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The Tinkered Mind
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September 1st, 2020
Though our lives are changing with each passing moment, there are times when it feels like this flow of time hits a fork replete with detours, side quests and adventures of all new kinds. We all seem to have a built in mechanism of boredom that blossoms a couple years into any new project, job or relationship. The association with boredom is generally negative, and that antsy desire to jettison one’s self from a certain course of life can easily be seen as a weakness as though we lack the strength to persist and endure. While the potential roots of such persnickety cultural views are beyond the scope of this topic, it’s certainly fair to say that everything has a place and time, and when such crossroads occur in life it’s fascinating to reflect on the utility of boredom.
We may in fact have this function built in as a feature to help stir up life into a more interesting forms.
What’s perhaps strange is that we can often take so long to actually get bored enough to actually pull the plug, firebomb life and jettison our consciousness into a new and fascinating direction.
We seem to sense crossroads only when they are super obvious. When a project is done, when a lover gets a new job or needs to move, when a promotion doesn’t happen. We wait for an obvious set of signs that feel like a stop sign in the middle of nowhere, the blinking red light warning us of continuing, the empty stretch of road to the left and to the right, each with their own new horizon.
This is an illusion of the metaphor though. A moment of reflection dissolves the very road itself, revealing that there is in fact no set path that we’ve been following, but only an imagined one. The fork in the road exists at all times, in all places of our life. To torture the metaphor with the heat of a little more accuracy would place life directly in the intersection with an infinite variety of choices and paths swivelling before us in a kaleidoscope of perpetual possibility.
It’s a trick of the mind that keeps us on the straight and narrow of this profession, that living situation, that relationship, that hobby, activity and way of thinking. And as useful and practical as this trick of the mind can be, for it really does enable us to make progress with a dedicated and disciplined consistent effort, so many people lose out on a universe of opportunity hidden just outside the purview of our thinking.
Life does not need kid gloves. Life is a sculpture of infinite shapes that can and sometimes should be molded with a reckless and rough abandon.
The small iteration - that carefully planned step is touted as a kind of ultimate tool in modern times, but it can pale in comparison to the fearless leap of faith, founded in your ability to land on your feet, or if need be, build the rocket ship as you fall. Let that last little step, that small iteration be the final glance at the ground rushing up to destroy you, as you press the ignition button.