The 7 C's of Existence
How do you spend your time?
The following framework is useful for examining how and where we spend our time and energy. The 7 C’s is comprehensive and simple to remember so that we can call upon it in moments of subconscious scrolling. Fittingly, I conceived it during another ‘C’ - the Coronavirus closures, a time that was ripe for reflection.
The 7 C’s are Connection, Creation, Consumption, Competition, Craft, Care, and Contemplation.
Connection can take many forms. It can be in social settings with friends, with family, with animals and pets, or with nature itself. It can also take the form of collaboration, whether in work, career, or creative projects. Connection often provides a contextual background to our lives, imbuing it with greater significance and meaning. However, done automatically and unintentionally, it can also be draining and disappointing.
Creation is used in the widest sense of the word, bringing something to existence that did not before. Creation often gets all the press, and rightfully so, but our best works of creation often result from (and sometimes require) time spent with the other C’s - connection, craft, and contemplation
Consumption in both the mental (media and daily impressions) & physical (food, drink, drug) sense, requires the least effort from us, and consequentially often becomes our default mode of operation. Consumption takes two forms:
— Compulsive Consumption which are automatic behaviors, habits, and addictions
— Conscious Consumption is the more intentional and considered side of consumption.
Consumption is not all bad - we need it to survive, after all - but there is a wide gulf between the compulsive and the conscious sides of consumption.
Competition is also used in the widest sense of the word, whether in sport & games, or in sales & other careers. Competition can often get a bad rap for pitting us against one another, but this quote from Coco Gauff sums up a healthy mentality towards it: “the definition of a competitor is someone who on the court treats you like your worst enemy, but off the court can be your best friend.” The value of competition lies in it being the most authentic and real form of feedback for our abilities, mindset, and skillset.
Craft is the work we do to become better creators - practice, learn new skills, acquire knowledge - or better competitors - study, learn to make better decisions, train.
Care whether self-care or other-care (compassion), allows us to do all the other C’s. Without recovery, there is no performance. Without care, there is no connection.
Contemplation can take many forms, and it allows us to tap in to the infinite mysteries, complexities, and perspectives of life. What gets us into a deeper groove is unique to each of us; however, walking, cooking, meditating, self-talk, and journaling come to mind as common contemplative activities.
How do you split your time with The 7 C’s, both in your real and idealized world?