Friday, January 28, 2011

Weekly Summary 1/21/11 to 1/27/11

Last week I said I would try pressing my abilities by setting myself up for a demanding week. How did I do? I got everything finished! I studied three chapters of Good Calories, Bad Calories (completing 29 conceptual exercises), read five articles from The Objective Standard, completed Capitalism Unbound, read up to page 200 in Becoming a Chef, established a reading guide for Food Styling for Photographers (though I think I'll skip it for The Professional Chef since it's so large), published that significant essay on Dragon Ball Z, constructed an article on leg cramps for Modern Paleo, checked out Turbo Tax, and did a thing for my Project. The toughest part was the taxing study of GCBC, which was really the only thing that tested my concentration. My concentration seems to be back to its old potency again, but I still lack the enthusiasm I had in my productive efforts a few weeks ago. In short, I feel rather gray emotionally.

The only difficulty I see in my endeavors is that I was prone to mental shortcuts in my study for GCBC and also neglected tackling other items on my to-do lists as well, but I guess that's to be expected when you push your abilities. Whatever got neglected, I concentrated on those few things I wanted to get done -- and I got them done. It is true, then, that I am capable of extracting much more out of myself than I had been demanding. Once I bring my intellectual strength up to the point I can handle these demands easily, could I perhaps push myself even more?

Emotionally, however, I am disturbed. I was rather indifferent this week, and one night I even gave up on completing my daily goals at night since I just felt so stressed out at my current conditions. When I achieve such a productive concentration like this I become aware of the Circumstance in a special way: I see how it interferes with each and every one of my strivings, and I long for it to be out of my life. The better things become, the greater my sensitivity to anti-values. I want but a life of value as pure as it can be, so the closer I get to obtaining such the more hostile I become to anti-values, such as the Circumstance. No, I didn't obsess over it this week or was particularly concerned, but I did maintain a constant awareness of it. Just because my mind can be occupied with other matters doesn't mean that the Circumstance has gone away; it's still there. It'll always still be there until the Project in finished.

At root, the stress that I felt that one night was a sense of punishment. Yes, it feels almost as if the Circumstance were some sort of punishment bestowed upon me, and, larger than that, my general situation as well. Here I am working diligently to improve my character, life, knowledge, and competence, often late into night, and what reward do I get for it? The Circumstance and the stagnation of my Project. I feel both jipped out of something I deserve and forced to deal with aggravation I had no part in bringing upon myself and do not deserve in the least. But, oh, why whine about it? A night's sleep alleviated my stress the next day and I caught up in pace.

I've been doing too much waiting for things to happen with my Project, and it's showing in my subconscious: I've started thinking about the Circumstance again. When that type of obsessing happens it means my subconscious is recognizing I haven't been doing a good job tying up the loose ends in my life, so it perpetually reminds me of my problems until I actually take steps towards solving them. While I am waiting for an effect in my Project justifiably, my subconscious is not pleased, and I'll have to take action towards my Project soon or I'll obsess again.

But I have to admit I've been feeling disenchanted with my Project lately, though not demotivated. It's just been going on for so long. Nearly eleven months now. And geez, my original estimate was about three or five months! It was my greatest hope that I could get things finished before the one-year mark -- but I don't know anymore. Every time I think I'm at the end there's some sort of obstacle there that decides otherwise. The greatest annoyance is that other people can, have, and do regularly accomplish the same thing I'm trying to do in mere weeks. On their side it's just another extension of their value-oriented pursuits, something sufficient for their happiness, but not necessary. On my side I find this endeavor to be positively essential in helping me obtain full mental health and to be able to peacefully concentrate again and be happy, something sufficient and necessary for my well-being. Yet the endeavor takes two weeks for most and over five months for me? Blast this state of affairs!

However, in the end it all remains just that: an annoyance. There is no way possible for me to actually become demotivated in this Project. The misery simply pushes me to desire a remedy all that much more. Full happiness will not be possible unless this Project is completed, and I won't stop craving it until then. I will persevere, only having taken this moment to rant. However difficult the Circumstance, I will ensure this is the last time it ever has an impact on me. 

Let us move onto this period's goals, shall we? I'd like to maintain this demanding pace since I know it's within my abilities, and I'd like to add a big pinch of self-improvement in there as well. If I get myself used to maintaining this rigor on a consistent basis, then who knows what I'll be capable of?

Study-wise, I'd like to finish GCBC (I have but the final chapter, epilogue, and afterword left), finish my current issue of TOS (about five articles; many short book reviews), read up to page 300 in Becoming a Chef, read up to page 50 in The Professional Chef,  and read up to chapter two in Food Styling for Photographers. I sense I may get these done quite early, especially since I'm slowly becoming more desirous of keeping myself busy, so I must exert myself to go beyond this if I do succeed.

Self-improvement-wise, I'd like to practice tying my shoes and apron faster to increase my efficiency; perform a trial run with some new perfection categories under my exertion category, studying/thinking (to track my intellectual effort, slash marks meaning I'm lazing); do my own taxes, buy groceries that will emphasize my cutting skills, and try two new study techniques: writing/speaking out "everything I know" at the end of a section and during my connoisseurship, and adhering to a definite time limit during these activities in order to prevent myself from taking mental shortcuts and trying to end it early. And yes, I'll add that writing subject to my list of goals as well so I don't neglect it. I promise.

All in all, I've really picked myself up, haven't I? Remember those series of weeks when I couldn't accomplish all my weekly goals, even though they were much less demanding than this? You've just got to keep pushing on no matter what. Giving up is the only definite sign of failure.

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