This is the time of year for me—actually this occurs twice a year—in which my to-do list is running the show. I put up with it because I know it’s temporary. But the older I get, the more I suspect that “knowledge” is a bit of trickery.
I work in academics, the supposed vehicle in which we study, learn, relearn, and practice what we’ve managed to apprehend. All of that requires time and quite a bit of patience. In other words, the absence of the to-do list can enable some of the best insights and best practices. But what we’ve really got is a to-do hamster wheel clothed as academic inquiry and practice.
Now I don’t mean that there isn’t time off, but that time off seems pretty much like everyone else’s time off, namely filled with stuff to do.
Maybe it isn’t about time, maybe it’s about us.
What if our psychology just wasn’t smart enough to be productive without having something to do? What if our psychology could get smarter and not have to go cloistered to do it? What if we were already smart enough to do it, but we can’t do it alone?
Maybe we need to talk smarter: To ourselves, to others. Yep, and maybe we need to do less, rather than more. No, I’m not talking about sitting in a chair and musing as the world goes by, I’m talking about not being as busy, but being even more deeply involved.
I think it’s that simple, though not. And we can help each other. It’s called a conversation. As Rollo May said about a conversation, the purpose is to elevate attention and connection. I think that conversation and that elevation can be within ourselves, between others, and in proper relation to the reality at hand. And that proper relationship is the ability to see without seeing only through the lens of our past experiences or our future expectations. Yes, our experiences and expectations affect our seeing, but we can still bring to bear an intention and attention that is dealing with what is, rather than what was or what we hope will be.
Old news for sure. Timely for sure—still. Maybe some of the stuff in our life keeps coming back around because we still have some polishing to do. Polishing our awareness and our intent is both an individual and collective effort—we need proper stuff, proper space, and proper support to achieve.
So, since it’s the time of year for graduation and commencement, I think it’s appropriate to note that when it comes to intention as an evolutionary selection agent, we must properly resolve before we properly evolve.