in Creativity, Motivation, Philosophy, Psychology

Old Man & The Boulder – How Small Things Can Change The Trajectory Of Our Lives

Notice the small things. The rewards are inversely proportional. — Liz Vassey

I was thinking about this incident earlier today. It just popped up out of nowhere so I might as well use it as an example.

There was a playground right outside my house growing up. Just beyond the fence there was a grassplot with some benches and a big boulder.

One day me and a friend were playing with our action figures on the boulder, probably something “G.I Joe”-esque, when an old shaggy man came up to us and started talking.

Boulder On Grass

Bah! Boulder dash!

I don’t remember what we talked about but I’m guessing he asked us why we were playing so violently or something. Anyway, the discussion was interesting enough so the next day we came back. We waited for him to walk by, which he eventually did.

We talked for a while before he turned to me and asked why I was wearing a bandana. Hey, it was the early 90’s, Guns N’ Roses was a thing!

I told him it was because I thought it was a cool thing. He continued prodding me about “why this” and “why that” until I couldn’t find any more reasons.

As I remember it my friend started feeling a bit uncomfortable so he excused us after chatting a while. He said something to the affect of: “Wow, that was uncomfortable, wasn’t it?”

I didn’t really get what he meant but he thought being questioned in that way was awkward while I felt that it was interesting and challenging.

That’s probably the first time I started becoming semi-aware of what it is to question oneself, other people, decisions, surroundings, and values.

I think it planted a seed in me that this was something interesting and valuable for me.

Now, it’s pure speculation but interesting nonetheless.

Had this questioning not taken place I don’t know whether or not I would’ve discovered it at such an early age. Who knows, perhaps I’d never become that comfortable with it at all.

I think that I’d become a lot less curious about myself, sought out other interest, perhaps been more dependent on external rewards and incentives instead of discovering what makes me tick and so on.

What stories can you remember that, had they not happened, might’ve made you a very different person?


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