Averse to thinking

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Disclaimer: The first few lines may sound like complaining. Trust me it's not, I'm just laying the groundwork to give you better context. Please bear with me. :smile:

As I was taking a shower earlier today, feeling all groggy and apathetic towards life, I started to wonder what's the deal with me. It usually feels like nothing motivates me, and if I get a surge of motivation late into the night - from seeing pictures of cool and expensive apartments, travel destinations, etc. - it's gone by morning.

Last week on Monday I decided to start planning for this year and set some goals. By today it still hasn't been done. I was giving myself some tough love over it, then it hit me. The reason why it hasn't been done yet is because thinking about what I want - yes, I am talking about the simple act of imagining what I want - feels too difficult.

As soon as that little nugget of self-awareness showed itself, I started digging a bit deeper. I came up with the following behaviors (which apply to all areas of my life):

  1. Most of my day is spent on YouTube watching random videos. I came to the conclusion I do this because it doesn't require me to think, just sit and listen.

  2. Most of the advice I get makes sense to me only if I'm being told "Do this, then do that". I have a bit of a difficult time with advice that makes me draw my own conclusions. Without blowing my own trumpet here, I am by no means a dumb person, quite the opposite. I could draw my own conclusions but the act of sitting and thinking about it makes me feel uncomfortable.

  3. Whenever I hear about stuff along the lines of creating a case study, coming up with viral content ideas, adding my own "twist" to a (money making) method, or any of the like, I get a feeling of helplessness and hopelesness. I'd rather do that than think about it and seeing what I come up with.
These are just a few of the behaviors I came up with. I am sure there are more.

I think this has to do with my upbringing. Aside from the fact that I was constantly compared to others, had my ass burtally whooped, and sometimes was made to feel like I am not enough, I also didn't have anyone to hold me accountable when I most needed it. I would not do my homework, because I simply could. I would not study because there was no one to make me do it. Basically, in school, I would just take the path of least resistance and still be slightly above average to not raise any alarms.

I believe this led me to not rely on the act of thinking anymore. Why think about how to solve a certain math problem, when I could not do it or just copy it from one of my classmates? Why think about how to formulate my ideas for this and that project, when I could not do it altogether, or rely on my colleaguess to do my part too? Or better, just copy-paste off Wikipedia.

Now, I am not placing the blame on anyone. I just want you to make a better picture of what I am talking about.

Now going back to the shower earlier today.

After all of the things I just talked about flashed in front of my eyes, I came to the conclusion that I may be averse to thinking. As in, the act of thinking requires effort and I'd rather just not do it. But I want to do it, and here is my issue.

I searched around on the internet but I only find topics about "risk-averse thinking" which is not what I am dealing with.

So I was wondering, how would you go about encouraging yourself to think if you were in my situation? The thing is, thinking feels overwhelming so I'd rather not do it. I thought about learning to play chess, which would encourage me to start thinking, instead of avoiding it.

Final note: When I say that "I'd rather not think" I am not talking about me taking the conscious decision not to think. All I am saying is that I have to power through taking the decision to think and the fact that me doing the act of thinking requires actual discipline.

Maybe a weird topic, I am aware of that too.

EDIT: I forgot to take it back to motivation and my acting apathetic towards my future. I feel like if thinking was no longer such a grind, I would shed of a lot of my procrastination.
 
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Hi Upsilon,

your contemplation about contemplation is not new or original or unique and that's good. In fact, many philosophers have wondered about thinking just like you and why it seems that some people just don't contemplate things. So, no worries, what you're feeling is totally normal.

Horkheimer and Adorno of the Frankfurt School came to the US after fleeing Nazi Germany and they said, in The Culture Industry, that US society is one where the workers work in alienation from themselves and each other. This causes them to be tired after a hard day's work. They then go to the television and radio to passively soak in entertainment, so that they can begin their grind the next day.

This is opposed to work which is uplifting, motivating, and aligned with who you are as a person. So, working in an assembly line might feel like shit whereas working in an orchestra, when you are a musician, would feel in line with your being.

Maybe you just need to work on something that you're personally interested in? That might give you the drive to contemplate work as well as the drive to contemplate things outside of work, since you won't be so drained after work.

Also, another take away of this is that it's not just you. It's very much a cultural issue. Contemplation, understanding, and reasoning involves growth, which also involves pain. If through dialogue and reason you come to understand that you have a false belief, it might be painful to remove that belief, especially if that belief was associated with trauma. This might be a reason why some are averse to contemplation; but, it's also a reason to take on contemplation too! For the freedom of freeing yourself of false beliefs, growing as a person, and developing yourself.

