As I do my daily rounds of TASK AVOIDANCE — aka surfing the web — I often come across articles on how to Boost Your Creativity.
I'm always excited to click on those links, because who doesn't want to learn more about Making the Thing That Is Not? However, I'm invariably disappointed because mostly they're all about How To Do More Of All The Things. They want you to stop procrastinating and get to work. Ugh.
Last year, for example, I found an article called “If You’re Too Busy for These 5 Things, Your Life Is More Off Course Than You Think” and went to check it out to see if there were any strategy for not-doing that I could learn.
tl;dr: it’s more Things To Do.
Here’s an outline:
- Organizing your life
- Plan & Invest in Your Future
- Tracking Important Metrics
- (The author is currently tracking his income/expenses; new email subscribers; relationships; progress toward goals; weight, muscle-mass, and body fat percentage)
- Prayer & Meditation to Reduce Noise
- Move Toward Your Goals Every Single Day
That last one is the tell, isn’t it? His motto is clearly Fac plus ut facere plus possis. (“Do more so you can do more.”)
I’m being unfair, of course. He has found that paying attention to life, all aspects of life, rather than simply flying blind, is a better way to live, and I cannot disagree with him on that idea. More power to a thoughtful life!
But this Lichtenbergian has found that the author's metaphor of a plane flight has one important flaw as a guide to thinking about life, and that is that it’s all about getting somewhere. Your destination. Your goal. I’m generally suspicious of this kind of thinking and I almost always have been. (Back in college I wrote a sonnet about throwing stones: as long as you’re throwing stones, you cannot fail; it’s just when you aim at something that the universe becomes an impediment.) It’s far too easy to let a goal become your life.
So I thought about it, and I think I have a simpler list of things to keep you on course.
If You’re Too Busy For These 4 Things, Your Life May Be On a Course
- MAKING: Making a living? A home? A quiet space? Art? Cocktails?
- SHARING: Sharing your home? Your love? Cocktails?
- GIVING: Giving to your community? To the next generation? To yourself?*
- SMILING: Seeking for joy? Beauty? Cocktails?
There you go. That was easy, wasn’t it?
— — — — —
* Specifically, cocktails.