Our Psyche and THE LAW
I have received a gazillion emails touting local health spas and online health programs. Get your body in shape for the new year. Yeah, right. Not that getting in shape isn’t a good idea, but aren’t we forgetting one part of our psyche? Our mind.
What can we do to jump start our minds? How can we develop the curiosity that all great thinkers know is so important? Bear with me. I have some ideas.
Children have inborn curiosity. They need it for their survival. But as we age, we lose that desire to learn and seek out new experiences. We are caught in a social whirl that has preordained our futures. We finish our education, go to work, get married, have kids, save for retirement, retire, and die. It’s what you are supposed to do. OK, there may be some hiccups along the way. A divorce here or there. A kid that doesn’t reach our expectations. Retirement might not be all it’s cracked up to be. But we accept it. Everyone else is doing it. Why shouldn’t we?
I’m told that due to my advanced years, I should put myself out to pasture. Enjoy my sunset years. As Jerry Seinfeld said – you turn 65, you move to Florida. IT’S THE LAW.
There is no reason why I can’t renew that curiosity of youth. Find someone younger, a lot younger, and socialize. That doesn’t mean that I have to accept all the damn fool ideas they have, but I can at least consider some of them. And perhaps offer some alternatives. Or set myself thinking about new ideas. New Friends.
I read a lot, but most of what I read is not challenging at all. It’s more difficult than watching TV, but not much. I have a list of books now that actually have some ideas in them. After all, Jack Reacher can slug it out with only so many bad guys. It doesn’t mean that I have to agree with the folks who lived a century ago and had different ways of thinking, but at least my synapses are challenged and forced to work a little harder. New Books.
I have always thought that point of view is important. When I get bored or stagnant, I move my desk. That way, when I sit at it, I have a different perspective. Rather than seeing the planes take off over my right shoulder, I see them over my left. Strangely, it makes a difference. New Perspective.
It is easy to not do any of these things. Just sit here and watch the world go by. It’s not easy to get on that airplane, see a different world. After all, been there, done that. Strangely, one little change has made a world of difference. I got a dog. We had been dogless for a couple of years, but I will tell you, when a dog wants to go out, there is no stopping her. When she is hungry, you damn well get up and feed her. She makes you move. Plus, she is fun. New Dog.
Like changing your desk, setting a new goal in a different area can be very refreshing. Preferably in an area that you don’t know much about. It forces curiosity. Try it, you might like it. New Challenge.
I know the next couple of paragraphs are self-serving, but bear with me. Most of the “new” above require you to work outside your comfort zone. Go somewhere, do something. The perfect place for you parking nuts is PIE in Schaumburg in March. Our theme, “Where Innovation Meets Experience,” is more than just words. For those of you that have become a tad stale, those kids with innovation will clear out the cobwebs. It will also give you the opportunity to use some of that ‘years of experience’ to change their perspective, and yours.
We won’t have a list of books to read, but maybe, just maybe, during conversations at the bar, or at Top Golf, or at Speed Networking, or at our party, party, party, some titles may come up. (OK, I’ll run off copies of my list and you can, if you like, ask me for it.)
As you approach Seinfeld’s magic age, perhaps a few that have passed it will give you ideas as to how to break his “LAW.” Aren’t you a tad bit curious as to how all the effort you have spent in this industry is helping to shape not only what we do, but how we do it?
There is no place to go to school and get a degree in parking, but there is a place to go to get those juices flowing. And who knows, maybe you will meet a nice dog or at least see the old dog as a new one. Because, I for one, am choosing to stay curious!
I have written often of so-called experts who have been proven wrong, time after time, but still are called upon to espouse their theories as if they are correct. The most famous, and recently on TV (60 Minutes), is Stanford Professor Paul Ehrlich who famously predicted in 1968 that within 10 years millions would be starving to death and the world would descend into chaos.
We are now 50 years later, and the wizards on 60 minutes are interviewing Ehrlich and he is saying the same thing. Are we to believe him now, even after being proven wrong decades ago?
In his book, the Skeptics’ Guide to the Future, Dr. Steven Novella and his brothers, Bob and Jay, discuss in detail how futurists can be wrong, and why. I strongly recommend it to you. They point out that most predictions that are possible, simply don’t happen due to time and cultural constraints. Predictions that are based on specifics, and based on exact time frames, are typically always wrong. General predictions, like those of Sci-Fi writer Isaac Asimov can be correct in the macro, but still have a way to go in the micro, or vice versa.
In the transportation business, we have seen time after time, that predictions are wrong. Where are those self driving cars we were told would be on the road by 2020, or was it 2015? Will solar and wind power replace natural gas and nuclear? Experiences in Germany, Switzerland, and the UK seem to be flying in the face of that prediction. Polar ice disappearing, the Glaciers on Kilimanjaro, the increase in Hurricanes, and what about those pesky polar bears, all based on predicted climate change and all wrong.
My rule is look out the window. Granted, we have a drought here in California. And a few rainstorms won’t end it. However, it’s raining like hell outside now and has been for a few weeks. It may not be time to build the ark, but please, let’s have a tad of reality here.
I’m asking that those of you who believe I’m wrong, and I know there are a few out there, please send me the proof. I’m happy to print it and eat whatever crow is served. Ehrlich has admitted that even if the facts in his book were wrong, the general theme was correct and by instilling panic in civilization, he was getting people to think about the problem, even if it doesn’t exist yet, if at all. (The world’s population is leveling off, and predicted to decrease in the next 100 years.)
Star Trek buffs read on. Novella points out that of all the gadgets Kirk and Co. used on the Enterprise, the only one that has come to fruition is the cell phone, that is a hand-held computer/tricorder. The vast majority of others, including the transporter, food synthesizer, shields, phasers, and interstellar travel itself all have technical issues - most dealing with the vast amounts of energy needed that make them bordering on impossible. I know, I know – there are tons of laws of physics lurking just around the corner and when they are discovered, we will “Boldly go where no one has gone before.”