Many of the articles I’ve read in the last week concern the writer’s theme or word for 2013. Mine is “system.” While it’s not as inspiring as “Gratitude,” “Magic,” or “Be HERE Now,” it is what I need added to my life to be able to remember to express gratitude, to do magic and to be here now.
Support systems, filing systems, content management systems, all sorts of activities require systems, a ritual or set of habits put into place so that the person involved does not have to consciously remember to do stuff.
Be Here Now does not mean that the person has not organized some time to take a few moments to ground and center, to take a deep breath or two, and remember that whatever urgent task is beeping for attention, being calm and un-frustrated is the best way to resolve it. This person has probably put a reminder into the computer to beep at this moment—ironically perhaps—to take a break, or to make a call, or go to a meeting. It’s unrealistic, and a waste of neural pathways, to try to remember everything that needs to be done. Confucius says, “Short pencil beats long memory.”
What I am building for myself, as I work towards becoming a professional writer, is a system of systems. Sans a significant other who can either pay the bills or keep up the homestead, I am devising a system to keep enough maintenance done so that my house does not collapse on my head—literally or financially.
Spontaneity is fine and wonderful, but it helps to have some structure built that allows room for the spontaneous to happen. I’m working on that structure. Writing blog posts every day for the Ultimate Blog Challenge gives me a bit of structure, a simple and easy daily task to track, one that fits into my overall goal, and so I find some kind of system to track that task. What you would increase, you must measure. That takes a system.
I like the word “system” so much better than the word “discipline” although working the one requires the other. The plan is to build the system in such a way that the discipline to use it will naturally follow. Might as well dream big.