Building different things requires different mindsets.
Building a home.
Building a team.
Building a product.
Building a family.
Building a life.
The list easily goes on and on.
Yet, the idea of building itself, requires a singular mindset.
To do. And to do again. And again. And yet again.
It’s a fractal loop that we must accept, not allowing ourselves to be driven mad.
Insane, we must not.
“The Work” is visualized within these 4 states, consider this a confusion matrix.
The work that burns your body, but satisfies your mind. (entropy ranged)
The work that burns your mind, but satisfies you body. (entropy ranged)
The work that burns your mind & body. (entropy maximized)
The work that satisfies your mind & body. (entropy minimized)
Believing we are all in pursuit of finding sweet spot, minimizing entropy, reaching flow state of the mind and body.
Let’s run through a real-life example(s), mainly my own. I can only ever speak of myself, for I cannot speak of or for others.
Building a home:
In 2015 I bought a home. The home sucked and I had a mind & body to waste. The moment I closed, I began tearing down walls. When one wall fell, I looked for another to tear down. By the time I was done I was living in this.
It was a bit mindless, enjoying what had been done after the fact. Before I knew it, I was ripping out plumbing (water & waste) & electrical, the house was demolished to the bones. An almost clean slate. The process is no different in the Army. Tearing down every internal wall before any work can be done. The work that rebuilds you a solider, marine, airmen, sailor, etc. Except this this was a home.
“Rebuild you a home!” That’s what I told the house. (I hope it believed me)
Rebuilding was tiresome. One 1/2” copper pipe at a time. One 12/3 romex at a time. One cement bag at a time. One tapcon at a time. One 2x4 at a time. One tile at time. One drywall sheet at a time. One bucket of plaster at a time. One paint bucket at a time. One cabinet at a time. One everything at a time. It was tedious and labours. Very.
This work satisfied my mind, deeply. My body? well I think it was asking me to take a break. I lived without AC & hot water for several months. Admittedly, the 6am cold baths forced me to practice meditative states. Suffering is more a test of happiness than a test of misery. These living conditions became a meditative mental state of suffering. I have no doubt I lost years of my life from inhaling only imaginable things but gained a mental endurance that I had not experienced outside the military.
Let’s return. That’s right, mindset.
To this day I couldn’t tell you if the work I was doing during that time had any intentional mindset.
I just did, every day.
I lived by the bounds of the physical structure that was the home. Done, meant I reached the limits of the physical space, for a given section of the house (or money) e.g. laundry room or the kitchen. “finishing” in 2019.
The irony in all this, a home is never done. Ever! (I just remodeled the kitchen, again)
The mindset I was building this home in was, mindless, just do, mind. Sitting in empty rooms, on buckets, staring at walls thinking what money was available, what is possible, what isn’t possible, my mind wondered far and wide. I tried casting as many nets as possible. Except far casting was limited, then.
Throughout, the home built me more than I built it. I was giving the home a physical structure, while it gave me a mental structure. I wouldn’t realize this till much later. The world began to overlap with all the problems I had faced while building this home. I constantly reference ideas such as, why I built a wall in a given location, a design issue that I spent weeks on, long nights of troubleshooting small task (fixing my terrible soldering of a tight plumbing space), the problems were limitless, and the solutions, well, also limitless.
This is where I began to realize that it didn’t matter what I was building.
My life, my family, a team, or a product. I just need to keep one thing in mind.
Do. And do every fucking day within the confines of the space you want to build in.
P.S. I have recently returned to this home with a deep desire to build in the physical space again. The mindset is much more intentional. It seems like building feels different in the physical space now. Digital building does require a different mindset but requires the same principal element. Do.
P.S.S. 11-29-2022 Update. I'm still trying to remodel things but everything will have to wait till I build something on top of Farcaster now.