The last post, “Living a Renaissance Life”, was a brief “manifesto” introducing this subject. If reading it left you musing, “ah, bold idealism, but even approaching a ‘Renaissance Life’ on those terms is daunting at best. Pollyanna lives!”, and yet you return to read more, then that statement met its author’s intent!
Thanks for coming back!
Several basic, broad-scope steps can help make the quest for a renaissance life more reasonable, steps that can and must be pursued while life goes on its merry way! There is no choice in the matter, and that’s fine. Although the basic steps are processes with goals for each, and although the steps build results through the specific sequence presented below, thinking, creativity, production and action on key aspects within each of them will be catalyzed at any time, and often simultaneously for multiple “steps”.
Understanding the process and goals helps to harvest insights from and provide energy to the “life that must go on”.
If you have not achieved and maintained some level of simplicity and organizational processing in your life, I strongly encourage that you pursue those interrelated tasks – and life processes – immediately, while you take the first step toward “Renaissance”. David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” system (start at http://www.gtdtimes.com/ and explore!) will lead you to many helpful resources in this regard. That effort isn’t really “multitasking” (a terrible concept and term), and can realize great and lasting results while you begin the basic steps toward living a Renaissance Life.
The basic “broad scope” steps are:
The steps are briefly outlined below, with gratuitous simplicity, to prime the pump for explication, process, resources and tool development (including “Renaissance Rules”!) in greater detail in future posts. Along the way, as part of the “life that must go on”, examples, resources, processes and tools will be presented for your use along side of the development of the steps toward living a renaissance life.
The working definition for the process of recapitulation is searching nature and nurture to identify a “true path”, plus values, passions, and accountability. That effort has as its goal a coming to grips with who you are, how you “matriculated” through life to reach your current status, to identify the “true path” for a life of integrity, creativity, productivity and happiness.
Reformation may best be defined as “rescuing from error and returning to a rightful course”.
The reformation process builds upon recapitulation, moving through steps of Renewal, Revitalization, Redirection and Resolve to reach Results – the actual correction of error and its impacts from your path to date, and restoration to your rightful path discovered through the recapitulation process.
The components of Reformation segue into those of a Renaissance itself, including Creativity, Optimalism, Sustainability, and Resiliency. They include restoration of values, identification of or reclamation of passions, recognition and proper interface with environment, rehabilitation and discovery of resources and relationships, and establishment of a manageable process for “moving ahead” that includes an easily administered “feedback loop”.
A multitude of “renaissance” definitions pervade contemporary society, originally rooted in the cultural emergence of Western Europe from the “Middle Ages” that began with the Italian Renaissance. Other cultures and times had similar “sea changes” in society, difficult struggles out of calamitous periods that advanced key aspects of life.
“Renewal” and “rebirth” are popular renaissance definitions, as well as synonyms that intend actions to unleash unrealized potential for people, organizations, businesses and society as a whole. As with the original Renaissance, the fruits of those labors may appear from a process that is definitely NOT based upon what is True, Honest, Just, Pure, Lovely, of Good Report, Virtuous and Praiseworthy. A simple study of the Medici family role in the Florentine dominated Italian Renaissance demonstrates the brutality of unethical, self-serving leaders, destructive clashes over power and control, and a pervading meanness of life through the period which produced as a side-effect what most think of as “renaissance” today – advancement in or creation of fabulous art, architecture, literature, philosophy, modernized governing structures, improvements in basics of life, and the like. Beware!
In the better sense, a Renaissance is a movement “Onward and Upward!”, with well grounded and ethical passions, resolution to improve, commitment to goals necessary for that improvement, projects to reach the goals, the results that proclaim “renaissance life” – the whole enchilada.
“Action is the New Competence” – but always, always, always moral and ethical Action founded on and always centered on as high a level of the positive attributes stated above as possible – not as afterthoughts, but as essential “Rules of Engagement” – the Renaissance Rules! – to define accountable competencies and maintain growth with responsibility to any higher level of personal, business or societal achievement. Intentionally competent action on that basis is the only acceptable action! Such effort must be “across the board”. If you determine that your Renaissance is only to achieve stardom for your “art”, and the rest be damned, you will rank among the most evil of the modern Medici. We have enough of those people, already!