What (if any) are the methods of initiation?
Initiation, despite some overtones it has picked up does not imply that the community is a cult. Established communities and organisations use initiation ceremonies all the time, from university graduation days, to receiving a watch for your 21st birthday. There should be some official recognition of achievements not just for the community but for the individual. Public recognition of every grade is a sign of achievement and success.
There certainly should be a method of initiation into the community just to let people realise they are entering a new system, a moment they should remember, a time they should look back on.
Once such possibility is in the initial 6 months of entering the community to make a huge emphasis on the change the person is going through. Everyone enters equal that is certain they are given all the some basic clothing and items they are introduced to their teachers and staff. While there are many possibilities 2 things have a big reaction.
- Sudden environmental or external change greatly effects us
- Gradual unnoticed change suddenly noticed deeply effects us.
By moving into the the community we have already accomplished point 1 by radically changing the environment people are accustomed to. I have numerous opinions on how to achieve option 2 which are merely conjecture.
Firstly, each and every long term member candidate will shave their head on entry, it may seem extreme but if you want a generation of newcomers to identify and connect with each other creating a common unnatural situation works very well, it is in line with entering the community as equals and in 6 months you will have your hair back with its natural colour at a reasonable length.
Secondly, a lack of mirrors in the novice community would only aid in the effect of gradual unnoticed change. After 6 months of exercise, meditation, healthy eating and regular sleep only the healthiest of individuals would remain unchanged at the end.
After an optional shave the candidates would have access to a full body mirror of their new selves which should be a radical change from their initial point.
Levels of BMI, cardiovascular fitness and making people redo any tests they initially did would all hammer home how much they have changed physically.
For mental improvement show them their increase in levels in subjects in front of classes show the novice how far they have come in just 6 months welcome them to the community in a state of good health and positive thinking.
Each major step should be an exercise in showing the difference between now and where you were before.
There seems to be an obsessive refrain on the Internet these days that you have to find your passion, DWYL (Do What You Love), find your purpose, be in your element. With everyone apparently having the capacity to be rich, happy and fulfilled if you can just do find your personal sweet spot.
This sounds, to many of us, fantastic. I know I would greatly appreciate a sense of flow in everything I do, a purpose to my life, a passion that kept me focussed on a particular aim in the future.
I am also pretty sure that the excessive claims of many book writers and pundits are somewhat fanciful. Having said that, I can admit that they are correct, in so much as that if you can find your passion/element/purpose you can, if determined and persevering enough, turn it into a career. That’s not to say that I believe that all those passions can be turned into a fantastic million dollar money trees but I think they can turn into an important part of your life that means you can live while doing what you love rather than wasting your time doing something you hate. What more can you ask from life?
Some people are even more sceptical about the “passion” industry Goals are for Losers. Passion is Overrated I have to say I have a lot of sympathy to what Scott says. Passion is, by itself, not enough, lots of people are passionate and fail, lots of business have a good idea and collapse in ruin. There is a heavy dose of perseverance and as he puts it, investment in systems, that are required for success. But let’s go a step further than that, what if passion is really important, but there’s a big problem …
What if I don’t even have a passion?!
Worse than the potential overly optimistic yodelling of the successful few is a nagging fact, I’m not even sure I have a passion for something, that’s not to say I don’t enjoy things, I love my job, I love a lot of activities but they don’t really constitute the overriding passion that seems to be necessary to call them something that drives my life.
More to the point I don’t think I’m alone in this regard, many people say the same thing, there’s a whole set of questions on quora.com asking exactly that question. It is a question blossoming on all our entrepreneurial lips, “how can I find my passion / element / positive synonym”. Are we the dysfunctional few, do we have a hole in our heads or heart where our passion should be? What kind of people are we, how can we achieve all this greatness promised to us when we are missing such a fundamentally important component.
Seek and ye shall find
The current way of thinking seems to be that we must find and try out every possible experience to something that ignites our passion whether it be cooking or SCUBA diving, cycle touring or zoology, brainstorming, talking to people, searching the internet, thinking of what we dream and have dreamt of and more. It’s like we have to blindly sniff out from the world around us what we find entrancing and captivating. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate this activity, and there is nothing wrong with, trying everything available to us in life, it is not only fascinating but it gives us the chance to really experience life rather than let it slide past.
