Topics of the Morning: Being a creature of habit and impulse. Giving up in order to succeed. Using pressure as motivation instead of a source of stress.
So I bought a Premium Membership (or whatever it’s called) for Newegg.ca this morning, thinking I’d jump into PC gaming with a $450 upgrade to my PC. It was a wise decision to get that membership, seeing as it saved me $15 on shipping (shipping was $40, the membership was $25 and included free shipping) and it would allow me free returns if anyone ended up being wrong with the parts I bought.
Only one problem, though: I got scared of the price tag and decided not to buy the parts after all. I have enough money and I have no immediate bills to. Besides that, I’m confident that I could find a job fairly quickly. So what’s the big deal? What am I so afraid of?
I don’t think I was being very rational when I decided not to go ahead and buy the parts. I don’t think I’m ever very rational. A lot of the decisions I make are due to habit and impulse. I sleep way too much and I choose comfort even over what I enjoy.
For example, I play Destiny multiplayer day in and day out for hours at a time instead of hopping onto League of Legends, which I know gives me a way bigger thrill and high, even when I’m losing. “At least it’s not Call of Duty,” I might tell myself. But in my mind, it’s started to occupy the space that CoD once did: a comfortable distraction.
Over the past few days, I think I’ve been asleep more than I’ve been awake. This did not used to be the problem. The problem used to be that I didn’t want to sleep, ever; that I had stuff I was willing to lose sleep over. But I’ve let myself slide.
I haven’t been productive at all lately. I’ve recently been saying that I’m taking my writing more seriously than I ever have and I don’t think its untrue. My productivity just…. Seems to work in mysterious ways. It seem the more serious I become, the harder it is for me to get myself out of bed. I know this from experience but I’m scared to let go. I think to myself, “What if it’s untrue that you need to let go in order to move forward? If you’re still stuck even after giving yourself more room to be creative?”
I’m afraid that the problem is not that I’m reluctant to take risks and be uncomfortable. I’m afraid that I’m just lazy.
It bothers me to let go of the “Just Work Harder” mindset. But I’m also afraid that that mindset is what’s holding me back.
It’s been this way before. The more pressure I put on myself to succeed, the more I clam up and feel as if I’m all out of willpower.
But oddly, I’m not fazed in the same way when I’m pressured from the outside. Perhaps because I don’t see outside pressure as an affront to my personal integrity. The way I see it, if I’m asked to do something and I can’t do it, it’s not because I’m a damaged human being and I let myself slide into a problematic state. No, it’s usually because I haven’t been taught, I haven’t had enough practice, or I’m just not able to. It’s not as much about me as it is about my skills, which I can work on if given the chance.
Honestly, in a professional environment, I actually crave pressure. I loved the lunch rush at the food truck. I loved the lines at various festivals we were invited to. I loved the last weekend before Christmas working at the chocolate store, and loved the challenge of working 7 8-hour days in a row. Never once did I buckle under that kind of pressure, even when I was being grilled for making shit coffee during my first few days at the truck.
Then why do I take it so personally when I’m the one telling myself I’m doing shit? I don’t think it’s rational at all. I can’t get caught up on my weaknesses, short-comings, and failures. When I mess up, I either need to get taught, keep trying, or find something else to do. Even if it’s my personality holding me back, I can’t stop moving and I can’t take it personally. ‘Cuz shit’s serious now. I’m trying to build a career for myself out of what I like to do. I don’t have time to feel bad about myself anymore.
I think it’s still true that stress holds me back. It manifests itself as fear to step out and take risks, fear of wasting time and effort on meaningless, circuitous endeavors. Which is why I shouldn’t let pressure get the better of me; I shouldn’t let it stress me out and turn into fear.
I need to be as stoic and stone-faced with my writing projects as I am with other things I consider ‘work’. I can’t let myself fall into the trap of thinking there’s something inherently wrong with me, something I can’t get past for the second it’ll take to make the right decision for my future.
Somewhere in the middle of this post, I asked a question that was inherently wrong. As in it made the wrong assumptions which didn’t allow for reality to shine through. The question equated stress with pressure, assuming that with more pressure, I wouldn’t be able to handle the stress. But all it took was a clear look at my life to see that pressure itself is not what fazed me and made my work ethic crumble, quite the opposite, actually. It was only when I started to assume that I was in someway inherently incapable of the things I hoped to do that the stress started to creep into my thoughts of how to proceed in life.
But no longer.