It seems to me more and more that calling a stop to the hustle and bustle of daily life and really, deeply, thinking is the key to all wisdom. A case in point is the game design wiki, which is somewhat disorganized, frequently only references to their works, and is generally in need of attention. What it needs is for me (or someone) to sit down to draw connections and organize what is there. Another example is my priority setting exercise, which attempts to invest some quality time in deciding what really matters, so that I can apply those conclusions to daily life
This is no secret; people have been doing devotional reading for ages. Taking the time to review the guiding principles, and to consider why they are there, will not only help keep them in mind, but make it easier to follow those principles without the hesitation of doubt. Religion in some ways is pre-digested thinking, the result of somebody else’s quiet reflection, found through a kind of natural selection to be an effective guide to living.
The conclusions reached in quiet reflection can certainly seem profound, perfectly in accord with the world, like a peek into how things really work. I wonder, though, if this is really the case. Or, the conclusions having been drawn out of one’s mind, they are but necessarily in perfect accord with the image of the world in said mind – that image quite likely being divergent from the true state of affairs.
I’m on my second generation of the priority map, but really I haven’t applied this very much yet. One purpose of this present exercise is to clear out the backlog of journal entries to make way for new thoughts. My main exercise so far, the one which validated my suspicions, is actually from my paid employment. Most of my time these days is taken up considering a new company database system. One day last week there was a lull in items requiring immediate action, yet I wanted to make some progress. I had been laboring under a growing uneasiness about the current direction of things. So I had a conversation with myself.
I used a simple text document to keep thoughts from evaporating before they were fully answered, primarily short questions and answers, going on for a few hours and few pages. I started with the big question – “Why are we doing this?” Skimming over the obvious grievances led to wasted capital and automation. This quickly turned into capital and labor, and then to profit. Stepping back a bit to steer things twoards practical advice, I eventually came around to quality as the key element. (Shortly thereafter I started pondering the subjective question posed above, as the quality conclusion was almost self-evident given my recent experience.)
Nothing new was learned or invented, I merely become conscience of some things I hadn’t been previously – and all of these things were part of the ‘big picture.’ I had been worried about all the little problems that our current system was causing people. Now I see the ultimate goal is to remove inefficiency to increase profit. I had been drowning in a sea of too-similar packages. Now I see that the key factor in a quality product is quality people. This is especially important here since this isn’t shrink-wrapped software – between customization and support were are selecting a business partner as well.