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Continuously observing Change…

by | Dec 2, 2021 | Continuous Change, Journey, observe

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God is in fact a comedian. If you don’t believe me, then why would he put me into a “natural” career path where my most Continuously uttered phrase is “Slow Down”? Never a core competency of mine, it is the stance that I try to help others with … as they whiz past something important that they have said, or missed an implication of not observing what they actually know – versus what they want to be true. They are interested in Change – sure – but often miss the signposts on their Journey that make change both possible, and positive…

… and I should know better as I have been observing people most of my life. Sure, I mastered the math and science of Physics and Engineering… but the most non-linear field eventually captured my interest. What was it that actually caused many of the things I observed people doing? And like most, I was keenly focused – almost Continuously – on others. Simple and easy to see what others are missing… but me? Nah, I’m good. And of course, observing others was incredibly rewarding – I could diagnose issues with teams and systems quickly, and offer key insights on what should Change — again, almost Continuously. It fed my Restless nature by focusing entirely on what was coming NEXT, not what was actually here.. Now… with me…

As Journey continued to morph, Roy Valory joined on bass. Also a California teenager, he had eventually played with the Steve Miller Band and was known for playing a 4 string bass that had the higher 4 strings from a 5 string bass. It allows for greater depth of sound with the same quick fingering of a 4 string. He would be with the band pretty consistently through the rest of their tenure, replaced a few times (and currently) by American Idol host Randy Jackson who is a pretty good bass player 😉

The other member of the “rhythm pocket” was Aynsley Dunbar, an amazing British drummer who played with so many famous acts that only a few will fit: John Mayall, Jeff Beck, Eric Burdon, Lou Reed, David Bowie… and Frank Zappa. His love of jazz and blues fit nicely with the structure of Journey and provided a perfect foundation for the band to build on through their first 4 albums, including co-writing today’s track. Collectively their lack of commercial success had Columbia demanding a pivot towards more “popular” music. He would exit the band but continue to be an amazing force in music. He is listed by Rolling Stone as one of the top 30 drummers of all time… but would not ever see the real rocket ship that we will eventually know of Journey.

The best way to get into the negative spin of Change Continuously is to “externalize control”. Picking up on your lack of confidence, or better, lack of clarity on what you want, makes it easy for others to observe what they need to do to get you to do what they want… and easy for you to do because you don’t even observe it … until the results are not helpful for you. And then it hits you that really it was just lazy – and easy – you can blame “them”… and the cycle continues. If you are trying to help someone see this as a good partner, make sure you are at least an arm’s length away 😉 No one likes you pointing this out…

And pace, exhaustion, doing too much for others… they all make it very easy to simply keep up the cycle… and let me personalize this: I am a master at this. I actually used to feature how much I could get done, without considering that maybe none of it was worth doing – particularly not for me. And being ADD by nature, better players of the game would simply dangle a “bright shiny object” and before you know it, like the dog in Up, “Squirrel!” — I was off… without pausing to observe that this was probably going to be a blind alley. So, other than running smack into a few of those brick walls, what broke me out of this habit?

As I said yesterday, partners are key because often we have difficulty seeing it ourselves. Next, observe that just doing something is not helpful unless you know what YOU want, and can get it from this Change. That work is HARD… and not done by most, but learning to slow your SELF down is the first step to pulling control back. And then applying that metric Continuously – does this actually help get ME where I am going? And frankly – doing less… saying “No”…that is the most important thing. It gives you the bandwidth to actually think BEFORE doing…

As you will see tomorrow, Journey will take off to new heights that even Santana was never able to achieve. And Aynsley was clear that he didn’t want to be a part of the pop sound that the record company was pushing them into. Good enough, and he exited the band, and did in fact turn into a great drummer… but was that enough??? Another theme we will explore – Change is lazily used Continuously to focus on “more”. For today, assess who has your “control” knob.. and if it is not you, what would help you take it back? Ironically, from the album “Next”, observe how you empower others to Continuously Change your future…those People.

Who are the ones that slip and slide through life
Moving like the waves in a sink?
People, always need a minute or two to think
Who says they’re not going to hell?
Climbing the stairway to you know where
People, oh! So happy until they scare
Who always has got to talk about somebody else
Born as a God, they think that’s got to be
People, simply just another you and me
People, oh people, huh, hey

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