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

Creating the Life We Want, with a Tip from Skiing

Ski i Trysil

Ski i Trysil” by Ola Matsson for Trysil is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

I think it’s probably true that we, as individuals and groups, can create the life we want, to a large extent. But I also think it’s a bit like skiing. If you do the right things at the right moments, the ski and the mountain do a lot of the rest of the work. In life, the skis are things like the systems, tools, products and services that we create and we use. When I say “systems,” it includes not just things like infrastructure but things like formal and informal social networks, conceptual frameworks, and processes we use to do things large and small. This means such systems might include the proximity thinking framework, the sustainable proximities approach, the shared situation guide and the shared situations website. I’ve worked very hard to make these ProxThink-related systems be like a good pair of skis. When used with reality (the mountain), they can do a lot of the work for us, and can help make life better and more enjoyable.

As touched on, an important point about the above is related to the word “we,” which can mean ourselves individually, but also larger groups of people, and even all of humanity. So we need to think carefully about the systems, tools, products and services that we create and we use. But I think we especially need to think carefully about the systems, as systems can condition the range of options we have, and our quality of life in general. I’ve thought very carefully in creating the ProxThink-related systems mentioned above, and even about the transitions to using them more often.


A possible criticism and an answer

A possible criticism of the Underlying Concept (being is about relating) of proximity thinking might be this: “Sure, life is about relationships. But not just any old relationships!”

My answer is I agree, and the ProxPatterns help suggest relationships more likely to work and enhance life. That doesn’t mean the ProxPatterns are free of contradictions. In fact, they allow and work with contradictions.

Let’s make work less dominant

In this culture, it seems many things take a backseat, or secondary position, to work, career, and markets.

Some of these things include friends, family, community, health, fun, variety, the arts, balance, the environment, living situations, social groups, and even politeness.

The proximity thinking framework may provide some approaches which could change this. The framework acknowledges and allows for the dynamic relationship of elements, relationships and proximity. Especially the greater emphasis on proximity, as well as approaches which let us relate more directly to proximities, may shift the importance of work, career and markets to a more appropriate place.

The main approach I’m referring to here is the sustainable proximities approach. Here’s an example of how to use the approach, written up as a short guide: How to Create a Sustainable Proximity.