Saturday, June 16, 2018

New Blog Direction: How I plan to change the world by changing myself

Image result for dreams and reality 

The original reasons I began this blog no longer exist. In 2010 I felt I had much time to bide, as I focused all of my energy (mental and otherwise) on the raising of two other human beings.

I am currently in what feels like the last leg of this twenty year commitment I made (the boys will both go off to college by 2021) and I am using this time to prepare myself to launch into the world in a bigger way than I have previously ever attempted.

If I had to guess what people who know me think about my life choices up to now, I imagine I come across as a weird combination of stubbornly unstable (due to my lack of any risk-aversion and abbreviated tolerance for geographical locations) and rock solid (as I've very rarely said I was going to do something and then flaked/ failed/ flunked out*). *Marriages aside.

Routinely I come up with a cockamamie scheme that includes an enjoyable journey to the ultimate goal, usually in response to solving a problem. Once I moved somewhere, on a whim, that I'd never lived, knew no one, with no job - it got easier each time, until it is just the way I move along in the world. 

So - I designed a journey to get me to the Peace Corps (a lifetime goal). It involves completing a BA, that I have never had time to finish, and generally using the next three years to become a more useful person for the world. I believe we all have a responsibility to others to live up to our full potential. If there is a meaning to life, I think that using all of your resources to their maximum capacity to help shape things positively for others is a crucial component.

But my plan will be hard, and to accomplish my goals I need to change many things (because the person starting out on this quest isn't actually equipped to complete the journey as I am).

Real change as an adult is very tricky.  You have to start by understanding what makes a person what they currently are, and why it is so hard to change.

I am not a religious or spiritual person (I am a little on "the show me the data" side of things when it comes to the pursuit of enlightenment), but I do make a lot of important decisions based solely on intuition. Intuition to me is not magic; it is very fast-firing synapses coming to conclusions based on past experience faster than my mind can consciously follow. It is me trusting "non-thinking Kit", in the same way I implicitly trust "future Kit" and "past Kit". "Future Kit" has my back. "Past Kit" had her reasons. "Fly-by-the-seat-of her-pants Kit" has access to data I haven't had time to analyze. She is rarely wrong. Note: "Romantic relationship Kit" is defective and not to be trusted. She is on a forced moratorium.


Step one: Inspiration

I heard a radio interview with Drew Houston (co-founder of DropBox) in which he talked about the philosophy that you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.
This theory resonated with me, and I thought it really answered so many questions I had in my life about how people I had known seemed unable to change, despite them voicing their intention to. Imagine: you are married, have 3 children and visit with your mom several times a week. Your 5 influencing personalities are locked in - seemingly forever. That probably makes change extremely difficult, as those people will change very little over time. It's why it's so much easier to completely change your life after divorce, moving and changing jobs.


Step two: Implementation

I have the 2 kids and they're locked in, and there is a co-worker I spent most days with, and she's a fine person - but I still have 2 empty slots open to fill with personalities to help me change.
I am not a social person, and I do push myself to do things outside the house (like go see old movies, attend informational meetings on the Peace Corps or a local "Paint nite") but none were resulting in bringing an inspiring person into my life to a level that it would change me.

So I thought I might be able to find a public figure that inspired me; someone who blogged or vlogged enough each day that it would affect my decisions and actions.

I searched for inspirational and influential people and researched each to see if they inspired me. The first candidate I settled on was Tim Ferriss (an author of some self-improvement type books and a tech angel investor). I'm not recommending him for you- I just happened to relate to how he compiles data (mostly from interviewing very successful people), analyzes it, trouble shoots some real world routines based on that info and then recommends daily routines to emulate the results. I was inspired to very quickly change my diet and some bad habits based only on his ideas, so I think my experiment is definitely working do far.

I don't find his life particularly inspiring. I really prefer to find a humanitarian type with bigger ideals and less focus on financial success as a measure of life's success; but I do concede that it may be easier to be in a position of influential power in conjunction with financial power, so I'm not going to dismiss the idea that rich people have much to teach.

Anyway, that's the beginning of this thing and I thought I'd write it all down here as I go along. 

~Kit

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