Thursday, September 18, 2014

Exercise: Your Knowledge and Experience is not Final, Even in this Exact Moment

People work to cope with their environments. You are always working to keep your life in order and hopefully to even make that action easier on yourself. Beyond that we are trying to understand the fundamental building blocks that add up to our lives (these being social, cultural, community related oddities or events). 

Again, hopefully you understand that your environment is constantly changing and any current final understanding you think you have is only a passing egotistical congratulation. It is folly to believe otherwise. 

And I can prove it to you now even in this moment. Stay with me here.

You are reading this on your computer or phone. You have tunnel vision and you are now aware of it. You will continue reading but now also force your peripheral vision. You can see the glasses on your face, your shirt, your coworkers or family in the background. You smell your house or your office and it doesn't smell like anything because you are so very accustomed to it. You feel your heartbeat and your hand on the mouse or phone. You hear any array of background noises. 

These are just some of simplest, extremely personal examples of (barely) external events that you are tuning out. Now while this isn't world-changing in the moment, ask yourself what else are you missing? 

Try this exercise next time you are driving. The the amount of information you ignore is startling. And that is the point; this is happening all the time. Expanding your presence in the moment you are in (by even a little bit) every day can have dramatic consequences:

  • Noticing the defensive stance of your coworkers 
  • Noticing the impending accident on the roadway due to the reaction of a pedestrian, cyclist, and the motorist on their phone

Your understanding is not final and you can always improve every facet of your life. Do not be placated. 

Quick Warning
Exercising this on the roadway can be dangerous. In my own experience I have been borderline overwhelmed with the sheer amount of information you are capable of intaking while forcibly taking down the tunnel vision. Try it a few times but be prepared for information overload. This short exercise should be used to reveal the tunnel vision in your everyday life rather than practiced constantly while driving.