you know that thing you aren’t doing right now?

We all come face to face with a seemingly insurmountable dread, the sort that feels like a well fed elephant roosting on your chest. Work. Responsibilities. General tasks that you feel obligated to accomplish but you just really don’t want to do it. But part of that difficulty is that we work in an ineffective way. Our idea of work is typically, ” I will put in effort for so many hours in a row, and be super productive”. However, that’s unrealistic for most people. If you don’t want to do this task in the first place, most of those hours are going to be spent pretending like you’re working when you’re really not. While opening the book or tab is a good start, making it seem like you’re working when you’re not doesn’t make the task complete. You’re not fooling your brain because you are your brain, and you know exactly what you aren’t doing.

Furthermore, we can’t focus for that long. Forcing yourself to push through, only to create miserable output is draining on you and usually has little benefit for the work itself. Instead, work for 15 minutes to 30 minutes at a time, and then take a walk or a nap. Just do some sort of activity, preferably using a different part of your brain. Work doesn’t have to be jam packed into one long session, but rather spread out. It makes you not only more productive, but also isn’t as emotionally and mentally exhausting!

Ignoring your work will only make the dread of it grow even fatter. It’s easy to be miserable, but by definition, it’s also a miserable state to be in. Part of the dread comes from the fact that we don’t want to do it, that it’s only an obligation and not a desire. Sometimes that can’t be helped. But why is it an obligation in the first place? Ask yourself why it matters, reconnect to the purpose behind it. Make it something you care about, and the motivation will come easier.

You can do such amazing things! Who you were yesterday is not who you have to be today. Maladaptive procrastination is a habit, but that habit is not unbeatable. It seems to be completely out of our reach at times to build ourselves up to a point where we can behave like we want to. However, it’s not. It’s often a matter of mind, and saying to yourself, “Listen pal, I know you don’t want to do this. It’s boring, it’s dull, it feels like it’s sucking the life out of me. But there’s this goal I’ve been working towards, and that does mean something to me. That goal that I have, it means enough to me that I get this done.” And you do it. Little by little, you work on it in pieces, in parts. You don’t have to be a superhero and do things absolutely perfectly, you just need to get started. You don’t need to do massive amount of work, just pace yourself and do it as it comes. It may not feel like you can do this, but feelings are fleeting. What matters most is what you do.

finish your dang books

I read a book, full way through, for the first time in a long time. Or rather, I read a book full way through for me that wasn’t for school and was a nice juicy fantasy book. I keep trying to read non-fiction and while I love learning about real things, it’s just not the same. Well written fiction gets your interest piqued and envelopes you in a new world. Nonfiction can do something similar, but it throws you into reality, if an unfamiliar one.

There’s something to be said for completion. A fantasy book about mages and your typical spatiotemporal teleportation magic might not have a direct influence on what you know about the world, but it’s easier to get down than a thick pile of reports. But you get it down, and finish it, and that means something! Sure, we need to be able to complete reading thick piles of reports for work and other responsibilities. However, finishing anything helps confirm the idea that you can carry through with your goals. Many people start and start and start projects, while never finishing them. They run out of motivation and hit roadblocks and give up.

Why should we let ourselves be held back? We hold ourselves back with our fears. We pretend its something else, put up excuses. But in the end, we know it’s just that: an excuse. If we want to do something, we need to do it. That’s why it’s so important to practice self control. We need to practice completing things, even if its a silly fantasy book. If we do not hold ourselves to our small goals, how will we ever become who we want to be, and all the grandness those dreams come with? So keep your small goals and carry through. You can do more than you know.

the joy of an okay day

We aren’t sure yet what tomorrow will bring. We have our best guesses, context clues, and past experiences to rely off of. Yet, these things are not inherently accurate. We could be thrown for a loop! However, for better or worse, tomorrow will probably be ordinary. And you know the most amazing thing? That’s okay. Your day doesn’t have to be spectacularly good or bad.

