There are many methods to create new habits. If you create and persist with these new habits, you alter your longer term behavior.
At first these changes in behavior are hard to keep up. They feel wrong, and difficult and like hard work. But over time, if you persist, then they become second nature. What was difficult becomes manageable.
In this time of pandemic, panic, pandemonium – it makes sense to me that you could find yourself a method to create some new habits. Persist with the new habits even as you hit a trough of disillusionment. Even as you are tempted to take the easy route. Once you pass through the dip, you will find the new behavior easier to manage. It will normalize.
Disruption comes in different shapes and sizes. Often it is spoken of positively, especially recently, referring to technology that impacts our lives. But the most disruptive thing to happen in my life lately, and I suspect to anyone reading this, is the corona virus.
Pandemic. What a word that is.
Today is my mother’s and my wife’s birthday (Different people, same birthday). It’s a milestone birthday and we had big plans. However those plans have gone out the window and we are isolating to avoid exposure to a global pandemic which seems to be only just getting started.
If we wanted to do something worthwhile – and it almost doesn’t matter what it is – we would likely find it easier to do with someone else as a guide, a teacher, or just as company.
There’s always an opportunity for creating a welcoming venue for birds of a feather to come together and practice, discuss, create, define what they want to get good at.
The best websites do this. Podcasts too.
The best restaurants, clubs, churches, offices, parks, homes and companies do this too.
As a kind of corollary to my post yesterday, it seems that if you want to have any quality time with immediate family and people you truly care about…you need to try your best to do it offline.
If you have an idea to build a community and make a change, do it online.
Apparently an online presence should be welcoming, specific and consistent to serve the people you seek to serve.
That’s really what this blog is about for me – trying to figure out through writing the change I want to make.
Do it online
Google randomly displays the masters of fine art on my screen, switching every ten seconds or so. A Monet just flashed by, now its someone named Joseph Léon Righini.
All of this is staggeringly good art. None of it is given much attention by me during the day. But it is there for me to see whenever I want it. A mountain peak – an Everest – of fine art to aim for every 10 seconds. This would have been unthinkable a couple of decades ago. I remember growing up we had a massive Encyclopaedia Brittanica in our house for reference.
Why does this matter? I think it matters because it means that the problem of our time – the problem of this revolution we are experiencing – is not one of scarcity or of access to information, or to inspiration. The internet has given us access to more information than we could possibly want – be it art, science, history or cat videos.
Instead the problem is one of contribution. The nagging question in our heads should be “When am I going to show up?”
I don’t mean show up in Google’s algorithm, I mean show up to the party and contribute. Care enough to try, to fail and to show your work.
This wasn’t always a dining room. In fact, like a pimply-faced teenager this room is not quite sure of what it is yet. The dinner table gives some structure and purpose, but there are also bedside tables in the corners, a bean bag at one end, and what was designed to be an office cabinet along the wall. My fish in his tank greets me each morning for food. I assume he is a he, and not a she. More confusion in an adolescent room.
The light in here is lovely in the mornings. While the air is still cool, the sun pours in to light up the dining table for breakfast time. Strangely we never take advantage of this as we are generally in too much of a rush to sit down and eat in the morning.
There is also a door in one of the walls, next to the bean bag. This leads straight onto a flight of stairs and is remarkable for not having a landing. Instead one has to step up into the open door at a different level to the room. Perhaps not the best design, and apparently illegal for health and safety reasons. Oh well. The teenager stumbles through life until it figures out what it wants to be.
When we first moved in, this was my music room. My favorite room at the time, I filled it with jazz, rock, blues. There were movies and computer games. Speakers and amplifiers. A turntable and cds littered the floor. These days my beautiful children turn it into something different every day. Sometimes it is a race track for scooters, sometimes a camp site, a beach, a mountain top for epic adventures. Sometimes we even eat at the table. I’m just glad my amps and speakers are not in here.