It’s amazing how easy it is to shift between modes of thinking.

As you may have read in Trust Agents, I write using the Dvorak keyboard. Just now as I sat to write a post about something else entirely, I looked down and began typing the way you probably do– the way it says on the keyboard. This came out– “gls.dotsfojdaheldk” — before I realized what I was doing. So I shifted the layout and kept going. Easy.

It seems simple, but we don’t really think about the daily shifts we do. If you speak several languages fluently, you shift between one and the other, like I do at home with my parents. Same if you drive manual instead of just automatic. But we need to train ourselves to become that versatile– it takes time. Not only that, but we have to know what to adapt to– in advance.

Who will we learn this from? I suspect we’ll learn it from those who thrive in highly chaotic environments– probably business, nature, and sports. Those whose bodies and minds are capable of changing quickly based on an infinite variety of circumstances will teach us what we need to know. This is why we need to be Renaissance Men more than ever– because some of our modern challenges, we’ve never faced before.

On another note, I just moved, and with that, all my habits became disrupted. I have to find new ways to make work the same gears that were already in place beforehand. But it’ll take time. It requires experimentation, and I won’t know what my ideal method is for a while.

How did you figure it out when your life changed? What event took place that disrupted everything? How did you recover?





2 responses to “Modes”

  1. Valeria Maltoni Avatar

    As you know, il Rinascimento spun from Florence through the rest of Europe and saw the genius of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo surface… those were other times. Today, I’d lobby for the definition to be “Renaissance People”. We hardly change our outlook without also needing to change the point of view from where we gaze.

  2. Malcolm Bastien Avatar

    But in this case you didn’t do any shifting, you threw out a command to have the system shift to you (I assume). Had you needed to shift your own behaviour to match the desired inputs of the system, things would have gone a lot less elegantly.

    As much as our ability to multi-task well is just a hidden rapid refocusing of our attention, what we’re used to and forces of habit seem to make changing modes anything but easy. Best not fall into them in the first place.

    Outside of the computer it’s kind of funny how little we can adapt our environments in any sort of way that might be described as ‘easy’.

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