Unfollowing everyone

No matter what we think of each other, maybe it isn’t at all important that I follow you, or that you follow me. We are both elsewhere, in more complete forms. Let’s find each other there.

~ David Cain, from https://www.raptitude.com/2019/04/the-life-changing-magic-of-unfollowing-almost-everybody/

Having recently completed the last step of a complete exodus from my personal participation in social networks, I can now say: I have no idea wether I’m interacting more or less with other humans, and I do not care. I’m less stressed and I don’t miss it. I feel so much better just never going to those spaces.

But, wow did I used to spend time there.

It’s almost as if the multi-billion-dollar companies know so much about manipulating human behavior that I was literally unable derive benefit. It’s almost as if I was simply a battery plugged into their matrix.

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My future self

People who succeed look to give their future selves an edge. They seek to put themselves in a more advantaged position down the road. They make small sacrifices today to alleviate stress and enjoy more fulfillment tomorrow.

~ Steve Pavlina, from https://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2016/08/patterns-of-success/

There’s an old adage about how we consistently over-estimate what can be accomplished in a day, while under-estimating what can be accomplished in a lifetime.

At some point I started loosely planning each day; There are times when I completely pause this daily activity, but in general, early in the morning I create a plan for the day. I disagree with the often repeated recommendation to plan the night before. In the evening, as I’m winding down, planning my day would place me in front of my computer which is something I avoid at all costs.

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Serenity

The most prominent quality of this state of presence is the quiet that comes over the outside world. You can still hear the city noise and traffic, but the loudest thing has gone silent, which is your normal mental commentary.

~ David Cain, from https://www.raptitude.com/2014/03/how-to-stop-your-mind-from-talking-so-much/

Sometimes I manage to bring myself to the present moment.

Sometimes a feeling of serenity appears.

Sometimes I notice I’m staring at the horizon with a benevolent feeling suffusing my existence.

It happens too rarely.

Each time it does, in the subsequent moments—as I’m dragged down from that brief enlightenment by my personal zombie horde of thoughts—I’m left only with a echo…

MEMENTO MORI

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Satire and free speech

Over the past few years I have been made to see, in sum, that the nature and extent of satire is not nearly as simple a question as I had previously imagined. I am now prepared to agree that some varieties of expression that may have some claim to being satire should indeed be prohibited. I note this not with a plan or proposal for where or how such a prohibition might be enforced, but to acknowledge something I did not fully understand until I experienced it first hand — that even the most cherished and firmly-held values or ideals can change when the world in which those values were first formed changes.

~ Justin E.H. Smith, from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/08/opinion/the-end-of-satire.html

I’m not sure what to say about this, other than: This is an interesting article.

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Deciding versus doing

Doing a pushup isn’t that hard, and with a fully defined program, once I’ve decided to go with it, a pushup is all I ever have to do. Push the floor away, and I will get there. On the action level that’s all I need to be thinking about. Trying to do a pushup while you’re simultaneously deciding whether it’s worthwhile is about ten times harder than just lifting your body off the floor.

~ David Cain, from http://www.raptitude.com/2014/02/keep-your-doing-and-your-deciding-away-from-each-other/

Hear! Hear! and once more, louder, for those in the back!

I’ve come to the conclusion that for me, the desired ratio for the time spent deciding versus doing is infinite. I strive to spend all of my time deciding. I try to never do anything. I try to always sit with the thinking and the deciding. …stay with it. …wait. …keep thinking. …no, I’m not yet done deciding. …no, do not initiate action.

Because no matter how hard I try to stay with the deciding, my urge to do eventually forces me into action. I never have trouble shifting from deciding to doing.

This is very closely related to my touch-stone phrase for 2019, which is, “no.” In 2018 I tried the classic, “HELL YES! …or no,” and I still said yes far too often. So for 2019 I’m trying to always say, “no.” I’m trying to spend all my time deciding.

Halfway through 2019 and I’m still getting far too much done.

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Social networks

Quit your yakkin’ and get busy. Quit wasting time obsessing about pimping your ass and checking your stats. Instead, MAKE stuff. Make AMAZING stuff. Make stuff that is so good that people have no choice but to find out about it. Otherwise, you REALLY are just wasting your time. This game is already TOO hard and TOO BIG a time suck to fritter away on what is, for the most part, a big ol’ distraction.

~ Hugh MacLeod, from https://www.gapingvoid.com/blog/2011/08/21/im-sick-to-death-of-hearing-the-phrase-driving-traffic-to-your-site/

At this point, I have left all of the online social networks. I’m busy spending all of my time working on The Work—or at least trying to figure out what The Work is for me— cultivating my mind, writing and spending time with those whose company I enjoy. Unfortunately, that last one is nearly impossible since the vast majority of people are too busy.

I suggest you make a list of what’s important to you. It does not need to be ordered by priority. Simply make a list of things which are important. If that is hard to do, you’ve just learned something important; “Figure out what’s important to me,” would be a good item for your list.

I check my list occasionally to see if what I am doing in some random moment is aligned with my list. I checked recently, and social networks no longer made the cut.

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Abundance

The rest of the year we would call this feeling abundance. It’s not a feeling particular to Christmas, but for a lot of kids Christmas morning represents the abundance feeling at its peak concentration. The first days of Summer break gives a similar high, but it’s spread over a much longer period and so it’s never quite as dazzling. There is also a minor spike in the fall, the evening of Halloween. In each case the abundance feeling is glorious, but fades quickly.

~ David Cain, from https://www.raptitude.com/2013/12/what-to-get-everyone-for-christmas/

I want to say I have everything I want. It’s certainly true that I have everything I need. Despite this, I do things frenetically all my waking hours with seizures of exhaustion and depression and escape to entertainment.

Clearly what I feel I don’t have is an abundance of time.

It’s impossible to do all the things I think of, and I don’t mean ideas of entertainment or escape. I mean ideas for projects, businesses, changes to improve things and so on. I know that I have to stop trying to solve so many problems. I know I need to simply find something that fulfills me and tinker.

But my obsessive nature—or is it only a habit?—leads me to try to fill every waking moment with effective effort.

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§17 – Be that guy

(Part 29 of 29 in Study inspired by Pakour & Art du Déplacement by V. Thibault)

After too many readings to remember, I’m still at a loss to summarize my thoughts. The difficulty is that this is an area of my life with which I currently struggle daily.

There is a basic challenge-level to reality: There is a stone in my shoe. It’s time to mow the lawn. This bill should be paid. I’m great at handling huge numbers of these basic sorts of challenges. Unfortunately, the positive thinking of chapter 17 doesn’t give me a handle on solutions to basic challenges. …and I am completely swamped with these sorts of basic challenges.

Don’t conflate basic with easy. All of the easy, basic challenges I have under control; They are already done, or are managed by reliable systems. What I’m left with are the remainders—a pile of difficult, basic challenges. Things for which positive thinking still gives me no purchase.

I don’t have much of a grasp on this chapter. But then, that’s why I’m studying this book and using its chapters as jumping-off points for my thoughts.

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War is not wicked

As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have its fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular.

~ Oscar Wilde