I once conceived an idea to create triangle-shaped bathtubs. This was amidst a flurry of creativity and caffeine and, looking back, this may not have been my brightest idea.
Maybe there was absolutely no value in having this idea, or maybe it brought someone a sliver of joy when I shared it as a joke.
- Failure is not terminal.
- Every idea bolsters creativity in its conception or future development. Don’t let one bad idea stop you in your tracks.
Going through the motions is not always a bad thing.
We often think this mode of operation lacks authenticity or true desire- doing a thing just to get it done.
But what’s the alternative? Not going to dinner with your significant other, not doing the analysis for your company, not writing your blog post for the day?
Sometimes, we genuinely want nothing to do with these things.
Why are we so afraid of being inauthentic when our “authentic selves” so often want to be inconsistent? Routine is the tried and true gutter bumpers that keep our shots inbounds and moving forward. It is the only way we will be able to fight our base instinct to not.
“Why did you get rid of your social media?“
A more fair question to ask back is, “why didn’t you get rid of yours?” We’re at a place, informationally, where the second question makes more sense.
I haven’t written much about the Attention Economy, but slowly have been buying back my shares. We are the product in the Attention Economy. Tech and social media companies are paying billions for our time and attention.
And the things we lose when we sell our attention and time to the altar of the screen…
So, why haven’t you gotten rid of yours, I ask, genuinely.
Some get rid of their smartphones for the same reason- “there has to be a better way”, they say.
And there is.
Because how long do you think it will be before the majority begins to ask,” why didn’t you get rid of your smartphone…”
This question provides context to a journey we are on. I like it for the structural end, middle, and begginning it implies. It is grace for the Wanderer, and freedom for the Novice.
We aren’t on anyone’s timetable, which is a grace- figuring out the meat of life doesn’t require being swift.
The questions we’re asking take time. Time that is available, and if we remember this we are freed from the social desire to pick a side before truly considering.
But do we all land somewhere?
I think, sometimes, it’s okay to not get to the final opinion on a subject. Finality in “knowing” doesn’t determine our success in life (thank goodness).
And the final square is only that for as long as the game stays the same.
How we think about “place “can quickly become our current paradigm. Where we are in life always tries to dictate who we are.
If you’re climbing the corporate ladder to provide for your family, you become a rung. If you’re in school preparing yourself for a knowledge career, you become a database. If you’re a contractor fixing up homes because it’s natural work, you become a hammer.
The problem with this thinking is a view of “loci”, internal or external, that dictates your response to the world as either passive or active.
The problem with this thinking is in its passive nature. It tells us to stay bipartisan to the issues in culture, academia, and work.
It’s an unhealthy invitation to exchange purpose for work.
The real problem is that we can’t see past this place to envision how our work fits into the grand scheme and helps us achieve our goals.
The more deeply a thought or action is tied to your identity, the more difficult it is to change it.James Clear, Atomic Habits
This identity change isn’t easy. We are temporal creatures, so place matters, and it effects us deeply. But we have the power of conscious choice and habit to uproot our desire to be acted upon, and begin to act.