Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Prototype Life


Many of us are living the Prototype Life.  A prototype is an early model of the final version of a product (proto=early).  We are living an early model of the life we want to live.  What we have now is good, but it is not the final result.  It’s the Prototype Life, not the Ideal Life.  Here are the negatives and positives of living a Prototype Life. 
On the negative side, we are not living the life I want.  It’s not a bad life, but if we were to live this way for the rest of life, we would feel that we hadn’t accomplished all we were sent to accomplish.  We would feel frustrated because there are still areas of  life that don’t work.   for me, some are personal, some are professional, and some are financial.  My spiritual life is also not where I want it to be.  In fact, there’s not one area of my life in which I can say, “This is exactly how I want it to be.”
Many of the reasons for my current life may be beyond our control.  We may be waiting on other people or events.  We may be waiting on other people to make decisions that affect our own  lives.   All we can do is wait.  Who knows how long?  It could all change today or we might still be waiting a year from now.  In addition, events may occur that would lengthen the process.  There’s absolutely nothing we can do about other people’s decisions, except wait.
This waiting puts limits on  life.  It restricts  choices and, again, there’s usually nothing we can do about it.
But there’s a positive side to the Prototype Life.  There are several positive sides.
The first is that we can improve what needs to be improved.  In my case, that means, controlling my emotional responses, cleaning my environment, managing my time, and improving my writing.  I can use this time as an opportunity to not only repair, but to improve.  I don’t think it’s a mistake that that the last year-and-a-half has brought about significant changes for me.  I’ve seen healing in relationships that I thought were beyond healing.  I’ve gotten organized.  I’ve released a lot of fear.  I’ve released a lot of possessions.  Last night I went through a box of stuff at work and ended up throwing out the box and most of its contents. I just didn’t need most of what was in it, even though it’s been in my workspace for a few years.  My Prototype Life gives me the opportunity to do this.
Often celebrities fall apart in their personal lives because even though they have enormous talent, they haven’t worked through some of the messes in their own lives.  They have reached the pinnacle of public success, but not of personal success.  They lack the maturity and experience that can come with age.  In the Prototype Life, we are given time to prepare.
The best thing about the Prototype Life is that time to prepare.  In fact, that is the purpose.  It’s not just a prototype; it’s a life.  This is life right now and we can use this time to prepare for the life we want in the future.  Sitting around and waiting will not only delay the ideal life, it may prevent it.  For me, this is the time to develop my writing, my work habits, and my study habits.  This is the time to find my voice.  What I do and don’t do now will set the foundation for what I want for the future.  This is why I write every day.  I want my foundation to be strong and free of cracks. 
In some ways, the Prototype Life is the Ideal Life.  It’s the romantic, sweet “salad days” of making do with what we have, of learning contentment and gratitude, as well as developing our skills and our character.  It is the journey, not the destination, but everything is new and fresh and full of possibilities.   It’s not the perfect life, but if we take advantage of this time, it can be a very good life.
Much of life will be what we make it. 
This is why I tell myself to Get Started and to Keep Going.  When my Ideal Life comes, when my Muse knocks on my door and says, “I’m no longer a visitor, I’m here to stay,” I want to be ready.  I want my house on the beach to be clean and ready.  I want a place where she will not, as Steven Pressfield says, “soil her gown.”
I’m waiting for you, my Muse.  I’m waiting and working every day of my Prototype Life.