Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Meeting Myself Again, and the Pitfall List

Argh. I would do well to take a good few moments to make acquaintance with myself again. This past few months have made me realize just how far I've gone in losing sight of ideals and weakened my pursuits in striving to be the absolute best I can possibly be. Certainly I have been making huge progress on some of my other goals, such as my new year's resolution to get a fine dining job or my emotional health pursuits, but I'm not maxing out my efforts, if you know what I mean. To fully realize myself, I need to be working far more exhaustively to make myself into the man I truly want myself to be . . . if I'm going to obtain my fullest and most complete happiness.

Alright then, I ought to repeat my aims. What's my greatest desire in life? Devoid of concrete specifics, it is to fully realize my powers, to maximize my talents and abilities, and to reach the greatest cognitive heights I possibly can. The culinary arts is where I want to exercise all these capacities and drive all my energy. In order to obtain these aims I must be very prudent with my time as Scrooge McDuck is with his money. I need to have rational sleeping habits that obtain the most value in the least amount of, and spend all of my waking moments hustling from one endeavor to the next, never enjoying a moment of idleness unless needed for rest. I want to read as much as humanly possible of myself to learn as much as humanly possible of myself, write as much as humanly possible of myself to make my vast amount of mental activity in pieces for others to enjoy (I spend far too much time thinking, without putting it to action or words), and I need to set up meticulous and self-improvement goals one after another to develop myself as much as humanly. And the reach the great amount of enjoyment that can be obtained in life, I need to strive to set out as rich a life as possible, such as by surrounding myself by alluring smells -- a small, but intoxicating, pleasure -- seeking out beautiful things (and creating them myself, in words and on a plate), and taking in inspiring and enrichingly intelligent works of art.

All of this entails exhaustive pursuits, relentless self-improvement, frequent exercise in the mind either creating or learning, and cutting out the unneeded excess, such as surfing Facebook.

I need not fill in the specifics here as I'm well aware of them in my own mind and have made it clear what I want to be in past writing, so I need to restate to myself the broad generalizations to help me snap back and realize just how much more I need to hustle. I'm not making full use of my life. What's up with that?

Youthful people . . . really youthful, I mean those under 21 . . . tend to have a white hot idealism, as is commonly known. You get them to believe in some ideals and the best among them will more often than not pursue them feverishly, enough to make you cross-eyed at their efforts. I was such a person, once. I used to put myself through the wringer in my self-improvement goals, and even had a private course of study where I would study for hours on end almost every single day. But I lapsed.

In this day and age, tragically, people's youthful idealism tends to peter out with age. I don't think it's an inevitable burning out of the fire, but rather a sad reaction to how frustrating this world can be in how it often works to hold the best people down, making them work harder for less, or even nothing at all. It's definitely some sand on your flames to put forth an incredible effort at, say, your workplace and watch those around you get promoted with less time and work, because you're "irreplaceable" at your lowly position. But in cases of frustration like these the fire is suffocating, not burning itself out. In this day and age one must do well to keep the flames burning and to frequently fan and feed them, for the mean world we live in is cruelly intent on dousing them. The fire of youth should, ideally, be retained all through life, for the greatest men in the world, such as Walt Disney or Steve Jobs, met their successes by maintaining their youthful ambition through their lives.

My own fire has smoldered a bit, in just these scant few years. By reminding myself of just how far I want to go in realizing myself I want to kindle it back into a rage, so that I can once again wake up early in excitement at living my life and only go back to bed once I'm too exhausted to continue on. I used to do it once.

It's a lot on one's plate goal-wise, but reachable when viewed piece by piece. It would monstrously intimidating if I were to try and write everything out into one article, but all the steps to success and happiness include simple things such as reading books until my vision becomes blurry, visiting botanical gardens, and tying knots to develop my dexterity (relevant to my work). I'll set the goals and pursuits one by one as I come upon them.

To help prod myself I think one thing I could be doing much better at is keeping track of my vices. Sure, I focus a lot on the good things I could be doing, but not enough at all at the things I'm doing that's holding me back. Habits, by their nature, need little effort to be initiated, so the bad habits I allow myself to maintain are allowing me to all too easily coast since they require little to no effort to be acted upon, and can even be engage unconsciously as one might in locking a door without being aware of it. If I keep more in-depth track of my vices, I'd have a more comprehensive view of what my lifestyle is in total, and be better able to detect trends in my practices. 

What I propose to do is set up a sort of "pitfall" list, in which I type down all the vices that I have that I'm aware of to date, and then opening that file each and every single day to help me remain aware of my ongoing bad habits. After a week passes I will then obligate myself to rewrite that list from scratch without looking at a copy of the old one, so that the blank page will move me to honestly assess my life and actually investigate my character, and retain a strong and clear awareness of what's going on in my being, so that I don't, say, become so used to the list that I can "read" it without comprehending it. Being rewritten on a weekly basis, I will be called upon to assess myself over and over again, and throughout the week the vices won't become so stale that I'll lose my ability to really see what I've written down.

This perpetual awareness should destroy any ability within myself to coast unaware as to what I'm doing with my life, even if it means doing so by means of guilt. Being aware of a habit is the first and much significant step in being able to change it into a better one.

The fires of ambition . . . a true inferno . . . can be relit within me, and I'm intent on seeing myself through to the end on that. I have, after all, titled 2012 the Year of Self-Mastery, and this is but a logical focus.

When you master yourself, you enable yourself to work and live to the fullest, and gain the resultant happiness.

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