You wake up in the morning and, without even thinking, reach out for your phone. That’s the first thing you do. It may be that you’re checking your emails, your social media feed, or just go through the notifications. And then you get out and carry on with your routine: wash your teeth, shower, maybe a bit of stretching, breakfast and then on your way to work. On your way to work, you pick a certain route, and see certain things, people, buildings, roads.
All these are insertion points. They are creating a subtle fabric, a canvas on which you paint the image of your reality. Because our mind is really good at filling in the gaps, this image of reality looks (and feels) very consistent. But, in reality (pun intended), it’s nothing but a collection of insertion points.
These insertion points can obviously be changed. You may wake up one day without checking your phone first, skip stretching and just work from home, for instance. And the interesting thing is that even a tiny change in this placement of these insertion points can have a huge impact on the entire picture, it can change, sometimes completely, the entire canvas.
Suppose you’re taking a different route to your work today. On the road, you cross path with a beautiful woman, briefly making eye contact. You like her and she seems to have smiled to you. It all lasted just a couple of seconds. As you part ways with this unexpected insertion point, you unconsciously make a note in your memory that you would want to repeat that experience. And so, in the next week, you surprise yourself taking the same road again, “without any reason whatsoever”. But the reason is there, it’s just that is so small, that you’re not promoting it to the level of “reason” – it’s the tiny, unconscious memory of that beautiful women, along with the promise of repeating a pleasant experience. It wasn’t a reason per se, just an insertion point, but one that stretched a bit the canvas, giving it a bit more room, a bit more space, a bit more possibility.
With each insertion point that we pick, we alter this fabric, we stretch it, we collapse it and we literally generate our own reality.
The process of picking insertion points is really driven by only two forces: comfort and curiosity. We either want to preserve something that we consider nice, pleasant, like the possibility of meeting that beautiful woman on our way to work again, or we want to try something new – maybe a different beautiful woman, or just a street with more light and less noise.
It’s a constant dance between safety and risk, between predictability and adventure.
Once you understand how these points are connecting with each other, and what makes you choose a certain point at a certain moment, you become the painter of your own reality canvas.
That’s not to say that you’re designing exactly what you want, as many personal development gurus out there are trying to make you believe. Nope, not at all. See, we can only draw the canvas, because the colors, the characters on that canvas, well, we have a very limited control over that. That part is also generated by other people painting processes, as our canvases are constantly interacting with each other.
But we do control our insertion points. We can stretch the canvas if we don’t feel comfortable at the current level, or contract it if it became too toxic.
And as we continue choosing these points consciously, we became more and more skilled at it, just like a dancer becomes better and better as he practices, eventually being in tune with whatever he choses to dance on.