Also, finally, intellectual pursuits are not done in isolation. You need to have friends to discuss the thoughts with as you can't see the biases you have. Maybe you need to find friends to discuss whatever you're interested in?

Best regards,
Phil
 

bernard

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If thinking was easy, everyone would be world famous philosophers.

Thinking is hard and the modern world is infinitely more complex than it used to be.

A lot of it has to do with the concept of "Paradox of Choice".

Too much choice leads to less satisfaction, less happiness, less action. This is obvious in online marketing, where there is always a different choice. You will never feel like what you're doing is the right choice, because you could always be doing something different.
 
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If thinking was easy, everyone would be world famous philosophers.

Thinking is hard and the modern world is infinitely more complex than it used to be.

A lot of it has to do with the concept of "Paradox of Choice".

Too much choice leads to less satisfaction, less happiness, less action. This is obvious in online marketing, where there is always a different choice. You will never feel like what you're doing is the right choice, because you could always be doing something different.
Horkheimer and Adorno, in the essay I mentioned, would say that you don't actually have choices. You have only the illusion of choices, since the options presented to you were created by Industry.

In marketing, companies perform market research to figure out where user demands are and create products to meet the demand. This is for the movie industry, film industry, music industry, pasta sauce industry, and so forth.

However, what Industry gives you and what they say they'll give you, through advertising, are two separate things. You can never really achieve the feeling of Christmas morning by drinking Coca-Cola. You can never really achieve the feeling of childhood happiness by eating McDonalds.

Therefore, by making a choice, you'll feel lackluster since you never really get what the product advertises that you'll get, at an emotional level. It doesn't matter if you were presented with 1,000 choices or 3. You're not going to receive what was advertised emotionally.
 

Sutra

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Bottle that motivation up and use it to *do* things that will get you what you want. Don't waste it. Realize that every time you watch a video about some place, read something about what to do, etc, you're using up motivation. Might help to think of it as a life bar, or energy bar in a game. Every time you take an action (ANY action) in regards to your dream it uses up your motivation bar. So make sure you're spending that motivation energy on things that actually make your dream come true. Don't spend it on stupid shit like watching videos and gaining more info. Spend it on doing.

Also, don't use it all up at once. It takes time to refill. If you go gung ho in the beginning you'll use it all up and then may go for days, weeks, or months with no motivation; burnt out. Then you feel like shit for doing nothing all over again. So save some of that motivation, so that it carries over into your next session for getting stuff done. If you always have a little motivation left in the tank you'll still have a bit of excitement in you which will carry you to the next session. Thus, you never run out, hitting the doldrums.

In time you'll develop concrete habits and the above won't matter anymore, but in the beginning it's crucial. Well, it was in my case. Perhaps it will be in yours too.
 

bernard

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@Philip J. Fry

Yes, I can see how you could make that argument.

As Kirkegaard said: "Get married or don't get married, you will regret both" or in layman's terms "No ragrets yolo"
 
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Bottle that motivation up and use it to *do* things that will get you what you want. Don't waste it. Realize that every time you watch a video about some place, read something about what to do, etc, you're using up motivation. Might help to think of it as a life bar, or energy bar in a game. Every time you take an action (ANY action) in regards to your dream it uses up your motivation bar. So make sure you're spending that motivation energy on things that actually make your dream come true. Don't spend it on stupid shit like watching videos and gaining more info. Spend it on doing.

Also, don't use it all up at once. It takes time to refill. If you go gung ho in the beginning you'll use it all up and then may go for days, weeks, or months with no motivation; burnt out. Then you feel like shit for doing nothing all over again. So save some of that motivation, so that it carries over into your next session for getting stuff done. If you always have a little motivation left in the tank you'll still have a bit of excitement in you which will carry you to the next session. Thus, you never run out, hitting the doldrums.

In time you'll develop concrete habits and the above won't matter anymore, but in the beginning it's crucial. Well, it was in my case. Perhaps it will be in yours too.
I think you didn't understand his post at all. He's not talking about not having will power to do things. He's talking about not wanting to contemplate. While contemplation is a verb, I wouldn't say that it takes will power to contemplate. If someone has to willfully contemplate, they might have a mental issue since we can't help but think.

Finally, you argue that people should take action towards their dream. This is begging the question. What is one's dream? How would one know? It's through contemplation that one figures this out, which the OP is having problems with. Therefore, your post doesn't answer his question. He can't take action on his dream, when he's unable to contemplate what his dream is.
 

bernard

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Running is a good way to contemplate.

Long runs.

Also outdoors stuff.
 

