PermafrostšŸ§ŠYard

Fighting against a mind that's constantly seeking instant gratification, actively looking for no change, and traveling through the path of no resistance. Using writing as a way to get more disciplined and express what I think in a clear way. WelcomešŸ‘‹šŸ¼ #100days

Limitations

Human individuals are characterized by having limitations. We can't possibly be doing a bunch of things at the same time that's why, in principle, we are bad at multitasking. This trait is more preoccupying when we have a look at how big the world is, there are too many things to learn and to do already for a single person. So it's a good thing to be living with other people on the planet. We can delegate tasks and get support from other people when things get out of hand.

Typically this support doesn't come for free though unless you have really close friends or caring family members, or you encounter random people on the internet that really want to help, you won't get help if the other person helping doesn't get something in exchange. So this means that most of the time you will have to deal with stuff on your own. And this is where most individuals fail, especially highly open/creative individuals.

Putting myself as an example as a curious and open person, I'm interested in a bunch of things. But I don't go too far before I get bored or/and tired. I get tired because I have limited amounts of time and energy that I waste researching and doing things without an aim. And I get bored because I reach a point when I stop getting novelty from an activity so I prefer to stop and jump into another new exciting thing.

Pick a limitation, or somebody else will do it for you

Kids and adolescents don't have to deal with the consequences of having an open attitude in this period they can experiment doing almost anything they want. But as they grow into adults they need to know that now their actions have consequences, and they can't be going around aimless. That's why they have the option to choose what are they going to do, they have the option to choose what career they're going to study, and to what projects they want to compromise.

To get something of real value you have to commit to something for a long time. That's what universities are for, for you to get focus on a single professional area during a period(normally 4-5 years) to ultimately create and share your services and knowledge. At least that's my goal, I want to learn about my craft and help as most people as I can with what I know.

So what's the problem? It's difficult for me to follow rules and to focus on one single thing, everything attracts me. I want to do a bunch of things at the same time. And then you could say then why don't you try everything? because in the end, I feel guilty. I've jumped from one thing to another looking for something that I won't ever get. I'm looking for the perfect activity that I can do to feel happy, an activity where I would like to not do much work, and just do whatever I want.

Life is not like this, unfortunately, if you want to achieve worthwhile goals, you have to sacrifice doing a big amount of things, you have to kill that part of you that wants things right away, you can't be or do anything you want. I didn't want to accept this fact and it finally caught me off guard.

I didn't take advantage of my chances, I wasted a lot of years going around in circles and I reached a point where decisions are being made for me and I can't do anything to stop it, now I can't choose. Now it's doing what I'm told or dying. Well maybe it's not that dramatic, but this is certainly not the place where I would like to be.

Now the only way is up

Now that I've realized what I'm doing wrong, I'll simply start aiming to stop doing these things. Tomorrow I'm going to post my plan on how I'm planning to achieve this. Here are the rough ideas:

  • Decide what is important to you and prioritize it.
  • Cut out distractions, not just only hide them, eliminate them.
  • Transform your workspace in a way that is easier for you to work and harder to procrastinate.
  • Create rules and systems that you'll always follow unless a new situation comes up that literally obligates you to change or create a new rule.
  • Practice doing boring things and try to make them fun

I will include more ideas if necessary for the plan to be as detailed and accurate as possible. I hope these new changes lead me to a disciplined life.

If you find yourself in a hole then stop digging.

ā€” Denis Healy

Action>Fear

Get out of your head

I overthink a lot. The more I think, the more fear I get because I'm not sure of how things can play out in the future. The thing is, you can't know with certainty until you try.

When you start moving, you help yourself to stop overthinking because you're already focusing on the task at hand. But this is painful, when you start moving you will encounter obstacles and you're going to have to invest a lot of your attention to solve a certain problem.

This becomes overwhelming when the task that you want to complete takes more time and energy than you thought. You start thinking about the different things that you could be doing instead of struggling to finish this task. That by the way, it may be not looking as good as you wanted to be so you realize that if you want it to look better you'll have to invest more of your time and energy.
Is it worth it? Yes

In the same way, you can't predict with certainty what possible bad things could happen in the future, you also underestimate the good things that could happen. You're not seeing the immediate results of your efforts, so what you're doing doesn't work, right? NO

It's okay if things don't work right away, keep trying for a significant amount of time and see what happens. You may find it surprising how important it is to be patient in life.

