Although the concept of entropy is almost nonexistent in the daily use, it is widely present in how the society works. The basic message of entropy is that:
Things have a natural way of getting disorganized.
Almost everything people do is related to the fight against the growing entropy. People try to constantly organize their thoughts, work to organize small parts to create bigger entities, find structure in their environment etc.
People have a desire to affect the entropy.
Games are usually constructed so that they get people involved. I will argue that the most addictive games are the ones that target the this natural need to organize things to a higher level of entropy. And not only games but products and services that help people to stay organized.
If you have an idea of something new…
Every imaginable business idea has a relation to the level of entropy in the society. The big question is under which circumstances would that idea help in decreasing the level of entropy instead of increasing it.
The most successful ideas are adopted because they keep the society organized. That is, they help people.
To celebrate the emergency number day 112 of my project, here is a word of caution:
I got one yesterday. Feels a bit silly to praise a gadget that has been out there for several years so I’m just warning about its hazards instead.
- Your life will never be the same again after getting one. When you’re retired you will remember the time before you had an iPhone as the “time before you had an iPhone“.
- You will feel extremely stupid having it this late in the game.
- You will be impressed by the ingenuity of simple things that work. And I consider myself to be tough to impress with technology.
- You will spend numerous hours thinking what it could do for you and find out that it can do pretty much everything.
- Finally you realize it can’t do the one single thing that you absolutely must accomplish and trying to get it done will drive you mad.
So if you want to maintain your sanity, don’t get one.
And don’t ruin the illusion of it being the perfect gadget by getting one and finding it’s not. It’s essential to have something in your life to dream about.
Everything in our lives is connected to everything we are. We cannot experience anything without being the person who has lived our past.
The parts of our life are intertwined and one part affects the others more than we may think. It’s obvious when we start to think about it. The mood swings in a personal relationship, for example, will affect the mental state of a person in all areas of life. I will argue that people focus most of their attention to the part of life that gives them most pleasure and least pain.
Is there something wrong with this?
The answer is no. But if you focus all your energy to the part of life that feels the best, you are instantly missing out on the other parts that potentially could make you feel even better. Or better yet, achieve a full joy in life.
What are people really trying to achieve in life?
I believe the three things that people try to achieve in life – either consciously or subconsciously – are happiness, joy and excitement. To achieve that you need to work in all areas of life. Everything affects everything so you can’t give your 100 % in any area unless all the other areas are on the same level.
My advice is to put your attention to solutions in areas that need most fixing. Those areas are the ones that are the hardest to put attention to and the ones that most negatively affect all the other areas.
So, don’t get sucked into the easy pleasures, but focus on putting your life in balance and you and everyone around you will get more pleasure from life.
All is one, one is all.
Today’s blogger is Ihmeparantaja Iiro – one of the highest valued life coaches in the country and the team spirit consultant of the millionbefore30 project.
Is your life thriving or are you just surviving?
Here is a quick test:
- Does going to work on Mondays bring about negative feelings?
- Are your thoughts already on the weekend on Fridays?
- Are your biggest expectations for the future in your next holiday?
- Do you feel you have to work just pay the rent/mortgage?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, there is a good chance you are not living your life but merely trying to survive it. And yes, most people are just trying to survive. The good thing is that if we want our life to thrive, there is an easy way out.
People that are not under stress have superior performance to the people who are. In an interview yesterday the Finnish figure skater Kiira Korpi answered a question about her poor performance in the World Championship. She had reached perfect results during the practice sessions but failed in the actual contest. Her explanation was that she was nervous.
In most sports all the athletes on the World Championship level have the technical skills to win. Everyone trains a lot so there is a limited benefit to training more than others. I will argue that the winner is determined by the athletes’ state of mind. How could you be nervous if you feel the joy in your sport and forget the competition?
Whatever you do, your state of mind is a big part of the success.
Try to feel relaxed in the things you do. If you can’t, you’re probably doing wrong things just to survive.
To commemorate the 42nd day of my project, I’m going to tell you the meaning of life. I’m going to skip the philosophical discussion and move straight into conclusions.
What is the reason for our existence?
- We’re here to help others. Nothing has a meaning unless it is shared with people. Helping others is the only way to do meaningful things. Anything and everything in the history of mankind can be discussed in terms of how it has helped other people.
- We’re here to maximize our happiness. Helping others is the key to generating mutual happiness. Every individual has a mission to primarily help themselves in being happy and secondarily help everyone around them.
- We’re here to find an equilibrium. In the bigger picture we’re here to make the world a better place for everybody. That means the meaning of life is not to keep growing exponentially. Happiness derived from exponential growth will eventually collapse.
Combining these thoughts, I have written my definition for the meaning of life as follows:
The meaning of life is to make yourself happy by making other people happy and in a way that the result is genuine, not temporary.
Who could disagree with any of this?
In my earlier post “It’s just a game” I briefly touched the idea of life being a game.
Game development guru and professor Jesse Schell takes the idea even further. He presents a set of rules how the game could work. His whole presentation in DICE 2010 is available here:
DICE 2010: “Design Outside the Box” Presentation
It takes almost 30 minutes but I bet it’s worth every minute of it. In Schell’s game everything we do in the real life becomes a part of game system where everyone and everything is scored. He sees this as the inevitable future and ends his show by asking:
Who in this room will lead us to get there?
In my opinion, it’s not the question of getting there. We already are there. The question is how do we get out?
Our real world is a game where the money is the score. And you’re already playing the game whether you wanted or not.
The only universal end result seems to be that the game sucks with this scoring system. Just ask anyone who ever made it to the high score list.
I don’t love my job but I still want to do it well
If that sounds like you, then this post is especially for you. One of my readers pointed me to an e-book Työn hyväksikäyttö (utilization of work) by Sampsa Kiianmaa. This book is about the purpose of life. How to find your own purpose and achieve happiness.
Most people consider work to be the most important part of their life. Seeking employment is seen as the ultimate challenge. People optimize their life and studies to make themselves best suited for getting a “great” job.
Now, think about what really counts in your life
Kiianmaa has realized the importance of happiness. What really makes you happy? How would you like to be remembered when you grow old? Who would really answer that they want to be remembered by their material possessions? Still that seems to be the one and only form of achievement in this rat race we call life.
How can I find my happiness?
You are happy when you can utilize your strengths in whatever you do. Kiianmaa links to a test you can take to determine the strengths that are behind your happiness. The test is called VIA Survey of Character Strengths. But a word of caution to all you busy people: taking the test takes over 30 minutes and you will need to register to the website to take it. After registration you will see plenty of tests but take the one I named here that has 240 questions.
And now what?
You will receive a result of your top #5 strengths. Think about them. Do you live your life for the things that make you happy?
And finally, I dare you to post your result here as a comment. I have to say that this test worked for me.