Constant of Change part II

There are subtle and simple changes over time, a continuous change from one moment to the next.  There are times that things look dramatically different, barely recognizable from a previous state. For example, changing seasons can dramatically alter a landscape from winter to summer. Other times the world appears nearly identical to the previous state, though never exactly the same.

Those small changes can be the most dramatic; more dramatic than between a field of snow in the winter and dust in the summer. When we miss the continuous change it appears only as two isolated landscapes.

Through passive observation of change our mind will connect with the previous state and bridge the gap to the present. We re-frame our perceptions of the past state and build a momentum towards the next change. In this process we may guide ourselves through life shaping the world to our wants.

Relaxing Momentum

Sometimes even when perfectly relaxed I am still "doing" a lot. Things are happening, life is moving, often times quite fast.

I find that some of my best work is accomplished in a completely relaxed state. It is not stagnation; rather it is letting go. Letting go of active control of your life, allowing life to move you.

Work is accomplished when I let go and also when I fully engage. Life becomes like a swing on a children's playground. You do not force your weight into the air while on a swing; rather just let gravity pull and only shift your weight. The swing seat delights us in its efficiency to maximize movement with minimal effort; it requires relaxing in order to move.

Despite this, it is difficult to truly relax, you must trust that your ass will stay firmly in the swing seat while you let your legs dangle helplessly.  There is a wisdom in letting go of our perceived control over our lives and knowing when to relax and when to take action.

I suppose the irony is you can never really control the outcome of your life without first knowing how and when to let go and relax.

Define and Design the Context

I've had good success with the David Allen approach of Getting Things Done, in particular with the emphasis on context (e.g., "at the store", "at work", "at home").  In fact, I've had an empty inbox (to the amazement of past and present co-workers) for years despite growing amounts of email.  And the context-dependent next-action approach I have found extremely effective.  Everything else I take with a grain of salt (sorry 43 folder people).

On the other hand, the "5 year" vision that so many people seem to thrive on, I find myself avoiding that along with any "life goals".  I'm just old enough to have achieved many of my goals and just young enough to be completely unsatisfied having achieved those goals.  I have found happiness in the process but never the outcome.

For example, I enjoy traveling and I enjoy reading.  I don't enjoy owning a bunch of books or owning keepsakes from my travels.  It's not the book read (past tense), it's the book I'm reading that I enjoy. I don't enjoy owning nice things, I enjoying doing nice things. Happiness, for me, is in the process of life and not the outcome.

With that in mind, I realized that I'm operating under assumed contexts ("at work", "at home") that aim towards goal-oriented outcomes and not the process of living. I grew to have a different personality at work from home because I was separating those contexts (even though they often overlap).  While this is understandable (and common) to separate work life from home life, ultimately I am one person and I'd rather not diverge my personalities into two competing creatures.  I need better contexts to live within.

That being the case, I decided I will define and design my own contexts. I can focus my life on the process of living and design the very contexts to which I live within.  I can let things blend and fall where they fall rather than forcing life into predefined areas.  There is no reason to operate under the assumed contexts that the world and society expects of you.

The contexts to my designed life are quite simple: "creating" and "relaxing".  I included a "meta" context so that I may continue to change the design, continuous improvement so-to-speak (I may never get it perfect but it'll get better).  So far so good, I have blurred the boundaries of those conflicting areas. I don't have tasks "at work" or chores "at home";  I am instead living the "creating" and "relaxing" process of a designed life.

Pomp and Circumstance

What is it about dressing up that makes me act so vain?  My theory is that people are treating me as if I should act vain, so in a sort of Pygmalion Effect I start acting as I am expected to act. The point is, it's a lot of fun! :)

We attended the grand re-opening of the Balboa Theater (restored to its roaring 20s glory). It was a lot of fun, and now I have photographic evidence of myself wearing a tie!  I should have worn sandals and a tie, it is San Diego after all!