The wave I am talking about here is the period of crests and troughs which I have been experiencing for like always. It has always been a very commoving pull-back experience. Lately I have been through a series of change and started looking at things with a different eye. Here’s a list of things helping me the most.
My life is like riding a wave. When I am on the crest everything is easy, I am super-curious, confident and over-flowing with energy. After some time the energy of the crest goes away. And starts very depressing, negative period. I feel myself to be a weight on Earth. People call them `burn-outs’. I have read they burn-out after doing something reckless. But I burn-out periodically. This very negative time come in circles in my life no matter what I do. But now I think I’ve eventually managed to leverage my wave. I am not just living with it, I am using it. I started looking at the world with a different view after I read the Theory of Positive Disintegration. I learned it’s not bad to be super-sensitive. The sadness, the pain, they can be used for good.
Here are some of the things helping me to make something out of all the mess my life have become, and utilize the wave.
Abandoned commitments and my gtd.org
I once tried to utilize the `Getting Things Done’ system. It didn’t work very well for me. Although it did not fail 100% either. Thanks to it now I am in a habit of writing down most of my thoughts (I do it in an org file I’ve named gtd.org). I have made a list of all the commitments I have made to myself, things I wanted to do but didn’t, and things I want to do in future. All the fallen dreams/commitments which have been a psychological weight on me.
One of the problems I face in troughs is that I find nothing interesting. Like I don’t want anything. Reading through my gtd.org always give me something in which some part of me is interested. I haven’t recognized any pattern in this yet, but it significantly decreases the trough period. Last time I found learning e-lisp quite fascinating and that brought me out of the trough fast, and my crest now is not that chaotic.
Inspiration from the `100 day goals’
I read a blog post in which an entrepreneur is talking about his system of applying ‘100 day limits’ to do some hard projects. He also warned that he and his team get burnt out and need rest after that. I thought to myself that I am going to burn out anyways, there is no stopping to it, so why not give it a shot. May be it will do some good. And it is working. I set a limit to finish `The Emacs-lisp intro’ in seven days, and did it. It felt good. The sense of achievement was much needed.
To me self introspection appear to be a wastage of time on crests. But it has been a great help in darkest depths of my troughs. Would it be studying psychology, trying to diagnose myself for some mental disorder, or just digging through my zodiac and stuff, it help me not get lost. It’s like the last line of defense for my focus, and has always worked till now. It give me a feel that all the chaos can be sorted out.
They have always been a source of despair actually. I waste all my time in them when I am going through troughs. But I actually found a way to utilize them. It came from another blog post I read. What I was doing was that I used to play a lot of video games in troughs, and none at all in crests. May be it created a pulling force towards troughs. Inspired by above mentioned blog post, I now give a little time playing some games everyday. And I am riding on my longest crest ever.
A pinch of success
I used to love my computer more than I love my girlfriend (note: my culture has molded my mind to make me a serious one woman man, don’t interpret the word ‘girlfriend’ as used in western-culture relationships). I still feel fascinated about computers and programming, but looking at my computer I have a feeling like a lost battle-ground. There are so many things I thought I could do with it, so many I started on it, and no one I ever finished. The wave is the one I blame.
My previous blog post was a wild success (when seen from my eyes). It earned me many hn and reddit points, and is still bringing traffic. It was a blow to my thought that I can’t achieve anything. Many of the self-doubting thoughts that started raising heads in my head got chopped.
I took a lesson from it. Instead of trying to pursue my half-baked world-changing ideas, I will spend more time doing small things. It certainly doesn’t mean I am not thinking big. I still have ideas that will turn the world around ;-)
But a pinch of success is necessary.