Monday, December 6, 2010

Planning and Acting as Therapeutic

I haven't reached a firm decision yet as to whether I should pursue that alternative means to my Project, which could potentially increase its length of duration (though it'd be so much more bearable), so I'd like to talk about something I've been meaning to save for my after-Project article. It's uncertain as to when I'll get this Project absolutely finished, but in the meanwhile I'd like to relay to you something that has helped me immensely throughout this entire ordeal.

As you ought to already know, the Circumstance is a problem that has a certain nature which necessitates the means my Project will employ to solve it, because there's no other way to solve it. Most irritating, the Project is of a long-term nature, which means I can't just get it done lickety-split and be done with it; it takes time. Consequently, I've been spending a lot of time salivating over a goal that has been taking a long time to achieve, about eight or nine months to date. In ideal circumstances it could be completed much sooner, but ideal circumstances I am not in. It's been an enormously frustrating wait, but the payoff will be incredible.

In my blog post about my psychological fluctuations I have noted that I've been having a hard time not allowing myself to be affected by the Circumstance: In some periods I'd be able to live my life fine as if it were totally irrelevant, and in other periods I'd experience full-on hostility and wouldn't be able to keep my mind in better pursuits. I had a hard time controlling such fluctuations, resulting in a lot of frustration and unproductiveness. But thankfully I have since identified why I seem to alternate between mental suppression and calmness.

Essentially, the whole crux of my problem depends on whether or not I have something to actively engage myself in to advance my Project. The time before I conceptualized my Project was by far the most miserable, because I had no idea how to effectively deal with the Circumstance since all my tried methods were failing. The start of the Project initiated a wave of relief within me, as I knew the means would definitively eliminate the Circumstance and I'd have a regiment to engage myself in the meanwhile. Once I got stuck on independent variables, however, the misery returned and I could hardly keep my thoughts off the Circumstance. When I thought to hastily complete my Project early contentment again returned to me, and when I found out those means are virtually prohibited the frustration resurfaced. Now that I'm contemplating a possible compromise or dramatic, positive shift in my goal I find that mental clarity again is returning. What are the related attributes between times in which I was frustrated and obsessed with the Circumstance and times in which I was content and mentally clear?

Obviously the answer is not only having a plan of action, but actively implementing it too. Even if my Project were to advance smoothly all the way throughout it would still take quite some months to complete, but that long of a duration still doesn't bother me; it's whether or not I can remain driven towards that goal in that time. The difference in the periods of my emotional flux depended on whether or not I could do something about my Project. As long as some further step was available to me, I was fine. The periods that I was most miserable in and most obsessed with the Circumstance were the ones in which I was depending on independent variables to complete my Project for me, because I thought at the time that there was nothing else I could actually do to move things forward, forcing me to painfully sit and wait. Such idleness I found to be the most aggravating thing in the world; so aggravating that I couldn't remedy it by merely engaging myself in other pursuits. I wanted to pursue one goal most desperately, and that I couldn't was something my subconscious simply wouldn't let me forget.

The reason why I would obsess with the Circumstance is because it was a "loose end" in my subconscious; that is, a problem that needed immediate resolution. If I try to ignore it and not do anything about it my subconscious will push it to the front of my mind and constantly call attention to it. I recognize that the Circumstance is a serious problem in my life and my subconscious won't let me forget that. Additionally, the Circumstance is the last of the most considerable problems I need to deal with, so of course I would concentrate on it immensely: It's the last essential barrier to my pursuit of happiness. Once gone, I'll be entirely unimpeded by any psychological difficulties towards pursuing my ideal self.

The only way to deal with a loose end, of course, is to tie it. So long as I was trying to live my life and pretend the Circumstance was irrelevant the loose ends stayed loose. I still haven't completed my Project, but merely being engaged in it is adequate for my subconscious to view my loose ends as in the process of being tied up, so I feel emotionally calm and am able to direct my mental efforts much more productively.

Dealing with a substantial problem will certainly work to eat up anyone's store of attention, and dealt with in the long-term the problem could lead to intensifying emotional problems and the lack of ability to concentrate. It must be cured lest the consequences arise in the long-term, and considering the specific nature of my Circumstance and how I've witnessed other people deal with it I can say that the consequences are severe. Now, how does my identification relate to the issue of dealing with problems in a psychologically healthy way?

Any problem undealt with, like mine, with no plan to remedy it or active steps being taken will become a loose end in one's subconscious, one easy to obsess upon. And, to reiterate, the only way to eliminate a loose end is to tie it up. As a first step, if you're dealing with a substantial problem that plaguing your life, take out some paper or open a word document and plan out as thoroughly as you can how you're going to deal with the problem. This may seem piddly, but believe me when I say the planning phase of my Project did work to make me feel a whole lot better: It makes clear that the problem is not only solvable, but that there are also measurable steps that can be taken to solve it.

The second step is easy: Start acting! Once you start implementing your planned course of action your subconscious will see that you're in the process of tying up those loose ends -- and finally leave you alone about it! Again, I'm still dealing with the Circumstance that has given me much grief throughout my life, but the engagement in my Project alone is enough to make me nearly invulnerable to emotional impact by it. The most important thing in the action phase is to be able to measure your progress to your end-point. You need to know that a measurable amount of advancement is being made with each step, otherwise your subconscious will view your efforts as the equivalent of a suspended car spinning its tires in the air. Technically, the independent variables I was depending on does count towards advancing my Project forward, but since there was no way to measure how I was progressing my subconscious again made me concentrate on the loose ends. It's not hard at all to devise a system of measurement for your Project; in fact, you could rely on simply measuring the quantity of steps you need to take. Just make sure you can know when you're actually closer to achieving your goal!

This advice may not help you determine what specific means or project you need to construct in order to deal with your problems, but it should at least help to ease the burden of having to deal with a significant malady. Don't be idle in dealing with your problems, as we have only a finite amount of time alive and each calendar date will be our last. One person has even told me that he's spent over three years concentrating on a single problem of his: That's a lot of life wasted!

You might, of course, still have to deal with the problem in the process of trying to solve it, but trying to solve it alone is adequate to restore some amount of psychological fitness and to make one much happier. If I never conceptualized the Project I'd probably be unspeakably miserable by now and even more behind in living my life. It may be taking a long time to complete, but I assure you that this endeavor might be the greatest I've ever taken on in my life, and its accomplishment will be a massive spiritual fortune. Don't give up.

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