I made a decision. Years of solving, dissolving or slashing through a Gordian knot. All on one day, one afternoon,…while sitting in the sun. Doing nothing.
I searched for a theme, a strong title which ties all my activities and runs through all of the fields I chose to work in as a transmedia producer and consultant. The task, like finding a new name that fits, was a Herculean one. I do not have a straightforward linear biography and still all things I did decide upon and worked do belong together. But what angel represents that best and is easy to communicate for laymen and professionals alike without explaining one technical term with another was not an enigma. I searched for years to find a nail where to hang my whole universe to. And then I found it. Almost without effort. While running.
Having in mind to use physical locomotion to bring thoughts into gear and shake them up is not new. I can think very well while jogging, it speeds up things, but still – it never gave a me a solution in this so far – and I tried regularly. And then – everything came together on a sunny afternoon before sunset. Two halts on bridges and watching the almost immobile water and the slowing flanuering people. 10min sitting rather still in the sun on a boulder, soaking in the rays, extra-reflected and warming me up so that I have to open my red hoodie. And then it bubbled up. This option. Plop. Heureka! I had it. “Choice” itself is the main theme, the Archimedean point where I can balance my word and whole world.
My dark autumn hypernova. Radiating a gamma ray in all my corners who were shaking like rustling leaves on an imagined tree and felt left alone. Suddenly there was a tree. Healthy and rooted in ALL. A door opened. The tropic of choice. Science, Literature, Media, Transmedia, Games, Leadership, personal development, marketing, relationships…all that need the science and art of decision-making. And it immediately showed to be a complementary gate together with my second door, DOING NOTHING (see e.g. www.40daysofdoingnothing.com) – triggered and nurtured to light by exactly that non-action. It came to me when I did NOT search for it, but where just out there, enjoying fall the presence of people and the setting sun. Doing nothing opened SOMETHING.
Choice, decision-making seems to be more socio-cultural-political than the antipode of idleness, the necessary counterbalance with a particularly USEFUL topic of when and where we decide – and why. The point of no return, the tropic of the topic got reached. A culmination point, the inflection point of a curve, the tropic of a choice – my own one. It collects a lot of topoi / topics I am working on: from tropical brains to tropical games – tropes and neurons meet “Heavy Rain” meet Henry Miller – the book I am writing, the blog I started to design. I suddenly had a theme, a title and an URL: www.tropicofchoice.com
There flows the river. The damn is broken. Why now and not three weeks ago? I do not know. It was ripe to get assembled – and my immediate emotional reaction and flood in motivation showed me that this is not a intermediary step but an essential decision.
The second thing that happened was, that on the end of THAT run I saw something abandoned in leaves across from where I live, which sparked ideas powered up by the new filter in my head – a dirty old couch. While showering a thought grew and an idea formed…what about a webseries, a youtube channel using this couch, and using it as a tool to convey and research the theme – a space for research. The question was if it would still be there when I get back down again, dressed and with my photo gear under my arm. I suddenly was very sure I would do a photo shooting first and then possibly invite people to the couch asking them one simple, innocent question: “How do you decide?”
The couch was still there. The photos I took you can see above. The title already developed into something like “True Lies On A Dirty Couch”. My first interview partner turned out to be a dog trained by a curious passer-by, psychotherapist and dog trainer who asked if I want her dog on the couch, too. Sure! I was not sitting more than 10min on it and I have my first partner next to me. Did I get the couch? Yes! One of my neighbours who I never spoke to in three years helped me carrying the little beast into the elevator. Another assuring interaction. The universe answered and a dynamic got created, esoterically speaking…this was exactly as it felt. All puzzle pieces fell into place.
Game Studies are highly interested. Marketing evidently is. Politics should be. People seeking partnership are. Leadership and group dynamics need it. Interactive Storytelling is essentially about choices. Psychology with their experiments in decision-making speaks for themselves and offer the ground-work for building up the topic. Brain science has something to add. Transmedia needs to know about choices of their audience, otherwise they would not choose an other media channel to follow a story.
We all need it! It is a basic human activity with a very murky side – try to ask people in your everyday life how they reached their decisions…
To reflect exactly WHY and how to become more aware of your own choices and the processes leading to it does spawn 1001 tools for helping to decide catering to a worldwide audience – as my drawers are full of research and examples about it, already. I was only blind to connect the dots. Interactive Storytelling is essentially about choices.
And my book, too…transforming my research into something “useful” and “drilling holes” our brains to shed light on how we become “decision makers”.
Lets start. This blog is a living example what decision can trigger and where they might come from. Tune in or subscribe to the newsletter to not miss an episode or post which might change your life…like this has changed mine.