Thursday, August 29, 2013

What to Do Now But Change a Tide?

I announced receiving a new laptop a few weeks ago and despite the greater access to internet, this blog has not totally risen from its coma, so what am I doing? Well, my main routines right now are worthy fodder for a self-improvement article anyhow: I'm addressing my "Tide".

Tide is the term I used to describe the general theme of one's emotions in regards to activities, or, in other words, the general leaning of one's emotions as to what one wants to do the most. Now that I'm thinking more deeply on the term, it may be one of the most important things for a person to control in his life, a determinant of success, mediocrity, or failure.

To elaborate, the kind of Tide you have will determine what you're emotionally inclined to do day-in and day-out, and the desire of the kind of routine you want to maintain for the long-term. In short, how do you want to spend most of you days on a consistent basis? Do you have the eternal urging to be productive towards your goals all the time, to be idle, or something else?

Tide is the force behind that kind of person who actually wants to work all the time. For the non-workaholics amongst us, it can be emotionally difficult to project the emotions of those who can pull 12 to 14 hour workdays (or greater!) and maintain this day after day, week after week, year after year. What's different about them?

What I've found is that one's Tide is, presuppose effort in put into life (to exclude the most severe couch potatoes), determined by the thoroughness of effort put into one's endeavors, how those endeavors reward one, and the length of time dedicated to those pursuits.

In one of my cases, I managed to become a pretty nerdy guy -- in the best of senses -- after I dropped out of college to become an autodidact, transforming from Mr. Head-in-the-clouds, who could walk for infinite hours in introspection. At first I utterly fought with myself upon my desires, for rather than read a grammar book I so desperately wanted to walk and daydream for hours and hours, my great pastime at the time, and then pushed myself to the point that I could barely stand my walks unless I was exhausted, and had a newfound craving for mental stimulation.

How did I change my Tide from wanting to generally walk around the nature park daydreaming to secluding myself to studying and expanding my mind? it wasn't easy, but the process is knowable.

All you have to do are set goals that require a degree of intense effort -- one that will leave you fatigued after prolonged engagement -- ensure that the process is rewarding to a good extent . . . and then fight yourself to engage in that endeavor for as intensely and as long as you possibly can, and sustain the effort across several days.

One of the first things I began my studies with is autodidactism is a grammar book: I love to write and am good at it, and yet didn't know the formal terms and functions of grammar. (I felt silly to have any sort of proper elements be based in train intuition). The first day was miserable. My concentration was so poor that I couldn't get through the first section on that day; instead, I just kept continuously battling with my poor attention span, and at the end of about twenty minutes I was tired and had a headache.

It was demotivating to falter so dismally in the start of a thick book, but upon sleeping and waking, I discovered my concentration had improved -- probably from the ability developing it through brain-fixes in sleep -- and I studied longer, harder, and with less trouble with distractions.

Kept day after day and with the enjoyable improvements I observed in my intellect, my emotions gradually began to change. Rather than having to exert a disciplined willpower to make myself study and do my (self-assigned) homework, I began to literally crave it. It was like there was an uncomfortable space inside my head if I were under-stimulated intellectually, and it was unexpectedly pleasurable to think and be mentally engaged as I got further and further along in my studies. It's not too inaccurate to say the pleasure is like having a brain orgasm.

My vice of wasting hours in aimless walking actually became intolerable. One time I attempted to initiate a morning walk, and my desire to be mentally engaged was so powerful I had to quit when I was barely a fraction the way in, and immediately got to my studies out of authentic desire.

In other words, by doing such things as fighting with myself to improve my concentration or being disciplined to sustain my studies past hours where I'd rather watch television or idle, my Tide changed. I changed as a person, one who wanted to expand his mind and be studious, without having to deploy discipline.

It's a really tough fight, but well worth it, because if you can push your Tide so that you crave the activities and pursuits that contribute to your long-term life goals you're practically guaranteeing success. Rather than making yourself do things good for your future, you'll be attracted to them and want to keep at it. You'll actually find displeasure in old activities and find it may actually bring you pain to waste time in old habits you no longer have or enjoy, such as my own idle waking.

This is the simple secret behind super-producers such as artist Winsor McCay or just about anyone that works a seemingly insane amount of hours while enjoying it all the time: They've successfully pushed their Tide in their pursuits.

That's what I'm focused on doing right now. I admit, as of now I'm quite ashamed of my present lifestyle habits. Handling stress so poorly, such as in my financial difficulties, I've gotten caught up in coping vices such as . . . walking, again, and have been procrastinating on thoroughly reviving old good practices such as my priorly more intense autodidactism. The reason why I'm not back to regular blogging again is that by having it out of my life for so long I've lost the blogging habit, and need to reestablish my Tide so that writing so regularly becomes a part of my life again. I need to restore my Tide towards things like autodidactism, entrepreneurial experimentation, intense weight-lifting, the culinary arts, and so forth. Heck, when I first became a dishwasher in Michigan my Tide even made me crave going to work all the time, even if it is mundane dishwashing, since I loved being productive in my career.

The process of changing a Tide is simple, but definitely hard. As mentioned above, as you have to do is set concrete goals beneficial for your long-term life, such as writing practices if you were to be a novelist, and make them sufficiently difficult that you'll have to struggle to a degree, preferably to the point of fatigue. Once, while engaged in the endeavor, you being to feel like calling it quits for the day is exactly when you need to push harder at it for a little longer. Once your desires tell you to quit is when you must not, for in these moments you're running right up against the force of your Tide, and to push at the endeavor beyond this point is exactly where the progress is to be had, where the Tide will begin to shift if you refuse to quit here.

All these months into my homelessness my stress has dropped dramatically, for I no longer need to fret about payments going through for rent or creditors blowing up my phone, so I no longer have the excuse of any sort of distraught preventing me from changing my Tide. If I am to be successful as I want to, I must be an autodidact, one who experiments with entrepreneurial, become more serious about my culinary education, and so forth, and then I'll be set upon the road to success like a metal shaving being drawn toward a mental.

Which way does your Tide flow?

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