Is grey the new black (and white)?


Have you ever felt stumped by a situation you found yourself in?

The metaphorical Brick Wall

The metaphorical Brick Wall

I hit one last night. Or perhaps it hit me…

It felt highly uncomfortable. Even crippling. I’m one of those people who’s always on the go; an ideas generator; a bit of a force to be reckoned with. But at that point in time, I felt truly unresourceful.

I was in a black and white, monochrome place:  only two options lay ahead.

And neither had me dancing in the aisles.

Then I thought to myself, this is stupid. I’m not compromising. I will find an option that excites me. But how?

Hmmm… how about changing my frame of reference? What might the shades of grey be?

And BINGO! That was it. Grey.

There is always a middle territory. It’s never just ‘this or that’. Life isn’t that limiting. You always have choices – it’s just a question of knowing to look in a different place to find them.

My own eureka moment was coupled with a remarkable feeling of empowerment. The black cloud (that word again…) of confusion instantly lifted and I was suddenly armed with a path of action that I was more than happy to pursue.

Mix black and white paint together… and you’ll find your shades of grey.



Shark attack! And yet they still surf…

I was having a bit of a ponder when I went for my run on Bondi Beach this morning.

As I looked across the water, at the salt and pepper smattering of surfers sitting on their boards waiting for the perfect wave to emerge, I couldn’t help but think of the spate of shark attacks Bondi Beach has recently witnessed. 

Bondis attacks werent actually Great Whites... but this picture is pretty amazing...

Bondi's attacks weren't actually Great Whites... but you have to agree, this picture is pretty amazing...

Given the knowledge that the water’s warm enough for sharks at the moment, I thought that perhaps it was pretty silly for the surfers to be risking their lives – or maybe limbs – for the sake of a wave.

But then I came to think – well maybe it’s the wrong time of day for sharks to be so far inland and maybe there aren’t enough small fish around to tempt them in.

Regardless of whether either those assumptions were true, I really liked the fact that although the surfers weren’t certain sharks weren’t around, they were still sitting with their legs dangling into the depths below.

They were surfing because they love it. Because they’re passionate. Because they’re committed.

‘Certainty’ is linked to lots of important values, such as ‘security’ and ‘safety’.

But isn’t it also a bit of a bind?

Many people need to be certain before they will ‘jump’. They need to know all the answers before they are prepared to ‘go for it’ – whatever ‘it’ may be.

But I think there is a lesson here.

To get things done more quickly and to spend much more time doing all the things we love might mean pushing ‘certainty’ down a rung or two.

How about a challenge? The next time you stop and question whether you know enough yet to do something, actively push that lack of certainty back. Remind yourself of what you want, focus on the end result and go for it.

But if you’re considering surfing in Bondi, you might want to wear a metal wetsuit …