Dealing with hard times

Now things might not work even if you wait. In general, most of the things you try in life will not work as you want. So what do you do?
I think these are the type of events that defines you. You can cry, feel angry, you can shout, or maybe take a day off. But you do not quit. This is just one setback of a long list of setbacks that you're going to encounter in your life.

So identify when these types of situations arrive, vent, create a new plan, and try again.

How to use your mind properly

I know I started the post by saying, get out of your mind, and that's true. Most of the time you should be moving and not thinking too much. But you need to also set time to think and to reflect on what you're doing and why.

Every set of actions that you make often comes with feedback. The goal is to create a system to capture this data. You can do this by just using pen or paper, or whatever software want to use to capture information.
At the end of the day, when you're done working, separate a time to analyze what you did. What worked and what didn't, and how can you possibly improve what you're doing.

This is how you use your mind to theorize and plan for the future. To present different alternatives to do things and ultimately, to act on these plans.

You can think about your mind as your fabric where you create different tools and materials for you to use and apply when it's time to act.

Why go through all these troubles?

Because you want something, all of us want something and this is how you do it. This is what you'll have to do to get to your goals. Doesn't matter if you want to learn a new language if you want to become a doctor if you want to make friends, whatever it is, it requires a lot of trial and error.

So ask yourself, is this worth the trouble? You don't know because you've never felt how is like to reach that certain goal, so the answer is, who knows, find out. People can try to explain to you how it feels for them, but they can't talk for you, you need to try and do things by yourself. And most importantly, enjoy the journey. Yes, it requires you to go through constant pain and failures, but it could also be rewarding and fun.

Feel the fear and do it anyway

ā€” Susan Jeffers

You're not important, but at the same time you are more important than you think

Some people(like me) ask why life is so hard, what is the point of living, what is the meaning of it all? In 5 billion years our sun is going to explode and we are all going to die anyway. Plus there's a bunch of different catastrophes we can't possibly predict that might as well exterminate us all. So why bother with all of this?

No One Knows.

You don't know, no one knows what could happen in the future. We can try to predict what could happen, but that doesn't guarantee things like the explosion of the sun happening in 5 billion years, it could explode sooner or later, or maybe not at all, nobody knows with certainty. So that makes the future out of our control. We neither can't go back to the past to see if the Big Bang is true, so that makes the past out of our domain too. That's why the present is the most important time. You could help humanity discover what we could become using our past as our learning tool to create something better in the future. You could work on difficult problems and try to help people that are lost.

We can't go back and change the past, we can't possibly know with certainty what the future will bring, therefore the only time that matters is now. Right now there are a lot of problems in the world, there are a lot of people less fortunate and knowledgeable than you are, so why not learn and share what you know? Why not help them stand up to become something better? Maybe if they become more than they're right now, they could be able to help you to become a better person too. And we could come up with alternative solutions to other world problems. It is the case that 2 minds work better than 1, so why don't work to have as most minds as we can get?

Is there anything better to do?

Dare to stand on the shoulders of giants, learn how to climb up there, and inspire people to go with you, and better yet, why not help one another to go farther than our ancestors did. I don't think there is something better to do than this.

So why is it difficult to do this? Well life is not easy, you have to be truthful with yourself and to other people, this is not easy and we have every reason to not do this, we are surrounded by pain and death, and we have to work a lot to get what we want, and sometimes there are people with better luck than us that get what we want without much work, and I have to take care of my grandmother, why did she have to get sick, and how the majority of my high school classmates are so successful and why can't I be like them, and what is the point of all of this if I can't be happy? If we follow this path of carelessness, nihilism, and self-pity we soon realize that something is still wrong even though these are strong arguments against life, adopting these attitudes is not the answer!!

In the grand scheme of things, you're not that important

I believe we're the thing that confronts the chaos of this world, you're important as a tool that helps transform chaos into order. An order that other people can use to confront more chaos and create more order through time. But we won't be able to do this forever, we just come into the world, have a brief period to live and do whatever we want, and then die, nothing else.

Now, this is why I believe we are not that important. It is not for us to know why there is evil, and resentment, and injustices, and death, and why bad things happen to good people and vice-versa. We only truly live an average of 60 years. At this time, I believe we must help create systems to prevent bad things inside our control to happen again and to help reduce the negative effects of things that are outside our control. To analyze and come up with a plan to confront what is wrong.

