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Mr. Cloogshicer

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  1. Now, half a year after opening this topic and a lot of experiences richer, I'll give you an update on my current situation. I think I have finally found out what 'it' is. It was, as some of you suggested, a missing purpose or let's say, goals that weren't defined clear enough. I've struggeled a lot lately because in whatever way I tried to define my goals - I never quite started to actually work on them. There was a time when I was very depressed about all that: I thought I wasn't capable of action. I had no trust in anything anymore: neither myself nor anyone or anything else. Once I put myself in a quite dangerous situation, I was ill and did something which I shouldn't have done. It worsened my condition. I did it because I had told myself that I wasn't really ill and that 'being ill' was just a lame excuse for staying in bed and being lazy. I'm now starting to gain confidence once more. I have realized that I can interprete my feelings quite well and that I'm pretty good at recognizing my false rationalizations. Back to what 'it' is: I have realized that when defining goals, until now I have always left an extremely important element out of consideration: time! When I have tried to define goals, I always thought about how to achieve them and what effort it would take to reach that goal. Then I already went on thinking about whether it would pay off, without conciously taking into consideration how long it would take to achieve the goal. I'm sure I did think about a rough time estimate unconciously though. I think that unconscious estimate was a pretty good one too - and that unconscious knowledge about how long it would take me to achieve that goal actually prevented me from reaching it - because I didn't want to wait that long! I have now found out that taking time conciously into consideration changes everything: the mere though of an achievement with a pretty good estimate is much much nicer. I even noticed that I am ready and willing to double my effort if the time until results of my work can be seen decreases. I have never been lazy and my goals were never the wrong ones: I'm just very impatient! Now that I know that, it's only a technical thing about how to specify a time estimate for certain achievements. So the purpose of this thread is fulfilled, which is why i wrote this reply. Thanks again for your replies and sorry for my English, I think it got a bit rusty since I'm out of school. :-)
  2. Hey, now that the new semester has begun, and physics has started, along with a few tests, I have a lot of work to do and feel much better now. My room's still a mess and I still haven't finished Atlas Shrugged, but I'm OK with that for now, because now I'm actually doing something. I have also reduced videogaming to a minimum and I'm standing up much earlier. I don't know exactly why I can do that now. I did not conciously define any long-term goals. I think it's simply because for the start I seem to like physics. However I've thought a lot about the problem itself and I think that by asking for my 'IT', I'm asking for the cause(s) and nature of 'evasion'. It's a concept of objectivism I do not understand fully. Why do people evade? Simply because there is a lack of purpose? Or maybe also because sometimes they're afraid of failure? Why is there a lack of purpose? Why are they afraid of failure? In Atlas Shrugged, Rand seems not to even ask these questions - until the point of the book where I am, she simply puts them in the 'evil-evader-box' but doesn't ask for causes. Also: When does someone start to evade? Isn't any unproductive form of enjoyment evasion? Watching TV is always an escape from reality, to a certain extent, but when does it become evasion? And there's so much more - food, video games, alcohol, drugs in general, every form of procrastination, even sex - everything can be used or done in an unproductive way, only to evade certain thoughts and escape reality - is all of that 'evil' in the objectivist's point of view? A possible answer could be, "yes, it is evil, if you do it the way you said." But then again, how could one say exactly when the point of evasion is reached? Then again, a possible answer could be "you have to decide that individually, if you do something, and feel or know that you're doing it because of evasion, stop doing it." But that opens up other problems: first of all it's not a rational answer - it applies to feelings. Also, how could objectivists possibly judge other people and say they're evil, when they evade, if evasion is only defined by yourself, by your own feelings? If there is another topic that answers some of my questions, I'd be glad if you could provide the link, and of course I'm always happy for answers.
  3. I don't think I understand fully. What exactly in my behaviour would make trying to achieve a goal involve suffering? When I go climbing, there ARE moments which I can enjoy, and those are the reason I still do it. It's just that with most activities, it's very rare that I have those moments. And I can't really think of anything where it isn't like that. I also believe that this is a good advice. Especially the highlighted (and crucial) part is something I've always left out when trying to define goals. However, it still doesn't work. Maybe I'm just not taking the right approach, but it always leads to something like this: "What could I create/find out that's useful/which I would want/which anyone else would want/which I would want to know?" and I can't find an answer to any of those questions. When I try doing it the other way round, it's the same: "What am I good at/do I like doing? Ok, I like programming. But I can't just get a compiler and mess around. So I'll code something I'll like - but what?" And I'm back at the first question.
