Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The illusion, and the secret

In the movie `The Secret', they like to talk about a secret kept from the `common people' to prevent them from being successful.
I think the big misconception or illusion in our society is:

Some moments are more important than others.

This is actually taken to the extreme of:

99.999% of moments are insignificant, and once or twice in your lifetime you will have moments that shape your life.

A nice example of this extreme, is in the back to the future movies, where a few key events -  like whether Marty's father stands up to Biff, completely change the future,
the future dynamics and relationships of the people involved, their type of career and success in that career.

This kind of thinking leads to laziness and desperation which are two sides of the same coin in this case.

- laziness cause you think It doesn't matter what I do most of the time, except in those moments where I meet the girl of my dreams, or have some other special opportunity, so I might as well just sit in front of youtube at best, some sick site about sex between cats and goats at worst (of course my real perversions have nothing to do with cats and goats, otherwise I would not feel comfortable writing that.. I'm sure in a year or two everybody will have the app to see what porn sites their facebook friends use.)

-desperation/apathy cause you think - OK I either missed my chance, or luck wasn't on my side, in that significant moment, so all is lost..

but it seems the reality is completely different..
your emotional state during a day, and the kind of good events that happen to you during that day,
are in perfect correlation, up to a very high resolution, with the negative and positive actions you have taken.

This is why I choose a few negative and positive behaviors, that I have singled out as having a large impact on my mood, the quality my consciousness, my body,
and use a spreadsheet to track daily how much I am avoiding the negative ones, and applying the positive ones.

I call this spreadsheet `1500 days'. Cause I opened it when there were about 1500 days till I reach 40.
I thought of it as someone giving me a budget of 1500$ and saying let's check back in 5 years to see what you've done with it.
I don't know .. sometimes it's annoying to think about it like this, but sometimes it's fun.
Like being on a budget makes you appreciate everything more.
It reminds me of a time I just got to Canada and got my wallet stolen.
I loned some money from my university host for the weekend, till I get my new ATM card on Monday.

I remember the day before getting the card. Having a fixed amount of money for food,
the burrito I bought for lunch tasting so much better.

An important thing is that it doesn't have to be all or nothing.

For example, I had a period where I was able to avoid the 2 negative biggies I have identified - jerking off and watching TV\youtube, pretty much consecutively for a year.
I haven't been able to do that for a while..
but I say.. OK can I have a 24 hours streak avoiding these things?

I can? I've done that 4 times in a row?
Now can I do 36 hours?.. 48 hours?

It's important to congratulate yourself on these small accomplishments.
Saying `Yes!' inside or outloud.

I go play basketball, and go bouldering once a week now.

I am by far the worst climber, and player out of all the friends I go with.

They are climbing the level 3 or level 4 walls.
I'm usually succeeding a level 1 or level 2 wall up to the top , once or twice
after two hours of being there.
And when I get down I say Yes! like I've just climbed the Everest,
That way I am motivated to progress, rather than freezing myself up in self-criticism.

I compare myself only to myself. I practice compassion and sympathetic joy towards myself, so it will manifest also towards others.

I know my whole motoric development as a small child was way below average, so no sense comparing myself to someone else..

Let me end with an example of the other extreme than the back to the future example.
I've been wasting time almost all day today, and looks like I will continue to do say till 2am.
But just right now, coming back from getting something to eat, and before sitting down for another episode of `the office', I did 2 push ups.

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Hi! I am a computer science postdoc. For some reason google is not finding my new homepage so I added a link from this profile