The identification of purpose, the alignment of priorities, and the consolidation of cyclical tasks into a ritualistic practice eases the complexity of life. It can change time management into something visceral.
There are obstacles to purpose as well as priority. When I overcome the obstacles and align priorities with purpose, dreams are realized.
It is fruitless to argue that life has no purpose or that it even does have one. That is a tautology. It's much easier to argue that life may have a purpose. If it may, then the real question to ask is: why not have one? Through intentions and objectives I probably have many purposes. I am my life and my life is my masterpiece.
The most important activities sustain and regenerate my mind and body. These activities are the rituals of daily living, and moment by moment consciousness. This is how I identify Priority One. The single minded pursuit of these priorities may be my chosen purpose. However, if my chosen purpose is elsewhere then it will need to take a back-seat to the priority of my mind and body. Otherwise, I will not be prepared to realise my dreams.
Priority One is to take care of myself — my mind and body — through a set of activities to ensure that I have adequate nutritional intake combined with the right amount of physical activity and exercise. That I am getting proper sleep and have appropriate shelter. Then ample access to energy, information and material resources. I need all of this with time to reflect and be mindful because Priority One is to sustain my existence.
Priority Two moves beyond sustainable. It is about giving back to the environment I am embedded in. Undeniably this is a lofty goal. Lofty goals are often called dreams. Has anyone ever called me a dreamer? A dream; some distant objective can be connected to the present through a series of discrete steps — a list of tasks. If I am doing those tasks then that's not a dream, that is realizing a potential. Accomplishing Priority Two — constructing a regenerative living system — feeds back into Priority One by making it more efficient and increasing its effectiveness.
Justify your existence.— George Bernard Shaw
Abundance is like the Wizard from Oz behind a curtain, with a projection of industrial might and global reach. It seems magical, unobtainable and too big to understand. Peek behind the curtain and the necessities of life are simply a compilation of recipes. Look into the magic of resources (food, feedstocks, and manufactured things) to see the processes underneath. I live under a republic of industry leaders. If I could live amidst a democracy of recipes, I could recognize that abundance is accessible. In several ways I already do live in a democracy of recipes, and it is reaching critical mass.
This first step to accomplish Priority Two is the The One Life Catalog: Survey Abundance I am attempting to lay a foundation for a formal regenerative living system to access abundance. The foundation from which to discuss the ramifications of Priority Two is laid by these postulates:
There can be a new education. There can be a curriculum that moves from complete beginner to adept at constructing a regenerative living system.
There can be a new sense of purpose with new priorities. The entirety of a life can be viewed as a ritualistic practice. Rituals encode repetition with the resources and recipes to protect and sustain the mind, body and environment.
There can be a new avatar. Purchasing habits can be changed to be more relevant to the times without sacrifice to standards of living.
There can be a new boundary to human limitation. Harness technology to transcend historical human limitations. To transcend built-in limitations as well as those imposed upon me this technology must be dispersed and open, not relegated to a handful of gatekeepers.
There can be a new origin for many material goods. With the proper tools, resources/feedstocks and recipes for creating I can make a great many things for myself.
There can be a new management system. There can be a system of tools and techniques for optimizing my time. There can be a way to minimize the time I need to pursue basic survival and maximize the time I have to experience my own purpose.
There can be a new factory. The home is a factory for manufacturing the next generation. The cottage industry of old can be reimagined and redesigned as a support system for the production of food, energy and material resources through the employ of modern technology.
There can be a whole system design for all of this. A high degree of intraconnected automation in our new factory. There can be entire communities interconnected and manufacturing abundance.
There can be a new charter. There can be a designed social interaction for individuals and communities for which abundance is an emergent property.
Accomplish Priority Two and then I am free to focus entirely upon Priority Three. To identify and pursue my own purpose. However, there are obstacles to any list of priorities, obstacles to every purpose. These obstacles exist within myself and within others. These obstacles are afflictions to be overcome.
THE DEEP TRANCE
It's as though many people are in a deep trance of blissful ignorance or painful nescience. It's the disconnect between their values and the way they sleepwalk through life; they're left blinded to the actualities of their existence. The Deep Trance has everyone staying the course — as unsustainable as it is — regardless of the consequences.
THE DEFAULT ACTION
If information or events threaten the deep trance, then the default action is to jump to incorrect or irrelevant conclusions. The Default Action is like a defense mechanism; it leaves you unable to see what is truly implied. It does not respect logic. It allows you to take a default action but leaves you disabled to taking authentic action.
If the default action can be overcome authentic action might be taken, but then real trouble begins. The Resistance hates change, it hates success, it keeps me from moving forward. It says: "that's not my job", "that's not my problem", "that's good enough", or "I'll do that later". It's the feeling inside that ties me in knots because, what if I’m not good enough? What if they don't like me? What if I fail?
Purpose is something you live for, not a destination. It's the cumulative effects of your combined priorities that determines your purpose. And your purpose may not be congruent with your desires until you manage these priorities in a ritualistic fashion. You needn’t justify your existence; you simply need the ability to provide the means for existence in abundance, for yourself.