The Lego Syndrome: Stuck Between a Rocket and a Quiet Place
1000 and more Lego bricks: lucky me, that’s what I just got from my grandma — true story! After opening the bag of bricks, I rapidly ended up on the ground, tongue sticking out, building stuff with all the creativity a 30-something child can still gather.
Why stay in place when there are so many worlds to explore out there?
As I laid there playing, an age-old question reignited within me: why is it always so that I love building stuff, but as soon as I’m done with the project I don’t want to spend time playing with the craft? Legos epitomise this perfectly. As a kid, I would spend hours crafting a house, and once done I’d immediately shift my attention towards building a rocket or a truck — instead of playing with figures inside the house. Never resting in a quiet place, always focusing on what’s next.
I would spend hours crafting a house, then once done I’d immediately shift my attention towards building a rocket
As I’m growing older, this pattern manifests itself over and over again in my life and passions. So much so that I diagnosed myself with the Lego Syndrome: a subject with difficulties to live here and now, due to acute focus on developing projects.
One-way ticket to new psychedelic projects vs. the simple scent of flowers
If you feel you’re stuck in this situation as well, you might enjoy this laundry list of big, unanswered questions that I’m tinkering with. If they sometimes feel unrelated to each other, like loosely thrown on paper to clear up the thinker’s mind, that’s because they are. If they feel polarising, that’s on purpose to amplify the questioning. Read on and maybe we can share thoughts on this.
Back to the Future
Is there in the past a future without projects? For as far as I remember, I’ve always cruised life with a series of projects, overlapping one another, intertwined so that my mind would always be preparing something upcoming. Sport challenges to train for, teams to work with, apps to build, events to organise, business ideas to challenge, expeditions to plan…it strikes me that I never allowed any temporal vacuum to take place. It recently became acute with my Cryptizens Blockchain ventures. This absence of void puzzles me and constitutes the starting point for these reflections.
I diagnosed myself with the Lego Syndrome: a subject with difficulties to live here and now, due to acute focus on developing projects
Taming Terra Incognita — or Just Afraid of It ?
It is easy to compare someone with loads of project to a modern-day adventurer: ceaselessly discovering new grounds. Typically, not afraid of the unknown, and willing to joyfully venture into it.
Is it curiosity or fear that drives us to the unknown?
I love to tinker with the exact contrary of this idea. What if I was so afraid of letting go that I invented all these projects just to make sure I’m constantly in the know of what comes next? What if I was plain future-control-freak?
What if I was so afraid of letting go that I invented all these projects just to make sure I’m constantly in the know of what comes next?
Who knows what could happen if I left more empty patches in my life? Definitely there would be more place for serendipity and unexpected encounters. But that would require not knowing today what I will do and who I will be tomorrow — something maybe even scarier than the most ambitious projects?
Ventures Junkies and Withdrawals
Have you ever experienced withdrawal from an addiction? Or have you instead toyed with a drug, gradually increasing doses to maintain the high? I believe one can suffer from such habituation when it comes to pursuing new ventures.
After I first ran 20km, I quickly got interested in running a marathon. Then I wanted to try out ultrarunning, and recently I ran 65km for the Cryptorun challenge. Guess what’s next? I just applied for the Indian Summer Trail —a lil’ more than 100km.
Are you also into this continuous escalation of challenges? How do you move forward when you feel you kinda reached an apex in your ventures? How does one distinguish between a sterile and ever-unsatisfactory quest, and a sane exploration of one’s boundaries? I feel that this is ultimately a question of wisdom.
Hopefully green happens before red
I feel that every quest for higher highs should be accompanied by a quest for greater inner sobriety, to prepare the moment where one’s capabilities will not match one’s ambitions anymore. Otherwise life would feel like a one-way ticket to the moon, with not enough spiritual fuel to land safely back on Earth. But my struggle here lays in the parallelisation of both activities: develop the inner wisdom to settle with what you have later (as you know this will make you happy in the end), while making the utmost of the energy you have today. Feels schizophrenic at times, really.
Is there in the past a future without projects?
Living Through Achievements vs Actually Feeling You’re Alive
How do you cope with the issue of mortality and insignificance? As we are faced with our own finiteness, we develop various psychological protection mechanisms. Though I do accept my finiteness, I’m sure part of my appetite for projects is driven by a desire for immortality and significance.
Then comes the question: what does being alive mean? Does it mean you lived, as will be provable by a series of achievements you left behind, a series of crafts? Or does it simply mean you took the time to really feel intensely that you are alive today, anchoring yourself here and now?
Intuitively the latter option speaks to my heart. But that surely requires leaving some very human vanity behind.
Einstein and Friends to the Rescue
At the end of the day, if you cannot help but constantly pursuing new ventures, remember that happiness is so much better when it is shared. In that sense, it has occurred to me that Einstein can help us bridge the gap between running fast for big projects and taking time to enjoy here and now.
Riding along with friends to bridge the gap of temporalities
Remember from physics that speed is defined relatively? Now if you move along very fast with a bunch of friends working together on some great project, the core of your team becomes the here and now of a new reference system where you’re all motionless towards each other. Standing still and contemplating life. Though it feels like popular science, I cannot help but seeing some truth in this.
That’s why I like so much sharing great projects with great teams, and as we move along it really feels we’re intensely living here and now — despite the fact our project is running full blast. Sort of bridging temporalities, together with friends.
And there are so many other questions about this wonderful continuum between enjoying the present and building the future. Maybe you have others you’d like to share? As for me, I realise that making these Lego photographs actually got me playing with these figures for once…it could be that just taking some time to reflect actually anchored me in here and now. Thanks for reading!
No Lego figures were hurt in the making of these pictures