Lewin’s Equation: B = f (P, E). Behavior is a function of a person and his/her environment.
The way I figure it, Ol’ Kurt Lewin was trying to tell me that in order to change my behavior (being an all-out slacker about my writing), I needed to remove myself from my stale environment (um, where I was) and go somewhere else.
So I did.
Now here I am in the States for a little over a week, holed up in an adorable house on the west coast. And you know what?
It worked! Lewin, you old dog, you. You were right.
My new routine goes like this: I wake up around five thirty-ish every morning, make coffee and pretty much get to work. The rest of the day is butt-in-chair, eating breaks, bathroom breaks, and a whole lot of tap-tap-tapping on the computer.
The words might not be profound, and — if we’re being perfectly honest here — there’s probably a whole lot more time spent staring at the screen and re-reading the same sentence 200 times than actual new words being birthed, but that’s okay, too. It’s still forward movement as far as I’m concerned.
That’s the good news. All those ruts of bad habit that I’d developed in Japan seem to be gone. You know, like taking several naps a day and checking Facebook every third breath.
But then yesterday I noticed that some of my good habits have vanished as well. For one, I used to walk everywhere in Japan. Hours. Now I only manage a daily, 30-minute trip to the beach and back. I just can’t help feeling guilty about any time spent away from the computer. Another thing is that in Japan I had finally learned to stop eating until I was overfull. Here in the good U.S. of A., however, there is so much amazing (Read: I can’t find in Japan) food, and it’s all so available and so cheap and the portions are so freaking enormous.
Nom nom nom.
I’m not fretting though. It’s temporary. Being here feels deep-down good. It feels like my reset button has been pushed, and I now realize it’s up to me — after I return home — to hold close all the positive, forward moving habits I can and discard the crap that was dragging me down and wasting my time.
Who knows what’s going to happen in the next few months, few years, longer? I certainly don’t. But I do know I’d rather be working toward something exciting than sitting in front of the TV on my butt all day — which with all the great programming out there these days, is something I could see a different version of myself doing, numbing and on some level enjoying it. Nope. Not this me. Bigger fish. Fish fry. All you can eat. Wait. What?
That said, it’s now time to get back to that butt-in-chair thing I was talking about earlier. No TV though. I promise. Okay then, just at night. Two hours. One movie. We’ll call it research. Or vacation.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
I really am looking at my screen. I am.