Tuesday, May 28, 2013

More Punctuated than Equilibrium


Last night I found myself reading about luck and success.  In the light of Richard Wiseman's work it would seem my actions placed me in the unlucky camp.  Specifically I sought certainty and had a rigid notion of success.  Certainly the last 4 years were built around an intended outcome that when realized proved unsatisfying.  What is on my mind this morning is why now. It is fair to say my geologic career is more punctuated that equilibrium, why did I now choose to change focus.

This is not the first time I have had a layoff.  This is not the first time I have wanted to write.  This is not the first time I have had time off and some cash.  And this is not the best time, that would have been in January 2012 when I was favoured with a large one time cash surplus.  So what changed.  Why did I wake up this morning and know I was getting up to write.

The answer comes in two parts.

 Firstly I did not know the four year experiment would end in unhappiness.  When I went to BCIT, the experiment was still starting yes I had written off field work but I needed to test where I could fit in the industry.  The assumption being tested was if I found the right position in the industry I could be happy there. Even as recently as January 2012 the data was inconclusive. I did not yet know that work would get no better. This winter and spring proved conclusive, I was happier there, than doing fieldwork, but not happy.  Then I got laid off.

Secondly control.   Careful planning had gotten me to where I was, but the weighted random number generator that is the price of gold drove me backwards.  I could plan all the passionless career moves that I would need to remain in the geology/GIS field but as long as I am tied to the mining sector my job security is at least partly governed by stock markets random number generators.   I no longer want to be governed by that boom bust cycle.

It is the twin motivations, the failed experiment and my setbacks being too far beyond my control that are driving my new motivations. The four year experiment proved that I can engineer my own success. The exploration industry has shown I want to fail on my own terms too. I now want to control more of my successes and more of my failures and I can not do that while gold's value bounces around as people try to measure their insecurities.

So I get up to write.  If the words suck it is because I did not try to make them better.  There are a lot of ifs, and my optimism is at least partly tied to my bank balance.  But It was my motivation to get up.  Getting up is normal but to get up earlier rather than later so I can get to work on the project that is magical.

So remember live cheap and type fast.

1 comment:

Ien in the Kootenays said...

Chris' boss in Grand Forks, who was a committed and top notch geologist, suffered several periods of unemployment. So did our good Calgary friends. Oil in that case, but same pattern. Add to that forced relocations, with the extra stress that you are always selling cheap and buying high in the real estate market. Interesting science but lousy life style.