrace this moment, and ourselves, just exactly as we are right now.”

But do watch out for simply flinging your fish at another kind of tree. I mean, this promise made to yourself shouldn’t be made to impress anyone else. It should be what you want. You, girlfriend. You hear me? Stop listening to prophets of doom, to safe bets, reliable returns.

As Einstein said: Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.

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