Balance between fixed and fluid

Rock in midst of water

Nature is amazing. Hard lives with soft.

My last post was about being flexible and trying new things.

While you should try new things, it is also important to add a fixed element to whatever you do in life.

Let us see how it works.

If you want to become a better writer, it helps if you keep a daily writing schedule.

If you want to get in shape, you need a fixed fitness regime.

It is not about fixed-fixed. It is about fixed-fluid.

Think of a house. Its foundation, walls, boundaries are all fixed. The emotions, air and energies within it are all changing. Without boundaries the house will not exist but you need the changing elements to make it a home.

How can you apply it in your life?

Let us see.

If you are into fitness, set aside 60 minutes for your workouts and be flexible about what you do within those 60 minutes. You can do cardio, yoga, weight training or hiking. Whatever appeals to you on a particular day. This keeps the fun element alive and makes it easy for you to go on.

Fun should be an important part of anything you do. If you find coding fun do that, same for cooking, eating, sleeping, travelling whatever. If you don’t find any action fun, don’t do it.

Recently Chris Brogan asked on Twitter “how much life do you plan”? I said around 50%.

So there is a part of my life that I like fixed and rest I like to keep it open to accommodate the unexpected – new experiences, people, places and thoughts.

I enjoy the fixed part because it helps me find order in midst of chaos. The fluid part helps me grow and lets me have fun by keeping the element of uncertainty alive, and by letting me take things as they come.

Let us explore more.

While I have a fixed schedule for my workouts and the time I sleep and wake up; I keep my workday mostly fluid. I normally keep one core task that I need to finish in a single day and do rest as it comes.

Email – on some days I will do batch responses on another I write back as they come.

About posting on this blog, I do not plan when I will post. I know that 9am EST is the best time for my posts to be seen by my readers, but I do not do that most of the time. Sure keeping a schedule here will not do any harm but I see this blog as something that lets me and my readers grow through expression and connections. This is possible even when I do not stick to a posting schedule as most of my posts here are timeless (relevant today and most likely relevant years later). If this was a news based site or blog, I would have had a set posting schedule.

Similarly I do not time and plan, what and when I will post on the web, on Twitter or Facebook. I know that a cetrain type of content (shorter the better) posted at certain time of the day (outside normal work hours – 10am-6pm) works best if you want to garner more likes and engagement. But thinking too much about what and when to post takes fun away; and fun is what I live for, so no point.

I just post when and what comes to my mind. A thought not written down is like an unborn baby. Why kill it?

This is also true about the way I speak. I do not subscribe to the school of “Think before you speak” totally. I speak what is on my mind. If we think too much before we speak or write,  the fluidity and the sense of joy goes.

Just try this and see if it is for you.

Things like – how long you sleep, time you eat, your life’s principles/values – are better kept fixed.

What you eat, thoughts, words, action based on your values can all be fluid.

What elements of your life are fixed?

What are the areas of your life that you wish were more fluid?

What area of your life can benefit from having a fixed element to it?

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