“There was a shift as sometimes happened at the start of magic. It was as if an invisible door had opened and closed, leaving him upon the other side of it.”
– from Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Like many people, I spend most of my day working in the corporate world. Since our culture, and in particular our business culture, prizes productivity and achievement above all else, the mindset we have most of the time is one that focuses on a goal and uses tunnel vision to drive towards it. If we work (and often even if we don’t), we are strongly encouraged to think this way – remember the objectives, the bottom line, the customer, etc. At the end of the day, says corporate culture, which is so dominant, the point is to make money.
There is nothing wrong with linear thinking. It can be immensely helpful to us in navigating the world, keeping our feet on the ground, and following through on the things we intend. The danger is in failing to remember that there are also other ways of thinking and knowing, ways which have equal value and should be practiced just as often. Linear thinking and empiricism are not the right tools for every job.
Lately I find it challenging to find the doors that lead from one mindset to another. Many things work sometimes: poetry, the outdoors, spending time with children. Nothing works all the time. I can turn anything into a job, or a very organized to-do list.
The blogosphere is just as crammed with linear thinking as anything else. We are tipped and listed to death. At every online turn, we’re given 5 ways to do something, or 10 tips for improving something else. Again, there is nothing wrong with that type of writing. It’s just that it should not be the only choice we have. So I’m making a promise to my readers: I will not use this blog to give you lists, or tips, or round-ups of the best-of anything. I hope that this blog can provide a way to travel between mindsets, a way to move from linear thinking towards other options. I hope that coming here may give you a feeling that an invisible door has opened and closed, and that you are now, somehow, on the other side.