Choosing to Live Life Instead of Live Your Program

November 16, 2007

Daily Growth Jog 151107 A

I just read a post by Scott H. Young on being to busy to live life. What a concept. We fill our time with so much stuff, and most of it things that we’ve already done and know will give us a certain outcome, out of fear of what might happen if we try new things.

I remember reading that humans are randomness seeking machines. But I don’t think that’s quite right. If I’m any example of a human, we’re really randomness limiting machines. We try to remove as much of the novel from life [to a certain point of diminishing returns] in favor of those things we know that will already make us, at the least, pleasured for a bit.

Let me use myself as an example: I have a few set things that I definitely do every day. Like check e-mail way too many times. And write this bidaily post [though this is relatively new when it comes to something I do every day]. I hang out with Chris at dinner. I read [most of the time, when I’m not too ‘busy’ to {which usually means when I’m not too busy worried about how busy I should really be}]. Over the past few months, I’ve run cross country. Oh, and I do homework, usually spread out but most recently for a three hour stretch in the afternoon [though I have still yet to do an actual three hour stretch all in one sitting {you wouldn’t think it would be that tough to find that time, but you would be surprised}].

Now to the things that I do much less often, but probably, maybe should do more of [but haven’t yet developed the ‘feel’ for how much I enjoy them]. These are the activities that have yet to become ‘programmed’ into my ‘subconscious’ routines. Drawing, a la as in the exercises of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. Writing novels / short stories / actual essays for publication / poetry. Playing guitar for any appreciable amount of time and actually learning something from it. Going on nice long walks listening to audiobooks [which might be much more of a possibility now that I have some cash-inflow]. Actually getting into reading a book [more than once every few weeks… I’m talking reading one good book a week and actually absorbing it]. Doing yoga / meditation / chi gong / other energy work.

Okay, do you see a pattern here? I don’t know if I do. But what I do notice is that a lot of the most rewarding experiences in my life occurred when I upped the randomness. Like joining the Cross Country team at the whim of my brother and finding out that a lot of really cool people run XC. Or ending up at Ursinus, even though I wanted to go to Villanova, and then realizing that I had found just the right college for myself [and anything that might be missing is my own fault for not creating it!].

In other words, surprise, risk taking leads to the most reward. To be cliched, it’s not all the things that you did do that you’ll regret: it’s those things that you didn’t. But what does that really mean ultimately. I mean, really, what does it mean if you don’t have the guts to do it.

Well, today, just start doing more of that ‘random’ list and shift away from the ‘usuals.’ Yes, the usuals taste good. And in the short term, they’re very effective at reducing the entropy in your mind. But in the long run, you’ll probably be better off figuring out a way to get more of the ‘spice’ into your life. Not to be gay or anything. But those activities that you’ve relegated to someday/maybe may be more useful for you right now!

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