Caught up in others’ perceptions

How much time do we spend thinking about what other people are thinking of us?

The answer is probably way more than they spend even thinking about us. People judge despite being told not to. It doesn’t matter what a person proclaims of themselves by our very nature we judge. This is a core survival mechanism/instinct. If it didn’t exist humanity most likely wouldn’t.

How much time do we spend thinking about what we actually thinking about others?

If you’re like me probably not a whole lot. I make smack judgments then feel guilty when proven wrong. The guilt obviously a result of either western thinking or judeo christian upbringing.

If their is no intention behind the judgement and it’s immediate then what is the point of dwelling on it or feeling guilty?

There are a lot of control mechanisms in place mostly to keep us docile and compliant. Group thinking and behaviour being a primary reason.

We all waste inordinate amounts of time trying to be like everyone else or not like everyone else. This is probably my biggest time waster right after misuse of technology and squandering my personal time.

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The humour in things

It’s good to have a sense of humour. Despite how crotchety I may sound humour and laughter are a big part of my life.

Even with my current challenges during a recent visit with my doctor he commented on the eight months to see a specialist. I responded “well it was the last week of August so really nothing gets done until mid-September”. He referred to me as being an optimist.

I’m more a realist and still see a huge flaw in the system that could easily be rectified that most MBA or educated administrators won’t comprehend.

We continued our discussion and the stable of over the counter medication he added something to protect my stomach into the cocktail. I have been gassy plus some nausea which I chalk up to pain thought it’s intermittent. Weather may be a factor either way.

Rarely do I read the potential side-effects but, this time I did and came upon one about joint pain that gave me a good laugh. So, I’m taking pills to help managed pain that require me to take a pill to protect the stomach and may increase the pain. Hard not to see the humour in the situation.

Definitely looking forward to physio when it begins regardless of it’s effectiveness I will obviously find some humour in much of it.

Life is challenging. Life without humour even more so.

PS. My drafts folder is filled with abundant amount of craptastic rants but, I’ve been moving towards a more proactive or active approach to writing and living. There already are lots of angry people out there and I don’t wish to be another. I do wish to present my views or opinions in a more succinct manner. None of these drafts live up to that standard. Hope everyone’s writing is going well. Lovely weather is on the way here.

My own private editor

Saying my writing skills are lacking would be a gross understatement. I rarely edit blog posts as they are most often done while imbibing morning coffee. Will blogging this way make me a better writer? Definitely not.
 
Priority number one for me was to take action and begin posting. Combating my perfectionist tendencies required acting at the time. Now I’m ready to work on regaining and improving my writing skills.
 
Run on sentences and being wordy are typical problems of mine. Using excessive amounts of adverbs another. The list is endless.
 
As much as I rant on about the dark side of technology the advantages still out weigh the negatives. As controlled Artificial Intelligence (AI) and more advanced algorithms find their way into applications the opportunties for self directed learning will only improve.
 
Earlier this week I bookmarked a medium article about the Hemingway App. I didn’t even make it all the way through the article before clicking on the links to the Hemingway Web App . They have a clear explanation of the science or research underlying the principles of readability here.
 
After pasting in the post I was working on my impressions wasn’t exactly positive. Once my poor ego got over itself and accepted the issues with my earlier piece this led to a different view. Any tool that helps me improve as a person is always worth a try.
 
I may buy the app after testing the web app for a few weeks given it integrates with everything. Will I change all it recommends? No. I didn’t for this post. All I can say is it forces me to self edit my posts better which is what I need at this stage.

Putting bad habits into context

Lately with an exponentially increasing number of reminders I now am woke to how trivial, pointless and wasteful much of the Internet has become. Sadly most of those reminders come from the more popular platforms. Perfect timing and if I were a flakier type of person my leaning would be to attach a label to these little signs. Maybe I am flaky.

No matter the context or interpretation it is easy to fall into old patterns especially when we are struggling with something. There are always struggles and taxing situations going on in life. It’s part of living and growing. Hiding ourselves away under technology and the guise of being non-social social is convenient, safe and simply a poor choice.

This isn’t about taking a rare day for much need rest and doing nothing. It’s a matter of how many activities and choices I make every single day that counter who I am trying to become and what I want to accomplish.

With my first modern smartphone within the first week I figured out how to disable all the notifications because they were distracting and annoying. A level of pride or ego surrounds that decision but, smartphones were never the issue for me. Laptops were and now tablets are.

I choose to pick up my iPad and sit in front of the television then end up receiving no enjoyment from either device resulting in no learning, enjoyment or memory of what has been consumed. All that was accomplished was wasting time. Simply setting time limits are pointless if discipline is lacking in the first place.

All devices can be used beneficially but, it is up to us to structure how we use these things. Back to the grind of figuring these things out.

High expectations or perfectionism? Perhaps a little bit of both.

