Here’s another piece to the puzzle: You NEED a sense of pressure and urgency in your life. You literally can’t be a human without it. AND, if you don’t provide a source, one will be provided for you. In other words, if you don’t do your homework and come to class with something to do, you’re going to be assigned busy-work (Spoiler Alert! You won’t like it).
When I was doing my “dreamlike existence” experiment, I was able to remove a significant amount of pressure and urgency from my life. Then out of nowhere I had this really strange sensation like I was waking up from the existential dream. It freaked me out a bit. After that, I needed to do things that helped me to feel “grounded” or else I started feeling panic-attacky. In other words, I wanted to stay in the dream, so I needed to do dream-world stuff.
But it can’t be anything. And I’ve noticed that the stuff that works best is when there’s some pressure or urgency. For example, when I sharpen my tool blades, there’s a risk I could damage the delicate edge. All my attention and focus is on the task so I don’t screwup the tool. Although relatively minor, I definitely feel the pressure.
Another example: I’ve known my wife for about 25 years and she’s been my best-friend all that time. Therefore, there’s very little pressure or urgency in our interaction. In other words, our conversations aren’t very “grounding” – we talk about all sorts of crazy stuff. Whereas if I interact with my son, I’m in “dad-mode” and my parental responsibility is something I take very seriously – it definitely makes me feel “grounded”.
In my life, I spent a lot of time and effort removing pressure and urgency from my experience. I made the removal of stress my goal. In some sense it worked. “I did it! Yay!” But in another sense, I cut the strings that held me down to earth – and almost drifted away. “Oh sh*t!” But on the plus side, I cut all the stupid strings I didn’t care about anyway. Now it’s my job to anchor myself to the things I prefer (that’s my theory anyway).
And part of finding things to secure to, is finding things that feel significant. There’s got to be some pressure or urgency, it can’t be too frivolous – I tried that, and it doesn’t work. So I’m still finding my way (which puts me under pressure and provides a sense of urgency). Well that’s all for now – until next time, this is Rich signing-off, Nanu Nanu.