Forced To Observe

Wisdom of the Week: 7/22

  1. Money will not afford you happiness, but it can stand in the way.

  2. Physical states often dictates emotional state. If you're stuck in an unwanted emotion—doubt, sadness, victimhood, frustration, fear, shame—you can shock yourself out of it with intense exercise, cold showers, completely new situations. These break emotional patterns.

  3. An artist never starts with nothing. At the very least they start with the desire to make something.

  4. Stop trying to make something different. Make something good. Good is different enough.

  5. There are people who have clear goals, and there are people who have unclear goals. There are no people who have no goals.

Interview tips I've learned after being the interviewer

  1. Show your personality, but don't let it get in the way.
  2. Understand WHY you are applying.
  3. If you don't vibe with the people, you won't move forward. (culture fit)
  4. Coming with prepared documents or projects regarding the role isn't being an overachiever—it simply shows you care.

Wisdom of the Week: 7/15

  1. Sliced bread wasn't popular for the first 15 years it was introduced. It took Wonder to brand it correctly.
  2. The only failure is to give up trying.
  3. You can't wait to be good before you get up and perform. You must get up and perform in order to become good.
  4. Lower your standards until you're willing to begin.
  5. If someone sits next to you at a bench or communal table, you have to wait at least 7 minutes before leaving. Even if you planned on getting up anyhow. (not sure how I feel about this)
  6. There's no such thing as writer's block because there's no such thing as talker's block
  7. Watching educational YouTube videos at a certain juncture, become unproductive.
  8. Top performers are not on all the time. They are either ON or OFF and they strategically switch between the two. Do not try to be ON when you should be OFF. Do not be OFF when you could be ON.
  9. A vulnerable and brave person gives no disclaimer before they start singing. They'll simply begin. There is no “you should know I'm terrible”. They are okay with what others think.
  10. The best songs don't sound like they were written.

Wisdom of The Week: 7/8

  1. Set a date for anything you want to accomplish. This is scary, but necessary. And even if you fail, you're still better off.
  2. Go cold turkey or hot turkey. In other words, go all in or not at all. This alleviates the cognitive load of “should I or should I not?”.
  3. You don't need to change your decision to go, but you might have to change your direction to get there.

Wisdom of the Week: 7/1

  1. We spend much of our lives waiting for moments that are worth being present for.
  2. Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
  3. It is impossible for us to break the law. We can only break ourselves against the law.
  4. “The way to change the game is to change the frame.” – Getting Past No
  5. Knowing how to transform failure into success is more important than knowing how to succeed. – Sir Ernest Hall

Wisdom of the Week: 6/24/19

  1. If there's a task you hate to do at work, turn it into a practice of discipline.
  2. You waste a lot of time playing songs in your head.
  3. Keep a symbolic urn on your desk—it contains the past.
  4. It's 90% mental and the rest is in your head.
  5. The benefits of learning are exponential and non-linear
  6. Those who make any impact/forward progress don't dive into details. They just start lighting the fuses.
  7. The anxiety we experience when going on a rollercoaster is the same anxiety felt when going into an interview. It's just framed differently.

This year, I will be much more aware of my social group an environment. One's environment has a significant effect on their behavior and lifestyle.

If someone asked me what is the easiest and quickest way to get in shape, my response would be to find some in-shape friends. Same with any habit, lifestyle, or circumstance you want to create.

This year I want to push myself and move towards things that are more aligned with who I am. I want to live a more activity driven lifestyle.

A lot of the things I say, the way I say them, and why I say them don't actually come from me. Their source is not from my individual experience—I hear authorities on a subject, and reuse what they say. Or I see others do something, and in order to feel connected, I do it too. Or I feel the need to argue with them about what they do. Or I feel the need to outdo them.

I think the one true reason we use social media is the need to be social. But there are other, more long-term ways to accomplish. So, I am planning on not using social media for at least the first 6 months of 2019.

My fears in doing this are the following:

  1. I will be missing out on things I would prefer not to miss out on.
  2. I will become irrelevant.
  3. I will set this goal and fail.
  4. I won't have the will to accomplish this.
  5. I will be unable to set definite lines—should I also not use YouTube?
  6. I've heard that in the beginning there is an increase in depression or anxiety.
  7. The Main One: I'll feel alone and disconnected.