Again, this is hard, most people decide to avoid these problems by lying and distracting themselves with not so important activities. But it is your responsibility, not directly, maybe you didn't cause a problem in the first place but you know you have the capacity to fix things. But what if you can't fix the problem right now because you're not competent enough? For example, there are not enough doctors specializing in neurology in your country and there's a great demand for that kind of professionals, why not go to college and specialize in that? Why not give your life to help people and to try to solve problems related to that field? And this not only applies to the medical field if you're not a fan of science you could also go to a profession that you like. Whatever you choose, make sure to pick a serious problem that if resolved, could benefit as most people as possible.

Anyway, to close the point, this is not about you trying to know what is the point in living, there have been people that have died before knowing the answer to this question, why would you think you're different from them, you're not that important. You will die soon, we're limited beings, and I think that's what makes our lives valuable, you have this period to help make things better, don't waste your time asking and doing stuff that won't get you anywhere.

A way to not feel that miserable

In your free time, maybe you can ask and theorize about what the distant future could ever be for fun, explore our past, and learn about how your body works. But be aware to not reach the point of feeling so sad or nostalgic about what could have been, that you stop moving. Be happy and grateful for what you have. As a recommendation to help entertain you, here is a couple of videos from Kurzgesagt, a cool channel that often explores and explain interesting ideas and facts based on scientific papers. They have helped me calm my anxiety and to revive my curiosity to try and research new things.

You're only important right now

So focus on the now, because it's the only time in which we can make valuable changes, this is the only time when you can learn, and create, and share. This is the only time that matters.

You may not matter in the future but that is fine, you can matter now. Make the best of now, give everything you have each day and who knows? Maybe, when you're finally in the afterlife, there could be a person that actually noticed the great actions that you did when you were alive and as a reward, he/she might give you an explanation about why things are the way they are, and maybe you could get a sit-in first row to see how mankind keep evolving until they become a multi galactic civilization. That could be fun :)

Anyway, those are my reasons to not give up, whatever your reasons are hold on to them and keep moving forward, life is hard but it could also be fun and meaningful, as long as you decide to act with noble and truthful intention.

The Importance of externalizing your thoughts

I'm used to hiding things and lying. This has led my life in a bad direction. The solution: Tell the truth. But how can I make sure to always be honest with myself, and therefore to other people?

Self-talk

Life is a constant battle between you and bad luck. We are supposed to make sacrifices to increase the probability that good things happen. But this is difficult, you not only have to deal with difficult situations but also with a lot of distractions that might seduce you to avoid what you have to do.

So the thing that I've noticed that has been working for me is to talk honestly with myself. Not letting escape as many thoughts as I can, saying what I think as clearly as I can, and then I analyze these thoughts. In this way I make sure I don't hide anything, I try to pay full attention to what is happening in my head and as I begin to ask more questions, I begin to have a conversation with different versions of me.

Writing

Now there's a limit to how much you can remember in the short term. When I talk, I generally begin thinking laterally and forget the main points of the discussion. This is where writing becomes a great alternative for externalizing my thoughts. By only talking, you are limited by your not-so-reliable short-term memory.

If you write what you think somewhere you eliminate this problem. Even if what you first write is incoherent, if you write it, you give yourself the chance to correct it and to play with different ways of expressing the same thing until you're pleased with your ideal image of how you want to share your thoughts. Talking about sharing thoughts.......

Publicly externalizing your thoughts

This is the serious stuff. It's different to talk and to write for yourself than to do it publicly. It demands you to not only express yourself with honesty but to do it understandably. It requires preparation and that's why I love it(and hate it).

The advantages and also obstacles of practicing this increase when we talk about a specific subject, a fact, or a non-fictional topic. It forces you to research intensively about the subject and to also explain it coherently, but it also exposes you to the feedback people might give to you, allowing you to see your possible mistakes, to get better at the subject, and to improve your technical writing skills. This is certainly not an easy task, I think this deserves to be discussed deeply in another blog post.

Anyway, doing things publicly will give you a sense of accountability and make you avoid talking bullshit to others and most importantly, to yourself.

The truth is always at your disposal

You almost always know the truth and if not, you at least know where to look for it. Your conscience is a manifestation of this, the majority of the time you know what you should do and not do, you just have to decide to stop hiding in lies. Make the choice, it's worth it. You're going to suffer anyway, why not suffer while being honest.

Once you've made the choice, use your writing to think and brainstorm about whatever is in your mind, get it out of your head. Progressively organize and make your ideas more clear, to reach a point where you could share valuable information with other people in a coherent, understandable, sincere way.

The best thing you can do is to write because there's no difference between that and thinking.

