What’s Available

I’m in New York right now visiting my family. I love spending time here. Today I taught my cousin some programming, she actually did some real work for Cruise Sheet, and we only took a break to do our language tapes. As we drank tea together, she did my Chinese flashcards with me.

I tend to be a combination of excited and stubborn about things I want to do, so I end up advocating for them. Who wants to learn programming? Let’s have tea! What language do you want to do the tapes for?

What would they be deing, I wonder, if hurricane Tynan didn’t sweep through?

We make a lot of conscious choices that have a meaningful impact on our lives, but how much happens just because it’s what’s available? When I’m here, my activities become more available than others, so that’s what my cousins do. And vice versa– when they’re around, they influence my activities, too.

The eldest of my cousins went on a date tonight with a guy from her gym. The biggest factor in them dating is availability– they both work at the same gym.

I don’t bring this up to discount free will, only to draw attention to how it’s exercised. A lot of times we’re on autopilot, bouncing around between the available options orbiting us. So if that’s true, we should really be spending a lot of time thinking about how to change what those options are.

For example, keep temptation out of your house. If you drink too much, don’t have alcohol at home; if you eat too much, keep only healthy food in your fridge. Surround yourself with smart friends who challenge and inspire you, because their ideas and activities will become your own. If you’re dating, make sure you’re in an environment filled with the types of people you’re interested in.

I really do believe that we have ultimate free will, but we don’t always look at it from the right angle. A small minority of the decisions we make will cascade into waves of inevitability. Figure out where those decisions are, and give them the focus they deserve. Our lives are dictated by what’s available to us, so be careful what you make available.

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Photo is one of my cousins on the island, climbing a tree to see the bald eagles.

I know I kept talking about the new Sett theme, but we’ve decided to migrate servers first as we’ve been having stability issues lately. It’s our first major migration, so it’s complicated, but should make Sett even faster, more reliable, and scalable.

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