Press On

You know what else makes a huge difference? Controlling your emotional state.

The first step in that is to recognize that how you feel will impact what you do, or how well you do it. Why did I want to skip class yesterday? Was it because I was having fun playing cards, or because I knew that going would make me late for the next appointment? Recognizing how you feel when you want to quit/fuck up will help you avoid stepping into those traps in the future.

The two worst ways to feel when you’re trying to get something done are apathy and hopelessness.

Apathy says to you “fuck it, I’ll do it later,” or “Meh, I don’t feel like it.” Hopelessness says “damn it, there’s no point.” I have programs that kick in for either one.

Feeling apathy for any particular event or task leads me to the meta-task of “do it no matter how you feel about it right now.” It’s submitting to my past self. And I prevent hopelessness by measuring, seeing small results, and putting massive amounts of energy into something, so I can stay ahead in the race.

To become the person you’re destined to be, that person who is greater than you, stronger and happier, you’re going to need to know your weaknesses. It’s a big journey, but little things matter, so start there for now.





3 responses to “Press On”

  1. Jackson Wightman Avatar

    Angry can also be a hell of a dangerous way to feel when trying to get most tasks done. Indeed there are realms – and some people – for whom anger is a great catalyst for action and indeed sometimes repressing it can be the worst move of all.

    My experience though is that many of us really fuck stuff up real nice when we get angry and react in an uncivil manner.

    Reactionary anger is one of the greatest liabilities in the workplace. This is what leads us to lash out at colleagues, berate subordinates and generally behave in ways that are counter productive to most getting most short term and longer term work.

    I’ve enjoyed the last two posts – they segue nice.

  2. Dave Doolin Avatar

    There seems to be some sort of pathological avoidance of hard work. Like everything is supposed to be easy.

    Hemingway right? “Open a vein and bleed on paper.” (I should look it up instead dropping a drive-by)

    So, yeah, eliminating how you “feel” about something nd just getting down and doing it is what gets it done.

    I “feel” like going surfing at Ocean Beach today. It’s at what, 12 foot today? Deadly. Perfect.

    Instead, I’m pounding my way through a tedious ecourse on building a website in a weekend. Very fiddly and nitpicky. Yawn. All day to write a 1500 word curriculum (I’m so lame, _real_ bloggers pound it out 1000 words per hour).

    Even though it’s boring the snot out of me, it will be tight when I’m done.

    Writing when you “feel” passionate is trivially easy. Writing because it has to be written is a whole ‘nother story.

    Thanks for this little article, it got me kind of riled up. I have another boring 1500 words to go for the Sunday lessons.

  3. Sally G. Avatar

    I’m focussing on Self-Discipline this year – is that, in part, what you’re referencing in this post and your last? I almost feel like my life path so far has been an experiential exercise in Freedom and Discipline. On the one hand, they seem juxtaposed – and yet, if I allow myself the Freedom to actually go really deep with any one Discipline … I’d be enriching myself in so many ways. It’s amazing how you can transfer information gained in one realm or aspect of life into all other areas you’re exposed to. When my drive, enthusiasm and motivation seems stymied by a To Do that I don’t really feel like doing at the time though – Self Discipline is what I really need to harness. @Dave Doolin: I hope you got your curriculum done today!

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