I’ve discovered that when my grand visions or goals are not clear, when the challenges of life are not chosen, are not a part of my grand vision, then life becomes difficult to bear. Uncertainty, restlessness. It’s always there. But I can channel it to do insanely productive work.
I’m not free of anxiety, but I know that a purpose helps. Having a grand vision: something challenging, something worth fighting for, towards. It makes everything less debilitating. It takes the scattered mind and brings it under a lens of focus that burns through whatever is in its way.
Distractions are a major source of anxiety
One thing I realized is that if I exercise the self control to limit distractions, I become calmer and infinitely more productive
Distractions are anxiety inducing, scattering the mind.
But when there is a singular focus, when all my other desires have been properly pruned through self control and self discipline, and I take the time to curb my appetites, and think within my means, within the bounds of what matters most, of the dreams and goals and ideals I am most committed to, then I experience an incredible crystallization of thought and feeling that produces an intense productivity.
I’ve been reading biographies and books that continually emphasize this fact. Expertise. Mastery. Success. Productivity. Deliberate practice. Deep work. Flow.
Distractions: they are bad. Unnecessary crap. Diversion of attention
May not be challenging enough. The goals may not be ambitious enough. We may not believe in ourselves enough. We may be avoiding ourselves
I consider the time I spend on instagram. Hours. If I spent the 5 a day I spend scrolling through social media, and devote it to study, to books, to reflection…. that’s 35 hours a week. That’s 1820 hours a year
If I obsess
I love obsession
Everyone who has achieved greatness obsessively devoted Themselves to thinking about their cause, their purpose, the object of their actions and feelings
I read about these people writing 6 books a year. How they do it. Publishing 8 scientific papers and writing a book and doing lectures and etc
Deep work. Focus. No distractions. Deliberate practice. Systematic commitment to progress. Embracing the flow state of mind being in sync, actions and thoughts aligning, resonating
Been giving distractions a lot of thought
I’ve been trying my damnedest to whittle away the chaff of trite trivialities
But in life
Something happens with you start “focusing”
When thoughts consistently return to the “home position” the “why”
Not just showing up
Not just addressing the task in front of you
But being in tune with the greater goal
Expand your sphere of influence
Finding ways to adopt more responsibility
To bend things in your favor
It takes self control
Not just riding feeling
Not just hanging on to a pulsing passion
Which eventually wanes
Self control and self discipline to choose your thoughts, deliberately, over and over, to bring yourself to center, back into your optimal state, is essential
Lists, writing, tasks, to dos, scheduling, planning.
They all allow us to sharpen focus, to prevent aimless thinking and interrupted attention.
Choose your thoughts. Do not let your thoughts choose you.