Managing Equilibrium

There are a lot of video-games in which you must manage an equilibrium. For instance, there might be an economy you manage, balancing expansion with maintenance, keeping the people happy as a growing population results in an uncomfortable density and buildings deteriorate — even external disasters pop-up now and again, adding extra challenge to the process of maintaining balance.

We can see that trend in life too, where oftentimes we’re managing an equilibrium — keeping our character satisfied. Food low? Fill ‘er up! Oops, not too much! Feeling lonely? Spend time with others. Yikes, not too much time, not to the point of feeling smothered! Bored? Oh-no, don’t overcommit to a long-term activity!

It’s all very game-like, yes? And if you notice, different people focus on different categories. For instance, some focus on food equilibrium, and some on fitness, and some on social-interaction equilibrium, and some focus on a whole bunch at once. Oftentimes people go through different phases of focus. Yet, everyone doesn’t focus on every category at all times – correct?

This would imply that the categories on which we don’t focus, manage themselves. But life does allow us to manually control whichever category receives our focus. Wanna go on a diet and micro-manage your eating? Go right ahead! Wanna pinpoint and diagnose every little ache and pain in your body? Now you’re managing your health! Good luck with that.

But that means the reverse is also true. If you’re able to remove all focus from a category, then it’ll remain on autopilot. But good luck with THAT! It’s hard to get out of the habit of staring at a category that you’ve been so long invested in. Plus, you’ll likely have to fill that void with a new category to manage.

Or, perhaps you can quit attempting to micro-manage altogether? A lot of that tendency to over-manage comes from fear and a lack of trust. “This needs my expertise applied or else everything will fall apart!” Except you really have no expertise with existence, do you. Without some guiding force keeping things copacetic, you wouldn’t make it through the day.

I bet if you wanted to, you could just “let go” and trust that force completely. Then every category would just seem to work out. The status bars of all the things you tried to control would go from red to green. Your job was never to get in your own way, it was simply to experience the spectacle — a sit-back, relax, and enjoy the show show type of thing.

But yeah you can screw with the controls if you want, that’s within your power. Chaos can be fun. After all, we play those equilibrium games because they’re a good-time. But if at some point you get tired of micro-managing a certain aspect of life, it seems as though you’re perfectly welcome to just stop focusing on it and let autopilot kick on.

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