Welcome to this blog on Individual Sustainability. As it is our mission to help people reach a level of Individual Sustainability, I thought I would share something I first released in our newsletter here to anchor this blog. Occasionally I will share more insights or observations about this topic for your review here and in the newsletter. If you want to stay informed about this and other topics from the Ranch, sign up for the newsletter in the box at the bottom of the page.
What is Individual or Rugged Sustainability?
Over time I have come to understand the idea of sustainability, from the work I’ve done within the professional environment. I have learned and taught organizations to focus on creating sustainability to create higher performing teams. The basic idea is that the pace we work at, study at, live at must be sustainable in order for success. As I continued to study this idea, it became clear that sustainability was about more than just pace. It was about having everything that is needed to “live”, to sustain. In a survival sense it is about having the tools, supplies, and ability to live at a certain level. A person cannot “live” in survival mode, they have to move into sustainable mode. What we at Twin Cedars have observed is that most people are not “living”, they are surviving.
I’m sure that sounds like a broad statement, and many people may say they are living a sustainable life. To them, I say congratulations, and I want to help you stay that way. One common problem with sustainability, however, is complacency. We think we are “living”, but things have changed while we weren’t paying attention. This is what happened to us. We had to ask ourselves, are we still “living”? Each person owns their answer to that question. What we discovered was that we were not.
We realized that over the years, as technology had advanced and information was coming to us in a steady stream, that we had grown dependent on the stream and had stopped thinking. The information feeds became smaller because it was easier to process small snippets quickly. Then, they began to interpret the information instead of inform. At the end, we found ourselves incapable of processing information and frustrated when a topic went too deep or took too long. The ability to read a long article was lost to us. Why does this matter? Each individual needs to process information and decide for themselves what it means, rather than just be told what to think. We had abandoned that for the simple feed and surrendered our own logic to the logic of the writer. We had stopped thinking. This was a shocking revelation. We could no longer sustain ourselves as we had in the past because we could no longer think beyond the short sound bites and snippets we were being fed.
As we were becoming more aware of the mental sustainability, we also started paying attention to the things we depended on. It seemed that so much of what we bought was only meant to last a very short time. We became aware that electronics were disposable, but even more had become that way. We soon realized that clothing, shoes, household appliances, automobiles, and a plethora of other things were being designed to wear out. All of this was being done for many reasons, all of which were reactions to the less sustainable and faster pace we were not “living” at. Some of this even appears in the ideas of environmental sustainability concepts. I will pause to say that I believe we as people should take out responsibility for ourselves and our world seriously and look at sustainability logically. Read and understand what is being said don’t just accept what you are told. Then, apply action to what makes sense. But, making products to last a year and be replaced is no way to be sustainable. Twin Cedars approaches this by building sustainable products to last and learning or remembering and teaching how to take care of them so they will.
Beneath or within all of this is a personal connection to the power that makes it all work. We are not here to tell you to believe in any specific faith. We are not here to tell you to believe in anything at all. We will continue to tell the world that there is an energy that permeates all living things. It makes connections and causes things to happen. Some see it as coincidence or luck, others put more belief behind it. Either way, we, as humans have a need to be part of that connection, either to each other or to something more universal. To sustain yourself, at a minimum, there is a need for hope. Hope comes from the Rugged or Individual Sustainability that I am describing:
- Listen, Read, Think
- Be Creative
- Believe in something
- Be part of something
Each person has within themselves the ability to sustain themselves. We all use different tools and techniques to maintain this ability. We all struggle with maintaining our sustainability in this world and at this time. It is our vision at Twin Cedars to support and enable each person’s Individual, Rugged Sustainability through the tools, tales, and information that we provide.