Dear Friend & Subscriber-
It’s natural to want things to be simple, especially when you’re just beginning to understand them.
There’s only so much we can focus on. And we are conditioned throughout our life to learn starting with the simplest concepts. Math starts with addition, not algebra.
Growing follows a similar path.
When I started growing, I wanted simple, clear instructions. I wanted addition, not algebra. And you can (and likely should) start simple, but that’s not where you will stay.
The same happens in life.
We start simple. We learn motor skills, then speaking skills, and gradually we make our way to becoming functioning adults (for the most part).
Like growing, as we progress and evolve, life becomes increasingly complex.
When we are young, our primary concerns are simple. We’re focused on the playground and lunch time. As adults, life is more complex as we balance a plethora of tasks and responsibilities in addition to our heightened self-awareness.
With growing, you begin to concern yourself with an increasing amount of variables as you begin to feel comfortable with the ones you’re already attending to.
When you start, the goal is to keep the plant alive. Then, maybe you start focusing on feeding the plant a balanced regimen. And then, maybe you start focusing on your environment and ways to control it.
To a first time grower, managing a variety of environmental systems, feeding schedules, phenotypical variances, and grow setups seems overwhelming. Likely to the point it will discourage you (as it did me, the first time I thought about growing). Simplicity helps us get our bearings before we start playing with the bells and whistles.
The process of growing is a process of embracing complexity.
Whether you are growing personally, professionally, or literally, the rate at which you evolve will depend on your ability to take the time to learn the complexity of what you encounter.
In life, that might mean making sure you brush your teeth twice a day before trying to add flossing or mouthwash.
At your job, it might mean getting comfortable with you team and role before tackling a new project.
In the grow, it often means focusing on a few things at a time, and dialing those in before adding anything else to your repertoire. It means understanding your setup before upgrading. It means focusing on the grow before trying to make hash.
Simplicity is only helpful insofar as it allows you to advance your understanding.
Previously, I’ve said that people who speak in reductive ways do so out of a lack of understanding.
And this still can hold true. But, more recently, I’ve found that it’s more often a result of laziness than a lack of understanding alone. And I’m just as guilty.
Too often, simplicity restricts us to our current understanding, or lack thereof.
A perfect example is terminology in cannabis. In cannabis, as in life, we find ourselves using terms and phrases that are simple in nature to convey a more complex understanding. Even at the expense of accuracy, we find ourselves reverting back to these outdated and simplistic explanations as the “easy way out” when speaking to those less familiar.
Take, for example, the industry’s continued use of the terms “Sativa” and “Indica.”
Ask anyone who has been in or near the industry and they will tell you that Sativa and Indica are outdated and inaccurate terms.
These terms were the ones handed down to us by the High Times era of understanding, and we largely know that a plant’s terpene and cannabinoid arrays are more predictive of effects than a plant’s physical attributes.
But we also know that even unfamiliar, non-consumers recognize these terms and have a vague understanding of their meanings.
It’s easier to say, “That strain is a sativa” than it is to explain the nuanced differences of terpene and cannabinoid profiles of phenotypical variations within a genetic and how they may or may not effect the consumer.
Shit, don’t even get me started on “strain” and “strand,” both outdated terms as well.
But we use these familiar terms because they have been engrained in our vernacular as the simplest way to convey two vast pools of variance.
To someone without an understanding of the basics of cannabis, diving into the depths of myrcene’s symbiotic relationship with THC or how different forms of the same cannabinoids can alter the experience, become distractions from the basic understanding being sought.
Similarly, complexity is only helpful insofar as it allows you to advance your understanding.
Some things start and end at simple. This is dependent on our personal pursuits. Knowing the intricacies of phenotypical variance may be unimportant when all you want to do is smoke a joint on the way to work that won’t knock you out. But there are always aspects of our life that we can seek to have a greater understanding of their complexity.
When your communication of your understanding becomes simplistic, reductive and vague, check to see why:
Is it because you do not have an interest in pursuing a greater understanding (your focus is on expanding your understanding elsewhere)?
Is it because you do not, in fact, understand what you are trying to explain?
Or, is it because you have not taken the time to properly communicate your thoughts or ideas?
There is not a one size fits all approach to any particular interest, topic, or understanding.
Like plants, we all are complex in our interests and pursuits.
Like plants, our diets are complex and vary with our nutritional needs.
Like plants, our growth timeline is complex and may not progress at the same rate as those around us.
Embrace complexity; It’s a natural part of growth.
Until next week,
Ben “Embracing Complexity” Owens
It’s been a whirlwind of activity over here as I work on a variety of projects and manage the grow.
We are in the final stages of publishing the third magazine for ETHOS. I’m judging for THC Championship again (Premium Subscribers be on the lookout for an in-depth review). I spent a week in Vegas at the CHAMPS Tradeshow and came home to harvest, transplant, and prepare for another flip. And I’ve got that bag seed going in the 2x2 and will be tracking that in lieu of the grow-off journals you’ve come to follow along with!
I’m excited to share lessons from these experience and more with you all in the coming weeks.
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