My friend Tanja from the city of Cacak says she is studying life’s crossroads from different perspectives. I believe this contemplation is important to her – as it is to me.

Crossroads are part of our lives. They happen for one good reason: we are the masters of our lives and we have the freedom of choice. This is not automatically self-understood. Just look at the history of mankind, you’ll know what I mean.

In fact, we have only recently discovered the freedom of choice. There are many people in this world who do not have the freedom to choose when they step onto a crossroad.

Crossroads can be forced upon us. Or they can be self-imposed. Whatever way, crossroads lead to decisions. Crossroads are about choices. Many people are afraid of crossroads, fearing to take the wrong decision. I believe there are no inherently wrong decisions. Crossroads are what they are – just crossroads, and will not determine the rest of our lives. It’s our character, belief, personality and openness to embrace change, what will ultimately determine the course of our lives.

When you reach a crossroad, take the direction you are most comfortable with at that time. Think well, but not too much. Listen to instinct – your gut feeling. There are no wrong decisions. The only thing crossroads do, is determine how fast you will get where you want to be. That is, if you know at all where you want to be.

In my free time, I ride motorcycles. I fill the gas tank, fire up my old Harley and hit the road. No plan, no goal. I hit many crossroads. So what do you think I do? Think at every crossroad what is best? Best for what? I turn into the road I like at the moment and make sure I enjoy it.

Tanja, thanks for inspiring this!

I think crossroads are important and the direction should be chosen wisely. At the same time, let’s not forget the basics: Let’s just enjoy the ride.

Regards and carpe diem.

PS: Many years ago,  Don McLean wrote a great song about Crossroads. Click here to heaer it. To me, it’s one of the most beatiful songs ever written and I dedicate it to Tanja. Chek out Lyrics!

The Zen of Bits and Pieces

I use a little black paper notebook, 7½ x 12, exactly the size to fit in my upper shirt pocket. Whenever something crosses my mind, I write it down. Literally anything that may be of any future value. Each time I write something down, people give me this strange glance. Some ask why I don’t use a sophisticated digital system to „manage“ my thoughts. Well, truth is, I don’t really think that I can „manage“ my thoughts. They come up, whenever they want, and I have trouble enough just to „catch“ them. So my little notebook is not about managing, it’s about catching. No use managing ideas which are not there. 70% of the stuff I write down is useless at first glance. 20% go on a special list labeled „interesting“ (yes, that one is computer based). The rest is usually stuff that goes right on my action list. Now, let’s take a look at the 70% stuff. Since I can’t make any immediate use of it, I leave it right inside the notebook – no further processing at this time.

However, at some point in the future, I may have another, seemingly unrelated idea. Sometimes it rings a bell: “Wait a minute, didn’t I think about his before? OK, let’s go back and check the little black notebook”. More often than not, when I do this, additional information from other perspectives is revealed. Bits and pieces suddenly relate to each other to form a clear picture. Puzzle pieces fall into place and form the source of a new idea.

So what’s my point? The point is that our thoughts, ideas and creativity don’t visit us in linear fashion. They are not one steady stream. The opposite is true. They call on us in bits and pieces, seemingly unrelated, in different forms and dimensions. They seem unrelated at first glance. However, it pays off to give them a good second look. Creativity is lining up those bits and pieces, relating them to each other and giving them meaning. This is, in my opinion, a powerful source of human intelligence and creative ideas.