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Ideal and Natural Self

Tree Growing (from: )

Consumption Modes

The modern world is abuzz with new findings, stories, dishes, clothing, vehicles, and plans for the future. Most importantly it is how we relate to all of these that shape the way we move through society. You are what you eat; a timeless saying that can be taken many ways. Today the options for actual physically nutritional food are varied and widely available in many places. On the basic level we eat to survive and keep our bodies going. The same can be extended to our minds. We have come to rely on entertainment to excite within us the adventures that found us naturally exploring the world daily. The growth of leisure time created an increased need for reflective works that spoke to us directly or on deeper levels.

Food feeds the body, thought gives fodder for the mind, and society gives a canvas against which we can test and explore growth. The ease with which we engage in these pieces of our overall diet has increasingly leaned towards convenience. The strain of being able to do more things and handling the pull of many more obligations and engagements has caused a need for reduced active consumption in all of these other aforementioned areas. We see increased burnout across the spectrum of work being done in economies leading the world in terms of volume of business done and overall product or service demand.

How we shape ourselves is a combination of the internal process around food and thought along with the external way we interact with society and our environment. The idea of being able to construct who we want to be rather than being a reflection of where we come from too is relatively new. The African proverb, "It takes a village to raise a child" is as true today as in times past. How people define and choose the meaning of the village has been changing. In times past the people we were around would be the same handful over the course of our lifetimes. Technology has allowed us to connect with greater numbers and broader types of people. Much of this has been out of our ability to decide. Our involvement in that process expands with age. The foundations we hold on to guide what we choose to consume socially later in life.

Tree growth rings illustration (from:

Growth Patterns

This idea of focus on actively deciding what and who the individual will become can feel like a market driven process. In the past it was many hands molding you into what fit best. Fit being a combination of the needs of the society and your own understood needs. The focus on development of the individual makes it seem more important to separate self from society in order to improve what we provide when interacting with others. The kinds of things provided vary greatly. The energy people feel when around us is a reflection of how the pieces in which we partake sum into our lives. The snapshots from interactions get a better feel as we interact with a person more frequently. The advent of self help both emphasizes your role in actively helping yourself grow by consuming more expanding and thoughtful material as well as the relation between the individual and the broadening idea of self.

These periods of growth can be seen in the habits we nurture. Many separate generations based on behaviors seen and actions taken by the larger group. Childhood feels like a time of unbridled curiosity and exploration at its best. We are sponges soaking up everything the world has to offer. The limits being mainly circumstantial. Greater infrastructure connecting us removes many of the things that had been seen as barriers. Growth today can happen at light speed. When we all feel more connected, be it actively online or through shared social values internally, the patterns harmonize and the variation that can be seen at the highest level of society reduces. The examples of the bad growth modes and the outcomes likely to be seen can serve as examples for many times more people. The fear of not reaching who we want to be by seeing only the unplanned courses that find people and the excitement that pulls us towards courses we are unlikely to reach can insight specific behaviors in us. This growth is marked by how we relate to information shared on new media such as social networks and modern news stations.

the shape of a habit (from: )


We have a long line of past generations swirling through our actions. The shape of our society is filled with purpose. How we see it arise depends on the perspective from which we are able to look. Many today and tomorrows yet seen might distill our world to habits. When we think about it deeply we should wonder what would fail reduction to habit. You can know when you are by the habits you hold. Habits in people and living beings reflect norms just as rings on trees reflect growth. There is an intimate relationship between the mind and the environment. Nurturing a self reflection habit can be key to staying active in our growth. Passive growth is seen more when considering inanimate things in processes. A snowball, baseball, leaf pile, and dirt pile are a few examples that come to mind. As the uniqueness and complexity increase it is harder for many to say that something was grown rather than say it was built. In that last list one item likely fits this label. We do not see many baseballs being grown today. The number of processes and types of materials and regulations around the final form make it an industrial process in our world.

What habits would you say trees have? On the whole they have the one habit of staying still to us. We are interacting in a world focused on breaking down natural processes to deeply understand where they can be applied to a greater social purpose. The focus on building our ideal self is based on the premise that we are separating our natural pieces and shaping to an objectively better form. This process is based in technology today as we see ourselves separate from what we have made. Deeper insight into the forms we can take as well as the habits seen on the whole allow us to continue this system driven process.

Focus of the Fight Club movie (from:

Social Building

Reluctance to continue forward has been part and parcel with the tide of progress. Many find it hard to see why things need to keep changing but the opportunities for new creations and improved exploration rest in the areas yet to be explored. These can be from times forgotten or reimagined with concepts unearthed. The ideal self is built on the natural. The definitions we uphold as worthwhile are cultural. Expanding our lens to include these kinds of details in the growth we have yet to experience will create deeper and more authentic experiences in the tomorrows we shape today.

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