We live in a world of shapes. Some of them are visible, some of them are more subtle. And some of them are almost impossible to be perceived without some sort of a training.
If you’re a human being, you’re probably more sensitive to what I call the “physical shape”. It’s what we see with our eyes. It’s what we perceive with our hands, with our fingers.
Body And Emotion
First of all, we have this physical shape. That’s how we interact with other people and with the environment. We usually call this “body”. Then, other people with whom we interact usually have their own shape. If we interact in person, like being in the same physical room, it’s a 3D shape. If we interact via online messaging, for instance, it’s a 2D shape, an avatar, a bi-dimensional image. If we interact by writing letters, or just by talking on the phone, the shape of those persons is very subtle: basically, it’s a non-dimensional image in our consciousness.
And then, there is what I call the emotional shape. On top of that physical foundation there’s this subtle layer of emotions. We all have this layer and it’s influencing the way we interact with each others.
For instance, we may be a super joyful, open, light-hearted person. In that case, the emotional layer will generate mostly positive, or light-hearted interactions: laughter, warmth, belonging. If, on the other hand, we’re gloomy and dark, our emotional shape will generate dark and negative interactions: quarrels, conflict, sadness, depression.
The more subtle the shape is, the easier to change it becomes. For instance, if we try to “sculpt” our physical shape, we may find it kinda difficult. We may have to resort to a specific type of diet, or we may have to perform a lot of physical activities. After a certain amount of time, we may see some results.
But, if we’re talking about the emotional shape, things may be a lot more easier. We may change our emotional shape in a second. We may go from sad to happy instantly. All we need is the appropriate stimuli. Of course, this shape is also much more unstable than the physical shape, which means it can reverse just as fast. Also, the combinations that it can generate can be mathematically infinite. It’s impossible to measure accurately the amount of joy and sadness in an emotion. Hence, the number of combinations is virtually infinite.
Putting Shapes In Perspective
If we only combine these two types of shapes, physical and emotional, we may get a very nice playground for our interactions. And we actually do this, every day. That’s how we interact most of the time: at the physical and emotional level.
But there’s a type of shape that I find even more interesting.
It’s the one created by adding time as a dimension. It’s our trace in this world.
Every human being is advancing in time. We leave traces. Some of them in the physical world, some of them at the emotional level. But by going forward in time we create a much more complex and interesting shape. Imagine taking the pictures of a runner, frame by frame. In each moment the runner is doing something different. The totality of the frames is what I call the “time-based shape”.
We leave traces, we leave behind us shapes, images of us each and every second.
We also call this “aging”. But some of us dare to call this “living”. I’m on of those who dare to do this and the reason I call it like this is because I always try to create a beautiful “time-based” shape. I am aware of the fact that I leave traces and I do my best to make them nice. Or even more than nice. Empowering. Inspiring.
Think of this shape like the things people will remember about you when you’re not here anymore.
As I was writing this post, I realized there are a few things that we may do – like some sort of a mini-manual – that will improve pour ability to create beautiful time-based shapes. Without further ado, and without pretending it’s a complete manual, here they are:
1. Keep Walking
Change. Don’t stand still. If you do this, the time dimension will be subtracted from your shape and the result will basically be a still frame. Like a frozen photograph, in which you just stare at the world, doing nothing. If you stop, you’re not creating any shape anymore. In other words, if you don’t move forward, you’re dead.
Maybe all you knew to do was a simple step forward and that step generated a simple shape. That’s how you lived life so far. Like, you know, getting up each morning and going to your job. Well, change this step, even if you don’t know exactly where you’re gonna head. The trace you’ll leave in time will change as well.
3. Combine With Other Shapes
Go mix your own shape with other people shapes. Mingle. Interact. See what shapes you can create together. Some may be business shapes, if you get a business partner. Some of them may be romantic shapes, if you fall in love. But if you do this together, the shapes you’ll create we’ll be guaranteed to be more interesting.
4. Change The Tune
Every once in a while you’ll have to change the tune. And I’m talking about the “big tune”, the theme in your life. Sometimes this will involve getting rid of other combinations you set up earlier (like leaving behind some people), and sometimes this will require to get involved with other shapes. Sometimes, you will just have to change the music. Like trying something new.
5. Enjoy Other Shapes
It actually goes down to find and understand other people stories. We usually call these “role models”. Like, you know, important figures that shaped the way we see the world. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be a big impact personality. You can find incredibly interesting shapes created just by ordinary people. As long as you take the time to listen to them and to understand them.
The time-based shape you create is your responsibility. It’s your creation. Make it a beautiful one.
Other people may look at it as we speak.