Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom): a tendency to practice Life De-stale-inization. [What’s so good about same-old anyhow?]
THE RISE OF RE-PURPOSING
Re-purposing is one of the latest post-modern trends, it seems. When you re-purpose something, you adapt it for another use. Most re-purposing gets done to things, probably because there’s so much stuff just sitting around. The stuff’s still good. It’s usually under-utilized or obsolete or redundant or otherwise superfluous, but, for one reason or another, nobody wants to haul it away.
So, the deal is that you take this existing thing that’s no longer quite so spiffy and deconstruct it, reconstruct it, or manipulate it into something else that’s more useful or interesting or fun.
Re-purposing is also another way of Un-Seeing.
The cool thing about the re-purposing mindset is that you look at something and then figure out what else it can be. You could develop some seriously artful or surprising projects that way…like these, for example:
TURNING THE RE-PURPOSING MINDSET ON YOU
You could also use the same re-purposing mindset to develop a different sort of life for yourself. If you’re feeling stuck or stale or under-utilized, then re-purposing might be the way to go for you.
This inspirational YouTube video, “Finding Your Meaning of Life,” was put together by TheJourneyofPurpose (TJOP).
Basically the video tells you that you get to create your own meaningful life. It’s one of those human “super-powers” each of us is issued. All the people who appear in the video are folks who took up the challenge to give their own lives meaning and mana. They did okay with it. Maybe you can too.
LIFE DE-STALE-INIZATION HACKS
These ideas come from James M. Kilts, the author of DOING WHAT MATTERS. I think they’re good ones for when you’re facing situations with a lot of moving parts….like re-inventing yourself, for example.
- VISION. Adopt a straightforward vision of what you want to do and how you want to do it. Make it actionable and easy to understand. That way anybody who wants to join in your dance knows what they’re supposed to do in it
- FUNDAMENTALS. Don’t get caught up in the fad theory of the day. If you stay focused on the fundamentals and apply them rigorously and across the board, many problems become less likely.
- Mostly, A-B-C and 1-2-3 helps prevent !@#.
- I remember a story a friend of mine told me about his uncle Howard’s most memorable champion collegiate wrestler. The guy won state collegiate wrestling championships even though he only knew three fundamental wrestling moves. The wrestler was very strong and he knew those moves very well. He won match after match when he performed each of the moves excellently every time his coach told him to do them.
- FLEXIBILITY. Avoid a one-size-fits-all approach to problem-solving.
- Templates work within limits and they do not travel widely with the same effect. Study each situation and make sure the solution custom-fits the problem.
- It’s also wise to remember that f’r real, there is no such thing as a “foolproof” system. (The creativity of fools is legendary.)
- INNOVATION. Just because something worked in the past does not mean it will work in the future. Kilts says, “Things change, nowadays, very quickly and fundamentally so beware that superficial similarities aren’t hiding some deep differences.”
- For some reason, this one reminds me of that 1984 comedy-horror movie, GREMLINS. Those little furry mogwai guys were really sweet…until they got wet.
- The movie was directed by Joe Dante and produced by Steven Spielberg. Chris Columbus wrote the screenplay. It was a huge commercial success and the critics loved it. However, the film was heavily criticized for some its more violent bits.
- Another very popular blockbuster adventure film that came out around the same time, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, also received similar complaints and Spielberg suggested that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) change its movie rating system so that concerned parents could be forewarned about a film’s more controversial content. The MPAA did change the rating system within two months of the film’s release.
- TIMING. Process is never a substitute for excellence of actions even though it is an important element for its success.
- Process has its own requirements but an excellent action taken at the wrong time won’t work. A fancy, beautifully done flying kick is easily avoided by one well-timed step to the side.
- One visitor to our Southern Style Preying Mantis class told us an amusing story. He said that because his dad was a top-notch instructor in Tae Kwon Do he had been trained in it from an early age. By the time he was a teenager our visitor had developed a big head about it all, strutting around with a major bad-ass attitude. He said he was especially good at delivering powerful flying kicks and he terrorized his competition. His dad set up a sparring demonstration that featured the boy’s spectacular kicks. Every time the boy tried the move, however, his father stepped to the side and everybody watched as the teenager went sailing past the master and earned another whack. It was humiliating. It also shrank the boy’s head considerably.
- MEASURING. Kilts says, “If you can’t measure it, it’s not real.”
- This is an old and hoary piece of advice and it’s a good one. Measuring a thing does indeed make it more real.
- I always do wonder, however, what the measuring stick is. With one action, you can save a child’s life. With another action, you kill that child but you make a heck of a lot of money.
- The question comes down to this: What are you measuring for? That thing you are measuring for is what illuminates and defines the meaning of any action, it seems to me.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON IT ALL
Re-purposing yourself is a big, long-term project, but if you’re feeling stuck, starting on making a change may help get you moving again. Also, if the results you are currently getting are unsatisfying to you, re-purposing yourself can help you achieve more of what you really want in your life.
Either one might be the impetus you need to begin the process of de-stale-inizing your life.
Here’s a poem….
You are sitting in the middle
Of the cauldron now,
The big one at
The very center of the Universe.
The perfume of your sacrifice
Rises all around you,
Reaching up towards Heaven
As you ripen, as you mellow.
Giving up the old,
Letting go, letting be.
Others crowd around you
Wanting, needing, demanding juicy bits,
Scraping, bowing flatteringly,
Trying to get you to notice
That they are there waiting
For you to pick them up and carry them.
After all, you are so very strong
And they need you, don’t you know?
But Heaven’s there, up above
That cauldron where you sit
Marinating in the juices of the world.
It opens wide to swallow you up, you know.
All you have to do is
Release this need you have
For being needed,
There will be no thunder if you turn aside.
There will be no hallelujah chorus if you don’t.
The only thing that happens is,
Eventually, once you’ve steeped
As much as you can stand,
You’ll climb back out.
You’ll wander down
the eternal road again,
Maybe doubling back or maybe going on,
Dancing or drooping, weighed-down or floating.
The ripe scent of you wafts upward,
Tickling the nostrils of the ancients.
You are being helped,
Even though it feels as though
All that has been is in disarray, disordered,
It means little…
What is flying apart now will join
Again in splendid new arrangements.
By Netta Kanoho
Picture credit: Sunrise Panorama by Peter Liu via Flickr [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]
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