Self-control

Where did I go wrong?



Why do I feel so helpless (indeed, the first thing I typed was: Why am I so helpless?)



What can I do about it?



See, whereas I think most people have the capacity to get their ***** out of bed at a decent hour in the morning (for example), I struggle just to be up by the time I need to go to work (noon-ish).



When I read my favorite kinds of books, I can't make myself put them down. This means I end up staying up all night reading--until I finish the book.



I'd like to go to bed--consistently--at a decent hour, and get up and a earlier hour...so that I can go to the gym, have a real breakfast, and take my time getting to work.



I'd like to feel completely capable and resilient in the face of challenges, difficulties, and adversity. I'd like to complete a college degree, hold down even boring jobs that suck for at least 6 months--and not just hold them down, but give them by damndest (i.e., do them well).



I feel like my lack of self-control, and discipline will continue to frustrate every ambition I have in life, unless I can develop some...but I don't know how.



I'd like to be able to count on myself to daily study a variety of subjects that I'm interested in: programming (flash, php, ruby), music (drums, guitar, arranging), writing (novels, screenplays), foreign languages (spanish, chinese), etc.



Essentially, how does one grow up? Anyone have a map?
liferiot liferiot
26-30, M
7 Responses Sep 24, 2006

Wow, well said hum! I think you just said everything!<br />
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Finding my determination is the key for me. I set my pace and plow on, disregarding all things that slow me down. It`s nice when that happens.<br />
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I wrote a letter to myself from the age of eighty, telling the me here now of the way my life was. I told myself to ignore fear and follow my passion, and to stop being so hard on myself. I think that`s what we have to do to find our motivation, that which fuels our fire. <br />
Good conversation here.<br />
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I hope you find the strength you need, liferiot.

Willpower. Not my favorite force of nature. Brittle. Exclusionary. Harsh.<br />
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I use willpower to go to the dentist or donate blood, because I find those [sigh] beneficial things so very unpleasant to do.<br />
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But there are other internal sources of focus and staying power that seem like a natural fit for learning and for playing music. One is momentum. If you put those small steps together every day like silver was saying, you don't run into that energy-sapping inertia every time you start because you sort of stay warmed up, so more energy goes straight into the project, and you wind up further along, which is very motivating so you get right back to work on it the next day, etc.<br />
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Another is your connection to the work, strong and getting stronger. Nothing gets you through college or to a higher level of proficiency on your instrument or software like your own burning desire. Whole different animal than mere willpower.<br />
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Yet another is getting clear on what motivates you. Applause? Time with your girl? Reviews? Stacks of CD-Rs of your music? A mortarboard? A job? A recording contract? Touring? Captain Crunch?<br />
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Linking up what motivates you to the areas you're interested in can help you zero in on what you definitely want to do and it helps you consider what you'll leave out, at least until you (insert near goal here, like finish semester, or learn 5 songs, etc).<br />
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This probably sounds goofy but sometimes I like to imagine I'm talking to me 10 or 15 years down the road, and older me is rooting for my efforts to find my own voice and flex my creative muscles. Older me gives me advice and helps me see the through-thread of how I've been since I was a kid and what shape that will take now in my work.<br />
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There isn't a musician or an artist out there that you respect who hasn't encountered resistance all along the way. And plenty of them experience that resistance as distractedness, lack of staying power, etc

Huh, that's a good idea dawkirst. I can't decide if it's brilliant to just assume that willpower is weak (and take action to ensure it doesn't cause problems) or foolish (after all, what how does one accomplish anything without willpower?).<br />
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Assuming that willpower will not be enough to stop bad behavior might be smart, but undermining it over the long haul might not be wise. After all, isn't it only willpower that will get you through college? or through the writing of a novel? Or, would you reply that you can at least assist your willpower by, again, breaking apart the challenge. Rather than trying to write the whole novel all at once, set out to write merely a page (or paragraph) a day. What do you think?

Haha, I enjoyed your post. I have a simple theory about willpower: it can't be trusted. Ever. If you really want to accomplish something, don't rely on your shaky willpower. Rather, force your surroundings into an environment that forces you to do the stuff you want to do...does this make sense? For example, cut your book into, say, seven pieces, and then read only one piece every night of the week :)

i don't know about any map,but i can tell oyu from experience oyu're already on the right track.the way to change in experience comes first with the desire to make that change,so you already have one important ingredient.the next to start out not in big strides at first,just the basic steps toward your goal .Don't worryabout it if your don't suceed every time,the idea is to remember to continue ,then eventually it will just become part of your routine,just as not doing things used to to be the routine.you will grow used to the new way.Don't forget to give yourself credit for the times you do accomplish something and that willbuild up your inner strenghth to continue.See if this helps & Good Luck.<br />
silverspirit

i cannot have read a more clearer account of what goes on in my confused little head every moment of my waking life. Do some people really have it sorted out, or is it just a facade?

oh my gosh. i hope you never stop writing on this site!! i feel SO validated!!! like, in a way i never really have felt validated before!! this is freakin AWESOME!!