When no one is looking

All my life I have been taught to overcome my fears. To NOT limit my potential. To be who I am and NOT who I think I should be.  And mostly that revolves around being a better human being.  A “value-added-to-family-work-and-society-cultural-ethic”.

The dilemma is that “value” has to be judged as valuable by someone other than me – and valuable changes as we change.

Young toddlers are rewarded for just getting up (again).  For just putting one spoon of food in their mouths. For having that first voluntary pee in the potty.  For speaking a first unintelligible (to others) word.  For doing useless stuff in the big scheme of things. Stuff not one of you would even notice if I did it now (as an adult).

(or if you did it would be with dismissal, disdain or disgust)

Being the greatest couch potato – not held in high esteem.  Being the slowest thinker through of problems – never a goal rewarded by others.  Being the most indecisive person ever – usually met with impatient advice on how to decide.

Now it is stuff of family-work-and-society that is remarked upon …

Being promoted (over others).  Earning more (than others).  Doing more (than others). Fundraising (more than others).  All of it somehow remarkable because it is better than average.  All of it because it is judged “valuable” by others.

Learning to backflip as an adult.

Has no inherent value. Will not change anyone’s life for the better. Learning to backflip as an adult is an eccentricity.  Any adult who wants to waste time learning to backflip for no reason at all is best avoided.  Learning to backflip as an adult fails the calculation of valuable.

And then I saw this video on Facebook.



And here is what I found out about me and where my calculation of “value” really comes from.

I judge within 2-5 seconds.
After 5 seconds I am aware of investing “my time”.
After 5 seconds I am giving “me” in suspending my usual immediate judgement.
2 minutes and 56 seconds is a massive investment of my precious time.
That investment requires a return.
The more time I invest – the bigger return I expect

And my “giving” … ?

I was “off duty”. 
My judgment gene was “on duty”.
A lot more “on duty” than when I am on duty (in public)

I found out a lot about how (really) generous I am
When no one is looking.

And I wonder …

How generous are you when you are “off duty”?


Learning to backflip in under 6 hours