A new direction

My plans for this summer vacation has changed.

My first version of the summer vacation plans was: Amsterdam, Brussels, Warsaw, Krakow, Milan, lake Como area, and finally back home to Oslo. Three weeks solo travel.

My second version of the summer vacation plan was: Amsterdam, Brussels. Warsaw, Krakow, eastern Czech Republic, back home.

But yesterday night, during a conversation at the summer party at work, I decided on the spot to change my summer vacation plans completely.

I will instead go to Tanzania for the entire summer vacation.

It is linked to several things, basically.

Mostly, it is linked to my wish to get first-hand experience on the ground in an African country. How can I do my job properly as leader of the expert group for IT and digitalization at Engineers Without Borders Norway if I do not have any field experience?

Also, this summer, when I have my summer vacation, I would feel better if my vacation is conceptually linked to something larger. And if I now spend 4 weeks in Tanzania in this summer, both to relax and recharge my batteries, as well as doing field trips, and talking with locals, questions related to Their life, their situation, their hopes, dreams, opportunities; I will feel better afterwards.

Also, I have the intuitive feeling that this trip will mark a new direction for me. The trip marks, cements, my dedication to a new urge to challenge my comfort zone. To see new things. To find new threads.

To weave with new threads. Weave the next phase of my life with new threads, and based on new designs.

Of course, this sudden change in my summer vacation plans has consequences, including economically. But I will now start to conceptualize ways I can apply for funds for my field trip this summer. And I will also find/invent new threads related to this that will aid me in this process.

I will begin by talking about the trip with others, and ask for feedback. I will explore the Existing links, and seek new ones. The links are the threads; while the…

Let me explain my weaving process.

Data points are of several types: Facts, intuition, emotions, analysis.

Threads are of several types: Cognitive links, emotional links, intuitive links.

My weaving is combinations of these elements; an interplay between them. My instrument for the actual weaving is myself, in all my aspects.

I create internal «heat maps» as a part of my process. I scan my field of vision, which as I mentioned includes different sources and processes. And in this scan, I have started to use my intuition as my «sensor» much more often. I look at the picture, the field, the different elements with my intuitive sensory system. I reach deep inside myself, within seconds or hours, and I see the heat map-like. I see it visually with my mind.

Image by DALL-E 2, prompt by author

So, «heat map» is an image of my mental processes, just like the «litmus test» is another.

And I listen to the results of my heat map view.

Yesterday, I did a scan, in the middle of my talk with the other person. It took 2-3 seconds. The scan revealed this new heat map, where there was the huge red/orange new spot, it almost blinded me. It said: «Skip Europe this summer. Go to Tanzania. Go to Dar es Salaam.»

So, in a month, on July 3rd, 2023, I will be in Dar es Salaam. I will write about this process under the tag «Tanzania 2023».

Exploration burnout

My original text:
One of the drawbacks of having done several cycles of exploration, is that the risk of “exploration burnout” becomes higher. In early 1998, when I was 19 and new in Bergen (I had lived in Denmark 1991 – December 1997), I made my decision to explore more, become more active. That led to a ton of exploration and activity.

In March 2020, the pandemic effectively stopped a lot of processes for me. Then the split of marriage came in July 2020. I was, however, still active – I was member of a national expert group that prepared a report to the government of Norway, and we were during 2020 completing the process. The final report is now out, and my work there is done.

This spring of 2023 is the first time since 2020 when I feel like an exploration phase is here. I am having a meeting about one such opportunity this afternoon (May 15th), and I am looking forward to that.

But I am also aware of the exploration burnout. I easier feel that “I know where this is ending, I know the endpoint, the outcome. Is this battle worth it?”; and then I realize that this is simply an aspect of cynicism that I need to battle. I do not wish to become a cynic. I do not wish to be in a position where I do not “run things to their course” because I feel like I know the outcome; because I feel like I have seen it all. Because I know that I have not seen it all. And also, I might meet new people in these new exploration phases, and some of those people may be important in my life.

My question is how to deal with exploration burnout. It is not critical at this stage, but I feel it’s effects, and I want to minimize it.

