Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom):  a tendency to practice Life De-stale-inization.  [What’s so good about same-old anyhow?]


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:

Repurposed Truck by Paul VanDenWerf via Flickr [CC BY 2.0]
Tyre Chameleon and Bee sculpture by Annalisa Mandia (at the Nomadic Community Gardens, Shoreditch, London). Photo by Maureen Barlin via Flickr [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]
Repurposed by Jeremy Hill via Flickr [CC BY-ND 2.0] Old train used as mural in Santa Fe, NM
Repurposed Billboard by Irish Typepad via Flickr [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]  “Double Happiness” at the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Bi-City Biennial of Urbanism and Architecture. Swingset installation by Architect Didier Fiusa Faustino. (Uses billboard ad space.)
Repurposed Garbage Trucks by Colin Knowles via Flickr [CC BY-SA 2.0] Garbage truck as snow-plow


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.


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.


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,

Being noticed.


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.


Press on….

By Netta Kanoho

Picture credit:  Sunrise Panorama by Peter Liu via Flickr [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]



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Thanks for your visit.  I’d appreciate it if you’d drop a comment or note below.








  1. Momentum in life is crucial and as we get older many of us feel stuck just when we yearn for momentum to keep us motivated. Your message is important because re-purposing is daring to leave behind what isn’t working for us anymore. Being bold and trying a new path is the most energizing experience when we let go of old and stale attachments that no longer serve us.

    1. Hey Mitchell…

      Thanks for your visit and your comments. Please do come again!

  2. Hi Netta,

    Your post reveals what a talented and creative individual you are.I love the repurposed truck in the picture because you have turned the rusty truck with flowers into a an object of art. It’s novel it’s new and its refreshing to take bold new brush strokes to repaint our life’s canvas

    1. Hey Richard…

      Thanks for the visit and your comments. Please come again!

  3. Wow! An awesome article of you.. It’s very interesting. I love what you write about.

    Process is the one that can make every plan fly away or stop and make any wishes go away. Some of us want something in a short time, but the process for getting there might break everything…or make us strong.

    1. Hey Vivi…thank you for your visit and your comment. You’re right. The journey to our wishes often takes the long way around. (Sigh!)

      Please do come again…

  4. Thanks for writing such a great post, I loved the poem you left at the end. One of the things that you wrote that struck me was about not getting caught up in the fads. I have seen something on pinterest and thought it looked great and I have actually gone out and bought stuff for the sole purpose of repurposing them. I mean talk about backward thinking huh! Rather than taking what I actually have and thinking of something unique. But I also have many repurposed projects I love that have come from my own imagination.

    1. Hey Joy: Thanks for the visit and your comments. You’re right. Sometimes we do get blind to the stuff that surrounds us. It’s good to take another look.

      Please do come again!

  5. I really like how you took the concept of re-purposing, and shifted it to re-purposing ourselves. What a great way to approach reinventing your life. You article was very informative and helpful, and I love the poem at the end. Like you said, re-purposing your life can be a long term task, but it’s totally worth it!

    1. Hey Brandon: Thanks for the visit and for your comments. I do appreciate them. Please do come again….

  6. What an inspiring post! I de-stalinated my life by choosing to take my family and move overseas.

    I quit my job, gave my suits to charity and away we went. Things wern’t easy at first, but then I guess that things worth doing never are..

    We have never looked back. It’s all about taking the first step and I cant recommend taking this advice and applying it to your own life enough!

    1. Hey Richard:

      Thanks for the visit and for sharing your story. That’s awesome!

      Please do come again….

  7. Never heard it called re purposing. I really like that term. I agree it is excellent for the mind and helps to keep it fresh when you look at something and take a whole new creative spin on what you are looking at. It can really bring that child like creativity back which I think is important for all us to have. We are not truly leaving without having the creative portion of us do what it does best. Find solutions to make the so called ugly beautiful 🙂

    1. Hey Cliff:  Thank you for your visit and for sharing your thoughts.  I do appreciate it.

      Please do come again!

  8. Dear Netta,

    Thanks very much for this inspiring video.

    I very much enjoy how you can find poetry in everything you hear and see, how you are able to look at things in different, novel and creative ways.

    Like your other readers, I had not thought of the fact that desalination can lead to de-stale-inization…

    Just like by seeing old words in a new way, you can see old objects in a new way and give them a new usage.

    I like it that there’s a method to finding these new uses, and while I’m sure there could be many valid methods, I think yours is a great start.

    I guess I must have to disagree with this quote of Kilts: “if you can’t measure it, it is not real”… So many things, like emotions and people, Life and the Universe, can’t be measured…

    Always a wonderful experience to read you… will be back soon! Cheers, Phil

    1. Welcome back, Phil.  I’m glad you found the post fun.  

      I do understand what you’re saying about not being able to measure things like emotions, people, Life and Universe.  However, you can measure the results of actions taken, whether it gets you to where you want to go and how far it goes past where other actions have taken you before…stuff like that.

      I am pleased that you are enjoying my site.

  9. I love your choice of word, “Re-purposing” mindset. This reminds me a lot about this great booked that I read called MINDSET.  The author compared the differences between the fixed mindset and the growth mindset and I have never looked at the problems in my life the same again. 

    I love all the repurposing items on your pictures that is a perfect example. Thanks for sharing such an interesting topic. 

  10. One should live life to the fullest. Thank you for sharing this wonderful article -THE RISE OF RE-PURPOSING. 

    If something is no longer useful the best thing you can do is repurpose it or get rid of it entirely. Avoid clutter and make the best of what you have. One item can have so many different functions. Get the most of of what you have.

    1. Diana, I’m glad you got so many take-aways from the post.

      Please do come again.

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