I started writing this blog in order to share some of my personal experiences in terms of overcoming health issues, living more consciously and intentionally, fostering mental well-being, considering solutions to some of the problems that we collectively face as a species, and other topics that could fit under the umbrella of “living well.” Since I have a systems mindset, I’ve tried to organize my thoughts into a coherent system.
Everything I share on this site is in the spirit of “take it or leave it.” What works for me may not work for you. I’m presenting my “total system” but I don’t expect it to be a total system for anybody else — more like a resource from which the reader might take bits and pieces. Ultimately, everyone has to find their own principles and “how to live” philosophy via direct experience (and trial and error), not from reading a book or a blog, or by following another person’s system (for more on that idea read Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha).
On the other hand, I find it both fascinating and helpful to learn about other systems for living (from the pedestrian and pragmatic, like David Allen’s Getting Things Done, to the anti-guru spiritual philosophies of U.G. Krishnamurti). So I’m sharing my own ideas and systems in the spirit of openness/open source.
I use the word metaprogramming (borrowed from John C. Lilly) to describe this kind of self-programming/self-creation/conscious-change. In other words, I try to define the principles, values, and behavioral guidelines that I want to live by, and then do my best to meet those standards in my day to day life. I often fall short of my own ideals in one way or another, but I choose to frame my day-to-day shortcomings as “always striving” (rather than hypocrisy — for more on that distinction read Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age).
My Own Life System in Outline Form
To keep things simple, I use what I call “Prime Directives” to guide decision making and conscious-awareness:
- OPEN HEART
- RECEPTIVE MIND
- INDOMITABLE SPIRIT
- ACTIVE BODY
- CONSTRUCTIVE THOUGHT AND ACTION
- JOYFUL CONTRIBUTION
To get into more detail, here is my complete “System for Living Well” in outline form. In my personal notes I have more detail in each category, much of which I’ll eventually share via this blog or in other formats. I’ve linked to a few relevant posts.
I. Personal Systems
A. Consciousness System — Cultivate Quality of Consciousness
1. Open heart/choose love
2. Self-empowerment (Mind On Fire)
3. Self-awareness/focus (Mind Like Water)
B. Meaning System — Create a Meaningful Life
2. Invest in relationships
3. Prioritize experiences
C. Progress System — Keep Getting Better
3. Improve working relationships, connections, and reputation
D. Health System — Engineer Vitality
1. Clean fuel
2. Stimulation (including exercise, social, acute stress, novelty, etc.)
3. Rest, recovery, and prevention
II. Social Systems *
A. Education Engine — Empower Teachers and Students
1. Universal access to high-quality education and the entire universe of accumulated knowledge
2. Empirically-tested teaching methods, social and financial support for teachers
3. Ideal of the empowered citizen
1. Environmental stewardship
2. Ethical society
3. Real wealth creation
C. Progress System — Expand Mental and Physical Frontiers
1. Human/post-human settlements in solar system and beyond
2. Research and development for the common good
* I consider myself a “science-fictionalist” in that the brightest aspects of our future are often imagined into existence. I’m in favor of diverse, empirically-driven “messy utopias” that allow for great personal freedom for citizens and many possible solutions to existing problems.