BY SHEENA BLAKE
“Each man must create his own system or else he is a slave to another mans” by William Blake.
My writing mentor once told me, when I worked as a metal separator at a small, family run scrap yard, that it is time for me to create my own system, release my fear and move forward with my ideas. He used this quotation from William Blake to make me wonder and dream more about what I wanted out of life. Aside from the patriarchal undertone, this quotation really started my thinking on a new path. What does it really mean to create my own system? What will it take for me to really live out my dreams and create such systems?
Today’s article is about what it takes for us to create our own versions of systems. I, of course, am speaking as a person who has not entirely completed my system, but who is now choosing to be on the path of its creation. So far, on this journey, I have been taught, through elders and experience, that creating my own system has almost everything to do with commitment and discipline.
Commitment and discipline seem like obvious factors, at least they did to me very early in my journey. But, they were just words then. They were fragments in my imagination. I could not have imagined their true meaning, and perhaps, I still do not, but I know now that commitment and discipline are about my energy. They are about my energy reserves and reserves that I do not know about.
It takes energy to stay committed to the course, especially when the road is bumpy and rough. It takes energy to cultivate discipline through strengthening my mind, while times are easy, for the times when commitment is necessary. It truly is a wonderful and gruelling process. Much like sleeping’s intention is to recharge our body battery, disciplining my mind is the reserve energy that is necessary to remain committed to my vision.
Now, the usual wisdom that is shared about disciplining our minds and remaining committed to something is about choosing the things we have around us, the things we eat, read, consume and I believe all of this is entirely true. There is one thing, though, that is not spoken of often, and that is the element of sharing.
Many of us learned from stories and teachings from our elders, parents, aunties, uncles, teachers etc. They shared their wisdom and knowledge with us through many stories, albeit, unsolicited and painful at times. They taught us a great deal about life. This article is offering, that alongside regarding what we watch, eat, read and listen to, we think very mindfully about sharing stories with others. In this way, we may be humble and disciplined enough to be accountable. Sharing stories is about creating accountability. Share your stories; they are the greatest trainers.