Tag Archives: structure

Day 393: Structures and Systems That Support

I am a bit in love with the word structure at the moment – and closely related to that word is the word system which is also a word that I am opening up in my life. These two words are powerful when applied with common sense in everyday life.

For example – in my work – I have many responsibilities stretching over a variety of different areas – and many of these responsibilities are closely tied to deadlines. There are too many responsibilities, and too many deadlines for me to remember. The only way for me to manage my responsibilities is through creating structures. And by trial and error I have established a functional structure – a system – that supports me to handle my responsibilities.

In summary – my structure/system is a data-table with all the information of a particular responsibility fed into the different columns and rows of the table. In the beginning and at the end of each week I take a closer look at this table to establish what deadlines are coming up – and thus – what responsibilities that I must tend to. During these moments I plan my week and the coming weeks by referencing my table – I project myself into the future – and assess how much time I need to be able to reach the deadlines. And then I schedule my time more thoroughly in writing for the coming week.

Then the week starts – and I am in the middle of the heat. And usually at that point – there is no time for me to take a look at the bigger picture. Deadlines and responsibilities merge into one flow – and here my structure/system/plan helps me immensely – without it I would loose myself in the waves of information and movements that occurs. However with my structure – I am settled – and when I need reference I take a look at my structure to see where it is I am going next. My movement is already decided – all that is required from me is that I animate it and put life into my structure – which practically means that I follow, that I am present and alive within my structure.

By using this system I have managed to create a comfortable and effective workflow. And I would say that is possible to create structures and systems in all areas of life that helps us to reach our best self – that removes undue pressure and hardship – because what systems and structures do is that they automatize – and they put the pressure unto physical reality. And the cool thing about physical reality is that it handles pressure without any limits. A calendar will be able to store massive amounts of information effortlessly – all that we have to do in order to utilize that potential is to create a routine where we use and counsel our calendar on a daily or weekly basis.

A mistake that I have sometimes made is that I forget the support available in structures and systems – and believe that what is important is to take action and just get things done. Thus I have in my past felt as if it is not worth my time to sit down and plan my week – because apparently I am then loosing valuable moments where I could have taken action. The reality is that this perception value is faulty. When a effective structure and system is in place – this makes the following action so much easier and faster – because I know where I am going and I know what I am doing – I can place ALL of my focus on the CREATION – instead of having to juggle between focusing on the task at hand and keeping the overview at the same time.

However – there are times when there can be too much structure – it then suffocates rather than supports with expansion. This is for example the case when tasks and responsibilities are micro-managed allowing for no creativity or flexibility. In such cases structure becomes a nuisance that creates anxiety and pressure. Hence – for me – I enjoy tasks structured with much room for flexibility, changes and unforeseen happenings. A structure or a system is a support – a means to reach an end – and not the goal in itself.


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Day 386: Some Points On Structure

A cross-reference that I use to see when I am opening up new words/expressions is urges to buy things. When such desires arise within me, nearly each time, it is because I am living/creating a new word/expression within me, and because I have not myself recognized and taken charge over the process – the mind steps in and channels the expression that is opening up into the mind – which translates into wanting to buy things.

This time a desire has come up to buy camping equipment, such as rain-clothes, backpack and walking shoes. Initially I was confused as to why I suddenly desired these things. However, slowly, I realized that these things represented preparation, scheduling and structure to me. Because when you go for a camping trip in nature – you have to be prepared – all things must be considered and packed – when you are out in the woods it is too late. Thus you have to make sure that you think about everything beforehand.

I have worked a lot with these words, preparation, scheduling and structure – and with taking care of my daughter and learning to practice law – they have become more significant. For example with my daughter. If we are to go for a trip somewhere – I have to make sure to bring all the things that I need to change diapers, to prepare a quick meal and supply shelter if it becomes to cold. I also have to make sure that I initiate/start at the right time, at the scheduled time, because otherwise it will interfere with my daughters sleeping routines and mess things up. It is pretty intricate, and it surely helps me in my process of learning to apply/live these words in my day to day living.

