We should shift our focus to proximities, when it’s appropriate, effective and enjoyable. Proximity thinking and connectedness make this easier.

A connected world, combined with some new concepts and processes, presents the possibility of shifting our focus to proximities when it’s appropriate, and when doing so can be more effective and more enjoyable.

So why don’t we? Probably because our current systems and approaches have so much momentum and we’re so used to them. So to change becomes a matter of both learning what is now possible in a connected world, why and when it makes sense to change, and then getting our feet wet (transitioning) by making some changes to limited proximities.

I’ve written something which makes the case for what is possible and why and when it makes sense. It’s a letter I wrote as part of the online course Let’s Be More Alive — Intro to ProxThink. I’m sharing it below, along with a short intro for the letter which summarizes the key points I’d like you to notice for the purposes of this blog post.

Also, perhaps the letter will help persuade you to explore and enroll in Let’s Be More Alive — Intro to ProxThink. 🙂

Four Key Related Parts of the Following Letter

If you don’t have time to read the whole letter below, here are four key parts related to shifting our focus to proximities when it’s appropriate, effective and enjoyable.

One key idea is about when using the ProxThink growth model is more appropriate:

… the [ProxThink] growth model is probably more appropriate for proximity-oriented situations. However, we are facing many proximity-oriented situations, and they may be our most critical situations. Yet some older approaches we’re still using were developed before we were so networked and connected, and perhaps don’t translate well to networks.

The above section mentions proximity-oriented situations, and you might be wondering what I mean. For more on that, see the post For Shared Challenges and Shared Situations, We Need Networked, Proximity-Oriented Approaches.

Here’s more about what the ProxThink growth model can do, when used by people who are connected and networked, especially via their mobile devices:

… since the growth model helps people in a shared situation treat the proximity more like a person, or one element, instead of many unconnected elements. I think this helps the proximity seem and act more like a living thing, and in turn enhances liveliness for people who are a part of it.

The following section talks about how, when a proximity becomes more of a living thing, it should increase variety and enjoyment for people:

… when a proximity feels like a living thing, people will likely want to keep it going and enjoy doing so. Further, since people using the growth model focus in part on the life of the proximity, and keeping the proximity alive, it can allow more variety in their lives. Why? If the focus is more on the proximity (which is actually a blended focus on the proximity, elements and relationships) then while valuable differences may need to be created, adapted and/or maintained, it may matter less who does the needed creating, adapting and/or maintaining of valuable differences, as long as someone does it. When many different people can do what needs to be done to help create, adapt and/or maintain valuable differences in the proximity of their shared situation, there’s a greater chance that whoever decides to do what needs to be done may want to do it and will enjoy doing it.

And here’s more about the benefits of the increased variety in people’s lives:

… this may open up possibilities for people to have more varied lives, sometimes doing one thing, and other times doing something else to help create, adapt and/or maintain valuable differences. It may not be necessary for people to become such specialists, and then feel or get stuck being specialists if they don’t want to be specialists so much of the time. These possibilities for variety will likely enhance people’s minds, bodies, moods and social lives! And these possibilities for variety can create more sustainable variety and liveliness.

I hope the excerpts above highlight for you key parts of the full letter below, which is from the online course Let’s Be More Alive — Intro to ProxThink.

A Letter to Explain and Invite

Hello!

I hope you’ve found the course interesting so far, and that you think it has potential for you and/or your proximities. At this point, you will probably get more out of the following letter. I want to talk a little more about how the ProxThink framework can help us be more alive, and then invite you to get involved in some groups and projects.

I hope you’ve begun to see how the ProxThink framework can be useful for creativity, innovation, and problem-solving. These uses apply especially well for individual people who think and relate with the framework. These uses can make for more productive, lively and enjoyable thinking and living for individuals.

But perhaps you’ve also begun to see that the ProxThink framework may have broader uses that can improve our lives and help us be more alive. This is especially true of the ProxThink growth model, since it applies to collaboration and shared challenges, both of which are shared situations. And, I think the growth model works at many scales. As mentioned earlier in activities for your shared situation, the growth model is probably more appropriate for proximity-oriented situations. However, we are facing many proximity-oriented situations, and they may be our most critical situations. Yet some older approaches we’re still using were developed before we were so networked and connected, and perhaps don’t translate well to networks. Since the growth model evolved on and was designed for networks, I think and hope it has some potential to change how we live, for the better.

I think the growth model approach, especially when applied via mobile devices and networks, can simultaneously help us create both more sustainable proximities and more sustainable variety. In fact, I think sustainable proximities and sustainable variety evolve together, reinforcing each other. Together, sustainable proximities and sustainable variety help us be more alive.

