There’s always something being built in Edinburgh. As in so many cities, there’s a lot of digging down before there’s any building upwards. Months can go by without any obvious “building” appearing. All along the way, these new structures benefit from building regulations. While the checks and balances can be the bane of the builder, no one would really want the alternative.
And once this early work of putting in foundations is complete, that’s basically it for the shape and size of what is built upon them. It’s the same for our lives.
Whilst most of us have to live in buildings that have already been built, when it comes to our lives, we’re able to be the architects and builders and dwellers.
We all look different and pursue a plethora of interests and curiosities, but there are some “building regulations” that benefit all of us. These are described in many ways but there’s a lot of overlap. Just yesterday I was talking with someone about how we all want personal autonomy, mastery, and to live for a purpose greater than ourselves. These three are zip files which, when opened, disclose many more important details and nuances for building our lives. If we ignore or flout these, problems ensue. At some point, no matter what our dreams and plans are for our lives, we must begin building, putting it all together:
‘Curation is the ultimate method of transforming noise into meaning.’*
Even the person who constantly tinkers with the foundations of their life is only like a noise without meaning. Curation is building, it echoes what Erwin McManus describes as profound intent, which he describes in this way for someone:
‘They know which ground to give up. They know where to settle. This is not because they are postured for compromise; it’s because they have a clarity about what really matters to them. They know what their lives are about. They have a profound intention, nbd that intention informs ever arena of their lives. Those who care about everything, actually care about nothing.’**
We have to build somewhere; we can’t build everywhere. We have to do something, we can’t do everything. We can all identify what is our profound intention.
The best thing of all about this kind of building is that we can’t start-over. We might think that we are who we are, but when we look more closely, we find there’s a whole lot of foundations we’ve not even begun to use. Everyone finds out more about themselves when they begin looking, and those things may be just the necessary tipping point into a life that looks quite different.
(*From Rohit Bhargava’s Non Obvious.)
(**From Erwin McManus’ The Last Arrow.)
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