Look closely at how you define words that guide you. You may subconsciously be stopping yourself from moving forward. My friend was fighting the idea of structure. And I wondered if the resistance came from how he defined the word.
If you really are a free spirit, structure may feel confining. However, if you are a free spirit you probably need some structure. Hmm.
Structure is about relationship
Structure is the relationship between the parts or elements of something complex. Relationship. How they work together. How they support each other. What is needed and what is not.
When something has many moving parts, (like an idea), you have to make up some boundaries, some sort of categories, in order to bring the pieces into a manageable size. Organizing many things into a few categories helps you see the overview. And that helps in creating a workable end result.
Why do you need structure?
A structure holds things together. A structure holds things up. We need the support of structure in our life. A structure can be loose or tight. A loosely structured day is free-flowing and open to change. You may not accomplish what you thought you would, but in the relaxed structure of your day, you may have discovered something that opens a new door.
The work world thrives on structure, hierarchy likes leaders and teams and levels of responsibility. Even an entrepreneur has to find ways to wear every hat at one time or another and that means learning to work within several levels of structure.
You learn through structure. You are productive through structure.
Structure does not need to be confining
The structure of my home keeps me safe. The structure of my day – as in sleeping and eating at regular times – keeps me healthy. We need the support of structure in our life.
It is important to know how much structure you can handle. Before I retired, there was the structure of coaching appointments and posts to write. I had outside influence on what I needed to put into my day.
Now that I’m retired, I get to choose. I find two posts and one newsletter a week to be comfortable and still give me time and energy to toss in a few other creative projects, particularly when those projects have no timeline. So I commit to that basic output and make it happen.
When I enrolled in a long-term course of study on shamanism, I was able to keep that schedule but other things I’d added, like vLogs and podcast, went on hold. There is give and take in structure.
What do you want to accomplish? What brings you joy? Make that a cornerstone of your structure.
Structure brings clarity
You have to structure your ideas so others can hear what you have to say.
Let’s say I want to write a post. I have to choose one point to make. That becomes my structure. The boundary. The confines of what I will write.
I build ideas and explanations around that one idea. I choose only what will clarify and support the main idea I want to convey. Nothing else belongs in the structure of that post.
This post began because a friend was fighting structure. And I wondered how that applied to my life and yours.
The core purpose defines the structure.
Structure brings boundaries
The boundaries that a consciously chosen structure brings are a good thing. If I didn’t limit the topic and purpose of this post, I would be all over the place. Not a good thing.
If I were teaching a course, I would have to consider the boundaries of time agreed upon and the level of the students. Those boundaries are then built into the structure of what I present.
As I increase my personal spiritual work, I face the boundary of time, so I have to pick and choose how much time I’ll spend and what exactly it is I’ll do. Boundaries call for structure and structure creates boundaries.
Structure illuminates chaos
I’m redoing the template that helps me format my e-books. I’m making decisions and choices that will affect every e-book I write from here on out. But once this template is made, once this structure is created, I’m set. My books will look nice, they will come together quickly, and be easy to publish. All because I created a structure that serves as the foundation.
Structure will change as you become more skilled
I’ve written books in Pages. Then I learned Scrivener. Then I learned iBooks Author and now I’m back to Pages. But I had to do all that exploring in order to understand what I needed and what I did not. My move back to Pages came because of the discovery of one program, a grammar checker called Grammarly That has become a very important step and it’s easier to take from Pages. Your choices will change as you increase your skills and your structure will probably simplify as you need less outside support.
Keep the structure light
Too much structure means you have too many restrictions. Not enough structure means your house will fall down. You have to find a balance between what’s needed in the project and what you need for your freedom of expression.
Look closely at the idea of structure and make certain it’s not stopping you. At the same time, make certain you have enough structure to get the job done.
Look closely at how you define words that guide you. You may subconsciously be stopping yourself from moving forward
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