One of the challenges of being a distractible and curious person is that I sometimes think I don’t have time to do what I’m doing at the moment. My mind wanders to the next thing on the agenda and I second-guess my choice to be doing what I’m doing. That’s true even as I sit to type this. I need to work out, I have a girl in my bed that I want to cuddle with, I have about six super important things I should be doing, and I don’t really have time to write this entry. There is no time set aside in my routine, I’m not convinced it’s worth doing, and right now just doesn’t seem like the right time. And so my blog languishes. And why shouldn’t it? A voice in my head reminds me, “Nobody’s reading it anyhow, and you’re never going to make money off it, so why bother?”
Given my last post, you might think these are strange thoughts for a man about to chuck it all and venture into a life of travel and ease. Why stress out about whether to write a blog post? Welcome to my mind. I’m the best second guesser on the planet. I double back on everything, and that’s a very bad habit.
A man is the sum of his habits. The neurons that fire together wire together. We each have habitual ways of thought and action that take us through the day, consuming our energy and weaving a story we tell ourselves about not having enough time, not being good enough, or being a rock star, unstoppable and lucky to be alive. No matter what thought you are thinking right now, the chances are it was planted there by your habits and patterns from yesterday, including a habitual view of tomorrow you keep coming back to.
To that end, I try to shape good habits into my life. I’m continually reformulating my approach to the day, but certain elements are bedrock. When I see a negative mindset, I habitually challenge it and question my assumptions, creating a more positive and productive outlook. If I don’t feel like exercising, I ignore that and work out anyhow. In the morning, I get up as soon as my eyes open, regardless of how I feel. I brush my teeth before I go to bed. I don’t drink alcohol unless I have a friend to drink with. I eat healthy foods. I think I finally have meditation ensconced as a daily practice. And so on.
I’ve heard bloggers say how much value it provides to them to write new posts each day. I can see how that would be so. Making declarations to the world will have the power to shape my life in a way that privately committing to things does not. Writing things out will requires me to deepen and sharpen my thoughts in a way that the chattering monkey in my head is not used to.
But blogging is a new habit that I’m not sure will stick. And this is a challenge in general for me. Many times, I find a new habit that seems like a potential winner, and I put it down as something to try. But I get stuck, or stop early, because I get overwhelmed at the choices I have. There are many potential good new habits, and how will I know which is going to pan out? Talk about a first world problem!
OK, time to push the Publish button and let the chips fall. I can always edit this post later when I realize how crappy it really is. They say “much thinking without practice leads to confusion, and much practice with a little thought leads to knowledge.” Let’s see if I can insert blogging into my list of successful practices.