Beautiful Systems: Defaults

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What is the Defaults Life-System?”

“Think what a default is in computer use. Let’s say you have a menu with several options. Whenever you open the menu, one of them is always initially selected. That’s the default option.

Now, let’s say you use one of those options much more than the others. Ideally, you’d be able to change the default option, to turn the option you use most into the default option.

The same in life. We have a default option for all kinds of things, which serves as a cognitive shortcut.

I call all the default options in our life combined, the Defaults System.

One function of the system is to conserve energy and save time. This can work for or against us, depending on the nature of the default option and the context. By taking control of the system, you increase the likelihood that the system works in your favor.

There’s two aspects to it:
– examining and optimizing the existing defaults
– creating new defaults

As concerns the former, this means taking inventory of your defaults and eliminating those that do not serve you, or serve you too little. This requires self-examination and discipline.

As concerns the latter, you’re turning the system into a compass such that, in any moment, you know what you have to do.

For instance, you can ask yourself:

What’s the default macro-practice?

For me, it’s Loving Presence.

What’s the default micro-practice?
What are the details of the practice?

What is the mental component?
What do you want to think?

What is the behavioral component?
What do you want to do?

What is the representational component?
How do you want to think about it, to mentally represent it?”

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About Dani Trusca

Life-Artist, Thinker, Mover (Traceur)

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