A Box of Chocolates – Compartmentalizing Life

4 min read

“Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.” – Forrest Gump



You might remember this movie line differently (Mandela Effect theories came and went), but if you’ve not been living under a rock, you surely know this historical movie line.
What if you knew what you’re gonna get?
What if you knew what chocolates you were picking?

Let’s look at life in this way, life indeed is a magical box of chocolates, where the first miracle was the butterfly effect that brought your box of chocolates into existence, now this box has a crapload of chocolates inside it.
Poor choice of words, one might say, or was it, how do you know that it wasn’t intended?

Moving on, awkwardly, this miraculous box holds a number of magical chocolates that pop out of nowhere, physicists call it causality, and as time passes on, these chocolates pop out in every turn of your existence, just like Gump said, you never know what you’re gonna get, but as we know, Gump was a little slow, or in a more polite and inoffensive manner, Gump was special.

Am I going to answer the couple of questions that I posed in the first paragraph of this write-up?


The answer is no. I am not God or a sorcerer in possession of the Eye of Agamotto, or someone who knows how to synthesise a Mobius Strip, which just for casual science, would raise the grandfather paradox and/or a branch of a new reality in the multiverse.

Still, moving on, you might be getting agitated by the way the writer is leading you into all these jumbled areas of his thought processes, of the quantum realm and onto the plane of all these hypothetical situations with all this talk about the flow of time, multiple universes, and sorcery.

The writer apologises.

Moving on, for real this time, life, as most people without a silver spoon up theirs would agree, is tricky and sometimes a bit harsh, and it is a well known fact that people tend to lose their humanity in the process of juggling the many facets of life.

You forget to pay the bills while you were busy making the reports that was due yesterday which you were late in completing because you promised your niece you’d take her to that new superhero movie that had just released which you had to push to watching the third show because you were late to the queue because you forgot to pay your internet bills which would have helped you book the tickets from home, and in that process you overlook that boy in the crowd who lost his dad, but you have a ticket to bag. You can breathe now.

COMPARTMENTALISATION
In psychology, compartmentalisation is a subconscious defense mechanism of the mind to keep a hold of two or more conflicting ideas, values, emotions, cognitions, etc. Psychological compartmentalisation is mainly a tool for avoiding cognitive dissonance which is a psychological term for the mental stress caused by holding and/or experiencing two or more contradictory ideas, beliefs, or values.

An example of cognitive dissonance can be seen in a Flat Earther who is taken to space. If they don’t pass out by the G-Force experienced by them while leaving the atmosphere, they will surely pass out of the spectacle they see, looking down at our blue and green sphere and probably due to the stress that they experience.

The writer apologises again (this could be a Spielberg sequel) for going haywire and jumping on from the topic relating to time into the domain of psychology, but the writer also wants to quote an elderly fictional tortoise who unlocked the secrets of harmony and focus
“There are no accidents.”- Master Oogway.
“Harmony comes from balancing the only tangible wealth you have, time.
Focus comes from balancing the assets and liabilities you experience, life.”R.H.

American educator, motivational speaker, and author, Stephen Richard Covey in his famous book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” gave an extensive formula on how to manage time in a form of a matrix, also known as the time management quadrants.

There are basically two columns and two rows in this matrix, and that makes 4 quadrants, the first column is of pressing matters which comes under “urgent”, the second column represents matters that do not need prompt actions and that comes under “not urgent’, similarly the first row represents matters that need one’s incumbent attention which comes under “important” and the second row in the matrix is of matters that do not really matter which comes under “not important”.

Now, this combination of rows and columns make 4 quadrants:
In quadrant 1 we have issues that are important and urgent that need to be dealt with immediately.
In quadrant 2 we have issues that are important but not urgent, and these are issues that need planning and are in for the long term.
In quadrant 3 we have urgent but unimportant issues, these should be minimised and eliminated.
In quadrant 4 we have issues that are neither urgent nor important, and these tasks and issues hold little value in life and should be dealt with accordingly to be eliminated.
This is a basic guide on how to manage time with the chocolates that life throws at you like chimpanzees throwing turd as a form of communication (this is where the term crap load of chocolates fit in, as Oogway said).

The writer apologises, one last time. (This is a trilogy, Spielberg would be proud.)
“This is nothing what the title says, this is really misleading.”
If that is what you’re thinking if you made it till here, let me tell you what Oogway said, and I know that at this point in this read you already hear it in your mind.
Life communicates with you with the chocolates that it throws at you. Life is beautiful with its intricacies.

Ryan Blair, the CEO of ViSalus, and the New York Times bestselling author of “Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain: How I Went from Gang Member to Multimillionaire Entrepreneur.” , summed up entrepreneurial compartmentalisation in an article he contributed for Forbes, and that resonates with how I am portraying compartmentalising life.

1. Isolate issues from all the challenges you’re dealing with. Compartmentalise your matters.
2. Apply extreme focus on each compartments, but for short periods of time.
3. Move forward, with incremental steps, once you see progress, stride and complete the challenge.
4. Close the compartments you’ve dealt with and open the next one.
5. Say no to the things that don’t deserve a compartment.If you made it till here in this write up, the writer thanks you, and with all the elements of reality, that includes time that needs managing and chocolates of life that need compartmentalisation.
Again, as Oogway said, there are no accidents.

Thank you for reading.
If you have queries or thoughts about this article, please write them in the comment section below.

3 thoughts on “A Box of Chocolates – Compartmentalizing Life”

Your thoughts?