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I choose to be a verb

Two figures stand out, each encapsulating a distinct philosophy of life: one is a noun and the other is a verb. These figures are not just individuals but metaphors for two different kinds of existence.


The tale of my dear friend George is one you could learn from. Our adventures in the stunning landscapes of Namibia served as a backdrop for a life-changing realization. George, who had been my steady, reliable technical support, felt stuck. He'd been doing the same job for years, without experiencing any significant personal or professional growth. He felt like he was not going anywhere, trapped in his current role, and this caused him a great deal of dissatisfaction.


I offered him a simple piece of advice that changed his perspective: "George, move, you're not a tree". The essence of this advice was to remind George that he wasn't rooted to the spot. Like a tree, he had grown, matured, and gained strength over the years, but unlike a tree, he wasn't bound to stay where he was. His capabilities weren't limited to his current role and his potential wasn't defined by his present circumstances. This realization was liberating for George and led to significant changes in his life.


I also recall working with a client who seemed perennially dissatisfied with his professional life. Despite his complaints about being in the same role for years, he hadn't taken any action to change his circumstances. His predicament reminded me of George's situation.


It is important to note that there is nothing inherently wrong with being in the same position for a long time, provided it brings you satisfaction. There are individuals who thrive in stability, who take pride in their consistency and who find contentment in the reliability of their roles. Their life is like an oak tree: strong, steadfast and enduring. They are defined by their constancy and their ability to remain reliable in a rapidly changing world.


The issues arise when an individual’s desires change but their situation remains static, choosing not to take any steps towards their desired evolution. This was the case with my client, who, like George, had remained in his position despite his dissatisfaction.


The crux of the matter is not about being a tree or a stream. It is about finding your authentic self and living true to it. If you are content being an oak, then stand tall and firm. If you feel the calling to be a stream, then flow and shape your course. The key is in understanding yourself, acknowledging your needs, and making the conscious decision to live a life that reflects your true self. So choose wisely, and just be. Because in the grand canvas of life you are not just a static entity. You are a dynamic, evolving human being, capable of growth and transformation.


With the fresh perspective I provided my client is now empowered to discern whether he identifies more as a static noun or a dynamic verb in his life's narrative.


In the vast spectrum of existence, what are you choosing to identify as in your life? Are you a noun, a solid entity existing independently, or a verb, the representation of action, energy, and movement? This introspective question goes beyond simple grammar and delves into the very essence of life and how we perceive ourselves in the grand scheme of things.


Most of us are familiar with nouns as they are defined in our grammar lessons. A noun is a person, place or thing. It's an entity, an object with characteristics that can be distinctly described. In essence it is a solid, separate entity from the rest of the world. Many people tend to identify themselves in this noun framework. They perceive themselves as separate individuals, independent and distinct from everything else. It's a popular concept, a solo flight, or to be more precise, a solo existence.


However, this self-perception as a noun, as a separate entity, is purely conceptual. It is merely a belief that many people hold. But is this belief truly representative of the reality we inhabit?


A more profound understanding of our existence could come from shifting this perspective, from considering ourselves not as nouns but as verbs. Verbs represent movement, action and energy. Verbs are dynamic, expressive and energetic. They aren't just present; they are engaged. Verbs dance, sing, laugh, communicate and embrace.


Being a verb signifies being in a state of continual flux, constantly changing and interacting with the world around us. Verbs aren't static; they are catalysts, the driving forces that initiate change and foster connections.


Nouns, on the other hand, merely exist until something else motivates or moves them. They stay put, solid and unchanging, until an external force intervenes. Their distinguishing features are described by adjectives, which add more depth to their stagnant state but fail to instigate any real change or action.


This metaphorical comparison may seem like an English language lesson, but its implications are far more profound. Many of us, after truly understanding this concept, have experienced an epiphany - a realization that has the potential to transform our perspective and by extension, our lives.


The understanding that we aren't merely static nouns but dynamic verbs can open doors to an array of possibilities, leading to a more fulfilling and interactive existence. Being a verb isn't just about constant action; it's about constant growth, constant connection and constant evolution. And therein lies the essence of a truly vibrant life - the life of a verb.


Imagine a forest: vast, diverse, teeming with life. Two figures stand out, each encapsulating a distinct philosophy of life: one is a noun and the other is a verb. These figures are not just individuals but metaphors for two different kinds of existence.


The first figure, let's call him John, personifies the noun. John is like the grand old oak tree in the heart of the forest. He's solid, deeply rooted and static. His life is predictable, grounded in routine. He's happy with his job, content with his life, and doesn't seek to alter his circumstances. John takes pride in his stability, his permanence, his oak-like solidity. His life, like the oak, is defined by the adjectives that describe him: reliable, consistent, steady.


In contrast, meet Emily, who embodies the verb. Emily is like a flowing stream, always on the move, shaping and reshaping her course as she flows through life. She seeks new experiences, always learning, always growing. She's dynamic, adaptable and resilient, continually changing and evolving. Emily embraces change, thriving on variety and challenge. Unlike the static oak tree, Emily, like the stream, initiates movement, sparks action and instigates change.


John, the noun, may seem unchanging, but life around him is in constant flux. He is influenced by external factors, like the oak tree is shaped by the weather. He can be shaken by storms, can thrive in sunshine, but it is always a reaction to an external force. His adjective-enablers, like “reliable” and “consistent”, although admirable, can limit him. They keep him rooted, unable to dance with the ebb and flow of life.


Emily, the verb, is an active participant in life, shaping her destiny. She is not merely reacting to life but interacting with it, just like the stream shapes the landscape it flows through. Her existence is not a series of responses but a symphony of proactive decisions, initiatives and actions.


So, ask yourself: are you an oak tree or a stream? Are you content to remain in one place, unchanging, until external circumstances demand otherwise, like John? Or do you want to actively engage with the world, seeking out new experiences, challenges and learning opportunities, like Emily. I choose to be a catalyst for change.




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