What’s Your Vector, Victor?

What’s Your Vector, Victor?

The first step in the Four (used to be three) Simple Steps is STEP BACK.

Stepping Back is about looking at the big picture, seeing what’s needed, what’s wanted and what’s dreamed for. The context can be of any size from personal to galactic. Before you take action (Step Forward) you need to know where you are going.

Where you are going can be defined in three ways. You can have a destination or you can have a direction or you can have both.

Let me give a simple example. Lose weight is a direction. Weigh 25 pounds less than I do now is a destination.

It seems to me that to make powerful change happen in the world or in yourself, which is often the same thing, you need to focus. I have learned this lesson over and over again. Actually, it would be more accurate to say that I have been taught this lesson over and over again but I have not learned it. Sometimes I can be extremely thick-headed.

On the other hand, you can strive to make changes in different areas of life at the same time as long as those different areas are not related to each other. For example, you could work towards getting an advanced degree and you could increase your cardiovascular health at the same time. On the other hand it would be counterproductive to try to eat more ice cream and lose weight at the same time.

I was thinking about defining direction and I decided that it made sense to limit the number of realms of life to 3 when choosing directions. Being a recovering math nerd, this reminded me immediately of vectors.

Vectors in geometry have a direction and a magnitude and they can be added together. In visualizing vectors I had a key insight. If you picked three directions on three mutually exclusive realms or planes you could add them together to get an overall direction. In other words you wouldn’t end up with three directions, you’d have one direction that was the sum of three directions.

By way of illustration, let me list some directions I would like to go.

  • Be more creative
  • Practice Zen Buddhism more
  • Be stronger
  • Have more endurance
  • Be kinder
  • Be faster (physically)
  • Be younger
  • Be more organized
  • Become more politically active
  • Be more social
  • Lose weight
  • Be healthier
  • Make more money
  • Watch more TV
  • Increase peace in the world
  • Be a better basketball player
  • Be taller
  • Have a more harmonious family life
  • Help more people
  • Be more famous
  • Sleep more
  • Laugh more
  • Read more
  • Increase tolerance in the United States
  • Play more sports

I can’t focus on all of these and some of them are opposed to each other. My self imposed task is to pick 3 vectors to focus on for the next 3 weeks.

I’m going to choose:

  • Be younger
  • Be taller
  • Be more famous

Just kidding.

I’m choosing

  • Be more creative
  • Make more money
  • Be healthier

Immediately you can see that more creative + make more money add up to a vector that is different from the vector that resuls from the sum of make more money + be more organized, or be more creative + have more fun.

Now I have a vector I can create goals that are in line with that direction. I’m going to take a Step Back after 3 weeks and see if I’m happy with my progress and my direction.

I would love it if you did the same and told me how it works for you.

I’ll keep you posted.

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