But it is only recently that I have come to an slow realisation that our ‘passion’ might not really be what we are searching for. Or rather our passion might not be as simple as an activity that we can undertake. In Daniel Priestley’s book Entrepreneur revolution he talks about passion a lot but he gets it slightly closer by saying that it is hard to articulate and not just an activity.
“so that the real frustration people have is that they’re expecting passion to hit them like it’s this clarity or clear bolt of lightning, or this hundred percent sentence that says ‘Oh, now I’ve discovered my passion’.” – Daniel Priestley ()
In Simon Sinek’s book Start with why I think he made an important distinction for businesses and individuals when he said you have to start with why and that the outputs in our life or business are merely different ways we manifest our inner belief or purpose.
“But very, very few people or organizations know why they do what they do. And by “why” I don’t mean “to make a profit.” That’s a result. It’s always a result. By “why,” I mean: What’s your purpose? What’s your cause? What’s your belief? Why does your organization exist? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? And why should anyone care?” – Simon Sinek ( )
I think both writers have the same idea, articulated differently, furthermore, it explains why people like me are finding it difficult to find the activity we are passionate about, because we’re framing it all wrong. It’s not right for us to ask “What is my passion?” but we should rather be asking “What is it that makes me do the things I enjoy?”
It’s not what we do, it’s what motivates us
I think this is so key, that I’m going to reiterate it. People undertaking a quest to discover their particular ‘passion’ are, for the most part, asking it in the wrong way. All our activities, all the things that make us get up in the morning, are just the whats and hows for our personal why.
People are searching for passion in the activities that we perform or hobbies that we enjoy. We get disheartened when something we like doesn’t constitute the all consuming passion that we think should be there. We are thinking as Daniel Priestley stated above, that there should be one clear and concise answer to a very complicated question.
We are looking for a simple answer, there are no simple answers for something as important as your life purpose. If it were so simple we wouldn’t need to search for it.
So why the confusion? I think partly it’s semantics, people who are successful have usually found a way to turn their purpose into a tangible activity that produces money. Some people point to artists, dancers and musicians who have found their element. I can’t deny these people have achieved considerable success in what they do. I think though that these creative or business outlets are only part of the picture.
Many successful people are lucky enough to be passionate about a very particular activity, Olympians, world class magicians, Nobel prize winners, business men and women know why they get up in the morning, because they love what they do. It’s their raison d’être it’s not only their why but fortunately for them it’s a very clear activity as well. If you really are passionate about a hobby or activity it’s likely you already know it and do it every moment that you aren’t working already.
So where do we go from here?
I’m on a mission to find my purpose, my why, the reason I get up in the morning, not just some activities I enjoy but the reason behind the activities.
So for the next few weeks I’ll find methods, exercises and methods to help discover those things, post them here along with my review as to how they worked.
If you know of any methods to find your purpose or passion which focus on the why and NOT the activities let me know in the comments below and I promise I’ll try them out too :).
What contracts should exist between the community and the individual?
Contracts between a community and an individual seems initially repellent, as an idea. Although in such a complex environment with a society that pays individuals has ideas of ownership of goods and has mandatory regimes and possible punishments it seems necessary for an exhaustive legal and insurance based contract must exist if not for lifetime members at least then for transitory members who ware there for the university/ higher education learning / experience.
Contracts will likely include:
- Forms of payments.
- Acceptance of punitive measures in cases of inappropriate behaviour.
- Minimum terms, training periods.
- Insurance and healthcare.
- Liability and external payments.
Now I am not a lawyer so there needs to be some legal representation to confirm the legal contract is acceptable. Eventually legally trained and qualified members of the community may well exist.
Also there may be variations of the contract in different host nations to correctly comply with civil law in that country as such there should be a publicly available (and translated) template that anyone can read with an up to date guide through the clauses and the reasons for each part so that the lay person can understand.
What are the minimum and maximum ages one should be allowed to enter?
