Friday, November 26, 2010

Weekly Summary 11/19/10 - 11/25/10

Well, consider this to be the worst week to date, as I've gotten nothing done in terms of my short-term study goals. I wasn't idle -- I just couldn't get it done. My worst fear has come to be realized, for my subconscious is fully aware of the stagnating nature of my Project and has made me concerned with the Circumstance or otherwise distracted. I tried hard to complete my reading for Good Calories, Bad Calories, but I kept running into that problem where my mind would seize up without my knowing it. I would just be on my way reading when suddenly I would blank out and start thinking about the Circumstance, unable to catch myself until several minutes later. I would always reassert concentration whenever I caught myself dwelling on such, but it would only be short-lived as I would shortly be distracted again. One day I spent two hours trying to read two to four pages.

Worse yet, it seems like my backup methods are failing. I've tried reading the text aloud to see if that would force me to concentrate, but somehow I've learned how to recognize and speak words verbally while my mind is off in another place. Once I get to the end of a paragraph I get confused as to why I don't remember anything of it, and when I reread it it's like a new experience. Rubberducking, too, is failing. Some days I undertook to have extended speaking sessions lasting an hour or more, and I hardly feel relieved or have a cleared mind. Distractions with the Circumstance would persist regardless.

The strange thing is that very little of this, if any, is actually affecting my work life. When I'm at work my mind is on the relationships I'm nurturing there. I feel like I'm in my currently ideal place, feel calm, and treat others with the greatest benevolence I can. When I get home, however, the reality of the Circumstance reasserts itself and I become mostly tense and on edge. If I actually have to deal with the Circumstance then I'm cold, angry, and hostile. On the other hand, if the Circumstance should happen to be temporarily absent, then calmness is restored. In sense of life terms, it seems like I have a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde thing going on, and I don't like it. I'm not being destructive to my values or being immoral in any way -- I'm still striving for moral purity and the ideal -- it's just that I don't like how I'm responding to what I perceive to be anti-values, especially considering I'm dealing with an anti-value that's been present throughout my entire life and have been trying to oust for years.

Something certainly needs to be fixed, or a new method otherwise needs to be employed. I can't keep studying like this, for even an entire day of effort won't amount to anything. Back in worse days when I was in college and in utter conflict with myself as to why I was there, my mind prohibited the use of my intellect because I was opposed to my endeavor, and yet was trying to do it anyhow. Consciously I had reached the conclusion that college -- for my context, values, and pursuits -- was destructive to my values and that I should be engaged in something else, or at least should refrain from going to college until I have reached the conclusion that it was worthwhile. I went to college despite these conclusions and consequently pit the entirety of my psychology against me. Sometimes I would spend the entire night working on a homework assignment and still wouldn't get it finished despite over eight hours of effort. In retrospect those assignments could have been completed in an hour or less, but since my psychology was its own obstacle it was impossible. I found it so hard to function that I failed nearly to the point of being expelled, and it wasn't until I dropped out that my maladies in this area were able to be cured.

It's extremely unfortunate that my last attempt to finish my Project involves means that are prohibited to me. Sure, there was extreme risk in that means, so extreme that they could cause my Project to fail, but I know that getting my Project done would do so much good that I would be infinitely more fit to deal with that risk, perhaps annihilate it. As long as the Circumstance remains in my life it remains a problem, and as long as it's a problem undealt with it'll be a loose end in my subconscious.

I am somewhat ashamed at presenting these lack of results to you, my reader, as part of my effort in life is to serve as inspiration to others. I know how it can fuel my own motivation to observe the achievements of other people, so I try to fulfill that role to some small extent -- whatever I can. That I haven't makes me perceive this unproductive week as a failure upon my moral being. But perhaps it's second-handed of me to want to serve as inspiration, and I should be entirely selfish in my concentration.

To tie my study problems with my mental health, maybe it could be an issue of intellectual input vs. intellectual output. By "input" I refer to study activities that involve more "absorption" type learning that entails taking in and digesting information, like reading or watching a video, rather than coming up with a creative product, and by "output" I refer to intellectual activities that do amount to a creative product, such as an essay or recipe. My thought is that I could possibly be unbalanced between the two sides and am engaging in one category when my energy really desires to be expressed in the other. For example, maybe I'm reading when I should be writing. If I remember correctly, there have been some days in which I'll peter myself out in writing and then will take to my books and note-taking like a thirsty sponge that has just been freshly wrung dry. This point is also further collaborated by the fact that while I was utterly distracted with my reading, I still managed to get myself absorbed in constructing some articles, even managing to sustain effort over a period of hours.

Maybe this study period would be beneficial in the best way if I take care to introspect and recognize whether I want to create something or take to relaxed contemplation and reading. Perhaps all along I've been irrational in determining to complete a specific assignment regardless of my psychological urgings at the time. To make this into a formal goal, this week I'll strive to be careful and introspect on the nature of my mind at any specific moment I decide to undertake a study-related assignment. If I feel like writing, then I'll write until that part of the brain is spent, and if I feel like reading I'll feed my brain until it gets the sustenance it needs. Even if I have to write all day to eliminate an itch I will do so.

I'm not quite sure what to do, however, if I should happen to be incorrect in my assessment of this issue, but I guess I'll have to cross that bridge when I get there.

This week I'll strive to complete one of every subject, exhaust my desires depending on whether I want to engage in "input" or "output," and will work to establish my recipe system with notecards. I'll also contemplate another means to getting my Project finished, one that carries much less risk, but risk of a special kind. I have been adamantly opposed to employing the means considered for a long time now, but I may be willing to compromise now considering I've virtually reached my limit in how much longer I'm willing to tolerate the Circumstance. I just can't keep living like this.

I do apologize to my readers for being so thoroughly lame for these past few weeks, and will not cite my difficulties as any sort of excuse. I'm still not giving the total 100% -- there's more pushing that can be done. To end matters with a quote by Leonard Peikoff:

"[The proud man] does not demand of himself the impossible, but he does demand every ounce of the possible. He refuses to rest content with a defective soul, shrugging in self-deprecation 'That's me.' He knows that that 'me' was created, and is alterable, by him.

The struggle continues.

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