Monday, 16 November 2009

Seeking a life unplugged

Creative thinker Dion Chang (although he is often associated with fashion, he isn't a designer - just a trend analyst) was on the radio last week, talking about his new book '2010 Flux Trend Review'.

The one item in the radio interview that caught my attention was 'The unplugged revolution'. I recently addressed the whole adventure/expedition issue in a post and how these brave adventurers are answering a natural calling to explore and make their own tracks across the globe.

From Dion's perspective, we start our day with gadgets and clutter (alarm clock, radio, electric toothbrush, processed food, traffic, telephones, computers, printers, paper everywhere, emails...). We're always 'on' and although these tools have been created to make our lives easier, they weigh us down instead.

This topic has actually been in my mind for the better part of two weeks. We send emails getting answers with a day. In years long gone we would have written a letter, which takes time to get a response. And while speed is good for productivity, it has created a rush-rush-rush lifestyle. We probably do more in a quarter than our grandparents (or parents) did in a year. Dion quite rightly says, of the information that bombards us daily (news, emails, advertising), "the quantity of messages has long superceded the quality".

So this is where Dion's 'Unplugged Revolution' comes in - 'people going back to nature, exploring spirituality and embracing traditional practices like craft and gardening'.

I think this also explains the success of multiday sporting events (get away from it all association) and, I suspect, a greater number of explorers.

This busy pace of life also ties in with something else I've been thinking about - 'time to think'. For the past few years I've been chasing my tail, non-stop. Races, training, work, organising, admin, club, email... it just doesn't end. It was only when I left my day job in June and got a bit of free time in early October that I was able to think about some things.

Also, being in a fairly creative industry (PR, media, communications), time to think is important. When you're chasing your tail and rushing from one client to the next, you cannot possibly have time to come up with creative solutions and fun ideas - they're only half there. This is what it was like at the agency I worked for - no time to just think.

From experience, good intentions are often just that - but I am trying to make sure that I keep some open time in my life specifically for thinking (running is good thinking time too).

Philosopher, Winnie the Pooh, has this to say on the topic...

"Here is Edward Bear now coming downstairs on his head bump bump bump behind Christopher Robin. It is as far as he knows the only way of coming down though he feels there really ought to be a better way if only he could stop bumping for a moment and think about it." – A A Milne, Winnie the Pooh

Have you got time to think?

If you had time to think you could have come up with this too...
(and yes, I did sing through all the options too)

1 comment:

alvin said...

Made me think of a video I saw on, about a designer who closes his office and takes a one year sabbatical every seven years. He says he gets all the ideas for his work in that one year...

Here's the link