DanielS

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Most of my day is spent on YouTube watching random videos. I came to the conclusion I do this because it doesn't require me to think, just sit and listen.
You do this because it makes you feel good. Instead of focusing on yourself and your life, you get to live through other people in the form of YouTube videos. I used to do this all the time- still do even. This is why I don't watch YouTube videos anymore- it's way too distracting. Honestly, I'd recommend you stop watching them as well, even for just 1 week to see how you feel- you might feel a lot better.
Most of the advice I get makes sense to me only if I'm being told "Do this, then do that". I have a bit of a difficult time with advice that makes me draw my own conclusions. Without blowing my own trumpet here, I am by no means a dumb person, quite the opposite. I could draw my own conclusions but the act of sitting and thinking about it makes me feel uncomfortable.
Sounds like you need to sit and think about things more. If doing so makes you uncomfortable, chances are there's something that you need to come to terms with that you've been avoiding.
Whenever I hear about stuff along the lines of creating a case study, coming up with viral content ideas, adding my own "twist" to a (money making) method, or any of the like, I get a feeling of helplessness and hopelesness. I'd rather do that than think about it and seeing what I come up with.
Paralysis by analysis. A lot of people believe the cure to this is taking action (which it is) but before action can be taken, distractions and shiny objects must be eliminated (at least in my experience) in order for focus to be maintained. Turn off YouTube, stop browsing forums (other than this one), pick a thing, and do what needs to be done.
 

eliquid

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This is exactly why I made the posts I made:
https://www.buildersociety.com/threads/not-fulfilled-depressed-maybe-you-need-an-alignment.3235/

Which is longer and more in-depth ( just because it got more responses ) over at:
https://www.thefastlaneforum.com/co...-depressed-maybe-you-need-an-alignment.79193/

Same threads, but longer and more in-depth at the fastlane forum.

Go through them and really think about what I wrote and what others are saying. I think you will find what you need there.
 

Ryuzaki

お前はもう死んでいる
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@Upsilon, it sounds like you're pinpointing some of the events in your biography that reinforced a laziness towards thinking. You were rewarded for not thinking. What is rewarded is reinforced.

It sounds like a matter of happenstance. Cheating was available and easy. You were convinced to some degree that your thinking would be fruitless because you wouldn't be good enough anyways, etc.

Speaking of happenstance, I was big into puzzles, RPG games, even now those rinky-dink incremental games. I get a lot of satisfaction out of solving puzzles, mysteries, etc. At the same time, a problem I experience with that satisfaction is I start to look at "decisions to be made" as "problems to be solved". That ends up leading to things like staying in a relationship for years after it should have ended or not killing off a business project I should let go of, etc. My point is, there's always "something" we all need to confront and defeat in our psyches.

It also sounds like, to me, you don't have an aversion to thinking but an aversion to confronting aspects of reality, such as the pain and trauma we all experience going through life, the responsibility and discipline that comes with starting to face down the big hurdles of life and business, etc. Avoidance, cheating, the easy path of least resistance... it has an allure in childhood but as an adult you're realizing that all that glitters is not gold.

Living vicariously through Youtube personalities and vapid Hollywood celebrities, to take it to an extreme, is pretty much brain death. You've resigned yourself to not having the life you want and are just biding your time, waiting for the reaper to take you, while escaping through fantasy.

I think a part of it for a lot of people is they don't realize the rewards of achievement and building the life they want are infinitely better than the pain associated with the challenges. They're being pushed away by the pain instead of being pulled forward and through by the reward, because of a lack of imagination or experience with the rewards.

Once you know what the rewards are and how they taste (even in imagination) there's no stopping you from trying to have them. You may not get them, but you'll try, because laying on your death bed wondering how you got there so fast, since all you did was consume entertainment and it was gone in a flash... laying there with nothing but regret. I'd rather lose 100% of the time while trying than to never play the game at all. That's part of my aversion... an aversion to not having gone for it in a big way.
 
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Hey @Upsilon, let me give you my view on this. @DanielS gave you some good advice.

- Most of my day is spent on YouTube watching random videos. I came to the conclusion I do this because it doesn't require me to think, just sit and listen.
You remember a lot to myself. But this is not a problem about thinking avoidance, It's probably something deeper. Most of the time this is due to some form of anxiety/stress, and Youtube is a source of instant gratification to easily relief it/avoid it.

- Most of the advice I get makes sense to me only if I'm being told "Do this, then do that". I have a bit of a difficult time with advice that makes me draw my own conclusions. Without blowing my own trumpet here, I am by no means a dumb person, quite the opposite. I could draw my own conclusions but the act of sitting and thinking about it makes me feel uncomfortable.


