Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I Got Fired

It's unfortunate to report that just a scant few days after telling you of my success in getting a cooking job did I get fired from it. It was an unreasonable measure, for I was given disorganized and sometimes contradictory instruction, and the boss became dissatisfied with my lower level of performance while at the same time abstaining from constructive criticism or helpful advice. In fact, he reprimanded me extremely seldomly before giving me the axe, so it was a rapid gesture with very little prior buildup. And here I was thought I was steadily improving, just not uniformly. I think I've pinpointed my cognitive errors in my performance, so it's a shame I'll just have to go employ the new learning somewhere else. (Though, I still have my other job.)

However, don't offer me sympathy or solice, as, unexpectedly, I'm very at peace with myself. There is not an ounce of demotivation in me, in fact. My grief lasted for only but an hour, after which I quickly recovered and reset my determination to get back in the game. The aspiration to get back into the cooking is unimpeded and set into my mind, and I'm not going to let some irrational with semi-deterministic views tell me my capacities are innate and that I should be doing unproductive prep for a hospital.

Regardless of the suffering and pain, the hardships that have resulted from losing my hotel job last year in December have actually been very intellectually beneficial. The combination of being broke, dealing with mounting and currently unpayable debts, and temporarily depressed have altered my routines in a way where I serendipitously stumbled on, perhaps, a much better way to live for long-term success.

For instance, the depression. It's been painful in its duration, but the way it temporarily alter my practices is making me rethink entirely what composed productive practices to begin with. In particular I've noticed that being too depressed to maintain my to-do lists a la Getting Things Done has not impeded my actual productivity, but rather actually helped it: By parting from that system I noticed that the lists tempted me into doing very unproductive chores, and that in approaching activities more intuitively I focused on the important essentials instead, the stuff that actually adds to the long-term happiness of my life, rather than something like sweeping the floor. As such, I'm recontemplating my whole way of setting myself up for productivity, as being too depressed to keep up my old system has shown that the old system wasn't really effective at all.

Being broke has been another thinking aid. Temporarily I was in fact unable to afford food, so I did a lot of fasting, eating of endless eggs, and minor provisions from work, and the inability to afford other unhealthy foods has corrected the biochemistry of my body in a way that I sleep much more soundly and think much more clearly, rendering myself a more effective human-being since I'm not getting caffeine headaches or sugar lows from dark chocolate. To be able to experience the value of a *really* good night's sleep and the impact it has on my attitude and cognition has boosted my resolve to live a more healthful lifestyle, for it's hard to stay dedicated to it until you really experience first-hand what the results are like, which fasting and sole health foods have helped me see.

As a last example, my brief interlude maintaining two jobs had eaten my time to the extent that I seldom had room for things like Facebook and Twitter, and so heavily moderating those in my life sharpened my concentration to the extent that my peace of mind was greatly enhanced, and my cognition greatly boosted since I'm not distracting myself by diluting my attention to various articles and tweets on the internet. You could say that not having time for many distracting things on the internet has shown me those things don't really add value to my life to begin with. I only felt they did, and practically being made to go without shows me how much better my life actually got.

Many of these factors, and more, lined up in such a way as to give me a glimpse, even if for a brief few hours, of a special mental state I call The State of Complete Vigor. In that particular mood my concentration was so strongly set upon only the important matters of my life that I felt like I was at peak cognition: My mind was racing with thoughts and pumping creativity, and felt very sensitive and receptive to new learning and identifications. In other words, it felt like that particular state rendered me at peak learning, peak creativity, peak thinking, and peak perception all at the same time. Honestly, it's been years since I've felt like that -- and never at any other time do I feel so strong and confident as a human-being. That state not only makes me feel my most potent in ALL of my capacities, but also unleashes a delicious enthusiasm for life. Never do I feel so good about life, so confident about my ability to be independent, or so strong . . .

As such, even though I've had to suffer a lot these past months -- losing my hotel job, which was my best job to date, and most of my friends from it; incurring intense financial destruction during my unemployment, getting behind on bills and damaging my credit score; securing two jobs (a new year's resolution), finally getting a position in cooking and then losing it -- it altogether has had such an impact as to alter my habits and make me identify, at long last, the keys to setting myself up for optimal performance, the best state possible for the best chance at success possible. Things like a potential eviction and terrible credit score may be looming my way, but seeing just how powerful I can make myself and my mind makes me unfazed by it, for in the State of Complete Vigor I see how capable I am in taking care of myself and dealing with my hardships, because if I nurture the Vigor then I render myself able to trump all these problems, and then beyond. These may be the essentials straws I've been grasping at as to how to best live a strenuous life.

I haven't obtained all the definite answers to my questions yet, however. For example, I still need to experiment with developing a more effectual productivity system, for while David Allen's system may have hindered me with its flaws it did have some significant virtues, and I think some kind of formal list writing is required for maximal productivity; the question is *how* would it be best to conduct it for the best psychological smoothness? And while I've found that going without Google Reader significantly improved my cognition since I'm not distracting myself with unproductive speed-reading of fleeting internet writing I still find it adds to my life to some extent, and that's also a matter of *how* I can better read articles so that I'm not wasting my time or doing speed-reading (which is unconstructive for memory).

The things I feel definitive upon, at least, is that I need to be really religious with my concentration, not overthinking things, and being disciplined on good sleeping habits.

Concentration has been my favorite thinking subject for the past months, for there is no other mental skill, I now recognize, more essential to the best functioning of your mind. The difference between weak concentration and strong concentration is the difference between having a flash light and a light saber. To be at one's most effective and most efficient, it is essential. As such, I'm going to work on a life with minimized distractions, meditation for direct honing, and being focused on my activities instead of multi-tasking.

For overthinking, I'm starting to lean more and more towards the position that it's safe to rely on an intuitive approach to life so long as one intelligently programs that intelligence. For instance, awhile ago I mentioned I got read of my massive reading lists in favor of practically spontaneously picking out my reading books. When the lists still existed I had a reason for picking out each book I wanted to read, but I saw that the overwhelming information was unhelpful and demotivating, and didn't really help me choose constructive reading since I was always interested in something else when the time to pick up a book came. The spontaneous approach hasn't betrayed me yet, for I don't miss the book titles I've deleted, remembered the most meaningful one, and have a good enough sense of judgement and of my values to pick out books that will add to my life on the spur of the moment. I still read beneficially, in other words, despite not maintaining lists. Could it perhaps not be just as safe to do it for choosing daily activities, as the sense of my values will lead me to choose life-serving, valuable activities?

(Though I must emphasize that I mean acting on a programmed intuition; that is, an intuition that results from taking an intelligent, methodological life, not a whim-driven intuition.)

And for sleep, I simply need to be disciplined in setting bedtimes, minimizing blue light, watching my nutrition, and so forth. It may be a bummer in that my activities are "cut short" by bedtime, but the boost it gives to my whole being is too valuable to overlook.

As for all the rest, I'll continue experimenting and thinking.

I may be behind on a lot of financial matters and not quite there yet with my goals, but I'm not the least bit discouraged. All these failures have been priceless opportunities to learn about other people's psychology, my own, and the true practicality of my habits. Those lesson taken to heart empower me and shall prevent history from repeating myself, and may perhaps keep me set solidly upon the right path, and for good.

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