So the idea I’ve been developing is great, but Claudia made me ask myself a better question; well, actually, she asked me a better question. She asked me what other incentives were there, and that really got me thinking.
Why not turn this whole thing into a massive, immersive game. When I was little I used to play this third person game called Age of Mythology. To say I was obsessed with it is an understatement, I genuinely loved it. The content and story line of the game were actually super simple, you had to create a civilization from scratch, and then defeat your enemies. I didn’t care so much for the enemies part, but more about the development of my little clan, how I could make improvements to the buildings, collect wood and harvest food faster etc.
I thought, why not take that principle and apply it to the real world. Why not create an atemporal bubble, self sustainable of course, where people can come, for a short amount of time (say like 2 weeks) and completely reset themselves. It’s like going back 500 years, where whatever might be plaguing the mind of a banker has no importance whatsoever. It is an incentive to find oneself in an environment where the only pressures reside on surviving (assisted of course, this won’t be a survivalist camp).
I feel like this needs a lot of refinement, but I genuinely see a future with it. It reminds me of these enterprise retreats, except I wont be doing what they do, aka trust exercises or therapy (I do have to do some research on what they actually do), but more of a holistic, personal and professional reset, a chance to genuinely take a break.
Employing data from a mailed survey of a sample of ecologically and spiritually aware respondents (N = 829), the study tests the hypothesized relationship between ecologically sustainable behavior (ESB) and subjective well-being (SWB). The proposed link between ESB and SWB is the spiritual practice of mindfulness meditation (MM). In multiple regression equations ESB and MM independently explain statistically significant amounts of variance in SWB, indicating, for at least the study’s sample, that there can be a relationship between personal and planetary well-being. The inter-relationships among SWB, ESB and MM suggest that for specific segments of the general population (e.g., the spiritually inclined) there may not necessarily be an insurmountable conflict between an environmentally responsible lifestyle and personal quality of life. The research reported here also points to the potential for meditative/mindful experiences to play a prominent role in the explanation of variance in SWB, a direction in QoL studies recently highlighted by several researchers (Layard 2005, pp. 189–192; Nettle 2005, pp. 153–160; Haidt 2006).
Consequently, when one’s behavior matches one’s ideals, particularly in relationship to as an emotionally charged project as planetary survival, one is likely to experience a sense of fulfillment reflected in SWB (Jacob and Brinkerhoff 1997, 1999)
Consequently, meditators believe that consistent mindfulness awareness practice permits them to see their attachments, and rather than being carried away by the impulse to cling to things that have little probability of offering long-term satisfaction, they possess the presence of mind to make decisions less likely to leave them with regret. This is particularly important in light of the research that indicates people generally have difficulty making the choices that lead to SWB (Gilbert 2006; Loewenstein and Schkade 1999).