This will no doubt change over time as the organisation grows and lifespan increases. The upper limit on age will be only guesswork. Certainly the panels created to deliberate entrance should take into account someones age till retirement or equally their youth. Initially, 18+ seems a reasonable standard and up to 60-65 as a maximum age.
However, it depends on how the community grows if eventually it offers an education system from infancy to university, the “starting age” drops dramatically if it starts an orphanage education system in developing countries it could drop to the new born.
Equally, life expectancy grows presently around 3 months a year so predicting a maximum age is very difficult.
These figures should be reviewed and debated regularly especially with relevant community changes or breakthroughs in longevity.
What amount of vacation is acceptable?
The number mandated by countries of paid vacation days varies a lot. The best would be around 30 days of paid leave + national / public holidays. These should allow members to travel home for important festivals and family gatherings, it should also give much needed rest from community chores and give you exposure to a different lifestyle.
Additional mandated vacation will occur on a regular 2 or 3 year basis, where members are sent on sabbatical or abroad to broaden their experience of the world (e50).
Finally, there should probably be a variation of days for permanent and transitory members but not too vast.
The most complicated elements would be in assuring the ‘pay’ into the savings account and holidays should only really be allowed at the end of the 6 month grace period.
I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who reads this blog, but that aside I should explain that I am in the process of creating a language centre in France, not that it’s a real excuse at to why I haven’t continued my writing, I have had plenty of time to watch TV shows and waste my time on other pursuits.
The school is still in a fragile state and we are slowly gathering students, the concept of the community has not completely left me, I think my ideas have matured a lot since I wrote them down but I shall continue to write up my original thoughts on a more regular basis.
More to the fact, running an educational institution, or any kind of business at all, is going to be a very useful experience to help me consolidate and clarify my thoughts as to how the community might be able to work.
What standards will be used to decide entrance into the community?
While there is an open door policy there must be some form of standards or at least trial period to avoid abuse and allow proper evaluation of new members. Highly skilled lay persons or transitory members will obviously require a different set of standards, if any, in comparison to someone wanting to make a lifetime commitment.
There should be an elected committee and official, both of which are created by draws of random lots, who decide new members. Each case from a retired university professor or a student who dropped out of school should be considered on their skills, situation and their motivations.
[note:the community is meant to help the next generation and should believe in the ability for all humans, without mental disorders, when given the opportunity have the ability to change themselves.]
Not sure what to write on it. I’m still typing up my views on creating a new community so that’s an ongoing project. I’m also working on a few programming projects now on hiatus because of work I’m doing on a business (that’s really in difficulties before it’s even started).
I know that people say that if you write a blog it should be a service to the people who read it and released on a timely schedule. I think I’ll take a page from Seth Godin and if you don’t know who he is…
at these.. Oh and you should read his books if you have time.
He is a writing machine far above and beyond me but maybe, just maybe I can write a paragraph or transcribe my deluded writings for at least 30 days (Matt Cutts would be proud 😉 I could form a good habit of expressing my thoughts online and also the progress I’m making towards creating a new kind of school here where I live.
To celebrate Easter I pretty much slept, which while doing wonders for my mental state and giving me a huge burst of energy, wasn’t exactly productive. I did manage to get a few things done but mostly this weekend was about chilling out. I have done some small programming work, but I’m a way behind where I’d like to be.
On other notes I am ploughing through the 4-hour body by Tim Ferriss and while I take everything with a pinch of salt I find his writing at the very least amusing. I’d also note I find it convincing enough (after some Google time) that I bought a kettlebell for home training, weighing scales and a yoga ball for crunches. I’m leaving off the diet at the moment but I’m interested enough to attempt it for a few weeks to see what happens.
School is good (teaching English that is), programming PHP is coming back strong and clear, I’m even thinking of adding Java work to my repertoire as it is my primary experience at work (and still the most sought after language). Presently however I’m putting my efforts into PHP and my project list reflects this.
The only thing I need to work on more is French, I intend to really start focusing on that after I get my Unit Tracker plugin up and running, procrastination? Maybe… But I do want to measure a lot of what I do and if I can do that and make my need into a project it’s probably worth it.