I’ve become a human doing rather than a human being. I don’t know when it happened but I imagine it’s been going on like this for quite some time. You see, I’ve got a fantastic to do list. To be quite fair, my #bulletjournal is awesome, it’s a combination planner/tracker/journal/note keeper that keeps my productivity running on all cylinders. Did you notice that all of those things I mentioned are #Action-oriented.
David Allen’s Getting Things Done is an example of a productivity philosophy meant to address this unending stress we subject ourselves to. In his program the idea is to get the swarm of ideas out of your brain, on to paper, clarified and prioritized and then actioned on. There is a serenity in that thinking that speaks deeply to my inner go-getter. I can hear him shouting.”Heck yes! Get to work!”
To do lists are awesome for getting things done because in the fog of “what should I do now?” Or after a disruptive phonecall, or kids spill or whatever cognitive trap you find yourself in, having the list to go back and re-cage is awesome. That said, you are just DOING at that point. There is an incredible feeling when you get into the groove or “FLOW” and are cranking out work. Some multi-tasters or task switchers are able to maximize and optimize their performance with a cup of coffee and a written plan. That is all well and good, but I realized that the high wears off and even the best laid plans in journals become stale and boring and repetitive if it’s all about DOING.
For that reason, built into my TO DO, is a distinct personal development section of TO BE. This didn’t have a title before tonight…it was simply a compilation of “dailies” that were bits of science, philosophy classical, western and eastern, and reflection on gratitude. That’s right, I’m using my own personal OCD-ADHD against myself to build personal development into my day as a purposeful TASK. I’m going to force myself TO BE a human being by leveraging my love for being a human doing.
Can you help but grin at the idea of positively tricking yourself into being awesome, or at the very least more worldly and exposed to thoughts more meaningful than the latest meme or tweet?
In Antifragile, Nassim Taleb discusses how older things, books, ideas have withstood the test of time and proven, by not being replaced, that they are superior to the latest fad or trend. He goes into mathematical proofs that determine how long something will be around based on how long it’s been around and prescribes a diet of old world knowledge. In a lot of ways, his advice to avoid Neo-mania, is so counter-culture I can’t help but think he’s got to be on to something. I want to have the next big idea as much as the next Type A, go-getter MBA out there, but it would seem there is nothing new under the sun.
Surprisingly, this thought doesn’t make me cringe or worry. If it’s all been done before there are lessons to be learned, and much like today’s labor of love on a new website…the answers are out there because somebody has seen this issue before. I might be mixing podcasts right now and can’t provide adequate attribution but an idea I heard yesterday suggested that the best performers seek Unions rather than Intersections. Excellence, then, is in integrating rather than derivating. True creation sees what isn’t there and breathes it into existence. Copycats will later create completion and take your idea from 1 to n scale, but the Genius takes 0 and goes to 1. Attribution Peter Thiel Zero to One
Ok, tons of words tonight to say what? The world needs Human Doings but for personal development and sustainable mental fortitude and growth the #Action step needs to be purposeful TASKS designed to build yourself into the best Human Being possible. (At least that’s the story I’m telling myself this week…)
NEXT TIME: “Does truth really matter if the story works?”