External Influences

Day 114 Week 17 Q2 Tuesday, April 23, 2024

This posting is not about external influences on all of your life, just the part that has to do with prioritization and compartmentalization. Say you thought you had a set of priorities that you were having to deal with this week. I said that yesterday, you encountered a different circumstance that could have been acted upon opportunistically. This external influence can change your priorities, even if you are a self-driven, self-organizing, self-motivating person.

I am not talking about an external influence, such as a boss telling you what to do. I’m talking about you being your own boss and telling yourself what to do. What you tell yourself changes as a function of what is around you, which is why I am calling it an external influence as opposed to an external directive.

You may have the good fortune of not having to take orders. Or it may be the simple fact that when people give you orders, you don’t take them. However, it occurred the way you spend your time may be primarily up to you. When you get into the space, if you are fortunate enough to do so, you will still have to deal with external influences.

This is not a bad thing; this is a good thing. It means you are capable of adapting to the reality around you based on your own evaluation of what is important to you. This is a glorious place to be. But it can still rock the boat.

The difference is you are rocking your own boat. This may be voluntary or involuntary. You also may be in a relationship with others whose opinions matter to you, not because they’re your boss but because you don’t have one. You still have to figure out what to do at any given point in time. If you think you already know everything that you have to do when you get up in the morning and do not feel constrained by that, then you are not a creative outlier, or perhaps you have to subordinate your creative, divergent, curious urges to a larger goal, which is often the case.

If this persists for years and years, then you will have given up your creative outlier status and become like the rest of the world, no longer having much control over how you spend your time. This is pretty disastrous for a creative outlier.

Assuming that you still have enough degrees of freedom in your life to exercise your creativity and curiosity and still be open to the opportunities afforded you by external influences, then you are in truly terrific shape. Because you are not a slave to others or yourself, you have the freedom and flexibility to respond to the present moment, which includes both internal and external influences.