  4. I have thought a lot about that, but unfortunately I never found anything. It also was a very hard thing to decide what to study. I really like Philosophy now, but that was a lucky strike and I don't know whether Physics will be the right thing for me or not. The only thing I know I'm good at and which I like is thinking. I've always been good at school (and the first few tests at university went very well) with little effort and lately even friends keep telling me I'm intelligent. However, as soon as it comes to a physical activity, most times I fail. I think this is because it's very hard for me to 'be in the moment', to concentrate completely on the task at hand. A good example for this is climbing - I go climbing quite frequently and I keep telling me I enjoy it, but there are only few moments when I really do. Those are the moments when I'm really absorbed with climbing the wall, like my only goal is to reach the top. It's like Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's flow theory. It's even the same for things which only involve thinking: Programming for example. I've never been able to dedicate myself to something for a long time. Sometimes I set myself goals in which I then succeed (for example, I wanted to create a Sudoku-generator (although I don't even like the game itself) just to know whether I could do it - and I could), but as soon as I reach this goal, I give up the activity (sometimes even before I reach the goal) and find it very hard to find a new goal. I really like your approach, Ifat. What bugs me is that the lack of a (final) purpose can not be the reason for doing all these things, e.g. for escaping reality by playing games. The lack of something is only a negation, it's not a motive, so it can't be the reason for that, or is there an error in my thinking? Until now I was simply out of ideas, what it could be. But I watched the video on procrastination James I posted - this might actually apply to me. I'm still in the typical teenager-parents-conflict-scenario. Thinking about it, I've noticed that all of the "What is it"s listed above (and more which I havent posted) are things explicitly demanded or critizised by my parents. So, although I have thought those things through and decided myself that it'd be best to obey them, I might be sabotaging myself subconciously, because my parents are actually demanding things, not advising (actually they are threatening to throw me out, although they would never really do that, because they are cowards). This might subconciously lead to the conclusion that it's not my own, but their decision. I will try and see whether this is right or not by doing two things: keep telling myself that it's actually MY decision, not theirs, that my room looks better when it's tidy, and so on. Secondly, I will now start looking for my own flat, even though I don't have the money for that right now, but I'm sure I'll find a way. Somehow, actually for quite a long time, I have the feeling that as soon as I have MY own flat, it's going to be much more tidy, just because it's really mine. I'm still not sure about all that, but let's see. By the way, thank you for all your replies! If you have any other ideas or thoughts, please just name them.
  5. If I knew... Being happy, I guess. However I don't know how I can achieve that yet. I'm currently waiting for the new semester to begin, I've just finished my first semester Philosophy and in addition I will now start Physics. (This has nothing to do with Atlas Shrugged, my decision was made before I knew the book.) What I'm going to do with that, I don't know. I think one of my greatest wishes at the moment is meeting someone in person who I can really respect, someone who gives me the same reassuring feeling Hank Rearden gets, when he meets Francisco d'Anconia, the same feeling I get when I'm reading some passages of Atlas Shrugged, that feeling of "Yes! That's just so right!". But then again, doesn't that put me on the same level as Robert Stadler? I feel very lonely from time to time, although I have good friends that I can count on, but it seems to me that I'm surrounded by people who think like the 'looters' - especially my parents, with whom I live and who I've come to despise more and more lately. Jake Ellison, I like your suggestions. Most of them I have tried and I follow some of them. However, number three is the one that worries me most. For example, this week I had to learn about 150 pages of mostly boring stuff for a test. I've caught myself often enough surfing the net or doing other unproductive things, always with the same "I shouldn't be doing this, I should be learning"-feeling at the back of my mind. Instead, I could just have learned efficiently for a few hours and then spend the rest of my time on other things without this feeling. Also, when I really have to do something, I have no problems doing it, including all of the things listed above. School is a good example for that. I was always late, it just didn't matter. Now that I have a job, I've never come late, although I have to get up much earlier. In school, there was always also that tiredness, but now at work, I'm hardly ever tired. And no, I'm not smoking pot, I don't like drugs at all. Actually I've always debated with my friends about drinking too much alcohol, at the age when it was still a 'cool' thing to do. My drug is the internet. But I don't think it's the reason for my problems. (sounds like an addict's speech, d'oh)
  6. I am now. But is laziness really the only answer? Somehow I feel that there's something else behind. But maybe that's the laziness just trying to justify itself, I don't know. Why is it sometimes so hard to do something of which you know that it's right? EDIT: The above sentence should be: But maybe that's just me trying to justify my laziness.
  7. What is it? What is it, that keeps me from cleaning my room? What is it, that keeps me from studying for university and makes me do nothing at all instead? What is it, that keeps me wasting thousands of hours browsing the net and looking at pointless crap of which I know it has long since ceased to entertain me? What is it, that keeps me stay up all night playing computer games of which I know that they are no fun anymore but escape from reality? What is it, that makes me take 20 minutes in the shower, just because the water is nice and warm? What is it, that keeps me from brushing my theeth in the evening? What is it, that keeps me from finally finishing Atlas Shrugged, although I know I really like the book? What is it, that keeps telling me that as soon as I find the first girlfriend that likes me for more than a week, 'IT' will go away, although I know exactly that it has to be the other way round - I won't find anyone as long as 'IT' is there, because I don't respect myself. What is it, that made me buy an iPod, although I know its functionality is useless to me and that it's only a shiny new toy? What is it, that sometimes makes me incredibly tired, although I know that physically I'm not? What is it, that made me write this post naked, although it's almost twelve o'clock in the daytime? What is it?
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