Monday, October 10, 2016

"If you're going through hell, keep going" I don't remember who said that and I could look it up. But why? The message is received all the same. Sometimes I like that quote. When the "hell" I have to go through is doing the things I need to do to get what I want. Then it's great. But if what you are doing is just bringing you down then going through it won't work, you'll just entrench yourself further. I'ts good to have something challenging to do that is rewarding and fulfilling, even if getting up and doing it is still a struggle. I'm always thinking of my work and the things that I need to do that I've fallen behind on. Their will always be things to do, so does that mean I'll always feel like I've fallen behind? I hope not, and I don't think that I will necessarily always feel that way. If I can do the things I need to do immediately and am just more disciplined in doing the work maybe then I will feel better about it. I think that that is the first thing that needs to happen. But once I've done that I'll have to learn how much work I can take on despite being disciplined. Doing that has been difficult so far because no matter how small the task has been I've procrastinated to the last second on getting it done. But if I have a consistent completion time for tasks then I can know how much I can do. It's all about the infrastructure. For example I was trying to follow a morning routine which on paper looked great, but the only problem was that I wasn't waking up at the same time every day. So the routine would be impossible to complete in the same way every day thereby destroying any habit formation. So I scrapped the whole thing and began waking up at the same time every day and let a routine come from that. The routine ended up being very similar to the routine I had thought up before, but it was only now made possible by the "infrastructure" I had to first introduce into my life.
Human behavior and choice seems to be chiefly determined by nurture, nature, and situation. So if I want to determine my fate I need to take control of as many variables as possible on a far more macro level then my simple day to day choices which have mostly been pre-selected for by my situation. So if I take steps to control my routine, the jobs that I do, how much I save vs how much I spend, when I work and when I rest, well then I should be able to better determine my path.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Happiness and Emotional Control

True rewards and punishments are internal and not external like money or admiration. True rewards are the emotions we experience as uplifting, positive, and pleasant whereas true punishments are depressing, negative, and unpleasant. We have to live with whatever emotional range we have, occasionally but inevitably feeling everything from our lowest low to our highest high. The experiencing of such a wide range of emotions is what gives my life color and a sense of goodness and importance especially when they are in response to varied and exciting stimuli.

So why do I experience unhappiness that prevents me over and over again from living how I think I want to?

Because I often don’t feel how I think I should. I want to wake up full of joy and energy each morning, eager to complete the tasks of the day and to learn new things and to feel as though I am making progress and living a life that I want to live. Instead, waking up each morning is a struggle, and each task thereafter is equally a struggle.

Why is each morning a struggle? Why is every task a struggle?

Because I don’t feel the emotional reward. When I wake up in the morning I don't hear in my head “what a great day, good job going to bed last night, good thing you woke up this morning, the day needs you and appreciates you.” I don't feel the pleasant urgency I feel right before devouring a dessert or sitting down to watch a movie. When I am getting in the shower I don't feel that anticipatory joy and then the actual joy of being immersed in a pleasant activity. I don’t feel it right before making breakfast or when I am making breakfast. I only seem to feel it when the experience is extremely simple, for example eating when hungry, drinking when thirsty or when taking some drug that forces my brain to be happy. I want to feel happy when doing things I simply want to accomplish. I don’t want to push through life as if it were some battle, as if I were a warrior in the shieldwall only allowing himself the hope of dying with his sword in his hand. I want to scream with joy and energy. I want to strive with vigor and love, with courage and strength.

So how will you become happy? How will you find joy where you wish to find it?And pain and sadness? Where will you find them? Will you abandon them?

I will have to put joy in the places where I wish to find it. And pain and sadness will be in the places where I cannot escape them. Meditation is helping me to understand the different emotions, and in doing so granting me some small power over them. I am planting a seed of happiness in the actions I wish to take. Learning. I am planting a seed of happiness in learning. I am tending to that seed and will watch it grow until one day I can sit in it’s shade, so that when I am learning-the joy that I planted will accompany me. I am planting a seed of joy in the people I love. So that when I see them, when they need me, when I wish to call them, I feel the joy in doing so. I am planting a seed of joy in nature, in my work, in protecting and in healing myself and others. I am planting a seed in trying. Even if failure stings, I should not blame the fact that I tried, if I had not tried I would have failed even before I had begun, so the trying must be celebrated. I am planting a seed even in feeling happiness. So each of these seeds can grow into trees that protect me from false doubt, false disappointment, false fear, false hatred, and simple, crippling depression. By false I mean taught. The world teaches us lessons and reinforces those lessons through experience. For years I dreaded getting up in the morning now my mind knows only dread in the morning. For years, learning was a forced exercise now my mind only knows resistance, for years love was pain, now my mind only knows defense. I am taking control of who I am and who I am becoming. I won’t let the world punish me randomly, telling me from the outside what is good and bad, what is pleasant and unpleasant, if the world has made love bitter than I must reclaim it to feel it’s wonders.

How to be happy:

Step 1. Do what you wish you would do in whatever situation you are in.

Step 2. Reward yourself with happiness. Give yourself happiness. Plant a seed or water the sapling or lean against the tree. Take a moment to be happy, meditate, breathe, concentrate on the feeling of happiness and accept yourself and what you have done as good and worth doing again and again.
General Guidelines For:

-Being Happy

1. Do what you wish you would do in the situation you are in.
2. Reward yourself with happiness. Give yourself happiness. Take a moment to be happy, meditate, breathe, concentrate on the feeling of happiness and accept yourself and what you have done as good and worth doing again and again.

-The Order In Which To Do Things

1. Make a list of all the things you need to do (or some of them if "all" is too many)
2. Estimate how much time it will take to do each one from the moment you think about doing it until it is done.
3. Rate each one by urgency
4. Do the one that is the most urgent and for which you have the time to complete immediately.

Ex. I need to mail my taxes which is urgency number 2 and will take me a half hour. Unfortunately I only have 20 minutes before going to work. I also need to do the dishes which is urgency number 3 but will only take me 10 minutes. So I should do the dishes.

By doing completing things at once or at least cutting them up into portions that are easy to track you don't have to do any part of them twice. And by doing what is most urgent first, you don't fall behind.

-Buying Things

1. If you use it every day spend money on it.
2. If you only use every once in a while spend much less money on it.

If you don't use something often, you don't put the wear and tear on it that only high quality things can resist so it makes no sense to spend a lot of money on it even if it's really cool. But if you use something everyday or at least a few times a week, you'll likely put a lot of wear and tear on it and you will constantly be replacing it until you buy something that is higher quality and that can withstand the strain of constant use (at least for a while).

-How To Treat Other People

In general and within reason, it is actually much kinder and more useful and respectful to treat others how they want to be treated and not how you want to be treated. People are different and empathy and respect are what help us to get along despite those very real differences.