I am dedicating this blog post to millenials and acknowledging my inherent affinity with them.. The timing of it is because, I signed up to do a blog chain with a millenial. We tag each other and write blogs. And the ball is in my court now.
So I am not a millenial anymore…. in one critical habit. I was millenial-esque in my monogamy, with phone and texting. My phone and texts were my be all and end all. I was mobile and only on my mobile. And I was proud of it.
My phone was my everything- my hard-disk, my virtual and real brain, my message genie, my time scheduler, my typewriter and my library.
I have come down with an acute case of bursitis and tendonitis in my right shoulder and arm.. to the point where I am not able to type, on any instrument…big or small. Voice to text yields comical output.
This gnarly constraint has introduced necessity, and we know the beauty of necessities- they create opportunities for change.
So I have taken a time-out from typing at all hours and ditched the 130 words per minute staccato speed of mine. I type now like my 80 year old grandma, if she knew how to use a smartphone that is.
And I use voice, and I call people. I tell people, no more updates on text- let’s set up a time to speak and hear our voices, and I ration time for phone calls per day.
The biggest outcome of this disruption in habit has been that I am not there- all the time for everybody, on social media, chatrooms, text (my biggest addiction), and a hangover from the corporate days, email.
I respond when I can, instead of reacting. I have become a selective extrovert.
This is an instance of smaller change, number 2.
And what does this have to do with capitalism?
Quoting Ayn Rand, who is quoting the Encyclopaedia Brittanica on Capitalism-
“Fundamental to any system called capitalist are the relations between private owners of nonpersonal means of production (land, mines, industrial plants etc., collectively known as capital) and free but capitalless workers, who sell their labour services to employers…”
Ayn Rand in “Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal”
I am free and not capital-less. Let me talk about a very personal means of production- my time, of which I am a private owner. My time is capital, and headspace, a closely related cousin, an asset. Time taken back is mine to be had and redeployed as I see fit.
Now switching to Extreme Example of Habit Change, number 1.
Solely to create a dramatic point of reference. And because, I am also a person of extremes.
Last year, the single biggest change when I stepped away from a known track of having an office job, was that I took my time back. And by this, I went from being a laborer to an entrepreneur, solely by controlling a key resource- my headspace. It became a valuable asset.
I was in Nirupa time- actually, world time, because, I traveled around the world, and time zones were the constant companion.
My attention went where I wanted it to flow and with it energy.
I was no a longer a slave to schedulers, meetings, powerpoints, demands of the “Should be Lists and Must Haves”.
And in this, I was moving toward becoming the Collector, in the Marvel Universe sense. Reference at the very end.
(I recognize that this is a 1% comment and fully acknowledge that not everyone gets to take this kind of time off. I acknowledge in gratitude and hope you keep reading….)
I went from this to this..
Some of the notable positive side-effects….
The incessant tapping of my foot, when someone would speak for more than 2 minutes has left. I can now hold my own in 30 minute conversations and plus…
I don’t interrupt, mostly at least.
I can read more than 2 pages of a book.
My eyes have come back in focus. I don’t look like glassy-eyed Gelda in Dead Men Walking.
I still speak too fast, but I am slowing down. My good friends remind me when I sound like a crazy person.
I spend time with loved ones.
My to-do list has gone from 20 to three. I will bring it to one.
I write all kinds of things.. Because my headspace does not feel like the insides of a meat-grinder, or a radio station with bad music, I am able to sit, pause, and allow for stuff to flow.
And I breathe. Not shallow asthmatic breathing.. but deep breathing. My rib-cage is in shock. It has never been visited by deep breath.
In my old job, there was something called a waterfall. It determined priorities of how things were paid, in the order of most importance to least importance. If you were on the top of the waterfall, you were paid first.
I have adopted my own waterfall, of time and energy. I have created a priority of priorities. And this will go from priorities to priority.
As a digress-- the inspiration to shortlist further, comes from reading Greg McKeown on Essentialism.
“The word priority came into the English language in the 1400s. It was singular. It meant the very first or prior thing. It stayed singular for the next five hundred years.”
― Greg McKeown, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
I am going back in time, so to speak, in my habits. And thank you Greg McKceown. I am slowly morphing from Capitalist to Essentialist. More on that in a later post.
But for all you, who are reading this, and who may not (yet) be the 1%ers of time, how about a good old Life Audit, like the one outlined below.
And identifying gnomes that suck your head-battery… and be off with some of them. Perhaps, becoming selectively extroverted for starters..
Or for the more ambitious, here is a figure to aspire to, Taneleer Tivan, AKA The Collector from Marvel.
“Like all the Elders of the Universe, the origin of the Collector is lost in antiquity. What is known is that he is one of the oldest living beings in the universe, having been among the first of the universe's races to become sentient in the wake of the Big Bang…... The Collector meditated upon what he might do to give his life meaning. In a vision, he foresaw that beings of great power would arise one day determined to destroy all life in the universe. To prevent this from happening, he decided to devote his life to collecting living beings and artifacts from throughout the known universe, and placing them in safekeeping. As a fail safe if what he foresaw came to pass, he could repopulate the universe and bequeath to them the knowledge and culture of the past.”
His existence is not known to the general public of Earth.
Unknown, possibly inapplicable
Place of Birth
The Avengers #28 (1966)
More on Marvel.com: http://marvel.com/universe/Collector_(Taneleer_Tivan)#ixzz57YTRjmOk
This is post number 1 in a series of upcoming posts on Reclaiming Headspace. Happy Collecting!