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  • David Loughry 2:57 pm on March 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: advice, how-to, , , Quora   

    Interesting discussion on Quora about "wanting to do too many things in life" … 

    This relates to questions that come up when wanting and/or pursuing a life of variety:

    It reminds me of some of the things I’ve thought about and struggled with over the years. Those struggles were part of how I came up with some of the ideas about being a variety person, and part of why I started this site!

    I guess I’m more of the opinion that it’s better to have a certain amount of variety on a daily and weekly basis. Some of the people who responded to the Quora question suggest doing one thing for a number of years and then switching. I’ve done some of that too. But I wish I had been more OK with having more variety during those times. And I wish society was more set up to allow that, rather than generally channeling people to specialize.

    • David Loughry 3:14 pm on March 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on David Loughry and commented:

      Interesting link I shared that relates to my variety life as well, which I discuss a bit in the post.

  • David Loughry 5:16 pm on July 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: art, art collecting, beautiful places, beauty, , fine art, , , homes, how-to, lifestyle, , , real estate, ,   

    Getting Tired of Beautiful and Special Things 

    This is a post I shared on my personal blog, but it’s perfect for here too. —David

    I don’t know about you, but I can get tired of even the most beautiful and special things. I think this is probably true for most people.

    I’ve lived in beautiful places like Boulder and Vail in Colorado, both of which I appreciated less over time. I’ve taken truly special photos, put them on my phone as the background, and gotten tired of them. I’ve made awesome art I loved and grew less fond of it, and seen amazing, historically important art in museums that started to bore me over time. I’ve listened to great music too much and cared for it less and less. You get the drift.

    This is why I think differently when I see houses by the beach, or in the mountains, or some other amazing place. I’ve realized, yes, it would be great to live there for a while, but I would not want to live there for the rest of my life, or even for too many months or years. So I would not want to pay the high premiums people pay for houses in those places! For the same reasons, I avoid collecting expensive art, as I would get tired of it so quickly.

    This line of thinking also probably implies I would get tired of being wealthy!

    The thoughts in this post are yet more arguments for variety. And when you think about variety for a while, you’ll probably realize what you want is sustainable variety. At least that’s what I realized. This means finding ways of living over weeks, and months, and years, that give you variety you don’t get tired of! I don’t want kinds of variety that are like beautiful and special things that I get tired of. I want varieties of variety, and I want that to be sustainable, so I stay engaged and have the potential to keep being engaged. I think probably one of the best ways to get sustainable variety is to also pursue sustainable proximities. I think the two go together. Although that’s another topic, for now, here’s more on what I call the sustainable proximities approach at http://proxthink.com/ways/sustainable-proximities.php.

    If some of this rings true, you might be a bit of a variety person. You might want to join us here on varietypeople.org.

  • David Loughry 1:49 pm on November 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , flexible work ideas, guts, how-to, jobs with variety, money, quality of life, time management, work   

    Sometimes Variety Trumps Money 

    Probably sounds like heresy.

    Sometimes being a variety person takes guts.

    Because sometimes variety trumps money.

    There have been many times when I could have made more money, but chose not to so I could have time for the kinds of variety that make life worth living and make life interesting. Things like time to workout, or sleep enough, or see a friend, or cook a good meal, or learn something new, or create something, or explore, or spend time with family, or even something that makes some money but not as much as I could have made doing something else.

    When I’m making decisions like these, I’m often acutely aware that I’m choosing to make less money than I could. It’s hard too because I don’t have much money, and don’t have a lot of room for error in terms of my budget. But both my main jobs right now are pretty flexible, so I often could be earning money when I’m not. I have both these jobs because they are flexible, so they allow time for variety and for work on my own projects (like varietypeople!) which may (or may not!) earn money in the future.

    I listen to different parts of me, not just my wallet. Sometimes my body is saying, “We need a run!” And my body is so happy when we go for that run. Sometimes some part of me is saying “We need more socializing!” Or “More sleep!” Or “We need something different today, not just the same old things we’ve been doing lately!” You get the idea.

