Monday, 14 June 2010
I was listening to an interesting discussion by a bunch of neuroscientists as they talked through some fictional stories about afterlives and how consideration of the idea of an afterlife causes us to see some interesting perspectives on real life. One brought up a film called ‘Afterlife’ where people were asked to think back on their life to a favourite moment or memory, which they would then be allowed to take with them to the afterlife and could live in their favourite moment forever more.
All very far fetched, right… But the interesting thing was that the memories that people in the story picked were often the most seemingly banal moments - sitting doing nothing in a particular place, simply being with someone special in a totally ordinary setting etc..
It was funny for me listening, while on a long walk out from a session on a hard project and in the process of psyching myself up to try and finish it. The most memorable days trying hard projects in the past have not generally been the day I did them, or even days of good progress. To pick one of my hard climbs as an example, my best memory from doing Rhapsody was late night runs around Dumbarton, simply enjoying the feeling of having done several hours of training that day and winding down with a run.
This is not to say that having the projects to work towards is therefore not important - quite the opposite. They are essential as the catalyst for the experiences gathered along the way. Without them, life would be emptier. The flip side of this is that being dependent on success on them closes off the link to those experiences along the way - the ones that will really be memorable long after the project is just a number in your logbook.