ā€” Jordan Peterson

Simple Obligations

The simple boring things are the most important

Doing the simple things that I know I should do consistently have solved a big amount of my problems.

This simple activities would be things like:

  • Cleaning my room
  • Doing laundry
  • Do the dishes
  • Planning my day in advance the night before
  • Studying a little bit everyday
  • Calling my dad and mom to know how they're doing

Things tend to degenerate by themselves if we don't taking care of them

I'ts simple, but hard

Like it or not, we have to do this consistently. That's the hard part, repeating the activity over and over again. That's what could make it boring and daunting. And not only we have to repeat it, if there's a problem now your consciousness won't leave you alone until you fix the problem. And there will always be a problem, the universe simply do not care for how you feel at the moment, if some problem is in front of you it's like the thing is screaming for it to get fixed, specially if it's a thing that generally the majority of people could do(things like the list above).

But it's more easy for us to ignore this. Some people could say they don't feel the pressure of doing this type of things but that's not true, we do feel the pressure but we've become masters at hiding under the fog the suggestions from our conscience. This is what we all know as āœØProcrastinationāœØ.

Why would I stop doing more satisfying things like playing video games, scrolling through social media, or watching my favorite Netflix show? That's the biggest problem for me.

Staying more time in the real world

I was so accustomed of living on instagram, twitter, reddit, netflix, and in the web in general that I forgot that the baseline of my life starts from what I do in the real world. So how can you make a long lasting change for you to not get trapped in a fantasy world again:

Set a strong why

Write about the reasons why you think it's necessary to the this simple tasks. For me, I get to help my grandmother to keep the house clean so she can be relaxed and not do too much work.

Sacrifice

You'll have to sacrifice instant gratification. Get accustomed to do the work first and then relax at the end of the day.

Add your flavor to it

This repetitive monotonous tasks don't have to be boring. You've established that you have to complete these tasks, so why not do them in a fun way. Gamify the activity, create a record of how you do these activities and try to improve them each time you do them, create a rivalry between your past and present self.

Who are you? You are the thing that have the capacity to confront chaos, the thing that is constantly learning and transforming.

This is painful but you have to do it! You're going to feel pain anyway so why not have fun while doing it :)

The PARA method as an anti-procrastination tool

Introduction

If you're not familiar with the PARA method you can read this article by Tiago Forte, the creator of this method.

Basically the method consists in organizing your notes into 4 folder categories:

  • Projects
  • Areas
  • Resources
  • Archive

Why I love the PARA method

The great thing about this system and other systems like the PPV is that they take into consideration that you have to apply your notes to an important part of your life and it's easy to know what you have to do and when you have to do it. Making it a great tool to avoid procrastination.

When you take notes you are obviously doing it to accomplish something. To remember what you've read or heard, to apply it to some kind of project that you're working in the moment or that you're planning to start working someday.

But people(me included) often forget to differentiate these two aspects:

  • The ultimate goal of the project. Ex: Learning a new language
  • The little tasks that form the project. Ex: Grammar, Pronunciation, Vocabulary, etc...

We try to do it all at once, we not break down these projects into small manageable tasks. If we don't do this, it's probable that you're going to feel overwhelmed and procrastinate on what you have to do.

Application of the Method

Following this example, we can organize the Learning a New Language Project this way:

Areas Folder

You've determined that this is an important area of your life where you want to improve, there it becomes an important part of you. You can use this folder to save metadata of the project

  • What are the reasons why I'm doing this
  • How I'm planning to accomplish this
  • What are the tools that I'm going to use to complete the project
  • What is the road-map that I'm going to follow to guide myself and to know what to do in each step of the way.

Projects Folder

This is the folder where you're going to spend the majority of your time. Once you've broken down the project into small chronological tasks, choose the first task and put it in the Projects Folder. In this way, every time you go into your note-taking app, you find what you have to do without thinking. In this way you save yourself some time because all the thinking is already done. You just need to go into your projects folder and start working on the task.

Deviating from the example, the Resources Folder serves as your actual knowledge base. This is where you're going to save and/or research valuable interesting information about whatever topics you like. Psychology, History, The effects of social media on people's mental health, productivity, etc. You can also save quotes, interesting facts that you'd like to recall in the future, a record of the books you're reading, whatever information that you consider it might be helpful for you in the future, throw it here.

The Archive Folder is where you're going to put the inactive components of the other 3 folders(things you're not interested in anymore.)

