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What You Water, Grows.
Or- "Remember what the dormouse said, feed your head."
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I promised that this month was going to be focused on the idea of organization and in a roundabout way, it will be. Last month while writing about the Hero’s Journey I noticed that I kept running into Joseph Campbell information everywhere I looked.
Some of this was obviously because I was doing research into the hero’s journey, but more than that, references kept popping up everywhere, podcasts, un-searched-for articles (like the post frombelow, and even a book I picked up: Limitless by Jim Kwik (which I am enjoying) shared ideas from Campbell’s writing.
While it might seem like mere coincidence, this was my Reticular Activating System at work. The RAS is a network of neurons in the brainstem that does a lot of things, but one of them is to direct our attention by filtering sensory information. It selects relevant stimuli and disregards the non-essential, ensuring we focus on what's vital. This filtering process involves prioritizing certain sensory inputs based on their importance and relevance to our current goals or environment.
I realize that was a mouthful. Here’s an example:
Several years ago, my wife was discussing buying a new Honda Civic. I’m not a car guy, so while I knew there was such a thing as a Honda Civic, I had no idea what one looked like. We went to the showroom to look at them and spent some time walking around them noting their distinctive taillights. On the drive home, I must have spotted a hundred Honda Civics.
They had always been there; I just hadn’t paid attention to them. They were unimportant, so my RAS lumped them in with every other sedan on the road and labeled them under the heading of Uninteresting Car.
You will find what you are looking for - what you convince your RAS is important.
There are a hundred reasons why this is critical as it pertains to maximizing our potential, but to build on my last post, if you are on the lookout for signs that you are a victim, you will find them. If your radar is tracking those who are out to get you, there will be a ninja assassin around every corner. If you look for excuses why you can’t do the thing you want to do, they will be legion.
Conversely, if you wake each morning looking for adventure, you are liable to find it. If you view competitors as challengers rather than persecutors, they will likely bring out the best in you, and if instead of excuses you look for possibilities you will have plenty to choose from.
But what does this have to do with organization?
I have become convinced that the first step in getting your house (physical or mental) in order is organization through subtraction. If you have less stuff, you have less stuff to deal with. Mind what matters.
Next week we’re talking about alligators and their proximity to your boat.
Read. Poetic Outlaws
I enjoy the variety of posts fromThis week it was interesting that they posted about Joseph Cambell whom we have been talking about in October.
This week I suggest finding a thing that you want to begin and journaling about it. Spend no more time on its opposite, the reasons that beginning would be imprudent, or the challenges that you will face.
There will always be reasons that the things you want are impossible, but like Alice, try to believe in as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
Action follows thought and in the words of William Hutchison Murray:
Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.
Words of wisdom from those who said it best:
“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”
- Benjamin Franklin
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