Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Pattern of Interest


Interests hold us; for a while. We’re captivated for a time, until the new thing blows its way past us. When we’re swept up in its whirlwind we’re taken away, from even ourselves, effused to the new thing that excites us. And if the new thing is good for us, even better!

We’ve all probably heard the term, ‘critical mass’. There is also the phenomenon of the ‘window of opportunity,’ that speaks in similar ways. Both are about a force like gravity; the amount of energy directing us one way or the other.

‘Waxing’ Those Life-Giving Interests

If we’re grabbed by something right now—something really good for us, we can just tell—we best make the most of those windows of opportunity whilst they present, building a critical mass within our psyches, and this before it inevitably wanes. The time is now.

All things untended, wane.

Yet again, the things we build, they wax upon, over and through us; growing evermore.

It’s the nature of life where we only get to pick hypertrophy or atrophy—growth or shrinkage. No ‘safe’ middle-ground exists.

A Modern Example

We consider the number of exercise contraptions advertised on daily television shows as an example—the ‘infomercial’. Millions are sold in the moment as to the benefits—benefits their minds and hearts ‘buy’—and they fork out their hard-earned to be a week later, the happy owner of this weird machine that looked so easy on TV, but they soon find in themselves is hard to use. They get up at 6 A.M. three mornings in a row as part of their self-disciplined ‘assault’ on getting fit.

They look in the mirror on day six and nothing seems to have changed. Guess where the exerciser ends up? In the attic, shed or storeroom, and it is destined for a garage-sale coming to a neighbourhood near you! (But not before it collects its share of dust and cobwebs!) Of course, it’s a familiar story for every last one of us.

And still there are those who make millions from this opportunistic trade above. (Don’t get me started.)

The Role of Momentum

Where interests take us by storm, we best plan to maintain the momentum. When I did my fitness instructor’s diploma over twenty years ago now we got to learn about the phenomenon of “the two’s”—as I recall blearily. Survive two days (and not give up due to soreness etc) and the next challenge is maintaining a workout program after two months—the next predicted hiatus; get past that challenge, after two years we’ll do it for life. The habit’s in tow.

Momentum is absolutely crucial.

If we want to change we have to want it bad enough. We have to be prepared to push through the discomfort, the cold, the heat, the flies, the dust and the sultry sense of flagging disinterest which will come.

Plan for it now, and bear it continually in mind as impetus toward your Mount Everest.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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