LeadU presents Fanatically Passionless


Fanatically Passionless

If I can help you get the possibility of fanatically passionless as OK, then you can grok and use @F-L-O-W as an application.

Brian wrote to the list (@F-L-O-W): Edelman offers a range of references and allegories to explain why a changing, growing self, constantly shaped by new experiences, is happier than the satisfaction any end goal can give us. It turns out the rewards we get for learning and understanding the workings of the world really make it the journey, not the destination that matters most.

Actually, we are starting to see VERY sophisticated blank slate [BS] emergence, and for the un-indoctrinated @F-L-O-Wer.  The BS is interesting, as all BS now that is addressing complexity needs to be, in order to be assimilated across domains… something that will keep BS memes more robust and resilient as conditions shift is to make BS not look like BS… so this sophistication that we are starting to see, represented by this one example, as BS stares at itself in the abyss, is natural-occurring.

In this case, the success model he uses fits those who are curious and experiential: the journey, the search for meaning, the grail, the experience of maturation, all those things are really endowed into some inbornness, so much so, they show up with sophisticated approaches to complex problems, in this case, happiness; this is a valid success model for the 1 to 5% who are naturally wound to tick this tock.

Now that you have this ambition, pursuit, chasing side….

Let me ask you… have you ever been around people without ambition, without an agenda, without goals, not wanting to chase anything, but sit back and allow the experience to come to them… without wanting to make any commitments, as commitment itself limits their freedoms?

Have you been around people who hate to learn, but learn by working on their hot rod, or building a tree house for the kids out back…?

There is this idea in the evolved nature of BS, that if you are not somehow being, doing, having, and becoming [BDHB] something, then you have not earned your stripes… worked on yourself, or "gone" spiritual, even so much so that at cocktail parties and gatherings, if you are dull, un-interesting, and don’t have the fresh stories of pursuit available, you are seen as daft, uninteresting, and/or ne’er-do-well…

"I" used to think that if you weren’t BDHB, that you were lazy, without ambition, etc.

…my first wife was an INFP.  I still remember our first date.  She got into the pickup (I was a secret rootin, tootin rodeo cowboy football player (they actually made me give up rodeo in my Aggie scholarship agreement – didn’t want me to get HURT!) jock, etc)… on our way to the world championship rodeo (you didn’t think a first date with your future wife could be to a movie right?)… she opened up a dime novel and started reading…

Little did I know that she lived for everyone else but herself and was in the end, fanatically passionless… and while our hot rodder, or backyard builder, don’t fit this mold, the idea that someone can be passionate, but without ambition is lost in American Society of Achievement and Success.

The absolute hardest task I have as a designer, modeler, and snake oil salesman is to show you that people without passion are just as valuable as those who have it running in every sinew of their bodies.

Most of us achievers run into one of these "gap" people sometime during our lives and they may be clothed in depression, mental illness, addiction, or any of the other hundreds of "people with something wrong with them" including but not limited to lazy, ambitionless, non-curious, vocational, street person, homeless, and anyone of the other fringe types: outliers of sorts, hermits, social recluses, or just plain unfriendly, unsociable, or dumb… noting some of the obvious choices for descriptors and adjectives.

How does society judge these people, at least those in the USA, let’s say for context?

Almost all of the time, there is something wrong, odd, or disconcerting about these people. Talk about neuroscience of happiness? It won’t fit much here, at least easily.  It’s pretty complex to think that the fanatically passionless, as I like to metaphorize this idea… are valued at all in a society where you must be x, y, or z in order to be OK.

BUT, and this is a big BUT…

If you can see value in those who are the least likely to hold your values, the acceptance process has begun and with that, a whole other area of design has been revealed.

INSTEAD of trying to cram everyone through a carwash (as my friend and mentor, Dr. Don Beck is fond of saying…)… we start to look for ways in which people can be valued in the process of life unfolding.

Now, if the author, showcased above, talks about the neuroscience of this, then I’m happy<G>. or at the least, successful.

If the government is really of the people, by the people and for the people, really? Then it has to do more than hand out food stamps, give free medical care, and housing vouchers. If we really value those that have little value in a society where everyone is thought of as being created equal… and are constantly pushed to maintain standards which for them are unhappily achieved, or for that matter, inadequately are created and fit, undignified in their nature, and causes them to spend their lives constantly being fixed, then the government we have is not for the fanatically passionless.

Helpful Hint: Now, lest I think that anyone fits this standard of being fanatically passionless I’ve created to amuse myself and my antics, I don’t.  However, the idea taken to it’s extreme provides an opportunity for me to test your acceptance of real diversity, and to scaffold you towards more acceptance of the differences in yourself, and others, which are preventing us from seeing the whole of life, opportunity, and the pursuit of happiness… which may not be a pursuit at all, but a passionless, dispassionate, detached, and casual approach to the flow of life.

Action Step: The next time you find yourself “labeling someone” as something pejorative, catch yourself and notice how full of judgment you are, based on a rather discreet set of values, and how, in order to fully become indoctrinated as a @F-L-O-Wer, if you wish<G>, is to allow the judgment to pass, surrender to the notions of what created the judgment –> the differences, and feel renewed in knowing that you are beginning to accept people unconditionally, and without judgment. This is the first real step into @F-L-O-W Application.

And to all those who approach the fanatically passionless state, I salute you, and wish you more encounters with your nemesis, in order to teach them humility, love, and compassion for all people.  For in those moments of our greatest frustration with you, we find that we are powerless to change you and that in the end, we are changed.

If you have any comments, questions, suggestions, or need some additional help, please use the form below to submit them.  Someone will get back to you within 48 hours. 

    We hope you pick up valuable insights, ideas, and tools during this process, which you can use for your own development as well as your work and leadership with others.

    You, Me, and We @F-L-O-W

    Mike R. Jay is a developmentalist utilizing consulting, coaching, mentoring and advising as methods to offer developmental scaffolding for aspiring leaders who are interested in being, doing, having, becoming, and contributing… to helping people have lives.

    Mike R. Jay
    Leadership University

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