Writing Wednesday 003: Utilization vs. Reliance — Self and Others.
What happens when something you use becomes something you rely on? When you can’t function quite as well without it, and you’re fearful of losing it? I want to illustrate a few examples that have come to me in my own life and tie those into the societal level. Be careful what you rely on and why. The direction I’m going is ultimately towards the inner and outer worlds, and the tactile and technological. What’s worth relying on and what to simply use as a tool.
Can anything truly be relied on? I feel that the answer is yes, but only in certain instances. Generally, the best practices seem to be to rely on one’s own internal strengths, virtues, and integrity above all else. Some of the worst practices seem to be to rely on other people, technology over technical savvy, and luck.
If I haven’t publicly stated this before, I do believe in luck. I am far too lucky not to. But, I am a firm believer that luck is not something you can rely on. It runs out, and can be fickle. Luck can get you in the door, but it won’t keep you in the room for long without the technical chops. Don’t get scared by the term technical, I’m only using it to better illustrate what some may call: key’s to success, tools & tips, or best practices — but they all involve a process and there are techniques to work on in order to execute. Luck can provide the opportunity, but if you don’t know what you’re doing then the opportunity will be squandered, or perhaps even pass without being noticed. Definitely do not advocate running your luck dry by expecting it to deliver everything to you. Luck is a variable in an equation for success the other half of that equation remains invariably work and skill development.
Developing skills with technology is so important today, and without a doubt, our future will continue to require more and more understanding of the advancements of tools that humans use to make their lives easier. Here’s the rub, I think you need to develop understanding and skills, not just let the machine do your job or think for you. You’ll be out of a job. Your employer or your company has a problem and needs a solution. From overly relying on technology a person can lose some of the human instincts, adaptability, intuition and general effective creativeness. These can all atrophy or deteriorate when not used, and practiced. The example I want to give here is GPS. Using GPS all the time makes people lose what little natural sense of direction they are born with if they ever actually need to navigate, or follow verbal directions using landmarks and distance estimates as our ancestors and living relatives did. Relying on tech is great and does make life so much easier in so many ways, and I don’t have any problem with that, but I value overall capability and adaptability both so highly that I don’t always let GPS do everything, and if it’s not working I know how to figure out where I’m going. Or I would ask for directions or help, instead of just an address inputted. We must utilize the tools, but watch out how much we are relying because one day… Phone’s dead? No problem, I can deal with this — or total catastrophe I’m lost and hopeless. What sounds better? I mentioned asking for help and directions, and there’s a conundrum with that: it involves relying on other people.
- Generally speaking, if something isn’t in a person’s own interest then don’t rely on them for it. What you need or want, either needs to become, or be sold as something that’s in the person you’re relying on’s own best interest, or make it seem like it’s serving the greatest possible A near majority of the populace lives in a purely self-serving mindset, so if they’re relied upon for “doing the right thing” or producing quality work while receiving little to no money for it, they can’t seem to muster it. There are exceptions to what I’ve just said continually occurring, but from what I’ve seen and understood relying on others over yourself can be devastating. In time’s of need rely on the reliable. Again, to bring up skill development reliability and reliance are skills that take work to get better at. You CAN become a reliable person but it’s difficult if there’s already a pattern of being unreliable, or heaven forbid the widely known label of an unreliable person. Can you be counted on in times of need, when someone really needs your help are you going to come through? Or are you going to give them a taste we all know to well — being let down. Let down implies that there’s a cushioning effect or something, but there really isn’t. Getting let down by someone can only be trumped by letting down yourself. There are levels to this though, and not all let downs need a dramatic or drastic reaction. Expect to be let down, you will be at some point in your life rely on someone after reading this, and they will not come through in the clutch. Prepare for this now: rely on yourself, be adaptable and practice a dedication to getting valuable skills for when you need them. The locksmith doesn’t need to look for a key.
Always searching for the keys to success, and the best practices of other people can definitely add immense value in your life. Utilize any and all positive beneficial information to help stretch and pursue your dreams. Extract the best of others experiences, and the tools they use to make their lives better. But, rely on yourself. Cultivate inner strength, and develop a manifesto of what you stand for in life. The pillars that can always be relied upon are in the inner world, not the outer one. Your mind, heart and gut tell you where to go and what to do in any situation if you listen and rely on them. But, if I can’t rely on my GPS how can I rely on some airy-fairy notion like personal integrity, or a stoic mindset? Well, GPS is less than 100 years old, and your inner guidance system is over 20 times as old so it’s evolved and led us this far, sounds better to me. Tried, tested and true, you have within you a powerful thing that can be relied on. Your soul, and it’s manifestation in the mind, heart, and connections deep within the body. Rely on it. Get better at relying on it, and teach yourself to constantly get better at self-reliance. Everything is a work in progress, or should be.
I want to rely on me. And the words I write, as always, need to be read most by me. But, I’ve got a truly vast improvement to make in this, that’s probably why I was guided to write about it. To get some clarity of thought for my life, hope it’s helped spark something in you too. Life has requirements and to meet those many things are interconnected — relying on each other constantly. The blood in your veins, the water flowing from mountain to ocean. There are examples of functioning reliance all around us — symbiosis. At the very core and fundamental level, everything is comprised of the elements on the periodic table — those rely only on themselves and exist as reliable singular entities first, before they rely on others to transform or perform miracles.
[AUTHOR NOTE: I relied on mac’s built in spell check as I wrote in scrivener, but it failed Grammar.ly in my browser multiple times. (I didn’t really rely on my own skills truth be told) But, maybe adding multiple levels or systems of reliance — in case something or someone lets you down is a good final takeaway.]