The Benefits

  1. During moments of boredom or stress, if one doesn't scramble for a cure, they are rewarded with a piece of themselves.
  2. I will obtain a perspective I otherwise would never have.
  3. I imagine that when I'm 80, this wouldn't be something I regret doing.
  4. When I want to use social media, what I really want is a human connection. I will be replacing social media with volunteering, classes, hangouts, and dates.
  5. I will need to express myself through my original avenues—music, writing, joking.

I am going to make sticking to my plan easier by having a system in place. Being systematic, and not situational (which would leave action up to impulse), should make it more likely to do what I intend to.

System 1. Connect my account to social media outlets, so I will be providing output without having to take the input from the accounts. I think people will be able to comment on these articles if they want. 2. Change the password and change the email/phone number of social accounts to my friend's information. 3. Have it written why I'm doing this: Life is short, we don't know the effect of technology (although honestly, we all know it's mostly not good), I have goals that social media is standing in the way of (close relationships, a fulfilling career, music I'd like to write, books I'd like to read). 4. When feeling the urge, read your WHY, and remember it's socializing and human connection you want, and not to thumb your phone. 1. Remember the urge to use social media is actually just the desire to connect. So go connect. 5. On occasion, read a book or article on the problems of social media to reinforce the purpose of this. 6. For using YouTube, open an incognito window and search. Do not be logged in. YouTube will suggest a lot of videos for you.

Love, togetherness, intimacy, friendship, fulfillment,: are all threats to social media.

One addiction fights another for scarce resources: your eyeballs, your time, your money.

So the best way to combat social media is to include love, community, and friendship into your life.

I realized why I would be so afraid to delete my social media accounts.

Things like Instagram and Twitter are records of my thinking and life. Part of me didn't want to delete them because there is a non-explicit belief that I would have these accounts forever. That they are permanent channels to pump full of content from “Michael's Life”. Then later in life I will flip through my accounts like a modern day photo album or home video.

Then I thought about my Myspace page. You know, I'd trade my Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to recover my Myspace page from 2008. I'd be interested to see what was going on in middle school and high school. What was I thinking about back then? How did I talk? Who was in my top 8? What profile theme did I use? What comments did we post on each other's profiles?

My Myspace page is long gone and I don't know how to recover it. But I'm not anxious about the fact that I won't ever see it again. All those thoughts, photos, and writings that 12-18 year-old Michael created are long gone.

So if I'm not so heartbroken about MySpace being gone, then Instagram and Twitter shouldn't be a problem.

50 years from now, it's very possible no one will be on these sites anyhow. New ones will have taken their place. This seems impossible to some people, but there are endless examples of businesses that seemed bulletproof in their era, but crumbled at the hand of time.

I realized that the only thing we can hold onto are our actions.

I've deleted my Instagram, Reddit, and Tumblr so far. Twitter and Facebook are my last standing social media apps if you don't count YouTube.

I don't want to be someone who complains about things and never does anything about it. I don't want to arrive to the end of my life and wonder how else I could have spent that time.

“My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Today I ran 3 miles without any music or podcast. Just the thought of doing so was uncomfortable. I use the music to create a buffer between me and the discomfort. It helps make 30 minutes of putting one foot in front of the other more bearable.

In this day and age it's easy to come to the end of life shielding ourselves from the truth the entire time. Anything can be used and a barrier to reality—music, food, alcohol, beliefs, other people, video games, books.

If you believe you can't do something, why do you believe you can't? What's the story you tell yourself? Is that story benefitting you?

We create bullshit stories to make the state of things more tolerable—”This is just how I am. Doing that would be way too hard. Other people can, but not me.”

These are stories that make reality more bearable. But you can come up with stories that make reality more bearable AND actually benefit you—”I need to see this through for my life to be better. I have yet to realize my potential. Do I have anything better to do?”

For the entire month of December I have been planning goals for 2019. Another goal will be to not block out my mind with things like music, podcasts, or anything else.


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