Atrophy

If you ever want to prove the rule of atrophy, just go on a holiday.

We left the house in mostly working order. WiFi, phones, alarms, pets, cars all up and running.

But when we came back last night, the gremlins had struck. The power was out, which had tripped our alarm, which had sent the dogs into a two day frenzy. Phone and WiFi has disconnected. The car was dead. And so on.

If you throw a bunch of bricks in the air, it’s almost impossible that they will land on top of each other in a nice organised wall. Atrophy is a natural order of things. It means that everything falls apart and bends toward chaos, unless it is maintained.

Just ask my dogs.

Work and play

We went on a beautiful hike this morning. You can get an idea of the vibe from the pic below.

When I got back I had a look at my phone: Meeting requests, complaints, fires to put out all over the place from work.

The contrast is jarring. But at least with a software based business it is possible to travel and work at the same time.

I need to practice juggling the two because I’m loving the hikes but I need to pay for it somehow!

Strategy

How to achieve the mission?

The strategy lays out your approach to achieving a mission.

For example, if your mission is to pass an exam, your strategy should include some studying.

Laying out the right strategy will allow you to incorporate the mission into your life along with all your other commitments.

Vision

Vision is the dreaming part. Seeing an ideal future. Looking up ahead at where you want to go.

I don’t struggle with vision as I have an active imagination. I can picture myself in various situations quite easily. What’s harder is to fit this dream into your everyday life.

Thinking about the vision long and hard leads to a refined version. Why this vision and not another? What is the core drive behind this dream?

I would place one boundary on the vision you have. Make the vision about something other than yourself. I think Ego will only get you so far. To complete bigger projects might need a bigger cause, such as community, utility, risk management, etc.

Focus on the people

I had to catch the early flight to Johannesburg this morning for a bunch of meetings. It was dark and my kid was still asleep.

I’ll be in the big bad city all day and then arrive home late tonight after my child has gone to bed. Sometimes life is not creative bliss. 

However, I believe it is always fun to work and have meetings if you focus on the people. Today I will meet 2 new people and one who I have only met once before. The work side of things is important and I had to prepare for the meetings, but it flows easier if I focus on understanding and enjoying the different people. It makes it easier for me to leave home in the dark!

Also, the more exposure I have to different people and places, the more cannon fodder for writing and creativity.

Waste and resource constraints

I find it very easy to be wasteful. I can spend money far easier than I can make it. If I let it, my house atrophies and falls apart so that water and energy leaks away. Netflix will line up episode after episode so that time ticks away.

Waste happens when I have plenty of choice.

The opposite thing seems to happen when I think I have less than I need. If I am stretched on a job I can put in superhuman efforts and meet a deadline. If I am running out of money, I can make ten bucks last for a long long time. If I have a clear idea of where I am headed, resource constraint is not so much of an issue. Sometimes it is liberating and let’s me achieve more than I set out to achieve.

 

Congestion

One of the most frustrating situations is congestion – gridlock. I recently went to Johannesburg for a day of meetings. I wanted to organise 4 different meetings with clients and potential clients while I was in the city, but the traffic situation meant I could only plan for 2 meetings in the whole day. Congestion of roads.

Apparently it only takes four people in a hundred to choose not to drive on the roads each day to ease gridlock. A 4% decrease in mindless cramming let’s the traffic flow.

Bear with me here, but I think our brains work in similar ways. If we take 4% of our time spent on marginal ideas, distractions, wastes of time – and instead spend it on a few minutes of good stuff – imagine the cumulative effect? If you stopped watching TV for just 10 mins a night of reading good books – every night – the ideas would flow. If you stopped scrolling through your Facebook feed for just 10 mins of creating something new every day – imagine the cumulative effect.

The kicker is that once we start with something productive and force ourselves to do it for 10 minutes, we are far more likely to keep doing it.

Ease the congestion and noise in your brain for just a tiny amount each and every day. It works.