An argument to find the strength to begin, all over again.
For a moment, imagine if — for whatever reason — everything you’ve worked on up to this point, whether professionally or personally, in your life suddenly disappeared.
- Would you be upset?
- Would you know where to begin again?
Of course, the reasonable answer to the first question would be yes, but is there such a reasonable answer for the second? One of the (many) cognitive biases that blinds us in everyday life is normalcy bias, which is defined as:
The tendency for people to believe that things will always function the way they normally have and therefore to UNDERESTIMATE both the likelihood of a disaster and its possible effects. (source)
Everything in our lives is far more fragile than you think. The things we use on a daily could suddenly not be there anymore: Hard drives stop working, cloud services shut down, journals can get lost or destroyed.
Taking a novel approach to life and breaking routines.
Okay, let’s be real. I’ve found myself totally trapped in the habitual daily acts that’ve sprung up thanks to COVID-19, and I’m sure that I’m not alone in that. The lack of travelling different places, meeting new people, having any sort of stimuli apart from our dreaded screens can get beyond boring and frustrating.
This isn’t anything new, though. This feeling is the inevitable byproduct of repetitive work. Feeling stuck and on auto-pilot is triggered by repetitive work, and almost all of us, regardless of our occupation, engage in repetitive work.
Here are a few small ideas to break out of that monotony, at least for a little while, particularly for those with a hungry, creative mind.
The only thing we have is the present moment.
There’s truth that these words are easy to dismiss. That the gravity of this sentiment can be instead seen as a shallow platitude, or cliché. But it’s in fact the most important principle you could live by.
Now is now. It doesn’t matter how badly you fucked up a ten years ago, or yesterday. The only thing for certain is what’s immediately in front of us. The only thing we can change is how we are, right now.
There are moments when I really feel like I’m snapping into the moment, like I’m coming up for air from underwater, gasping in somewhat-horror that I was underneath for so long without realizing it.
The past is an immovable rock in a large field–and we can only reshape the landscape. We can change our narrative around it, seek alternative perspectives, but there is no altering the events themselves. It is a uniquely permanent, stuck ordeal. We cannot relive our glory from the good days, and conversely we do not get a second chance at the bad days.
The future mustn’t be planned without having a full appreciation for how much is outside of your control–which is far more than we care to recognize. In it’s whole entirety, the future is wild and uncertain. The year so far should be all the proof you need of that. Having an anti-fragile mindset is useful–and helps maintain our livelihood in times of chaos and confusion, but that exact philosophy stems from shifting your mindset to now.