I’m using the term sustainable broadly here. By sustainableI mean that the complexity of growth and life can persist, adapt and change as needed. In this sense, you might think of sustainable as often meaning lively. We can’t instantly make the world sustainable, but we can make the proximities of some situations more sustainable. And since proximities overlap, this sustainability can perhaps spread.

In particular, proximities can become more sustainable with the growth model since the growth model helps people in a shared situation treat the proximity more like a person, or one element, instead of many unconnected elements. I think this helps the proximity seem and act more like a living thing, and in turn enhances liveliness for people who are a part of it. Not only is sustainability built into the Vadi Agreement, with the process of creating, adapting and/or maintaining valuable differences, but when a proximity feels like a living thing, people will likely want to keep it going and enjoy doing so. Further, since people using the growth model focus in part on the life of the proximity, and keeping the proximity alive, it can allow more variety in their lives. Why? If the focus is more on the proximity (which is actually a blended focus on the proximity, elements and relationships) then while valuable differences may need to be created, adapted and/or maintained, it may matter less who does the needed creating, adapting and/or maintaining of valuable differences, as long as someone does it. When many different people can do what needs to be done to help create, adapt and/or maintain valuable differences in the proximity of their shared situation, there’s a greater chance that whoever decides to do what needs to be done may want to do it and will enjoy doing it. At the same time, this may open up possibilities for people to have more varied lives, sometimes doing one thing, and other times doing something else to help create, adapt and/or maintain valuable differences. It may not be necessary for people to become such specialists, and then feel or get stuck being specialists if they don’t want to be specialists so much of the time. These possibilities for variety will likely enhance people’s minds, bodies, moods and social lives! And these possibilities for variety can create more sustainable variety and liveliness.

So I think and hope that the ProxThink framework can create not only more lively thinking and problem-solving, but also more lively collaboration and shared situations. This combination can help us be more alive.

It’s in this spirit of creating more sustainable variety, and being more alive, that I invite you to visit loughry.com to see some projects and groups you can take part in, adopt, adapt and/or join. Each relates in some way to the proximity thinking framework. Since you’ve taken this course, you’ll feel more comfortable with them from the start. And, each provides you ways to get involved and help this effort grow, improve and evolve.

I hope to meet you or hear from you at some point! But first, please check out loughry.com and get involved in some of the groups and projects! 

Thanks,
David Loughry

Have you ever wondered what makes life great? (my answers in a short script)

Have you ever wondered what makes life great? Here are my answers in a short script. Recently I wrote the script (see it below this intro) for a video I hope to make. In answering the question of what makes life great, the script will:

  1. Introduce you to what I call sustainable variety, or SustaVariety,
  2. Say what you can do right now to create more SustaVariety, and
  3. Invite you to join some adventurous projects (and related groups, courses, events and more) I’ve started to create more SustaVariety.

If you have any comments, feedback and/or suggestions on the script, see the paragraph after the script for details and how you might benefit. Here it is:

*** script below ***

Have you ever wondered what makes life great? What do you think makes people feel more alive, excited, vital and engaged? I’ve thought about this a lot, and a good answer is what I like to call sustainable variety. Sometimes I call it SustaVariety. It’s variety that continues, refreshes, and renews. Examples include events, friends or activities that keep you engaged, but also keep changing enough so you don’t get bored, although not changing so much it’s crazy, unhealthy, dangerous, or something else unsustainable. How the events, friends or activities change might be why they are more sane, healthy, safe, and sustainable. And how we nurture and encourage those kinds of changes probably makes a difference. Some of these kinds of changes can be guided by the idea and pursuit of sustainable variety. Do you think SustaVariety sounds like something worth exploring and striving for?

The thing is, I don’t think sustainable variety just accidentally happens, at least not on a consistent basis. I do think there are things we can do to increase our chances of it. Here’s something you can start doing right now: When you’re faced with choices, ask which options will enhance sustainable variety for yourself and others? Additionally, you can get involved in some adventurous projects (and related groups, courses, events and more) I’ve developed with proximity thinking that provide options to help create and spread sustainable variety. By getting involved, you will likely create more sustainable variety and have some adventures of your own while trying the projects, growing them, experimenting and collaborating around them, and improving them.

I’m David Loughry, creator of proximity thinking and a sustainable variety collaborator. I invite you to get involved in creating more SustaVariety. I invite you to join me and/or people you know, and probably people you don’t know, in some adventurous projects (and related groups, courses, events and more) in creating more SustaVariety.

