Calibrate or Else

Day 179 Week 26 Q2 Thursday, June 29, 2023

There are reasons why people use checklists to prepare for everything from flights to surgeries. And there are reasons why the wisdom literature has espoused the value of morning practices to calibrate yourself before entering the day. And there are reasons why parents, mentors and other well-meaning principled and intentioned individuals attempt to instill in their charges good habits. Yes, there are reasons for all of these habituations. They are the same reasons evolution has instilled in us automatic breathing, blood circulation and fight or flight reflexes. These reasons are simple: they work.

Suppose you have come to the conclusion that automating some behaviors to the point where they become habituated is an excellent idea. And if you repeatedly have come to the same conclusion, why do you sometimes forget or get distracted or reconsider if you have the time or if these habits are worthwhile? Because you are human and not a machine and it is a good idea to re-examine conclusions to make sure they are still valid as they may not be.

But once you are done reexamining and proving to yourself again that it is better to be calibrated than not, then simply get back on the wagon and continue putting one foot in front of the other.  And do not beat yourself up about not being a machine but celebrate that you have come to valid conclusions and simply apply them.

For me, it is clear that the first thing I should do every day is get ready to meet the day by more than brushing my teeth and hair. Some sort of mental and physical and, in my case, psychospiritual and musical activity seems to make my life work better, including improving my ability to get along with myself and others. And yes, they are both important, and they are not the same thing even though they logically should be, but of course, we are not entirely logical either. 

Some things seem obvious to me, but that does not mean I do not have to remind myself of them on a regular basis because there are an infinite number of thoughts and feelings running around within me all of the time. The obviously reasonable and correct can sometimes be masked or misplaced by the torrent of new and old ideas coursing through my being.

Two ideas repeatedly pop out at me. Internally I need to calibrate, or else I will have a significantly suboptimal day. And the other idea is humanity is at a crossroads where we need to either realize that we need to take care of each other or perish. In other words, if everyone asks what’s in it for me and no one asks what’s in it for us, then we have no hope of solving our problems.  Like I said, Calibrate or Else!