As I suggested at the end of my post about structures called, “Formulas“, the concept of resistance to oppressive structures as an unconscious force in my life does have more far reaching implications than just to writing. I was able to write more clearly using a three-part structure for my blogs after I figured that out without any resistance, so there has been an effect of this inner change. In this post, I’d like to talk more about other areas I’ve seen a pattern of resisting structures. I don’t generally get a breakthrough that is so applicable across a variety of areas in my life, so this is a treat. I’d like to get more breakthroughs like this, though. 🙂
I can think of this pattern working unconsciously earlier in my life, too. For example, I had a lot of trouble with what I call the SML, or Standard Model of Life, which is basically, you go to school to go get a job, then you get a job so you can have kids, get married and retire, you retire so you can die. That’s not to say I’m ok with this way of living, now, because there just seems to be so little meaning there, but I have lost a sort of irrational resistance to it, and can now consciously choose with my rational mind (or what I have of it) either to follow this path or not to. It is a suggested path, not a constriction to one way and it is just one path out of many.
As I wrote recently, the idea of a life purpose also seemed restrictive to me. This is miles away from writing now, isn’t it?
I also feel this way about PhotoReading. One of the keys to PRing is to choose a specific purpose that you want to fulfill and is why you are reading this book. Similar to how I feel about life purposes, I felt one purpose for reading too constricting and would rather prefer to read the whole thing.
To-do lists or NextAction lists are a tricky thing. David Allen once said that everything on your list is either pulling you or pushing you; there is no neutral territory. A lot of times, I’ll put something on the list that I think is a good idea at one time, and then it’ll feel like its set in stone. I’ll do everything that I want to do (or want to do more than I don’t want to do the other items) but then I’ll simply have just the things I don’t want to do left, and thus to-do lists become oppressive rather than just a guide to structure your day.
Over-structured lives in general seem restrictive. I like having lots of flexibility in time, so I don’t really like a full schedule. I guess that gives me the illusion of freedom.
Another, potentially very important shift from this new belief has to do with why I never pursued any sort of technical studies in school. I did not want to be “just another” coder or “just another” engineer. Engineering is a bit of a tradition in my family, and among my ethnic background, so I supposed I wanted to feel unique, even though I am very well suited for these sort of technical things and really enjoy it, too.
About figuring out why I may dislike restriction of structures so much. I have two ideas, and th first is that I simply value freedom highly. However, having a preference does not translate into resistance. Usually resistance is caused by something under the surface that you are not aware of, because once you become aware of it, you can accept the choice and whichever option you choose, even if it is negative. I prefer organic solutions rather than forced ones for some reason, too, and I mean an irrational sort of resistance.
Another possible reason may be that I feel on some level that if I follow a structure too much I will become that structure. I have felt this sort of identity crisis a few months ago when I started wondering if I was just a “conduit” for PD or Steve Pavlina, rather than my own person. This particular fear may come from the feeling that I will be dismissed by people as “just another PD geek” or so forth. I have a particular dislike for this sort of dismissal, as I mentioned above to do with doing something with technology. I suppose I would feel this sort of dismissal as a rejection of my personness as uninteresting, unidimensional and probably useless. This is a useful and important thing to work, I think, because I am still having trouble getting myself to optimize this site and do things which will bring in more income. That might be because I genuinely don’t feel like I am delivering enough value to feel good about monetizing it, or it may be there is another limiting belief in there somewhere. I’d like to know what it is soon, though.
Even though it has only been a few days since I had that epiphany about joy possibly being my life purpose, I have been in this deep state of calm. It’s been a stressful few days, so while I did have other emotions such as anger, it was easier to put them aside and just focus on what needed to get done. As if the surface of a deep ocean is tumultuous but the depths are calm. So, I definitely feel there is some value to this line of inquiry. I hope you are enjoying reading so much about me, too. :-p