Are you Living Laterally?
  Living laterally is moving through life without pressing forward into new territories or doing unfamiliar things. It’s a life style of mostly doing the same thing, day in and day out. Think back to when you were in grade school …. a huge part of life was about learning and acquiring new skills, it was a hurried movement forward. Pretty much the same in High School and if you went to collage more there, but what’s happened since?

 The move to careers and families certainly takes lots of time and effort, and can easily overshadow our own growth and development. Without the structure of school, moving forward can come to a halt …. and we don’t even notice it. Some of us have careers that push us forward, sometimes circumstance will push learning upon us, avocations (serious hobbies) can certainly fuel the growth continuum but a lot of us get caught in the comfy trap of lateral living and just doing the usual.

 There’s certainly not a lot of social cue’s to encourage increased self-awareness. In fact a lot of us consider continuing development to be a huge waste of time. I couldn’t disagree more. To take 5 minutes to reflect on what you experienced in your day can be mind bending and had for the time toll of a long traffic light. Spending 10 minutes reading something interesting from an unusual source can add vigor to one’s step and spark to one’s conversation. Connecting new dots is inherently a lot more interesting than connecting the old ones again.

 And it’s fun. Remember all those ‘learning is fun’ type books you had as a kid? Not all of them lied! Some really were a laugh and got their message across in a sticky way. Their illustrations and lighthearted manner made it easier for a lot of us to learn phonics, language rules and lots of other things; I know my multiplication tables went down more easily with a few funny pictures. However, much of school was a boring drag and many of us associate learning with boredom, judge-mentality and a lots of other negatives. It doesn’t have to be that way. Lose that association!

 If we seek out things that aren’t ‘the usual’, be it books, movies, classes, websites, music or whatever and we then really think about what they’re communicating to us and how they do or don’t reflect our lives and experiences, etc., we’re continuing to grow. Personal evolution is a lot more stimulating and enjoyable than living laterally, which sooner or later ends up being laps of the same thing over & over & over & over. And we don’t have to approach our individual development with the pressurized, grade obsessed urgency of our school days, which makes it all that much more enjoyable.

Slack/2011

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