Conclusion

Whatever the method that you're using to organize the great amounts of information that surround us every day, I think the important thing is to have clear goals. When you know exactly what, how, and why you're doing your projects, you'll less likely to procrastinate on what it has to be done.

Standard Notes: A Great Surprise

MY STANDARD NOTE FIRST IMPRESSIONS

I found Standard Notes while looking for a powerful note-taking app that could serve me well for my Uni online classes. The majority of useful features are only in the Extended mode, and you have to pay, and that's too bad because I don't any money XD. But anyway it's not that expensive, so in the future(When I get a job) I will definitely be buying the Extended version. In the meantime, I'll be using Obsidian, a great note-taking app with powerful features that help organize my knowledge. In the future, I will be making a post about this amazing app.

Anyway, even tho I didn't find what I was looking for with SN with regards of a more complex note-taking system, I definitely found something unexpected and that really have motivated me to start writing consistently. I'm talking about this option for publishing your notes online, I think it's a cool way for letting go of the billion thoughts I have in my head on a daily basis that usually distracts me from my studies and the best part, it's FREE.

THE BIG PLAN

I'm interested in so many topics that I don't know about, but that I do want to write about. I want to use this platform for me to not just only free my thoughts from my head, but to also learn and improve my knowledge about different topics.

So I want to start writing about things that are in my domain but in need for improvements, and those things would be:

  • Speaking and writing in English.

My first language is not English, so I will write about random topics in English for me to practice. I will use the #Learning English to indicate what I'm writing about is only for me to practice the language. The goal over the long run is to increase the difficulty of the topics that I'm talking about adding new words and so on. Hmm, maybe I could make a rule that in every new post about a topic in English I would have to change 5 words from the post looking for the synonyms of those words and adding new words that I don't know. That should be interesting, we'll see.

  • Creative writing.

I overthink scenarios and daydream A LOT. There are very little things that I actually like about me, but one of the things that I feel really proud of is my imagination, and more when I listen to epic music, GOOD LORD Epic Music is the best!! It gets my mind running through different scenarios and I start feeling so many things that I can't describe. Is definitely a topic that I want to write about in the future . So anyway I want to give a proper structure to this crazy stories that seriously overwhelm me, and try to give them words. So the goal is to make an epic fiction story that interconnects throughout several timelines, that's the general idea that I have, but where to begin? I have no clue, I'll just put my crazy ideas on here and we'll see where it takes me.

I will start writing in my language, Spanish, and then, when I feel more confident, I'll start to write in English. Also I will translate the previous chapters that I've written on Spanish, I think that could be really good for improving my English, really difficult and tedious but also very beneficial. I will use #CreativeWriting for when I write about this.

  • Academic Topics

This are the posts that I think that are going to be the most difficult for me, because the goal with these topics is to expand my knowledge about different topics and I'm pretty sure I'm going to hit my knowledge limit really fast XDXD, but I also expect this to force me to expand my current domain of competency. Over the long run I want to write about politics, psychology, philosophy, geography, history, biology, physics, and let's see if I give Chemistry a chance to be in here(I don't like chemistry at all), but i'ts also true that I know nothing about chemistry so maybe I will end up liking the topic who knows? hehe, and I want to write about so many other more educational base topics.

For now, I will write only about the topics related to my Physiotherapy degree. Physiology, anatomy, Biophysics, etc...
I will start from the more easy topics for me, and then I plan to expand to more difficult unknown topics.

I will write these topics in Spanish too as I consider it to be more beneficial for me because I can only work as a Physiotherapist in my country so the majority of topics related to my career I'll write them in Spanish. However, in the future when I start to write about more non-related topics to my career I will write them both in Spanish and English.
I'll use #AcademicTopics when writing about these topics.

CONCLUSION: MY FREE SPACE

Even though I plan to use Obsidian for the rest of my career until I die(Yes, Obsidian is THAT PERFECT for me) I will use it only to write about more "formal" topics only oriented to my career, doing research and organizing my knowledge, and making more serious papers. I'm using Dynalist, Anki, Google Calendar and Clockify too(I'm planning to write about this apps in the future). These are the apps that I'm going to use to make sure I stay on top in my college life.

But I will also use Standard Notes and it's publishing capabilities to escape from my conservative routine and make space for some creative writing more related to my personal life. This will be my free space for truly OVERTHINK and write in an informal manner about everything I'm interested while also letting me expand my knowledge and improve my writing.

This app was truly a surprise, but a welcome one.