The lack of activity on this blog – this my third post in 2016 – only means one thing: huge activity elsewhere. I have slowed down on searching for great ideas, inspiration, happiness, friendship, love and understanding life. Instead, I concentrate hard on getting lost.
Have you ever done this? Walk in a place you don’t know. A forest, or a city quarter you haven’t been to. Then as you walk and take in the world with brand new eyes, as soon as there is any form of recognition like a path that you think may lead you back to your car, or a street name that sounds familiar, you turn left or right. The objective is to stay lost.
These are the best walks you will ever do. Everything appears as new and you will be in a state of total awareness. This is the opposite from everyday routine where you can get up, commute to work, do your job, go home, have dinner, watch TV and go to sleep. And all this without the slightest trace of awareness. To such a degree that you can’t tell the difference between last Tuesday and Tuesday 2 months ago.
Being lost means not knowing what happens next. My job has been very helpful. Until yesterday I didn’t know if I had a contract for next year. Now I do and I now know that I will be working the week after next instead of looking for work. But until yesterday I was planning alternatives.
To be lost, you need to get lost first. In theory that should be easy, right? Turns out to be quite hard. We are so conditioned by habit that breaking a habit can be a struggle. Even the small things. Sitting in the same chair at the kitchen table. The route you travel to work. The food you buy and meals you prepare. The style of clothes you buy. All of these are trivial and you can change them at no one’s expense.
There are the bigger habits too. Our misguided addiction to security. Job security. Our home. Our friends. Our profession or occupation. Why misguided? There no such thing as security. You can lose your job in the next 10 minutes and there is nothing you can do about it. Then we can lose our house. Friends move away or disappoint us. Our profession becomes obsolete. Or if it doesn’t, we do. Ask anyone over 50.
But this is not a bad thing. Losing the things that secure us is the ultimate getting lost. No matter where you turn, you will experience and learn new things. The hurdles we bump into are like fallen tree trunks in the forest. You climb them or go around them but either way it is an eye opener and a micro achievement.
At 54, in the current economy, it is hard to see that companies will continue to hire me on short contracts for another 10 years. Roughly half my age-sakes are struggling to stay employed. Interestingly, this awakens the worriers in us. We fight. We attempt. We take risk. The other half of the age-sakes are in dead-end jobs – with only a few exceptions. Their biggest worry is to keep their head down and survive the next restructuring.
Isn’t this fantastic! Unlike our fathers who retired after 40 years in the same company, we are offered the chance to try something new. And if you start with nothing, you cannot fail. Just like when you were 20. No money, limited skills and just a few ill formed dreams.
This year I’ve spread myself very wide professionally. Getting deeply involved in blockchain technology; trying to convince companies that they need to get on that train now. With my support, of course. Same deal with cognitive computing and deep learning. No harm in staying relevant.
Privately, I’ve had a lot of fun with building a CNC machine. Took me almost a year and 3 prototypes to get it working perfectly. But now I’m using to produce designs that I intend to sell. Right now I’m working on audio equipment whilst ideas for genetic fractal designs are brewing.
I did some work on the theory of fractals and hope to get some results there. All very techie, I’m trying to establish a mathematical link (transformation) between genetic tree fractals and the Mandelbrot and Julia sets. This would be a bit of a breakthrough…
And that is how I end this year. Full of dreams and ideas – 2017 is going to be great fun. The world as our oyster.