Monday, July 4, 2011

Being Productively Intelligent and Intelligently Productive

As noted in my most recent weekly summary I intend to employ something called a "scribble book" to see if it can help improve my concentration while I read. In short, the book would be used for sort of rough notes, only it's not my intention to ever reference the writing again. I plan on performing conceptual exercises for terms I don't understand, writing repeatedly words I have trouble comprehending (e.g. medical terms, foreign names), writing down questions, and so on, all with the purpose of simply making myself more engaged with the reading. The writing is to help me become more mentally active in general and to tame my thoughts.

But overall I want to use this to tackle a more significant difficulty. After thinking about my problem with doing too much walking I realized that my overall trouble is that I like to spend too much time thinking in comparison to actually being physically active. Thinking is definitely very important, but the way I've been portioning my life has been making pure contemplation take up too much of my time. Think, for instance, if you were to spend more time at the gym than in the actual tasks of using your muscles and strength. The thinking grows my mind, but without the right practices it cannot make my life richer. My aim in this particular self-improvement endeavor is to help facilitate a lifestyle where the mental and physical are more closely united, where I can find myself with thinking skills I can employ while remaining physically active, rather than needing so much time for pure contemplation.

Pure contemplation has been troublesome in that I tend to get too attached to the mood, as described in my post about walking too much. After I come home I'm still stuck in the mood and want to continue my pure contemplation even though I should get myself engaged in my tasks. Eventually I have to force myself out of the trance, as left unhindered it could continue literally the entire day, so I want to find some way to readjust my character so that I can remain desirably mentally active, like on my walks, in spite of being physically engaged in other things such as washing my dinner dishes or taking out the trash.

The way I see it, it's all but a matter of establishing new habits and becoming emotionally attached to them. The reason why I value thinking while out on a walk so much is because I established a habit which has become part of my emotional attachments. Consequently, given my present arrangement it's difficult to conceive of myself enjoying contemplation in any other circumstance as ideally as this one. I think that if I force myself to change my habits, then I can make it so that I'll be emotionally inclined to continue the practices I view as part of an ideal self, namely a more balanced and integrated approach between thinking and acting. Of course, I'll still need time to sit and think things through, but right now my ratios are way out of whack.

I think further goals will need to be established in order to get the thorough results I want, permeating my entire character, but I think this scribble book is a good start. The demands of physical writing should help stave off desires to purely contemplate when I should be focusing on my reading. Aside from that, I'll continue timing my walks as I have and do further thinking (natch) on what changes I need to make.

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