When I was younger I looked at preparation, scheduling and structure as words that limits and contains me. I understood freedom to be the opposite and I thought that in order to be free, I had to be completely flexible, completely open to anything that might happen, ready to change myself and my mind at any moment. This also suited my, at that time, absent minded personality. It was not difficult at all to only have to consider my needs for the moment. It took no effort and it felt good. Obviously, from what I understand now, freedom is not the absence of structure – and that in order to live in this world effectively – I have to take notice of what is in my reality and prepare/plan/structure my living – otherwise I will walk into unnecessary consequences.

Thus, instead of buying these things that represent my expansion when it comes to structure/planning/preparation/scheduling – I am going to define these words for myself more specifically. Firstly – what I am able to see is that expressing myself as these words requires time – I need to slow down and carefully look at the situation at is ahead of me. I need to study and ponder the various choices I have. Secondly, I see that even though it is not necessary, it is supportive for me to write down my structure/plan/preparation/schedule. If I keep it in my mind, it becomes easily lost or distorted. When I put it in writing – I can remember the details and also discover flaws/issues in my planning.

I also see that structure/planning/preparation/scheduling is a form of meta-application. It cannot be bound to any one form of expression – rather these are supportive or necessary skills to have in almost any type of venture. Furthermore – I enjoy the process of planning/preparing. One example is using an hour or two each week to sit down and prepare for what to eat during the week ahead. In order to do it effectively I have to check what kind of food is available, the duration of each recipe, whether my daughter or wife will be able to eat the food, what kind of tools/utensils that I might need – it is challenging. And the reward comes through later – while doing the actual work – because with a plan/structure – everything becomes so much easier.

I will continue to push structure/planning/preparation/scheduling in my life and see how I can expand my expression/standing with regards to these words.


Day 383: Structure – A Key to Freedom

Structure – the word I have been practicing in my life now for a while. I thought it would be a good idea to share some of my findings and insights when it comes to living structure.

Initially I related the word structure to schedules, almanacs etc., and did not view the word as particularly useful in any other context. I also felt that structure was something that limited my creative expression – and that it took away freedom. Thus I have had a bit of a conflictual relationship with the word. Similarly I have had to walk a process to be able to walk in this current money system without reacting towards it – and feeling like the stiff structure and routine of the system pulls me down into a state of too much structure.

At this stage however I feel comfortable with the word – and as I walked the process of understanding it and integrating it into my life – I have realized that structure is everywhere and that is supportive. I have seen that having a structure allows for self-directed creative freedom, while having complete creative freedom without a structure invites lack of direction, loss of overview/focus/movement; it becomes expression without a foundation – and in most cases the results are not good.

Let us take the example of cooking. If I start to cook without a structure – for example – I just haphazardly mix the ingredients and I decide to roast them all in the oven for the same duration of time – I will not be able to create an effective meal. Cooking is a perfect example of a physical expression that rests heavily on a structured foundation – the physics of taste/texture/nutrition – and yet – it is an expression that allows for a wide array of experimentation and creative freedom.

It is the same with music. If I am unfamiliar with the instrument or musical theory it is going to be very difficult for me to improvise or compose my own songs. And sure, I will have complete freedom to play the instrument in any way I desire, but what is the use of that if I am not able to create pieces of music that I enjoy? With a basic structure, knowledge of the instrument and the notes it can produce, it is going to be different. I can now create melodic music yet still be creative, explore and investigate what new sounds and expressions I am able to produce.

Thus, used rightly structure does not quell creativity – it instead supports and enhances it. However there has to be a balance. Too much structure will lead to rigidity. Structure is in its nature predefined, constant, and impermeable to whims of the moment. Though oftentimes it is those spontaneous outbursts that bring through the flavor, the individuality, the joy and pleasure. Thus structure in itself is not the aim – it is the means. It is a stable support from which I am able to move into new expressions and experiences – the ground that I am able to get back to when I have lost myself in the boundlessness of creative freedom.


Day 376: Routine and Structure

Routine and structure – it makes things easier – especially in a family where there are many life’s that must coordinated. It is something that I have resisted and also something that I have not been particularly good at. My main problem with structure is that it takes time and effort to create. Planning is a mental/intellectual task and it takes time – just like any other task. However – planning and structuring does not create any immediate results. Hence it feels as if there is no progress – I have just wasted an hour upon nothing. The value of planning/structuring instead becomes visible later on.