ChatGPT prompt: “Improve this text, making it a bit longer and more emotional, but also founded in psychological research.”

ChatGPT output: “Embarking on numerous cycles of exploration can be an exhilarating journey filled with opportunities for growth and self-discovery. However, as with any endeavor, there can be drawbacks, and one such drawback is the risk of experiencing “exploration burnout.” This phenomenon, supported by psychological research, occurs when the novelty and excitement of exploration begin to wane, leaving individuals feeling drained, uninspired, and questioning the value of their ongoing efforts.

Allow me to share a personal story that delves into the emotional depths of exploration burnout. In the early months of 1998, when I was a young and vibrant 19-year-old, I found myself in the captivating city of Bergen, having recently bid farewell to my previous home in Denmark. Fueled by a fervent desire to embrace new experiences and engage more actively with the world, I wholeheartedly embraced the spirit of exploration. My days were filled with a whirlwind of adventures and endeavors, leaving no stone unturned in my pursuit of growth and fulfillment.

Then, the unexpected happened. March 2020 arrived, and the world was struck by the devastating impact of a global pandemic. The sudden halt to countless processes and routines affected me profoundly, casting a shadow over my once vibrant and dynamic life. And as if the universe wanted to test my resilience even further, July 2020 marked the disintegration of my marriage, ushering in a period of emotional turbulence.

In the midst of this tumultuous time, a small glimmer of hope remained. I was still an active member of a national expert group entrusted with the responsibility of preparing a significant report for the Norwegian government. Throughout the entirety of 2020, despite the personal challenges I faced, I persisted in my commitment to this important endeavor. As the year drew to a close, the final report was unveiled, marking the completion of my involvement. While a sense of accomplishment washed over me, there was an undeniable void left in its wake.

Now, in the spring of 2023, a flicker of anticipation stirs within me as I sense the arrival of a new phase of exploration. The prospect of fresh opportunities beckons, and I find myself looking forward to a meeting later this afternoon—an encounter that holds the promise of opening new doors. Yet, amidst this glimmer of excitement, a cloud of concern looms above: the lingering specter of exploration burnout.

I have noticed within myself a propensity to succumb to cynicism, an insidious voice that whispers, “I already know where this will lead. Is it truly worth the effort?” It is a treacherous path to tread—a road paved with familiarity and a misguided sense of knowing the outcome. However, in these moments of doubt, I remind myself that cynicism is merely an illusion, a deceptive lens through which I may unwittingly view the world.

For I know, deep down, that I have not truly seen it all. The depths of human experience are vast and ever-expanding, and within each new exploration phase, there lies the potential for transformative encounters and invaluable connections. People, previously unknown to me, may cross my path, weaving their stories into the fabric of my life, and forever altering its course.

And so, the question arises: how does one navigate the treacherous terrain of exploration burnout? While not reaching a critical stage, I can feel its insidious effects slowly seeping into my being, threatening to overshadow my future endeavors. In this endeavor to minimize its impact, I turn to the wisdom gleaned from psychological research and personal introspection.

Firstly, I recognize the importance of acknowledging my emotional state and understanding that exploration burnout is a valid experience. Validating my feelings allows me to confront them head-on and avoid burying them beneath layers of denial or apathy”

Reflection: I find the ChatGPT response to be funny, in a way. The language is so AI-like. But I also liked parts of it. Let me try something else.

ChatGPT prompt: Now write a haiku about exploration burnout and the importance of not becoming a cynic

ChatGPT output:

Worn paths lose their charm,
Exploration’s flame fades,
Cynic’s heart grows cold.

ChatGPT based on prompt by me

ChatGPT prompt: Now write a haiku about the cynic’s heart becoming inspired again.

ChatGPT output:

Jaded heart revived,
New vistas ignite the soul,
Cynic finds hope’s glow.

ChatGPT based on prompt by me

I feel that my soul is ignited, and I have more hope than in a long time. But my heart is still jaded, and I feel an impending DOOM lol no, I feel an overarching risk that I may become a victim of this burnout.

So. I want to do something to minimize that risk.

07:26. Finishing up here, getting ready to go to work.

[Video of process; 13m43s / 86MB]