I highly suspect that these flickering screens have a very negative effect on my own ability to formulate the best course of action. It puts me into a particular fantasy where I need constant gratification or affirmation of my already held beliefs.
- At times on the computer or on the smart phone, I used to just scroll as fast as possible. What I needed was entertainment and I need it NOW. Three paragraphs, TL;DR. ME WANT LAUGH NOW!!! I still occasionally do it, and eventually the realization comes in that is how I should not function. I would waste away hour after hour on stumbleupon or reddit or watch some mindless cartoon comedy for that desire to find something to chuckle at for half a second. +.5 seconds of positive use versus -3599.5 seconds of dissipation per hour. Not exactly something to be proud of.
I have found that how I spend my time online mostly just leads to infatuation of my own preconceived conceit. The many hours I can spend just looking over material that I already adhere to is kind of mind boggling. I’ll read material I already believe to be true to confirm that my belief is still true. A tad redundant isn’t it?
I have also tried to read things from a perspective that I particularly do not adhere to, but that does not seem to enlighten me. Just makes me question how one gets to that reality tunnel to think the world operates in that fashion. Then I go back to confirming my own reality tunnel at my preferred sites.
I have tried watching videos from all the major religions to see if there is some wisdom that I have not fallen privy to. It doesn’t seem to make me the wiser. If anything I just sort of stare passively at the medium until I hear something outrageous to my own notions of what “reality” is. Is that a good way to spend time?
How I spend my time is one of the few things under my own volitional control. This is not to say that the The Internet is not a great device to be used for the benefit of myself. It surely is. In fact it is the the greatest repository of knowledge that history has known so far. This is just to say how I utilize my time, a source that cannot be repleted, would be best spent if I could formulate how to better myself at all times.
The two questions that seem to encapsulate most of how my mind operates whenever I am not tapped into some other medium besides myself is one of two. The first is:
“How do I improve the current situation?”
This approach to life essentially always leads to virtuous conduct. A negative view may interpret this into a hedonistic approach where one tries to, as the cliche goes, “live today like its the last.” The way to improve the current situation is to experience euphoria as quickly as one can acquire it by any means possible, as the intrepretation may hold. This viewpoint though seems to fall into the hedonic treadmill.
The hedonic treadmill, also known as hedonic adaptation, is the supposed tendency of humans to quickly return to a relatively stable level of happiness despite major positive or negative events or life changes. According to this theory, as a person makes more money, expectations and desires rise in tandem, which results in no permanent gain in happiness.
Actually, a refinement of the question I have asked myself would be “What is the most prudent action I can take currently?” This does not always mean that action is superior to non-action. Sometimes patience is preferred and other times acting now would stop the deleterious effects from furthering. Yet this question seems the best utilization of skill and good judgement in any situation I can fathom.
The other question my mind seems to particularly fall into is of a variant of:
“Why does [insert person(s) here]…”
This question most often leads to some condescending notion of my superiority over another.
“Why does he waste his time on mindless crap?
Why does she hoard all this useless garbage?
Why doesn’t he take some responsibility for his actions?”
None of these questions improve myself or the person I pass judgement on. It is an ego trap where I feel preeminent over another. These sort of questions I shall try to expunge from my vernacular.
What then is the most prudent action I can take over the next month.
- Further skills. I got a few books on how to draw. I should try to get good at that. Some may say that this skill is quite antiquated (or that there is no money in doing it), but I believe that the ability to draw is the ability to visualize accurately. I wanted to get into drawing after I had a notion appeal to me about what my life would look like if I continued drinking alcohol. Really want to get into it.
- I got Rocksmith and a bass guitar. This also has to do with perception. I am not sure if I have perceived things quite accurately before this year. For example in dealing with music, I will listen to some 70s Rock song that I have probably heard fifty times, and then I’ll try to just focus on each instrument individually while listening to it. I come to the realization that I have probably never even conceived that there was a bass guitar playing in the song, let alone following the rhythm of it. Mostly just seemed to focused on the vocals I don’t always understand.
- Books. Got so many interesting books. 9 more to read to get to 100 read for 2014. Really looking forward to reading the 3 Lloyd Khan books as I want to build some house at some point in my life. And the best time to research it is when I’m motivated to doing it (probably right about now).
- Strength Training. Been lifting for a month. Finally can do some dips, but cannot do pull-ups. Will do this everyday though so if I train at it eventually I should do it. Try to shoot for forty minutes a day of some dumb bell exercises. Hammer curls make me feel very manly.
These seem like the four things I know I should do. And if you made it this far, thanks for reading. In some book (I think it was either Make It Stick or the power of habit) it mentions that sharing what you want to do with others makes it more likely that for you to actually do it. So there is my input. Maybe input your own in the comments?