Entropy: A Practical Model for Intentional Living
Anything that can go wrong will go wrong
The heuristic has been popularized through movies like Interstellar. Yet what are we actually implying when we state that what is wrong is bound to occur? The hard sciences have discovered a useful way of measuring randomness that is particularly pertinent to intentionally living as a mental model for considering how disorder naturally arises.
It is the force that leads to many of the problems in our universe and governs a majority of your daily choices; this is Entropy.
What is Entropy?
Entropy is a commonly used in science as a measurement of disorder. In physics, entropy is thought of as a degree of disorder within a given system. The second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases, so when we consider what that means for living organisms in a finite resource environment like ourselves, reality as we understand it is always treading towards complexity.
A Day at the Beach
More Simply, we can think about entropy using the following analogy:
Imagine you are at the beach and you decide to make a sand castle. By organizing millions of grains of sand into an ordered structure. Your sandcastle ends up being this wonderful kingdom that you virtually spend the whole day building—you are very proud of your creation. Now picture that a windstorm arises and blows your magnificent creation down like it’s the holy war; you have now experienced entropy in its analogous form.
We originally have something that is orderly and fixed (Sand kingdom) and forces come along (wind) and turn the thing into a disorganized mess.
Here is a neat video that gave me the idea to explain entropy this way:
With the model of entropy, we can organize our lives with the disorder in mind. In other words, we intentionally create systems that are easily maintainable given the inevitable nature of things constantly treading towards a disordered state.
It is our expansion of energy or effort that combats entropy. So the model can act as a reminder that effort is mandatory if we are to withstand the pull towards disorganization.
For example, consider relationships.
Moving in together, dealing with parents, sharing money, conflicting ideologies, you get my point. Many areas of conflict are bound to arise just simply from attempting to create an organized state (a partnership) in a world skwed to promt chaos.
If we are not diligent in applying structure in our relationships, then entropy will take its course.
We need to be effortful when living intentionally for if we set up ways of living with zero effort for maintenance, then in due time systems will cease to exist. And soon, we are wasting our most valuable resources (time and attention) on starting again from not having vigilantly observed the model of entropy.
So yes lives may be bound to wrong, though it is not anyone's fault, it is merely the reality as it is. Accept this, and you are one step closer towards living intentionally.
Remember we will all decay and that’s okay, but how will you use today?
My Motto: Today is the best day of my life
I treat every day as the best day of my life because no matter the praise, disappointment, obstacles, or success I know that I am doing everything that is in my control to live to the standards of my greatest self.
How? It all starts with my 5 habits. Find out more here.