Perhaps the worst part of life is the uncertainty, and yet we must live with it. We don’t know what sort of day it will be, or what sort of day the next day will be either! While it would be nice to have everything planned out perfectly, many times, it’s out of our hands. We have to wait and see what comes. We need to be patient with both ourselves and others because people don’t change overnight! Rather, they are constantly growing.

Even if it’s an ordinary day, “ordinary” doesn’t automatically translate to bland. We should absolutely work hard and try to make the most out of what we are given! Yet we also need to remember that making the most out of our days doesn’t have to be flashy. If we focus on the little things, we can be more grateful. If we can be more grateful, ordinary becomes something special all on it’s own. So enjoy a warm blanket! Enjoy stretching! Enjoy shoes that fit well! Even if its cold, enjoy how it wakes you up! You don’t have to love everything, but rather as much as you can.

our brains are Transformers, if you roll it out the right way

Our brains are not static blobs of muscle in our head. They are dynamic, plastic, growing pieces of us that literally change everyday of our lives. Each action we take, each bit of information we take in, it becomes a part of us. We learn by our neurons changing their network in slight ways, making pathways easier or harder to follow. That’s amazing. If you haven’t thought about it in a while, just take a moment here. Pathways are making us who we are right now. Nothing about our bodies are static. It’s awe-inspiring, really.

Sometimes we have horrible days, and there’s not much we can do to fix that. Then there’s the good days that we cherish and are grateful and greedy for. However, a lot of times, we just have ordinary days; we have the sort of days no one remembers the date of. From doldrum to doldrum, life can become weary. Yet, even when the day means nothing to us in the big picture, it is affecting us in our neural pathways. We learn, grow, and attach new information to a vast world of connections within us. That’s why it can be easy to forget how much we’ve changed– we don’t often change in an instant. Rather, we most commonly develop slowly, through an accumulation of little nothing-to-remember-about days.

That’s why every day matters. At the start, we never truly know what it’ll turn out. As much as our brains have changed and grown to that point, we could break the pattern we think we’re falling into. Our minds are brilliant for predicting things, but there are always pieces we don’t account for. That uncertainty is surely frightening! And yet, it also matters so much. No, not every day is spectacular. Yet, every moment we are given is open to the possibility of changing for the better. Sure, things could go wrong. Things could be dull. But if you think it’s going to turn out that way, why don’t you try and do something to change that? If you’re going to change anyway, make it for the better.

“only the boring get bored”

“Only the boring get bored”, the phrase seems designed for annoying youth. It reminds me of children saying “I’m bored” and bothering adults who say the phrase because they want them to go away. It bothered me when I first heard it because everyone has been bored before. Even the most excitable child becomes uninterested from time to time, simply as the nature of existence. Furthermore, boring people can have very interesting lives. One might argue that some individuals use their fun actions and activities to account for their being dull in personality; they might in fact be boring but interested.

Being bored, however, seems inevitable. After all, waiting in line isn’t exactly a scintillating, edge of the seat drama. And yet, there is still that core thought: can’t we find passion and meaning in every situation, if we try hard enough? The phrase seems to get at some core belief: if we want to get something done, we need to do it ourselves. It inspires bored people to become better people. But there’s the rub: if we try hard enough. It’s hard to try. We care about a few things, and the rest of the life we become exhausted with it. Trying to care about everything like trying to furiously spoon the entire ocean into the sahara desert.

There’s another important aspect too. Does life have to be interesting? If we are safe and loved and provided for, what does our interest level matter? Obviously it does matter to the human psyche, which is why we have put so much time and effort into entertainment. But you don’t have to be entertained every second of the day. It’s okay to put down the phone and be bored.

By being bored, we come up with some of our most creative ideas. Feel bored, and then use that boredom to motivate beautiful, big things. Being bored doesn’t make you boring, it makes you thirsty for something of more substance. So remain thirsty! Keep searching and working for something more.