by Phoenix Desertsong
Have you ever felt like your life is getting a bit too repetitive? I've been thinking a lot lately about the "rat race" and pondering that oft-repeated quote, "Even if you win the rat race, you're still a rat." The definition of the rat race, according to Wikipedia, is thus:
"A rat race is an endless, self-defeating, or pointless pursuit. It conjures up the image of lab rats racing through a maze to get the "cheese" much like society racing to get ahead financially.
"The term is commonly associated with an exhausting, repetitive lifestyle that leaves no time for relaxation or enjoyment."
I'm quite certain that most people don't get caught up in a "rat race" on purpose. It's easy for people to fall into routines. There's nothing wrong with going to the same job every day. But everyone needs some sort of relaxation or enjoyment. How does someone fit this into their everyday life if you're going through the same exhausting motions every day?
Each day is an experiment.
That's right. Every day is a new day in which you can try something new. The most important thing about human beings is our capacity to learn and innovate. If we don't consistently find ways to improve upon what we do, we will feel exhausted and unfulfilled.
So perhaps, it's time for the "rats" to do their own experiments!
Sometimes, the daily experiment you might make is something seemingly trivial. Should I switch up my breakfast this morning? Should I try a new way to get to work? There are a lot of little ways to alter our routines to try something new. While some may not, some changes just might work better than what we did before.
The reason to try something new every day and experiment is pretty simple. If you keep doing the same thing over and over, you can't reasonably expect a different result. Some days are going to be better than others, of course. You'll have failed experiments. But having tried is the point. You may think that maybe not every vocation gives you much room for innovation. But truthfully, there is always some process or task that can be done just a bit better no matter what it is.
By doing a little experiment every day, even if it seems outrageous at first, you expand your horizons. Sometimes all you need is just a little bit of creativity to spark something new in your life. You never know what you'll find through experiments.
Keep in mind that some accidents turn into brilliant things and failed experiments can turn into world-altering discoveries. You may not think you can change the world, but you can do a lot more than you might think. All you have to do is experiment. Just try to be safe about it!
by Phoenix A. Desertsong, Staff Writer, Healer & Advocate
“One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.” - Nikola Tesla
Have you ever thought too deeply about something? I certainly have. Doing so can drive you mad. Sometimes you have to learn to step away from things before you can make any real progress.
As Nikola Tesla said, thinking deeply and thinking clearly are definitely not the same thing. I could also bring up Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity: trying the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
Look at how many storybook villains work so hard, but forever fruitlessly, towards an impossible goal. You can't blame them for not thinking deeply and being persistent. But, clarity of thought certainly isn't in their repertoire. It's tragic, really.
Personally, I prefer villains who can in fact think clearly. Those tend to be the most dangerous and fascinating ones for me. Exercises in futility get tiresome for me after awhile.
Sadly enough, real life people exercise futility far too often. I most certainly am guilty of exercising insane levels of futility. If you start thinking too deeply about something that can unfortunately mess you up fairly badly.
If you start finding your thinking derailing, take a break. No matter how urgent something might be, take what time you can. You're better off finding a moment of clarity than sinking into hours of deep thought that could just send you down a deep dark tunnel of insanity.
Back when Tesla first said this quote, he felt that the scientists of his day were thinking more deeply than clearly. With how many “experts” and highly specialized fields we have today, it’s easier than ever to think a bit too deeply about something. It’s easy when studying something too closely to lose perspective. He's still right and this advice is still very good.
Clear thinking is the best way to go. If you find yourself lost in thought, then perhaps you’ve been on that track a bit too long. Shift gears, then come back with a clearer head. You and your exploits will be better off for it.
~ Phoenix <3