- Whenever I hear about stuff along the lines of creating a case study, coming up with viral content ideas, adding my own "twist" to a (money making) method, or any of the like, I get a feeling of helplessness and hopelesness. I'd rather do that than think about it and seeing what I come up with.

These are just a few of the behaviors I came up with. I am sure there are more.

I think this has to do with my upbringing. Aside from the fact that I was constantly compared to others, had my ass burtally whooped, and sometimes was made to feel like I am not enough, I also didn't have anyone to hold me accountable when I most needed it. I would not do my homework, because I simply could. I would not study because there was no one to make me do it. Basically, in school, I would just take the path of least resistance and still be slightly above average to not raise any alarms.
Something similar happened to me, this is because of low self esteem and self-trust problems.

The school part, same here. You probably got used to doing the bare minimum just to achieve the same results as the rest of people. So you start getting used to doing less and less and keep going with the instant gratification.

I believe this led me to not rely on the act of thinking anymore. Why think about how to solve a certain math problem, when I could not do it or just copy it from one of my classmates? Why think about how to formulate my ideas for this and that project, when I could not do it altogether, or rely on my colleaguess to do my part too? Or better, just copy-paste off Wikipedia.
Same stuff, you are thinking, so you are "working", It makes you a bit anxious/stressed out, and you look for the easy/instant gratification option.

After all of the things I just talked about flashed in front of my eyes, I came to the conclusion that I may be averse to thinking. As in, the act of thinking requires effort and I'd rather just not do it. But I want to do it, and here is my issue.
This is not the problem, this is a consequence.

So I was wondering, how would you go about encouraging yourself to think if you were in my situation? The thing is, thinking feels overwhelming so I'd rather not do it. I thought about learning to play chess, which would encourage me to start thinking, instead of avoiding it.
How can you fix this? It will take a while, and it will not be easy at all. But you can start with some basic stuff. If the main problem is the action taking, because you have a few things to fix. You already have a little step in the right direction. Start playing chess! and get used to thinking more and more. If you start feeling too much anxiety/stress or whatever, don't avoid it, you are gonna have to fight it a bit.

With some time, you should include more and more "uncomfortable" activities, until you reach the point where you are "comfortable" doing it.
 
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Hi Upsilon,

your contemplation about contemplation is not new or original or unique and that's good. In fact, many philosophers have wondered about thinking just like you and why it seems that some people just don't contemplate things. So, no worries, what you're feeling is totally normal.

Horkheimer and Adorno of the Frankfurt School came to the US after fleeing Nazi Germany and they said, in The Culture Industry, that US society is one where the workers work in alienation from themselves and each other. This causes them to be tired after a hard day's work. They then go to the television and radio to passively soak in entertainment, so that they can begin their grind the next day.

This is opposed to work which is uplifting, motivating, and aligned with who you are as a person. So, working in an assembly line might feel like shit whereas working in an orchestra, when you are a musician, would feel in line with your being.

Maybe you just need to work on something that you're personally interested in? That might give you the drive to contemplate work as well as the drive to contemplate things outside of work, since you won't be so drained after work.

Also, another take away of this is that it's not just you. It's very much a cultural issue. Contemplation, understanding, and reasoning involves growth, which also involves pain. If through dialogue and reason you come to understand that you have a false belief, it might be painful to remove that belief, especially if that belief was associated with trauma. This might be a reason why some are averse to contemplation; but, it's also a reason to take on contemplation too! For the freedom of freeing yourself of false beliefs, growing as a person, and developing yourself.

Also, finally, intellectual pursuits are not done in isolation. You need to have friends to discuss the thoughts with as you can't see the biases you have. Maybe you need to find friends to discuss whatever you're interested in?

Best regards,
Phil

I think you didn't understand his post at all. He's not talking about not having will power to do things. He's talking about not wanting to contemplate. While contemplation is a verb, I wouldn't say that it takes will power to contemplate. If someone has to willfully contemplate, they might have a mental issue since we can't help but think.

Finally, you argue that people should take action towards their dream. This is begging the question. What is one's dream? How would one know? It's through contemplation that one figures this out, which the OP is having problems with. Therefore, your post doesn't answer his question. He can't take action on his dream, when he's unable to contemplate what his dream is.

Well, this is the thing. I am in a niche I like, writing about one of my hobbies.

However, as much as I like this hobby of mine, I don't feel passionate about it. In fact, I find it difficult to be passionate about anything. As far as emotions are concerned, my life is very dull.

I don't want to give the idea of me being a pessimist, depressive, or anything like that. Actually, if you met me irl you wouldn't think that my excitement for life is nonexistent. I am not sad with no apparent reason (as a depressed person would) but I am not excited either. My emotional state is very "meh".