Lately, I have not been impressed with myself. Yes, I have fairly consistent pain but so what. Frankly, pain during the day can be tolerated and I find the sporadic bouts of nausea more annoyingly frustrating. Sleep has been a struggle for a so long I can’t recall so that isn’t an excuse either.

Given recent events mentioned previously I will be on my own in this current physical state for some time. I decided before turning into the Pillsbury dough boy I best put some semblance of an exercise routine together.

Saying my jumping rope has been inconsistent would be a gross understatement – no goals, no regimen, no scheduled, time, etc., etc. So Tuesday I began a new body-weight routine. As you can see below not very impressive.

workout.jpg

You’re looking at a guy who only a few years back could easily crank out 50 push ups with an additional 20 to 30 pounds of lean mass on. Even taking into account my age and inactivity I feel it’s a steeper decline than should be.

Looking at the second part even this morning with only about 20 days left to the month I see my goals are most likely unattainable. My legs are still sore but, I will sill push myself to do and expand this routine. Obviously adding in more stretching.

Do I expect too much of myself? Some may say yes other no. Opinions are both endless and pointless. What works for you won’t for me. I think having lofty and challenging goals strengthen us if we don’t expect ourselves to have “the perfect outcome”.

There’s the kicker. Freeing ourselves from an unattainable high standard while still maintaining a level of high standard. Truly being kind to oneself is our hardest challenge and just maybe one of the more noble individual pursuits

Lessons From Nature: Persistence

Last year I stumbled on a few new to me nature related YouTube channels including a live stream of a Great Horned Owl nest in someone’s backyard thanks to John Reese. At least once a day I would check in to see how the two balls of gray fluff progressed. Eventually seeing their progression out of the nest then out into the world. It’s amazing how invested we become in others’ stories online but, also in the stories nature presents us.

This year I made note to look for the live stream hoping to see the hatch. Given some of the news reports from various parts of the country in particular the east coast the Owls have been having a rough time of it after a varied winter. For weeks now I have been checking in watching mom sit on the nest and on occasion  catching her mate bringing her food.

Mom sat on the nest for a solid additional month after the eggs were due to hatch finally resolving herself to the inevitability that she would have no offspring this year. You could see the physical discomfort in her constant movement and adjusting herself but she sat there intent on fulfilling her task.

If we detach ourselves we can argue the evolutionary nature or if we take the emotional direction we can project human ideologies such as grit on to her. No doubt we can find experts who will tell us other owls give up sooner and any other of a numerous reasons to satiate our curiosity. From my perspective it was a perfect example of persistence regardless of anything else.

What can we learn from this as humans? How fast do we give up when things don’t happen in the time we expect? Do we persist or give up? Most of us probably have a mix of too much time or too little.

As I finish this up I see how beneficial this reminder is given my shoulder and my own expectations to progress to a black belt with an arbitrary time frame of five years which clearly won’t happen. Persistence reminds me that the learning and the process is more important than the belt, often than the goal or task we seek as well. Just keep going.

Battling the trivial

Lately it feels like my mind flits from idea to idea, emotion to emotion, etc. The mental equivalent to having a browser open with a hundred tabs all with different subjects. Clarity comes only in drips and the distractions widen the gap between muddied thinking and my  thinking clearly.

Obviously this is primarily a result of my own choices, behaviour and patterns this despite the awareness that psychological warfare is now the gold standard process of the Internet with even once respectable organizations engaging in these tactics. That is an assumption on my part, perhaps they never were respectable or honourable.

I choose to waste time on social media, entertainment via music or video websites, comfort blogs (mostly on Tumblr) and many more time wasters. Over the past week I’ve returned to a previous mentioned recognition of doer porn along with other time wasters with a developing awareness of a more insidious time waster, reading about learning or learning about learning.

There appears to be an increasing amount of people promoting courses, books and various ways for you to learn. Initially on the surface these all appear useful. We all are intrinsically curious with many of us interesting in learning new things regular. Again, it may be a matter of my application but, too much of anything can be devastating.

We need to put context to these types of things. If you constantly read about learning but, never invest in learning anything other than how to learn (just like writing about writing) then what purpose does consuming any of this have in our life? Nothing. It gives us the illusion of accomplishing something without accomplishing something. No wonder we buy into a lot of the dumb promises politicians make given the level of stupid things we put upon ourselves.

How do I  battle these trivialities that pop up? I continue to strive to put in place routines and rules that I choose to break. Things like schedule all Internet and Entertainment, no social media or no social media at theses times. My list goes on and on. The solution to the electronic issue is simple, no Internet connection while writing, working or whatever.

The hardest fight is regaining control over my cognitive processes then seeking to change or at the least develop processes and systems to combat these things. This won’t come from another book or course but, from a journal and active involvement in my own thinking. A lot of work. Am I up for the challenge?