The more time you spend in your own head, the more important it is you don't forget your filter when you actually speak.
I spend so much time in my own thoughts and imagination, I'm normalized to so many things others wouldn't even consider sharing. The response to that sharing is never "wow, how creative!" It's "what the hell is wrong with you?" Or worse.
It's a hard truth to swallow, since we often fall in love with our own worlds. That itself is fine - just remember virtually no one else will.
Sometimes I get way too caught up in managing the little details - building habits, managing money, eating healthy, among others. These are all important, but I can get so wrapped up in them I forget to let myself be happy or do something real. Making myself better is pointless if I'm not doing better things too.
When that happens, I remember this quote a friend shared with me. Reading it helps me snap out of my self-loop and try something different or take a risk.
It's easy for me to get trapped in my head. For thoughts to wind around my consciousness and pull me down, and I confuse the struggle to get back out as doing something meaningful.
But sometimes the most intelligent thing I can do is something that requires little deep thought. Something like drawing is simple, meditative, and takes a lot of focus but little thinking.
I think of it as a fuel stop. Sometimes one needs to stop and simply experience something to fill up their mental tanks. Then the next time they think, it's about adding to the world around them. That's better than down an internal rabbit hole leading nowhere.
Another reason why rest is not laziness.
I realized that my last note of "you can't have the 'what' without the 'why'" applies to why I write as well.
Do I post here for sincere self-expression? A desire for attention? Importance? Identity?
It's certainly not for clicks or ad revenue, so I have that going for me.
I am a selfish blogger. But writing anything for simple validation, from tweets to messages, is rooted in insecurity. At least selfish blogging indirectly helps others. If I'm lucky, it helps others more than me.
So this note is a reminder to myself: don't mix up "selfish blogging" with "insecure blogging."
Before I do something I want to do, I'm trying to first ask why.
Some are good, like wanting to be a better coder, getting enough sleep, and staying in (what I choose to think of as) decent shape.
Some are bad, like wanting to smoke various things, playing video games until my brain melts, and kicking random people after too much Twitter.
"Want" isn't enough without the "why."
A recent article I read on burnout in hourly-wage jobs mentioned how often people overlook chronic stress and fatigue in these jobs. The American ideal of "just work hard" makes many see burnout as the price of a better life.
While true in an ideal world, today there are a few things wrong with that:
- These jobs rarely give employees a career ladder to "climb up."
- Burnout causes long-term health issues like obesity and heart disease, which hurt workers and society long-term.
- So many workers are so desperate for work and/or to support their families, they'll put up increasing abuse and can't just "find another job."
All that nuance is lost when others can simply chant "just work hard!" It's today's version of "four legs good, two legs bad" - oversimplified and now meaningless, but great for drowning out calls to do better.
As much as I try to move away from drawing, it always pulls me back.
My guess is while programming and reading stimulate my left brain, anime and drawing stimulate my right brain. I need something I can throw myself into entirely without worrying about calm puzzle-solving or writing unit tests.
Programming and reading work out my logical brain. Nothing seems to hit my creative brain like drawing. It's short, intensive, and satisfying, like a round of boxing or an amazing unit test.
If a hobby keeps pulling you back no matter what else you try, it's a safe bet it's worth investing in.
The hardest part of living by Essentialism is saying no to something fun to focus on something important.
Especially when I need to say "yes" to cleaning my apartment, and need to say "no" to this game.
Have you ever met someone who was both:
- A good person
- Had to regularly tell others they're not racist, sexist, or whatever else-ist?
Excitement for new projects is like a whirlpool sometimes. At first, I'm cruising along feeling thrilled. Then I realize you're in too deep, obstacles are piling up, and it'll take a lot longer to get back to a stable place than you expected. Plus my lungs may overflow with alcoholic liquid and I drown.
In other words, I get sucked in and am in such a huge rush I either give up or settle for forced, haphazard changes. A few months later I look back, want to fix it all, and the cycle continues.
Not this time, especially since the project in question is revamping this very site!
Patience and incremental changes are the real solutions. What's most important is not thinking that this project will solve everything. Success isn't one big step - it's several everyday steps.
Dating sites need a section for favorite philosophers. Mostly to avoid people who like Immanuel Kant. These people have many beliefs that don't work in romance:
- If they don't "intend" to offend others, they get a free pass.
- They're unwilling to compromise on ANYTHING.
- They won't lie and say you look good, even if you don't. Which I personally know is a big red flag.
Always ask on the first date if they like Kant. If they do, just run.
- Good people who feel big try to lift up others, wanting to share the joy.
- Bad people who feel big try to push others down, terrified to lose their spot.
- Good people who feel small try to climb up, helping others when they can.
- Bad people who feel small try to drag others down, finding "joy" in spreading their misery.
We can't always control how big or small we feel in the world. At least we can choose not to be an asshole about it.
An eFriend of mine pointed out how many people in a group chat don't often write something productive. Instead, they often talked in circles, shared few facts or insights, and more often seemed just liked reading their own words.
So for the record, productive conversations mean accepting there are smarter people worth taking advice from. Even if (perhaps especially if) you're a man and the smarter people are women.
There's countless examples of someone saying something horrible and offensive, being called out on it, and the person dismissing the anger as "people unable to take a joke."
If it's a joke, people need to laugh. Angry is optional, laughter is mandatory. If a majority of people are angry instead of laughing, it's not a joke. At least not a worthwhile one. You're either a lame bullshit artist or a lame bullshit comedian. Or if you care about your "comedy" that much more than the feelings and lived experiences of other people, a bullshit human being.
No matter what, don't think "comedy" should mean the same as "immune from consequences." And get some new material.
When you're trying to accomplish something, don't play television in the background. Ever.
It can't be completely tuned out. It divides our attention and pushes unneeded info into our minds. It's like breathing in polluted air - you can't directly feel the damage, but it builds up overtime and can be devastating.
Your attention and focus are your best weapons against any problem. Give those away, and you're letting others exert more power over you. These are people who only see you as a pair of eyeballs with a wallet.
Play music if you must. But never television.