For many people these days, doing the ground work has become boring. For others, the will power needed to ground things simply isn’t there. We’ve grown up in an age where many things are immediately available, where waiting for things is unacceptable and even uncool. Patience is beyond many people, and setting firm foundations seem pointless when everything will change within a few months, even days, anyway.
So, a problem can arise where we can become overwhelmed, even tired out by possibility. We start projects and leave them unfinished. Everything becomes a word-in-progress, and many things are “put out there” quickly, with a sense, deeper down, that we could have done a lot better, had we spent a bit more time laying some foundations.
New technology allows us to publish instantaneously. We can take a thousand digital photos in a couple of hours and then forage about the folder to find the accidental masterpieces that we proudly put in our artistic online galleries to whoops of delight and “wows” at our skill. Deeper down we know that a more fundamental skill, developed and practised over time eludes us.
Accidental genius can be wonderful, as can the experience of being full of ideas and dreams. Yet it is also beneficial to have patience and the ability to do longer term groundwork as skills in our repertoire. Sometime, by digging the soil properly, we really can prevent the weeds coming back; if we do put firmer foundations into our building, it can really hold what sits on top of it, even in an earthquake!
And when we plant our feet firmly on the ground in life, really seeing an idea through from start to finish, building foundations and finessing properly, we can feel a burst of more profound energy and self-confidence that can set us up for further work and play in the future.
The problem with being flighty all of the time is that we get used to only flying. There can be an exhiliaration amid the winds of change, and yet we can become unwilling or unable to land, and to properly ground an idea that might just benefit ourselves and the world. We become unfinishers, dreamers, not realisers in action.
Burying your head in the clouds can lead to a complete escape from action. It can involve replacing an active physically based social life with hours of on-line life that yields little in terms of income or a sense of fulfilment. This can also happen in the physical world where we spend more time networking and socialising about what we want to do in life, than in actually doing it. We are always getting ready, designing, preparing, visioning, and these things never seem to make it into reality. Soon, without much actual life practice, we hover on the edges of other people’s real lives, or we under-achieve in terms of our original hopes and dreams, losing confidence, a bit like an actor who has been too long off the stage and is now too scared to step onto it.
We look for short cuts and for others to do things for us. We plug into other people’s will force and activities, and become an attender at other people’s events and parties, still taking the rhetoric of our own unrealised plans which are always “just getting started” or “work in progress”. Soon we fear to take any significant action at all. And that is where a digital social life can really attract us with its one click “actions” that give us a buzz of achievement even as our bank balance drains lower.
Human life is about hoping, wishing, visioning and dreaming. Yet here we are, on the ground, embodied. Human life is also about realisation. And there is no firm ground in the air.