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The UK Election

1 July 2010

Well we tried. We tried very hard. And we didnt do too badly. And it was so very complicated and confusing so we were never going to get a clear outcome. Yes, it was the UK election and my tarot group were trying to predict the outcome. As it happened we did predict a Conservative win and a lib dem coalition with them – it just took us a while to get there. The conservative cards showed a great deal of hard work to keep in power and also, once they got there. The lib dems had cards that showed them grinning from ear to ear so you can imagine our surprise next morning, when they were all so glum and had lost so many seats. I was still mulling this over as the news began to change and within a couple of days, here we were with a new kind of government, the likes of which many of us have never seen. Who says these arent changing times??

Thinking about what actually would make the Lib Dems happy (was it power, more seats or just the chance to change the voting system) and seeing the outcome (who could have predicted that? Well apart from us!) reminded me of a tarot reading I did last year for a young man setting out on his career path as a musician. His cards didnt indicate the greatest success in the world, but he certainly looked like he would be happy. Before I said anything, I asked him what success meant to him – was it fame and fortune – a kind of X Factor fame; or was it making a living. I told him of a rock musician I know locally who frequently sings in our pub on the beach. He’s been singing and playing for years and in the middle of one song he shouted out, ‘take that mamas and papas!’ I wondered what he meant and when he came over to the bar for a drink I asked him. He said that in the sixties he had toured with the famous ‘mamas and papas’ band and they had barely acknowledged his presence. they had fame and fortune but hadnt lasted long in the spotlight. He, on the other hand, had enjoyed much less fame and fortune but was still being the authentic musician and singer that he was and had been for his entire life. He had a point.

Asking ourselves what we really honestly want when we set out on our new projects/jobs/careers is crucial to our future happiness. Do we want a job that gives us the money to do the things we want or are we willing to trade that in for a job that is fulfilling and rewarding? Few of us are lucky enough to have both and I imagine quite a number of us have had to make a few sacrifices and compromises along the way. I once read that if you sought fame and fortune and that is what you got, you shouldn’t complain when your privacy was invaded, your friends abandoned you and relationships became all about trying to see through people who wanted to know you because of your fame and your fortune. I can understand why many choose to be happy with earning a living the way they want, without the ‘price tag’ that comes with fame and fortune.

It’s also important to be realistic about your chances of success. How good are you at what you do? How big is your market? How are you going to let them know what you do? These may sound like marketing questions for a new business but if we apply them to ourselves they become tools for our self awareness. How ‘good’ we are at what we do becomes how well do we love what we do, have learnt our trade, have practised and grown and have experience in our field and how honest can we be to ourselves about that? How big is our market becomes how many people do we think could use our services/products, how much do we depend on what another says about what we do, how much do we care about what people may say about us?

Richard Bach says in ‘Illusions’ – ‘live never to be ashamed of anything that is written or said about you – even if it isn’t true’. I guess if you are seeking fame and fortune, that saying would not go amiss!