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November 30th, 2019
Can you plan discovery?
Can you plan when you’ll have your next great idea?
Perhaps discovery can be anticipated, but planning when a great idea is going to show up? That’s likely a fantasy.
But despite how difficult it is, we can create conditions where it’s more likely we’ll be struck by a good idea.
We need to create the right conditions for lightening to strike, and lightening rods don’t work very well in basement offices.
We are not unlike lightening rods in this respect. In order for ideas and giant pulses of electricity to strike, there are a couple non-negotiable ingredients:
We need space. The right sort of space.
Somewhere to wander, which is easy enough to do.. for a person the range of subjects and topics that are available for your average human are so abundant that a few lifetimes would be fairly easy to fill.
The problem is the other variable. We can’t wander if we don’t have the time. And while this is widely acknowledged as the most important resource we have, few actually take the long hard look at their life to maximize this resource.
Many would rather wile away 8 hours a day 5 times a week and feel reasonably safe about shelter, finances and social connection than perhaps take a big fat red marker to this equation.
As is commonly reported and apparently never taken to heart: no one regrets not working more when they find themselves on a deathbed.
but of course this prescription is phrased in a negative, and without some sort of substitute, the mind is quite poor at filling in the punch line. We can only imagine the thing being discussed which is of course work. It’s akin to being asked not to think of a pink elephant. What do you think of?
So no wonder people don’t delve into the implications of our tired, dusty aphorisms.
What’s the opposite of work? One might think rest and relaxation, so perhaps the question doesn’t correlate with our perspective of the subject.
Perhaps the better rewording of the question is: what’s the opposite of busywork?
Certainly most people who have contemplated the precious fleeting nature of life will shutter at the idea of wasting it with mere busywork.
The opposite of busywork might be to wander.
We seemed to intuit the value of this also. Travel is the the ultimate activity in today’s day and age. But we cram wild, highly scheduled trips into tiny one and two week stints and completely miss the gist of what it means to wander.
We gain return to that important variable: time.
If time is so important, than we need to examine how we are wasting it, and we must look hard at what comforts and pleasures we must be willing to sacrifice in order to have more of this one precious gift.