7 Words Study: Goodbye
Go On! Only Decisions Boost Your Effectiveness
The Circle of Life
Old Cycles, New Cycles
Beginning, Middle and End
Dawning of Realisation
The Power of Decision
Decision is Commitment
Keywords for Goodbye
There is wisdom in knowing how to balance what has been against what can be. Each of the seasons has its own beauty, and each of the chapters of our life has value, yet the inertia of habit can make it quite difficult to respond enthusiastically to signs that the times have shifted and that the point has come to change direction. Comfortable and secure, we tend not to step out of the life-track of what is normal for us. So we may struggle to realize this: that we are either growing or dying. Let us be aware that a joyless, repetitive, humdrum, mindless life is not life at all; it is dying in disguise.
The Goodbye instant is a link between two stories—the past and the future—which seem rather similar and yet have at least one major axiom different. The past holds us back and the future pulls us forward towards new lessons; we are crucified by any sustained indecision. We have to act. Action demands of us a greater degree of involvement than passivity and we are stimulated to a greater degree to touch depths of feeling that are not always engaged. It requires the resolution of dilemma; dynamically, it gives proof of decision. The very requirement of a decision is that we engage in order to awaken more fully, and penetrate into the deeper recesses of the self. Action can often express some quality or inner decision that might otherwise go unnoticed and would be left in the ethereal world of the unrecognised.
Although Goodbye itself is momentary, the process that surrounds it takes time. It is necessary to close down what has been opened and attend to all outstanding questions so that resolution takes place properly. Typically we don’t want to take responsibility to finish everything off tidily because it is more enjoyable for us to direct attention towards what will be and not what was. Our motivation to ‘do the right thing’ comes out of a sense of self-image that ‘I am the kind of person that finishes what s/he starts’: a dignity of identity. Also it preserves and strengthens will, which otherwise could be undermined. The importance of completion is to do with tying up loose ends so that we can journey into the future knowing that there are no issues that will pull us back and diminish our possibilities for success in what is now about to begin.
Moving on is likely to be an adventure—it is better like this because it helps us to make a clean break—although it can feel rather dangerous. It is good to set off from a prepared position of strength, having some degree of purpose, certainty of resolve and whatever resources we may need for the journey. Enthusiasm, born of the heart, is the joyous motivating vibrancy that carries us forward from a separation towards future involvements, and if we ride this wave as would a surfer then we have the right approach towards meeting an unknown future.
As an old door begins to close we are somehow squeezed to bring out more from a situation. An irreversible ending approaches, and there is an intensity of vitality to be felt, which has an energising effect that pushes us to a deeper level of self-examination and self-expression. Perhaps in this is to be found the greatest gift of all: the wisdom, which validates and explains the purpose for the involvement and the need for it to finish.
Sadly, it has to be acknowledged that many – perhaps most – people are rather stuck in a rut, unable to work out what to do next. However, good managers keep abreast of the changes and realise what’s going on within a larger context, and they are willing to make proactive decisions about what needs to be done, and then see it through to completion. We all have to manage our lives, and the skills needed are no less useful for individuals as they are for corporate executives. To optimise your career, organise a village fete, or to run a multinational, you will need to know about decisions, project management and meetings.
7 Aspects of Career
This might include:
No, defining our identity;
Hello, considering options which will hold our attention;
Thanks, its value in promoting happiness;
Goodbye, potentials for advancement;
Please, our self-image as a goal;
Sorry, a sense of community service;
Yes, retiring gracefully into the position of ‘elder’.
No: Accountant, Security, Inspector (Firm boundaries, discrimination).
Hello: Entertainer, Salesman, Tour Guide, Receptionist (expansive, open, friendly).
Thanks: Kindergarten Teacher, Personnel Officer, Artist (warm, appreciative).
Goodbye: Traveller, Buyer, Journalist (completions, resolution).
Please: Team Manager, Executive, Project Leader (clear intention, ability to co-opt).
Sorry: Doctor, Nurse, Priest, Arbiter (non-judgemental, unbiased).
Yes: Counsellor, Publican, Secretary (tolerant, accepting).
Getting stuck, being indecisive, holding on too long, failure to complete on promises and responsibilities, fear of change, tendency to give up, over-dependency on others.
These are fixed types who seem to prefer staying in an unhappy situation rather than giving something new a try. Whether it’s lack of courage, lethargy or terrible indecision, they stay put when most of us would be long gone. Life is all about how to manage the changes – so someone who does not manage, and does not change, inevitably begins to deaden.
A strong and yet dysfunctional expression of Goodbye can arise as a result of a childhood lived with too much Moving On, perhaps army children posted to far-flung places, moving home every year or so. Another form of inappropriate Goodbye is the case where a child loses a parent and is left with feelings of abandonment, rejection, desertion, powerlessness and an expectation of under-nourishment.
Who would be surprised if this gave rise to anger and resentment in the grown adult? We might expect to see a loner, unwilling and unable to trust that attachments of the heart will lead to anything that lasts. Rather than stay around for someone precious to desert them, at the first sign of danger they will dash off injured. There is reluctance to form long-term commitments, a failure to deliver the goods, a poor sense of responsibility for the emotional impact that their leaving will cause. This is the rolling stone gathering no moss, with no extra baggage and no fixed abode — never fully present here and now, yet perhaps with an optimism for a brighter time where the restlessness will abate and there will be a nourishing love that cannot escape.
The war-like attitude of humanity has clearly reached absurd levels now that we are taking on an opponent whom we can never defeat, and anyway who nurtures us continually without asking for payment. Our abuses against Mother Nature are no longer being ignored by her. In response there have been a ‘few shots across the bow’, like Hurricane Katrina, which seem to have produced no more than a ripple of concern.
Environmental issues, Global Warming, terrible pollution, and GM foods are just a few examples of problems that won’t just go away. Let’s be awake to the reality that we have allowed those in authority to slip into an unwinnable war that can only lead towards suffering and destruction. It is the eleventh hour.