Living in a city like Johannesburg (and yes, it is nothing like London, New York and the like), with a full time job, a business or two on the side, a family (grown up son at home and toddler included), I encounter quite a lot of negative stuff as I go about my daily life; traffic being one of them and nasty souls in business being another, and these are not all. Some of these I call negative may not necessarily be bad to others, e.g. the dog eats dog mentality in commerce and I suppose even the mere pace of city living, i.e. for young professionals – as a general rule but not all-encompassing – whose lives are still very much around “making it” in their careers or businesses.
I may be like a setting sun but isn’t she magnificent?
I used to love My City Life. I thrived on living in the city. The hustle and bustle excited me. Being constantly on the go was what I lived for. I made sacrifices for my career and I prioritized anything and everything that would bring external success. This lifestyle did not ensure the very same success I desired.
I am just okay… and I am fine with it. I have moved from the dark side to the light; Jedi or not.
I no longer seek stress, no matter how good a stress it may be. I don’t long for unpredictability anymore. Of course, my preferred way of life does not mean that stress does not find me. Having learned to find joy in doing absolutely nothing at times does not assure me peace of mind at all times. My appreciation of stillness does not exempt me from the noise around me.
So, I’ve decided to be mindful. I vow to always pay attention to my state of mind or emotional state when faced with the less-pleasant; to the best of my ability, at least. I promise to see the silver lining. I will see that sun even when the clouds hide it from my view.
The result of this resolve is ALT.EXE!
ALT equals Alternative
- Instead of seeing only the negative, ALT is looking further and seeing the positive
- ALT moves from focusing on the lack and complaining about it to feeling the gratitude for what there is
- In the face of all unpleasant, ALT is finding the alternative, which can be anything pleasant
ALT stands for Alternate
- ALT is about moving to an alternate good world, even if merely in the mind, when the real world seems to render only the bad
- ALT is about looking for and seeing the ups when there are downs (because reality is that we do not have complete control over what happens in life)
ALT is for Ctrl-Alt-Del
- Because we can
- Because we do need to reboot when we get stuck
- And even when Ctrl-Alt-Del doesn’t work, we can hard boot when we hang
(Note: This blog post was originally published in 2017, when the site was called, ‘I think, I say, I do’. It was since changed to what it is now.)