    If you can manage it, and perhaps tolerate it, I highly recommend work that is flexible. That way, you can listen when variety seems to be trumping money.

    Perhaps we should start posts here that list jobs we know of that are flexible, and allow for the kinds of decisions in favor of variety that I’ve mentioned. Here are my two main current jobs: One is a Field Rep for the US Census Bureau, where you get cases to work, but can mostly choose when you want to work on them. The other is being a background artist, also known as an extra, on TV shows and films, which I can choose to be available for day-by-day. I’m tagging this post with the tag “flexible work ideas” so if you have ideas for other kinds of flexible work that allows for variety, please tag your post similarly. You can also add your “flexible work ideas” in comments to this post.

    Come to think of it, both my jobs also have quite a bit of variety themselves. Interviewing people in Census surveys means I meet a very wide variety of people. And being an extra means I’m always going to different locations and studios, playing different roles, and dressing in different wardrobe for the parts. I guess I’ll also tag this post “jobs with variety” to capture that idea. Perhaps you know of some jobs like that too, and can post about them and tag them the same way. You can also add your “jobs with variety” ideas in comments to this post.

    Even having two different jobs can be awesome. If I only did one of my jobs, I couldn’t take it. But this way, I’m often like, “OMG, I’m so glad I’m doing this and not my other job today!” This change can be so refreshing.

  • David Loughry 6:07 pm on October 25, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cohousing, cooking, Denmark, , how-to, parenting,   

    Cohousing in Denmark 

    I watched a documentary recently called “Happy.” It included a really wonderful section about cohousing in Denmark.

    This cohousing seems to increase the variety in people’s lives. For example, they only have to cook dinner once or twice a month because everyone helps with the cooking. This frees up, one respondent said, about two hours every day for her.

    One of the kids there also mentioned that it’s great to have more adults around. For example, if they get hurt, it doesn’t matter which adult helps, and there are more adults likely to be able to help.

    They didn’t say this, but it’s likely the kids get a wider variety of parenting, growing up with a more diverse perspective. It’s also likely that if one parent can’t help them with something, another one probably can.

    The main mother they interviewed said she had lived in the cohousing for 6 years, and would happily live there 6 more.

  • David Loughry 2:55 am on January 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: how-to, machines, self-sabotage, Specialization, Success, victims   

    Don't Be a Machine Please 

    Just because machines are specialized, please don’t think you should be.

    You’re not a machine (most likely!). You are a complex human being, that thrives on many different things.

    The world is chock full of stories of people who specialize, become successful, and then become victims of their own specialization.

    Someone once said that poison is often a matter of how large the dose is. With many things, a little bit can be wonderful. But a large amount, or too much, can kill you, either slowly, or quickly.

  • David Loughry 3:31 am on November 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Complexity, how-to,   

    Embrace variety. Or not (wink, wink). 

    To be interesting, and engaging, and to feel alive, and to engage with the world, and to connect with people, you’ve got to be both different as well as accessible. You’ve got to be complex enough people can’t quite figure you out, yet they feel comfortable with you as well. How can you do all that? Embrace variety.

  • David Loughry 1:07 am on July 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , films, how-to, , , reviews   

    “Casablanca” great partly due to the great diversity of talent behind it. 

    If you watch the “making of” documentary on the Casablanca DVD, you’ll see how many different sorts of people contributed to it, especially to the writing of it. I think it’s quite possible the interactions of this wide variety of talent played a huge role in making Casablanca one of the great movies.

    Another ProxPattern that played a role is allowing some uncertainty. They talk about not knowing how the film would end, up until very near the end of the shooting. This allowing of tension throughout the making of it I think also contributed to the special quality of the film.

  • David Loughry 2:25 pm on August 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , how-to, , process, surfing, trust   

    It's like surfing. Trust the process. 

    Being a variety person is a bit like surfing. You have to trust the process.

    Example: A couple hours ago, there was something I knew I should do. But I realized I didn’t want to do it. I felt more like doing the dishes. I did the dishes, and realized I had to sort of mentally process the thing I needed to do. Now I’m ready to do it.

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