One thing that I have noticed when I have planned my week is that I become calmer and more grounded. There is also a defined sense of solidity and stability within me – as if I am standing on firm ground inside of myself. I know where I am going, I know what I am doing, and I know why. And I also know what to expect from myself and my family – because together we have decided upon how to structure our week.

This present week I have planned in terms of what we are going to have for dinner, when I am going to exercise, and what projects/points needs to be directed throughout the week. For those out there that like to be spontaneous and impulsive, it might sound boring. It would have sounded that way to me a couple of years ago. Being locked in a routine and a continuous schedule. However – now I find pleasure and support in having a structure and following it. And there is still room for changes to the structure – no freedom is ever lost. Rather – having a clear direction allows for informed decisions and directive spontaneity. Without a structure – it is easy things becomes haphazard and obfuscated. And it might be fun for a while – though it is not possible to run a smooth and functional life together with several different people that way.

I mentioned my misalignment with planning/structuring above, that I feel it takes too much time and effort and there is no result to show for it. When this experience/backchat comes up within me, to correct it, I look at the future support that my moment of planning will bring. I see, realize and understand that for every minute I put down into preparation, I receive stability and direction i many moments to come – I will make my life a lot more comfortable and easy. It will not happen in this instance – however it will come through as I continue to walk. That is how I realign my relationship to planning/structuring – so I can begin using this tool more in my life and not resist/suppress planning/structuring because of feeling like it is a waste of time.


Day 373: Structure vs. Spontaneity

Being in a long term relationship can be really challenging and it can also be absolutely fantastic. One key ingredient in moving a relationship towards success is understanding the difference between the male and the female psyche. Many conflicts between partners arise due to not taking into account some of the basic female/male designs. Instead of considering the differences and learning from each-other – what tends to happen is misunderstanding, impatience and judgment.

An example is structure vs. spontaneity. Generally speaking, males tend to be more inclined to make decisions and move themselves with little planning. Decisions are made on the go, solutions are improvised, and changes are applied without much preparation. Women on the other hand, generally speaking, tends to better at planning, and also want to have a plan/structure. The conflict will then be about the man not structuring/taking his life, causing many ups and downs, which the woman becomes dissatisfied with. The man on the other hand will become dissatisfied with what he experiences as too much anxiety/worry/micromanaging and inflexibility from the woman.

How then to solve this problem?

Both the man and the woman must be willing to let go of their own preferences. Both structure and spontaneity have their positive and their negative traits. The solution is not to enforce a total and unchangeable structure, neither is the solution to live solely in the moment without any preparation. Balance is the best way to go – and – recognizing that being in a committed long term relationship is a great opportunity to learn and become a more well-rounded human being. Men can learn a lot from women, and women can learn a lot from men. We have our weaknesses and our strengths, and it is when we push ourselves to move beyond our own perception of the world that we are able to expand.

Myself for example, my challenge is to become more structured in my leisure time. At my work, structure has become a part of me. However, when I get home, I feel a need to let go of all plans/structures so that I can be free to do what I want to do in the moment. That does not work very well with family life. When there are several lives working together in a unit, structure is very important for everything to move smoothly. Without structure, each individual will move wherever and however he or she wants – and that will create conflict. A structure, an agreement, between the individuals in the unit, is thus vital for a effective movement.

Freedom is not limited by structure. It is possible to be free and express myself within a set structure, it is possible to enjoy myself within and as a structure, it is possible to expand myself within a structure – because it is about WHO I AM – and not about where I am. At the moment, structure is a necessary part of my life and something that I will have to keep practicing and that will make my life a lot easier when I master it.


Day 441: Making Plans and Following Them

I like making plans. In-fact it makes me excited to consider the potentials of the future, what I can do with it, what goals can be realized and what directions can be taken. Though, what is more difficult for me is to stick with the plan. It is also harder for me to plan my day-to-day life – you know – the small apparently insignificant things we have to tend to. To me, this indicates one thing, and that is that planning is not yet a word/expression that I am living as a grounded and realistic approach to life. It is still more of a form of entertainment rather than a practical tool to be used in making myself and my daily living more streamlined and effective.

