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Engaged or Out of It

Have you ever had an experience where you were super engaged with what you were doing? How about an experience where you were just out of it and didn’t really care?

I’m sure this feeling isn’t a stranger to any of us, although some of us may be more engaged more often, or perhaps more out of it, more often. It’s that “Working Hard or Hardly Working?” Yin and Yang duality. In truth, there’s nothing wrong with taking a rest and zoning out for a while, but it’s when we stay there (or too far on the other side) for too long that we cause problems in our personal lives.

Lately for me there’s been a rather clear distinction between the two, where in the past it may have been a bit blurry. You know, you’re “into” what you’re doing, but you’re not super INTO it.

It may be because I’ve been waking up early, and when you’re up between 4, 5, or 6, odds are that you’re going to be either working passionately on something right when you’re up (something you’re really excited about), or spending a few hours laying on the couch slowly waking up with the day.

There’s a blog I found on Forbes that describes some of the research that is going into this. You can read it here, it’s a little businessy, but just go with it.

bored-studentNow, I’m not sure exactly why it’s even up for debate, it seems obvious to me that if you’re engaged with something, of course you’re going to put more energy, time, and effort into it. If you’re not engaged with it, you’re going to diddle about until it gets done half-assed, or not done at all.

Whether you’re in school or at work… does that not just sound about right?

There’s a few directions I want to go with this… I’ll have to remind myself to write a blog about Gamification, because that’s by all standards a likely solution to the problem of a lack of engagement in our world. I’m very interested in that topic, and in the mean time, there’s something else i’m very interested in as well.

I have a feeling that a lot of people may ask “Well how do I get engaged in doing some stuff that I flat out don’t want to be doing?”. I’m asking myself that same question right now, reflecting back on times when I wanted to learn how to program with Actionscript and just couldn’t bring myself to do it because it wasn’t engaging enough.

There are two things that come to mind.

The first is, is what you’re doing really all that exciting to you if you’re not engaged? Are you genuinely interested in doing it, or are you doing it for some other reason? Are you only doing it so that you can make money? Are you only doing it so that you can afford to do what you REALLY want to do?

Kevin GallowayWhat if we were able to merge both what we wanted to be doing, as well as ways of supporting ourselves, into the same thing. We could be engaged with the world and our reality on a regular basis.

The second… is what’s stopping you from being engaged with what you’re doing right now? Maybe it’s not the most exciting thing right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be engaged with it. Maybe you want to be engaged but there’s a block. Perhaps you are trying really hard but there’s something missing.

Sometimes, getting the flow right is all about finding the right ingredients. Find out what ingredients are missing in this delightful dish that you are creating that is your life… and add them in. Is it new people? Is it a new piece of technology?

Whatever that ingredient is, might just be what turns your brothy water into a delightful soup.

As for me and actionscript… Back then, I decided it wasn’t quite time yet for me to learn it. I was very interested in making movies, and I didn’t feel as compelled to sink in all of that time, effort and energy to learn something I wasn’t going to use.

Today, I am still assembling the ingredients necessary. I would love to have a studio where I could be free to spend my days drawing, learning code, making games, movies, art, and all kinds of things like that. I’m looking forward to learning how to program with a bunch of people who simply know how it works and can show me the ropes. It’s going to take some time to compile these particular ingredients, but when that day comes, I know it’s going to be a blast 🙂

We are One,

ps. I’m looking for feedback on this blog… Were you engaged while reading it, or were you just out of it?