Monday, January 25, 2010

1029 : Continuous vs. spiral sine curves

Slightly philosophical…actually boringly statistical :-)

Most viewpoints I have heard of, rationalize life and its ups and downs as a continuous process – which means at any given point, life is decent mixture of the good and the bad (or what we think is the “good” and the “bad”….or better still, what we choose to be “wanting” to be part of out life, and what we choose to “avoiding” in life”.)

The key word in the above (wordy) sentence is “continuous”. I tend to look at it very differently. I actually think life is set of “spirals” and the ups and downs are actually deep enough troughs like a sine wave – both in the “good” and the “bad” direction.

A prominent example is Tiger Woods who had it “all going” for me in the positive sense, and then a small trigger, pushed the whole equation into “all not going” territory…..he switched from one extreme of the sine curve to another in a matter of a day - literally.

Why does that happen? – My personal experience leads me to believe that “good” or “bad” feeds off itself. So if you are doing good at a job, your family life beings to look up, your health gets a little fitter, and everything seems in order. Tomorrow you get detected with cancer, your family is distraught, your career goes on the backburner and your health is obviously not fine. In a matter of days.

On the “negative” side - I have stared down an empty barrel, felt my walls were closing onto me, felt like my health was not going to last, my dream squashed in front of me……and all of them looking like they were clubbed together – though in fact they were independent events.

The “feeding off” spiral stops when
- you  take 2 steps back  and make truth with the situation (both good and bad…you recognize, life cant be this good or this bad)
- there is nothing left to feed off (your health, job, family, wealth….whatever f-symbols….are all gone).

Why narrate this long story?

I actually think – and hope (aha the proverbial bitch)  that I am just coming off a big negative spiral. The last 18 months have been tough on me. Though I was conscious and constantly taking two steps backwards, at times the spiral is like a tornado, can warp (and wrap) you in. After all, I am a fallible human being….I was sucked in.

I think the spiral is slowly breaking – it will be a couple of years before I hit the other (positive) trough of the sine curve.

I also keep telling myself that this endless see-saw will ceaselessly continue – and that I should remember in this perpetual  game of zenith and nadir – that the next nadir is always very close, never more than 60 seconds away.

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