Tuesday, January 24, 2006

 

Zero Base Budgeting and Life

While in graduate school, I learned about zero base(d) budgeting (ZBB).
A method of budgeting whereby all activities are reevaluated each time a budget is set. Discrete levels of each activity are valued and a combination chosen to match funds available.
CIMA Terminology
Basically, you start at zero for each new budget and evaluate and justify your budget from there. When learning this it struck me that such an approach may be helpful in one's approach to life in general.

Over the years, one tends to build a system of preconceptions about nearly everything, people, countries, food, clothes, companies, etc. If one is not careful, one's view of the world becomes so tinted by these preconceptions that one fails to perceive what is really there. Maybe, it would be better, fresher to start at zero each day.

This doesn't mean to disregard the knowledge we have accumulated. The knowledge is important in helping us to negotiate our everyday world. It simply means to allow ourselves to open up to the possibility of new experiences. Maybe the person at work who has been a thorn in our side is trying to change, maybe they'll be friendlier and more cooperative. Maybe some seafood is good.

Jiddu Krishnamurti said:
So that is the first thing, if I may suggest, that we have to learn: to be able to look at your wife, or husband, without the image that you have built through many years about her, or about him: and that is extraordinarily difficult. Our life is a series of experiences; we have had a thousand experiences and all those experiences have become knowledge, they have left their mark on the mind, the very brain cells themselves are loaded with these memories and when we look at our wife, or at a friend or the clouds, or the light of the rising sun, we look with the memories of experiences, therefore the looking is of the past - with the eyes of the past we look and therefore there is no understanding of life as it is in the present.
A psychological/emotional zero base budgeting. With each day I try to allow myself to look at the world with fresh eyes. Sometimes I succeed and am pleasantly rewarded, although pleasant reward is not the point. Something new presents itself to me and I recognize. Other times, I act out of my built up preconceptions and prejudices. This may work out OK and be pleasantly rewarding also. But when I create an unnecessarily negative experience because of my preconceptions, I realize that I wasn't paying attention to what was going on at the moment but reacting to some event(s) from the past. For those few moments when I'm right here, right now, there is no substitute.

Perhaps this sounds like a lot of blather, but I find that somehow it seems to make my life more meaningful, or something.

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