One example that comes to mind, that exemplifies my tendency to ‘winging it’ instead of structuring my approach, is that I do not tend to look in my almanac throughout my week. And that in itself is a tell, because guess what, I usually sit down and map out my week, in my almanac. Though when it comes to applying it throughout the week, I rely on my good memory, and improvise a lot as well. However, this causes me to forget what I have planned, miss responsibilities and ‘to-do’s’.

Though, there is yet another reason why I do not tend to look in the almanac throughout my week, and that is a underlying stress, a sense of urgency, where I do not feel as if I have the time to stop up and make any plans, or for that matter, check up upon and follow the plans that I have already made. However, I do understand on a theoretical level, and I have also seen it in practice, that when I plan and streamline my day, this helps me to be more efficient with my time, to get more done, and to move more smoothly through my day.

Thus, the points I want to work with regards to the word planning/structure is to be realistic when I make my plans, to push myself to plan, and follow my plans, with regards to my day-to-day living.

Self-forgiveness

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to become excited when I make my plans, and to make them too ambitious, too lofty, where I become excited over the fact that I can plan, imagine and think things up, however, not considering the practical living of the plan – and also taking into consideration WHO I AM as a person, and what would be realistic for me to live

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not follow through on the plans that I make, because when it comes to following through, I no longer have that exciting energy within me, and now, it is all physical, and it is all about discipline, and it as all about

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to want and desire my plans to live for me, to hope that when I have made a plan, that it is enough and that I do not have to do anymore, and thus I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to want and desire plans so that I can feel comfortable in knowing that I am going to go forward with my life – instead of seeing, realizing and understanding that plans are only what I make of them

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that plans are a direction in and as themselves, not seeing, realizing and understanding, that the direction, the movement, it will always be ME – plans is only ever a tool that I am able to use in order to structure and create an overview in my life and make it easier for me to stand as the direction and stand as the movement in my life – and stand as the way forward – and thus I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not use plans as a support tool and not something upon which I rely to move myself forward

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to think that my plans are my guide, that my plans are what should move me forward, that my plans are what will move me through life, that I can place trust and reliance on my plans – and thus I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to become excited and joyful when I make plans because I believe that they are actually going to be realized automatically and that I am going to achieve everything that I think about and look at – not seeing, realizing and understanding, that my plans will not do such a thing, that I will have to stand as the point of direction in my life and my life forward – no plan will do that for me

Self-commitment statements

I commit myself to live the word planning through structuring my daily living in a realistic and grounded way, where I plan and streamline my day-to-day commitments and responsibilities in a supportive manner

I commit myself to follow through on what I have planned, to actively look at my calendar and my to-do list, to use it as a support and a reference point, from which I move myself

When and as I see myself going into a state of ‘winging’ it – a state of stress and anxiety, where I do not want to spend time on planning, referencing my plans, or following my plans, because I feel that it takes too much time, I immediately stop myself, I take a breath and I bring myself back here – and I see, realize and understand that planning does take time, though it is something that will pay back, because when I plan, I create a overview, and I create a foundation for efficiency and expression – because I know where I am, where I am going and what is required to be done – and thus I commit myself to stop up, take a breath and commit time each day to planning my movement and my time


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Day 439: Slowing Down In The Process of Creation

Last week I had an interesting realization with regards to living the words STRUCTURE and THOROUGH. I had proof-read a text of mine, which I then handed over to my colleague who had requested the text. Later my colleague came back and pointed out a couple fact errors in the text.

I looked at WHY those errors had come to be and remained, even though I proof-read the text – and I found the following.

To effectively fact-check, and to be thorough, precise and structured, each step of the creation process must be walked, and each step must be given as much time as is required for that particular step to be effectively completed. Hence, there must be a certain level of slowness to the creation process – if I move too fast – then I will miss things. However, this point of slowing down is something that I have experienced as unstimulating, sterile, painstaking and wearisome – actually causing me to become stressed/wanting to move forward faster in order to make the task more stimulating. The consequence of accepting and allowing myself to move with this stress is that mistakes are made.

The solution is to push through this angst/stress connected to the application of being thorough/precise/structured – to regardless of the experience – realizing that I do not need stimulation from my outside environment – and then walk the point in the pace that is required for the process of creation to be effective. And also – to see, realize and understand – that this process of disciplining self in a supportive pace is in itself stimulating, fascinating and enjoyable – however on a deeper level compared to experiencing my environment as stimulating.


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