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The thin line between chaos and order
Too much order is stagnation and tyranny, too much chaos is anarchy and insanity. What to do?
Oct 15, 2020

The notion of chaos and order are deeply integrated into us. Books, ancient stories, mythologies, films centered around that. We all understand, not what they are, but how they play an important part in our life. None of them is good or bad. We thrive for order, for comfort, and think the more the better.

As I pointed out already, I don't believe in the more is better approach. That is not say I'm advocating some middle ground. Let me tell you a story of mine. Not an oscar material of story, but might demonstrate the problem.

In this year (2020) I spent most of my time in Hungary. In my home town, with my parents. It was a familiar environment.

I was working remotely with Helpfulpeeps. At that point I had been part of the team for almost three year. I knew everything. It was a familiar environment.

It was order. That part of my life was in order. That left me time and energy investigating other things. I had a lot if time for reading (non code related) as well as creating OSS product.

Then came August. I started searching for jobs. The process itself is pushing us out from our comfort zone. Chaos. Than I received an offer. I had to come back to Bristol. So from a comfy schedule I had to find a place and get ready for a new job within a month while every country is all about that self-isolation insanity / bullshit.

That is chaos. In chaos, we get into the unknown. Our habits, our life, our everyday routine that we take for granted is collapsing. Is it for the better? It is uncertain. But one thing is for sure:

Without chaos there is no growth.

Some people call it comfort zone. The reason I prefer the chaos and order is this: I don't believe order / comfort is bad. Comfort zone has a bad rep. I disagree.

My take is more like the mythology, metaphysics, ancient tale. The hero needs to get to the unknown, slay the beast, and go home. Rest, be with loved ones. Be where everything is familiar. Then you can go to an other adventure. I believe that is how we work. I can't prove it nor I want to. But we feel it.

What does it mean from a practical point of view? Voluntuary discomfort. Intermittently. Push ourselves to chaos / discomfort / limits in one area or two. No more. No more. To much chaos kill us. Not in a literal sense, but it will have a negative impact. Staying in order will lead to stagnation, envy and resentment.

I do not encourage anyone to take foolish risks. Just the right amount. That is recoverable. Not an all front of life, but some. If you have you relationships in order, get into chaos in your workplace. If your health / fitness is in order, get into chaos in business.

Life is dynamic. We must move with it.

Getting back to my story, I can feel the chaos. The unknown is real. New flat, new country, new job. A lot to take in. There is potential growth in there. But no more unknown. Right now I would like to have my most boring days.

Then introduce a little anarchy, again.

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