This post is a result of my constant thinking about getting things done. If you have problems like procrastination, not following and working on your passion, not approaching that hottie next door, not making your dreams, not working on that lobby server (Ryan;). Then this is for you. Think about what problem you are facing right now and with that in mind, read on.
It is just a state of mind
I’ve been thinking a lot about productivity and its relation to mind states. There is a certain mind state that could be best described as ‘flow’. It is a state in which everything you do is done effortlessly. There is no struggle, everything is quick, efficient, you move from one task to another, in a matter of hours (which seam like minutes) you get everything and even more done. Also what you get done is the result of your stretched capabilities, meaning all your talents act in synergy with each other. This state of mind is the core of many Eastern teaching such as Zen, Tao, martial arts. All of these teach you not how to get to that state, but rather what not to do, so that this state naturally emerges. Because as I’ve come to believe it is the natural state of being of a human (although it is so rare). This mind state is often described as “no-thought” or “no-mind” and it is the best way I can describe it also.
The second state of mind or rather set of many states is entirely different. They could be called “thought states” because thinking is present. And by thinking I mean analyzing, rationalizing, being stuck in the head, being self-conscious. This is the main characteristic of the second state, you are conscious of your “self”. There isn’t just doing. It is “you” thinking, “you” writing, “you” playing, “you” singing, “you” programming. You are not enjoying yourself fully and you are not fully present and merged into the task. And you can feel that something is wrong, because any kind of work where you have to administer your thought processes or what you’re doing is exactly the opposite of flow, and that is unpleasant. Work seems like struggle, you can’t meet deadlines, conversations are dull, dancing seems weird, you procrastinate (reading blogs;), what you finally get done is mediocre at best.
Yesterday I wanted to write something on the blog but instead of writing I was thinking what to write about or why I should write. And when I ask myself the question why write there is a lot of answers, but none seem great, so great that I’ll feel an urge to write. I start thinking about the counterparts of motivations. And I can think of even more reasons for not to write. This is a whole list of things ranging from logistic problems to insecurities of mine.
When you get stuck in thinking like that sometimes something magical happens and you get out of your head and you are able to look at yourself, at your thoughts from another perspective. You think, all that is bullshit, why not JUST do it?
“just do it”
What does it really mean. How do you JUST DO IT?
In the simplest form: instead of thinking about what you’re going to do, you JUST do it. More specifically you get out of your head and into your body. So that there are no thoughts except you controlling the body and performing the task. You are JUST doing, nothing else is there.
This sounds simple but isn’t. If it was simple nobody would ever procrastinate. The thing is you have to decide to do this. And to decide really to do this, you must first disassociate from the bullshit that is going on in your head. No matter how much thinking you’ve done, you have to say to yourself “it doesn’t matter, I’ll do it anyway”.
The easiest way to do this is to understand that your thought processes aren’t real. If you’re thinking about doing some work on a game for example, you might start thinking that: “today I am tired” or “nobody will like it” or “its pointless” etc. You have to be willing to say fuck off to those thoughts, don’t take them as granted. To do that you must believe on a deep level, mostly on your heart level, that what you’re doing is worth it and you will do it no matter what. Nothing matters really, you will just do it.
It’s in your head
The problem with thinking is that it is based on a world in your head. Thinking is done by the brain and the data the brain is operating on comes only from the 5 senses of body (hearing, seeing, taste, touch, smell). From that data the brain creates a model of reality. And this is crucial to understand. It is JUST A MODEL. The world you are experiencing right now is not exactly the real world. It is a model, at best an approximation of reality. All thinking is based on a model of reality and if the model is wrong, the thinking is wrong. So if the thinking is wrong, why does it make so much sense a lot of the time? Why does it seem real, logical, convincing? Why does it make sense to conserve energy and surf the web instead of working and creating your dreams?
Because your WHOLE model of the world is ultimately and fatally incorrect. If you believe in the things you believe right now and if you follow them blindly you will be mislead your entire life and live a life of unaccomplished dreams. You will be thinking “it just can’t be done”. And you will have so many reasons to back that theory up. The theory might make sense, but unfortunately it is based on a misconception. The misconception that what you are experiencing right now is reality and whatever makes sense in it, makes sense in the real world.
Thoughts are not real
It makes sense only in your head because YOU ARE LIVING IN AN APPROXIMATION. You exist in a world that is entirely in the head of a human being. A result of neurological computations of the brain. And those are mainly wrong, because it is just a machine. It is built for basic survival and living in a mammalian pack. It was not built for making games, creating music, creating monumental work. The brain must use a trick to get that done.
There is a way to bypass this bug in the human specie. The brain can realize that it is a brain and that it is creating models. There is something out there that is ungraspable. You must trust certain things.
The brain becomes conscious of itself.
This is when the magic happens and you stop believing in any kind of bullshit like government propaganda, media, religion, family, other people and most of all your own self thoughts (because they were created exactly by those listed). This is where you see that “just doing it” is the only way to go. This is where you start seeing that you have to base your decisions on something else than thinking. This is where you discover that you have a heart.
So just doing it means ceasing the thoughts about whether to do it or how to do it or any other kind of analysis and doing it just by the basis of what you feel is right or wrong in your heart. Of course this takes courage. But that is exactly what courage is, not believing in anything, just trusting.