I couldn’t see why he didn’t have empathy for my situation until I told Toni what was happening. Being my counsellor at the time, she smiled knowingly and asked, “Jemma, have you ever heard about The Ring Theory?”
Our measure of success doesn’t always have to be output. It can be, but let that be your choice, not the default.
Tim Minchin allowed me to sit outside what I believed for many years, try on a new way of thinking and have a laugh. What a gift that is.
I didn’t know either of these people, but reflecting on my thought process now, I had assumed two things very quickly: that I wasn’t as good as them, and their mythical lifestyle was worth expending emotional energy being jealous of.
With our personal lives, we usually know what to do to solve our problems. But the ones we’re paid to be solving are nuanced, fraught with risk and unlikely to have a solution that pleases everyone; as Seth Godin rightly says, all the easy problems are taken.
Hearing Bas’s story, it’s reminded me of the situations where another perspective has helped a lot more. Sometimes we don’t need expertise. We need a reframe.
Not the movie. A thing. THE thing. A place, an achievement, a title, a certain amount of money, an experience. That thing we desperately want. The desire to be in the next place.
When I started writing this post last week, I picked four different qualities that we underrate, and riffed on how we might develop them in ourselves. Then I watched Marriage Story on Sunday evening, and I realised there was really only one that I was so interested in, in equal part because I find it so hard and because it’s so important.