One metaphor that I like for life is this model of a filter.
In some way we seem to act as filters for what’s around us.
Like we have the environment that we are in, and we take things in.
We experience the environment around us.
And you could look at that as the input.
It’s coming in through our senses, everything that we see and hear and touch and experience, that’s coming into us.
And then there’s what comes out of us, and that’s all our words and especially our actions.
That’s like what we’re sending back to the environment.
So we take in through our senses, and then we send back out through our actions.
And somewhere in the middle, there’s this filter, this mysterious- all the mysterious things that are happening inside us where we kind of interpret what’s coming in, and then it eventually comes out through our words and actions.
So we all know that we’re influenced by our environment.
Maybe we can disagree about how much and how definitive it is, just the environment we’re in, but clearly changing the environment we’re in will change what’s being fed to us.
And I think often we focus on this side, changing external conditions, changing the things around us, in order to change our inner state.
But of course that’s only part of this idea, because the filter itself: we could have two different people in the exact same environment, but they would be interpreting it differently, simply by the way that we read the things that come in, the way we interpret them, the way we make sense of them.
So in addition to changing our external environment, we can also be changing our filter, the way we imagine, the storylines behind what’s going on.
What are the reasons for things?
How do all these different things we’re experiencing fit together?
And we could really change our state of mind just by looking at things in a different way.
For example, comparing everything to- we could notice everything that’s wrong with what’s around us, or everything that’s right.
We could see some kind of sinister plans behind it, or some kind of helpful, positive plans behind it.
And so many different ways we can make sense of these things.
And then that becomes part of our filter, that then that leads into that transition, that flow between our experience around us and then our actions.
And somehow our actions are mirrors of what we know and what we experience.
And way we act is somehow something that in some way reflects our environment and the things that we take in.
If we take in a lot of good things, we may be able to act in good ways, but if we take in mostly negative things, we may be acting in that way as well.
With, of course, the filter in the middle is what’s able to process what’s coming in and lead to different output.
Now I know the whole human as machine, human as computer, input/output model, it really has been done too much, and it has its limitations.
So I wouldn’t want to get too mechanical in how I view things.
But I think it’s useful to imagine things this way, that we can make changes in any of these three areas.
We can change the input that’s coming in by changing where we are, what we spend our time with, who we’re with.
That can change the experiences coming in.
We can also change our filter in how we interpret events, how we make sense of them.
And we can also change our output, in changing our actions.
And of course that itself can feed back into the input, because the way that we act towards the places and people around us sets up the future input that we’ll be getting from them.
And another thing that I think this leads to is the idea that everybody is creative.
Because in a way I think this is what the creative process is about.
When we think about creative people, often they’re doing this.
Their output is in some kind of artistic form that makes sense, but I think everybody is being creative, because everybody is taking in this input, and then something’s happening inside where they arrange it in some way and make some sense of it and then it is expressed through actions.
So all of us through our actions are expressing our creative response to the life around us.
#creativity #inputoutput #creativelife