Friday, 5 July 2013

Now You See It, Now You Don't - Missed Opportunities and Irish Mist

And Now for The Weather

     Ireland has a lot of bad press for its weather. If I dwelt on it I think I'd be pretty down. Dunmanway, where I live, is allegedly the wettest place in Ireland. It does rain a lot. But its breathtaking scenery outweighs any moans I may have about the weather.

     We can change the way we think about the weather. If we can do that we can change the way we think about anything! Today I want to look at how there's no difference between weathering the literal storm in the mountains and weathering the metaphorical storm of our lives.

Those Mist Covered Mountains

     The view of the mountains in West Cork is always changing. That's part of the beauty of its character. Some days I wake up and I have an immense panoramic view. Other days I'll be lucky to see more than twenty metres. 

     I love the ever-changing weather. A friend from California put this into perspective once when he told me how boring it was to get up every day and think, "Another beautiful blue sky!" No chance of that in Ireland. For me the mist that covers the mountains is magical and charming.

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

     The magic that I see in the mist is partly because I know that the mountains are still there. It's easy to believe in mountains. Those big solid lumps of rock are dependable monuments of nature. They're not going to disappear overnight. I can look at the mist with confidence knowing that they're always there. What if we could have that kind of confidence about the potential for opportunity?

     It's quite an education to see a cat that believes something it wants is in a box. A cat will focus on what's in that box, its goal, with single minded attention until it either gets inside or has a terrible fright. On the whole, we can learn a lot from the lengths a cat will go to in order to find something out. There's a reason why we say 'curiosity killed the cat'. It doesn't matter to the cat whether there's something there or not. The point is that there might be.

It Ain't What You Do's the way that you think about it. Thinking that whatever we do may have a positive outcome is a very beneficial state of mind. It motivates us. It creates leverage. Developing that mindset encourages us to become adventurers in the mist. It doesn't matter what's out there. The point is there might be something good.

     Last winter we had a very misty day on the fields. I went out to feed the horses. It was impossible to see much further than a few metres. I believed the horses were there. Having said that, there were no guarantees. The farmer often moves the horses between fields without any warning.

     It was quite possible that I was on a fool's errand. These fields are big! You could walk around for a whole afternoon and not find the horses.

And Then Out of the Mist

     I stuck around for a while. And then, out of the mist, the aptly named Misty came trotting towards me. This was such a reward. All the waiting around in the cold had been worthwhile.

     The point is that she'd always been out there in the mist. I believed that she or one of her companions was there. It'd be great to be able to apply this kind of optimism to all areas of my life. I want to know that just like the mountains there are opportunities waiting in the mist. I believe those opportunities are always there.

     It's like when you decide to buy a certain make and model of car. Suddenly the roads are packed with that very same car. It isn't that everyone heard you were buying one and rushed out to get one too! They were always there. It's just that your focus has changed. Now you're receptive to the opportunity of seeing those cars.

     With the belief that those opportunities exist we start to see everyday events in a different light. The mist begins to clear. Whatever weather we're experiencing, the beautiful lush landscape is there underneath it all. The mystery of the mist becomes a tantalizing field of possibilities.