I hope there will be real world events, online interactions and ongoing and growing projects, groups and more. I’m in a coworking conference room now where we can collaborate and at the same time, people online can collaborate with us and each other from their locations. I’m based in Los Angeles, so if you’re in the area or traveling through, I hope you’ll come to an event. And if you’re not around LA, I hope to interact with you online. Perhaps if this grows, I can travel to other places for events too.

Check the space around this video for more info, more things you can start doing right now, and links to projects, groups, courses, upcoming events and more. If this sounds interesting, enjoyable and fun, please let other people know about it too! Thanks!

*** end of script ***

If you have any comments, feedback and/or suggestions on the script, please let me know in the comments or contact me directly here! By doing so, you’ll likely help the proximity of this situation, you might help others and you might get proxri for it as well, from me and/or other people (if you use some of these suggestions for how to make it easy for people to proxri you).

For info and links to more about SustaVariety projects, events, courses, groups and adventures, and ways you can get involved, with or without money, go to: loughry.com

To encourage, amplify and speed up my efforts to create and spread more SustaVariety, you can proxri my efforts financially and/or in non-financial ways via: patreon.com/loughry

Want to make Los Angeles better and more alive?

Attention LA people who want to make Los Angeles better and more alive … I’m hosting the event linked to this Thursday, 8/22, 6-8 pm. You can also join us online!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sustavariety-for-la-tickets-68701220199

SustaVariety for LA

Old-Fashioned? Shutdowns and Some Governmental Approaches Outdated? Antiquated? What Can We Do? — (Relates to Our Connected World and Collaboration) — MIND MAP Version

Below is a mind map about how the government shutdown and some governmental approaches relate to our connected world and collaboration. It introduces the ProxThink growth model, a collaboration approach created for a connected world. It also shows you the best way to start playing around with and using the growth model (within the Quip mobile app or in your own low-tech and/or high-tech ways). The starting point of the mind map is the large blue bubble that says: Old-Fashioned? Shutdowns and Some Governmental Approaches Outdated? Antiquated? What Can We Do? It’s a work in progress. I hope to make it into a video.

In the video, I’ll narrate and be zoomed in, panning around and opening bubbles and paths. However, I’ve added some numbers and notes for people (like you!) reading the map on their own. For the reading order, follow the numbers, notes and arrows. Begin at the large blue bubble below where it says 1. Start Here.

Click the map to have it fill the window. Then you can zoom in and look around as needed. There is also a PDF version (for ultimate scaling) of the mind map, linked to below the graphic.

Old-Fashioned? Shutdowns and Some Governmental Approaches Outdated? Antiquated? What Can We Do?

Here’s the link to the PDF version of the mind map:
Old-Fashioned? Shutdowns and Some Governmental Approaches Outdated? Antiquated? What Can We Do?

More Lively Proximities — Help Each Other Session … It’s a monthly Los Angeles meetup for five ProxThink-related areas.

This is now a monthly event! I may not post this here every month, but you can always find ProxThink-related events via the Upcoming Events menu item. Details for this one are below. Hope you’ll join us!

pink tree on red bkgd 01

More Lively Proximities — Help Each Other Session

Thursday, Aug 23, 2018, 6:00 PM

WeWork Pacific Design Center
750 N San Vicente Blvd West Hollywood, CA

1 ProxThinkers Attending

Let’s create more lively proximities by helping each other in five ProxThink-related areas. These include the Intro to ProxThink online course, the Shared Situations Guide, Shared Situation Collabs, the Artsdown approach and projects for Sustainable Variety. For newcomers, I’ll start with a 15-20 minute intro to proximity thinking and the other pro…

Check out this Meetup →

Quick Update: Modular Version of the Shared Situation Guide is Now Available

The Shared Situation Guide is built on top of the ProxThink growth model. I’m psyched about this new way to deploy it!

Help shared situations come alive.

The modular version of the shared situation guide is now available!

Why the Modular Version?

  1. It’s easier to focus on each process. The processes are the Vadi Agreement, Proxri, ProxMonitors processes. In the original one-page version, those processes were sections of the document. But in the modular version, they become separate documents, making it easier to focus on each one.
  2. It makes getting around and navigating faster and easier.

If You’re New to the Shared Situation Guide …

Just FYI, this modular version requires a little time to set up the section documents and navigation links. So if you’re new to the guide, you’ll get a sense of it faster with the original one-page version.

You can check out and start using the modular version here. It’s also linked to from the original guide here (see the “modular version” link in the first bullet on the page).

Hope you like it…

View original post 5 more words