What goes up must come down


I love the lyric from the song “Spinning Wheel” by David Clayton Thomas

What goes up must come down
Spinnin’ wheel got to go ‘round

This morning I was reflecting on the ups and down of my life. The moments of excitement and the moments of despair. I picked up some favorite ancient texts (this question has been surfacing for all time) and immediately was presented with a conundrum.

I realized that I am addicted to the ups of life. I create so that I can feel the excitement of the highs. I landed a great contract. I got an accolade from someone I respect. I got a large check in the mail. You get the idea.

This addiction has a price tag. A cost that I forget each time I sip the elixir that will certainly give me the high. This simple law of opposites is that there is a low that must follow every high. This duality of life is the main part of living.

We breathe in, we breathe out.
We love, we hate.
We are born, we die.

Now, I mostly hope that the down will not follow the up. I pretend to myself that I can cheat the law of opposites this time around. I can do it through either my cleverness, or my authenticity, or by using my gifts.

Wrong. This law of duality is not escapable. Hoping it will be different is the foundation of suffering. I want the high because it feels so good. Then I begin running to escape the consequence of my choice.

I was with someone last week who was asking about love. She had accepted our cultural story of love that has been corrupted by romance novelists and movie makers. When you are “in love” the fireworks go off, and life is surreal, and you feel oh so good. She bought the story that this condition can last forever.

Anyone who has experienced the fireworks knows that they don’t last. Maybe you have had them last longer than most. There reaches a moment though when they fizzle. It may not be noticeable at first. You don’t want it to end so you start pretending you feel something that you don’t. Then the coolness sets in like morning fog and you start to feel things that you wish weren’t so. Small things about the other person begin to bother you. You may suppress it, but you both know that something is not right. In the end, a new relationship sets in. If you are fortunate, you grow together but mostly people become isolated and maybe feel a bit deadened.

We talked about another love. A true love that doesn’t live at the extremes. A love that is real and comes from embracing myself and others just as we are. A love that knows what’s true and has no need for anyone or anything to be different than it is. A love that gives without expectation. A love that is available freely to all who choose to receive it.

She felt very sad. The myth was punctured. She resisted even considering a life without the fireworks. I suspect she felt that she would be cheated of something important. We sat through her sadness and the beginning of peacefulness appeared.

Just as I am addicted to the high, we all have our emotional addictions. I know these addictions produce a fleeting feeling that is creating its opposite as it declines. By knowing this truth, I can step off the roller coaster and have a chance to feel something that cannot be described and is beyond belief.

Until later,


Author: Thomas White

Over the past thirty-five years, Thomas White has created and led private and public organizations that initiated breakthroughs in areas as diverse as computer software, publishing, printing, market research, leadership development and organizational change. The common ingredients in his success are simple. He looked beyond the limitations that others believed and found real solutions to needs that business leaders have. He attracted the best talent to translate these innovative solutions into practical products and services that were of high value to customers. He created cultures where people love what they do, work at their best and produce extraordinary results. In addition to his role as a business leader, Thomas has been a pioneer and inventor of technologies in the computer-networking field. He is a patent holder for innovations in business process and workflow technology. As part of his passion for educating others about the interface of human and computer systems, he was the co-author of “New Tools for New Times, The Workflow Paradigm”. He has also written articles for numerous publications. In 2001, he turned his attention from leading companies to supporting leadership teams in creating organizations of excellence. After many years of being a part of the machine of change, Thomas recognized that business is the most powerful force in the world. It has a major impact on public policy and governments everywhere. It is a key influence on how we use our resources and sets an example of the values that shape communities from local to global. He formed the consulting firm of Profoundly Simple to be a guide for exemplary leaders - leaders who wisely uses the power they are entrusted with to serve their constituencies first and themselves second; leaders who know that it is good business to treat people with respect, honor the environment and act with impeccable integrity – leaders who inspire greatness in those around them and by doing so create great organizations that are notable examples of success. Feeling the itch to get back into the game again, Thomas joined with two long time friends, to start the C-Suite Network. This network of business leaders offers an online network, events, services, and insights to its 500,000 member community. In addition, the C-Suite Network produces and distributes television and radio content to an audience of over 5M per month

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