Progress is taking action steps, not deconstructive analysis. I had fun painting the backdrop, which I entitled “Shhh-hh…”
5 weeks have elapsed!! along what is developing into my year-long “Fulfilment Project” for 2015. I have invested eye-blinding hours reading (mostly skimming) & studying dump-trucks full of information on the internet that I thought might help me on my quest to find short-cuts to sustained happiness & getting the most out of life for the minimum investment of effort. However…
In the tragic-comedy of a Sisyphusian sort of insight, I just realized that I have typed 267 pages worth of notes! Ha! That is basically equivalent to a novel! (A really incoherent & fragmented, schizophrenic novel, but by page count: a novel.)
The ridiculousness of this is, that just as I thought I was making progress, having summarized & correlated & compounded so much diverse information from the internet & having officially completed reading 2 of my selected books… it turns out that just reading my notes will take as much effort as reading yet another book! =2 steps forward & 1 step back… what a perfect irony!
— I just had a quick daydream montage in my mind of:
…pushing myself to run along a flat desert sand path of a known distance of 10 miles. At first I am motivated by my progress of having run, what I estimate should be, 2.5 miles, so far…, until startlingly I suddenly see a bird twice the size of normal, swoop down & catch a lizard twice the size of normal & land on a cactus that is twice the size of normal…
I begin to realize that, while I have, in fact, covered some distance & the 10 miles stayed a fixed 10 miles, I am shrinking relative to the desert & have, so far, shrunk to half my original size in a quarter of the time of my planned run; therefore, in net effect, the distance has doubled, since each of my strides now only covers half the ground. Further, if I have shrunk by half in only a quarter of the time, it stands to reason that, at the same rate, I will shrink by half again in the next, let’s say 25minutes, of time. So, if I was originally 5’10″ & planning to run 10 miles in 100 minutes, I am now likely to be, by the 100 minute mark, only 4.375″ tall & have only covered 2.34375 miles, but that isn’t the most disheartening news… I am still shrinking, so the net effect is that I will continue to cover only half the ground that I did each previous 25 minutes. So the next 100 minutes, I will only have covered an additional .1464843 of a mile. & the next 100 minutes after that would only add another .0091552 of a mile & the next 100minutes would only add .0005719… After 400 minutes ( 4x’s the 10 mile effort & 16x’s the effort I thought would have brought me to the 2.5 mile marker), I still would not have reached the 2.5 mile marker that I thought I had already reached… worse still: I would be eternally getting closer with infinity still to go…. never ever ever arriving.
The above daydream metaphor is often how pursuits such as these progress for me.
As it turns out, I just had a valuable insight!
….my internal mental action of studying & preparing to post, occurred in external reality as the emptiness of inaction…
My successfully expanding research to prepare to post, would be empirically observed as my failure to post anything at all over the past 2 weeks.
I just got more “forwarding” value from this insight that than all the reading & studying I’ve done up to now.
Here’s the insight:
When “approaching” a problem, I have a propensity to “take a step back”.
It goes something like this:
I ask myself, ” What do I want?”
I answer myself, “I should imagine how the 125 year old future me would apply his accumulated wisdom in suggesting an answer to that question.”
I resist the temptation to Hugh Hefner-ify the 125 year old me &…
I imagine the answer would be in the context of fulfillment & legacy & how I might make wiser choices today that become smarter strategies aimed at creating the greatest sustainable good for myself & those I love & that I would enjoy the journey all along the way.
cue my dysfunction:
Therefore since Time is the one ever-perishing, non-renewable, non-preservable commodity required to invest in all endeavors in such a life, I should develop an economic formula as a ranking & selection tool for discerning where one could best invest their time for the maximum return on that investment.
Therefore I should distinguish all the universal “Currencies” of life & their respective “Exchange Rates” as ratios to units of time.
Therefore I will have to quantitatively & qualitatively distinguish each currency into a discrete yet versatile unit.
Therefore I should invent an “Option Discovery” process, since the “ultimate” path is a rank only determined by its position relative to the “penultimate”, “antepenultimate”, & “preantepenultimate” best-fitting options available according to your intended result & criteria of tolerances.
Therefore I should divide all areas of life into distinct playgrounds.
Therefore I should distinguish all ways to play.
Therefore I develop a goal-setting process.
Therefore I should construct strategy principles into applicable templates.
Therefore I should develop a time management methodologies & motivational techniques
Therefore I should…
& so the research into competeing theories begins which explodes into an ever-expanding universe of peripheral topics & sub-topics;
while I zoom-in to analyze the main topic at first with a magnifying glass, then a microscope & then an electron microscope & then I study the quarks which make up the protons & neutrons of the atoms that make up the molecules of the cells of the organs of each creature in each ecosystem on each continent of each world in the solar system of the project which I want to begin… eternally getting closer with infinity to go.
…Not this time.
Now, I get it. Memorizing a map is nothing like visiting a place.
I will figure this out experientially– by virture of tangible practice versus abstract theory.
I will “lean into it” so that, if I am to make mistakes & falter, I will fall forward…
even if on my face… it may still be over the goal line.
I have now learned:
You can infinitely divide a single stride into ever smaller units of measurement & divide any individual unit infinitely in half, but moving forward is actually taking step by step in a simple process of addition (whether or not you ever comprehend the infinite subsets of fractions contained.)
I think; therefore I am;
but I am what I do;
not what I think.