Week 13 – Monday – The Middle Way

I enjoyed reading “To Pixar and Beyond” by Lawrence Levy – Steve Job’s right hand man in establishing this $7b business over 10 years.

He left to set up the Juniper Organisation in San Francisco to enlighten people on a modern tilt at Eastern Meditation and practices, taking on a 100 year business plan!

The Middle Way is a theory that describes the two people inside us fighting each other over diametrically opposed philosophies.  The first is the bureaucrat and the second the artist of free spirit.  The bureaucrat is there to get things done – you know:- lists, order, stability, rules, efficiency and performance (certainly something I can relate to) and the artist cares about joy, love, adventure and spontaneity, creativity and feeling connected and alive.

Levy says that the insight of the Middle Way is that becoming stuck in either one of these states or philosophies leads to frustration. Being focused on function, accumulation and performance makes us wonder if we have truly lived.

On the other hand if we are living freely and are always engaging our passions we may not feel well-grounded and be frustrated at the lack of achievement.

The Middle Way suggests the best outcome arises from a blend of these two sides.  This requires us to look beyond our current conventions and move outside our comfort zone.

For me this describes a big part of my life to date.   In my career so far I have been very focused on achievement and the bureaucrat has dictated many of my actions.  Building businesses and accumulating things has been a big part of my life.

But of course no one on their death bed (hopefully not me yet!!) would say they wanted more time at the office. People and relationships always seem to be the more important thing.

“Life balance” is probably another way of describing the Middle Way.  Have I spent enough time with my family over the years?  Was I there when needed?  Have I kept in touch with my friends and family to maintain meaningful relationships?

What I have noticed since the diagnosis of my illness is that family and friends have leapt to the forefront and business has certainly taken a back stage. (I am fortunate in that I have business partners who are able to keep things going without my day to day involvement).

However the really important things seem to be the people around me.  It has been fabulous to have so many people make contact with me – through my blog or directly.  And our weekends are a constant source of enjoyment with visitors from all parts of Australia who ‘just happen to be in Melbourne”

A huge positive from my illness has been the re-connection with so many friends and the close support from my extended family.

3 thoughts on “Week 13 – Monday – The Middle Way

  1. You have always had time for us, and been there whenever we needed you!
    Your excellent time management I think has always given you the opportunity to spend time with family and friends, as well as doing all the other activities.
    But a very philosophical blog and food for thought. Love, H and H

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I know there have been times when it is easy to favour one side over the other – my default is to the artistic/family position, but at the end of the day it works out to be a fair balance of the two.

    Some of us are not quite as energetic as yourself and Jan, you guys have notched up the runs (*Ashes reference) and others of us plod along in our own time just enjoying our minor achievements and content that the generation we leave the world to are well rounded, compassionate, fair and reasonable and successful people in their own right who have a very good grounding to base their own family on.

    I think we can all pat ourselves on the back for a job well done to date, but we have another ‘half century’ in front of us yet!

    My love to you Hammos

    Amanda xx

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi Geoff
    Apologies for being quiet these last few weeks. Knowing you are proceeding well and being well looked after and visited by family and friends I’ve been concentrating on a few projects on my plate.

    Our ag company has done a deal with another company to establish the mill to process lupins for human consumption. Having achieved Board approval for the 50/50 equity deal I need to get it across the line with our shareholders at a meeting on 13 Dec. It should be approved, but you never know what might come out of the woodwork.

    The Aviation Hall of Fame 2017 Induction was last Saturday night at HARS at Albion Park. Like Temora, dinner for 200 was amongst aircraft including TAA’s first DC3, the “Hawdon”, a Convair 240 in TAA livery, a Tiger Moth and a single seat Corby Starlet designed and manufactured by John Corby who was inducted. TAA received the Southern Cross Award with Eddie Connellan, Bob Tait, Nancy-Bird Walton and James Strong inducted. While everything went well unfortunately the catering and service were quite terrible – a function of HARS Event management team. Disappointing – a reminder we should not be too critical of what we can do in Wagga as these services in previous years have been excellent. The only thing missing was our piper to pipe us in for dinner – a job being reserved for when you are better!!

    Speaking of Pixar, Ros and I listened to Lawrence Levy’s “Conversations with Richard Fidler” on the way home in the car yesterday. His story about turning Pixar into an entertainment company rather than a software company and hence a multi-billion earner and the relationship with Disney were very interesting. He also spoke of his later involvement in Eastern meditation techniques and the Middle Way and I thought to myself his book would be a good read and offer some good philosophical approaches. Inspiring after we plucked up the courage to overcome our fear of heights with a Bridge Climb on Monday evening.

    Cheers for now


    Liked by 1 person

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