Monday, December 15, 2014

Is It Foolish and Destructive for Me to Choose to be Homeless?

As of writing, I have officially been voluntarily homeless, living out of my car, for over 1 year and six months now. I actually intended it to be over by now, as I only wanted to pay off a portion of my debt and speedily secure an apartment so that I wouldn't have to  endure another hot summer, but my plans have gone awry to the extent that I'll likely be homeless for 3-5 more years.

It's been very difficult and stressful, having just enough pleasures and comforts to make the everything bearable. I've never regretted starting this experiment, particularly because I'm dedicated to never having to live with another human-being again unless it's a girlfriend or wife. The plan I'm set firm on is to pay off the entirety of all my debt and save up $20K to finally give me the financial stability and worth I've been seeking for years now.

A small selection of people think I'm nuts and irrational for doing this. (Perhaps even you, which I'll forgive you for thinking.) They say that my experiences with living with other people may not be as bad as I've made them out to be, or that even I may have been the bad person in the various situations, and that I could be setting myself up for long-term harm by continuing living this way.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Eric Hoffer's Patience in Mundane Labor (and How to Cultivate It)

I'm at a particular point in my life where I'm trying to regain my career direction after recovering from my prior stagnation, and man am I chomping at the bit to either make some progress or move onto something else. Staying for so long in one thing, dish washing, puts friction on my nerves sometimes. It's so monotonous and frustrating that it's amazing that I've tolerated it for this long, and it particularly frustrates me to not make headway, so I've either got to push extra-hard or find something else.

Though, at the same time I've got to heed the wisdom Eric Hoffer bestowed in his own life of physical labor, for he has some mental fortitude techniques that are perfect for anyone in a physically strenuous job, especially ones that drag on the mind with their repeated motions. (This is especially for you guys that are discontent in those tough jobs.)

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Keeping Self-improvement Permanent Through Lifestyle Change

In contemplating all the changes I could make to my mind via autodidact ventures, the one thing that has worried me for years is the prospect of working so hard to develop a skill and to either need to dedicate large periods of practice time each day to keep it fresh, or of accidentally neglecting the skill so as to let it decay, essentially wasting my original effort in having built it up in the first place.

This worry came to my mind some years ago when I was in the habit of training myself to do mathematical calculations online for about a half-hour a day, in an effort to develop a mental calculator. Although I have no intentions of being a mathematician, I consider math a tremendously weak intellectual area of mine which is nonetheless very probably useful, especially in use in culinary math, and I'd be best off developing some mental math skills so that I never forget how to do the functions and would be able to calculate faster than my fingers tapping a calculator.

However, those drills didn't really make me better at, say, walking around the grocery store with precise spending calculations (due to differing context: Standing static at the computer vs. walking around in a different sensory environment), and I fretted about the worth of my cutting out 20-30 minutes each and every day to practice this skill for prospectively the rest of my life when those minutes could perhaps go better elsewhere.

Years later I think I have found the solution: Simply "fuse" the skill you're trying to develop into your very lifestyle, so that the daily motions of living automatically keep the skill practiced and thus totally immune to decline.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Right Saying at the Right Time: Pin Pricks to Change

Quotes and aphorisms: We all love them, but sometimes it can be hard to harness their practical power if we can't remember their insights at the right time.

However, have you ever tried just keeping a scant few at hand to recite at odd times of the day, to shift your perspective in the right direction? For me, saying two things has really given me perspective on my behavior, and is useful to repeat throughout a day and at night before bed.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Measuring Up for Perseverence

By Downtowngal at Wikipedia CommonsOne of the greatest follies I've taken time to recognize lately is that I've kept my mind's eye on the wrong thing for many years now.

I was affected by this article that asserts we need to focus on our day-to-day habits rather than our distance to concrete endpoints in order to be truly successful, as its the individual steps we take daily that are far more important.

Still yet, after some months of mulling it over it has sunk in that there's an even deeper wisdom to this. It's not only practical to be more focused on daily habit rather than ends, but perhaps necessary in sustaining motivation in all of one's life. Learning to measure the right thing and love those measurements may be just what will give us the strength to endure any hardship imaginable.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Jamie Hyneman: Ex-Homeless Man, Presently Great Man

I always find it deeply soothing to find that a man I greatly respect has gone through the same hardships as I have, and that he came out of them with spectacular success. It says to me that my problems are not undefeatable, and that success beyond my wildest dreams is possible, still, regardless of how dark things seem.

Jamie Hyneman is such a man I respect. Aside from being a host of the very popular show Mythbusters, he owns his own special-effects company and has a long resume of the creations he made for various companies, is a multi-millionaire, and has a rather polymathic resume. He's also one of the key men that makes me contemplate practical autodidactism.

Given that, it surprised me to learn that he ran away from home and lived out his youth in homelessness. Interesting parallel, for not only am I myself presently homeless, I also "ran away from home," given that I told almost none of my family that I was moving out of state (and remain out of communication with most of them).

At times my hardships make me pessimistic about my ability to rise out of them, but if a great man like Mr. Hyneman has already accomplished such a feat, it's earthly and human proof that it is possible.

If you think life is tough, keep your mind on your heroes.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

An Attempted Return, With New Thoughts and Dreams

It's been a very long time, hasn't it? Though I've always been an inconsistent author, I apologize regardless, for the turbulence of life has kept me away. . . though I really want to get back to writing here. I've long missed the feeling of feeding my thoughts into the keyboard, though I am now rusty and probably have to write some bad articles to prime the system again.

To get reacquainted I'll detail what's been going on in my life, starting off at our departure point of discussing the Year of Hydra, then relay my writing plans, and, most significantly, tell how I've changed as a person, for a lot has been going on behind the scenes.

For the most part, I confess that the Year of Hydra has been very, very shaky, and I'm not doing as sincere a job as I should in my self-improvement goals. Ever since I've started my voluntary homeless experiment life has been an intense emotional struggle. The scars from last year still haven't quite healed, and of my own fault.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Hydra Heads and Habits

I suppose that in my excitement to write about new year's I overlooked explaining exactly how the mythological beast, the Hydra dragon, will actually apply concretely to my thinking.

Well, as I mentioned in my last blog post, I'm rather fascinated by this book called Antifragile, which argues that it's better to be antifragile than to be resilient or robust. To contrast them, the author uses the analogy of the mythological Phoenix bird against the Hydra serpent. When the Phoenix bird dies it is reborn from its ashes, but it's no better or worse off; it's the same. When the Hydra monster gets a head cut off it grows two in response; injury makes it stronger.

I'm enthused to think that it's actually possible to set oneself up to be like the Hydra monster psychologically, in a way, so that obstacles at all times are just things to adapt to and grow from, not things that leave you the same or worse off.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

So Passes 2013; Here's 2014, the Year of Hydra

Forgive me in failing to get a timely post out on new year's before the midnight hour, but other interference, well, interfered. Productivity was demanded elsewhere.

Anyhow, how about the occasional personal note plus a view on new year's resolutions?

Well, 2013, I have to admit, was the toughest year of my adult life. I intended it to be the Year of Prime-Moving to signal my really moving forward with putting skills to good (and financial) use, but it turned out to be the Year of Charlie Brown instead!