So, to take it back, this is why I find it difficult to start a business about something I am really passionate about. I find it hard to be passionate about anything in the first place.

Also, my issue is not with contemplation per se, but the act of thinking. Not sure how to put it.

Here. You wouldn't contemplate a math problem, you would try to solve it. Maybe you would contemplate the meaning of life, but you wouldn't contemplate what a step-by-step checklist on writing a blog post should contain. You would just think about what writing a blog post entails - from maybe choosing a topic, to researching competition, finding the average word count, finding the H2s and so on - then put all of it in a step-by-step format.

Well, the act of doing that and seeing how many things I have to think about is overwhelming.

When I am saying it is overwhelming, I don't mean it in a way like a person with sensory overload would feel. I want to emphasize it is not related to any mental problems, as to not lead you astray.

It is overwhelming in the sense of: "Oh sh*t, so much to think about!" and then a surge of laziness takes me, I am losing all of my focus, get distracted by literally anything, only not to do it. I still do it but by the end I am will power depleted, from a seemingly easy task.


If thinking was easy, everyone would be world famous philosophers.

Thinking is hard and the modern world is infinitely more complex than it used to be.

A lot of it has to do with the concept of "Paradox of Choice".

Too much choice leads to less satisfaction, less happiness, less action. This is obvious in online marketing, where there is always a different choice. You will never feel like what you're doing is the right choice, because you could always be doing something different.

I agree with this.

Part of my problem is also shiny object syndrome, which I know a lot of people have. I find it very difficult to stick to a plan, or a method, or even an industry.

Right now I am working on my blog, but a few weeks later I want to become a copywriter, then a few weeks later learn PPC, then a few weeks later web development. This is not an example, but what is actually happening. I am circling through all of the above a few times a year.

Needless to say, never going anywhere with any of them.


Bottle that motivation up and use it to *do* things that will get you what you want. Don't waste it. Realize that every time you watch a video about some place, read something about what to do, etc, you're using up motivation. Might help to think of it as a life bar, or energy bar in a game. Every time you take an action (ANY action) in regards to your dream it uses up your motivation bar. So make sure you're spending that motivation energy on things that actually make your dream come true. Don't spend it on stupid shit like watching videos and gaining more info. Spend it on doing.

Also, don't use it all up at once. It takes time to refill. If you go gung ho in the beginning you'll use it all up and then may go for days, weeks, or months with no motivation; burnt out. Then you feel like shit for doing nothing all over again. So save some of that motivation, so that it carries over into your next session for getting stuff done. If you always have a little motivation left in the tank you'll still have a bit of excitement in you which will carry you to the next session. Thus, you never run out, hitting the doldrums.

In time you'll develop concrete habits and the above won't matter anymore, but in the beginning it's crucial. Well, it was in my case. Perhaps it will be in yours too.

As Fry pointed out, not exactly related to my question but I see your point.

However, as I told him, I find it hard to have a dream because I am not passionate about anything. I am certainly working on it but for now I just have to power through and see where it leads.


You do this because it makes you feel good. Instead of focusing on yourself and your life, you get to live through other people in the form of YouTube videos. I used to do this all the time- still do even. This is why I don't watch YouTube videos anymore- it's way too distracting. Honestly, I'd recommend you stop watching them as well, even for just 1 week to see how you feel- you might feel a lot better.

Sounds like you need to sit and think about things more. If doing so makes you uncomfortable, chances are there's something that you need to come to terms with that you've been avoiding.

Paralysis by analysis. A lot of people believe the cure to this is taking action (which it is) but before action can be taken, distractions and shiny objects must be eliminated (at least in my experience) in order for focus to be maintained. Turn off YouTube, stop browsing forums (other than this one), pick a thing, and do what needs to be done.

Haha, I wished it was spectatorism. It's not even that. I am watching random videos, ranging from anime fights (I am not even a fan of anime!) to what a sumo wrestler eats, how big the Universe really is, World War 2 battles explained, food reviews, how to ride a motorcycle, etc. All over the place, I know.

But I agree with you in the sense that it makes me feel good. I don't have a warm and fuzzy feeling when I am watching random videos on YouTube but it keeps me away from the "pain" and "sacrifice" of working. Realistically speaking, if it didn't bring me any benefit (even one I am not aware of), then I wouldn't do it.

But you gave me a really good idea to stop accessing YouTube for a week and see how that feels and why am I using it as a coping mechanism. Or better said, coping mechanism against what precisely.


This is exactly why I made the posts I made:
https://www.buildersociety.com/threads/not-fulfilled-depressed-maybe-you-need-an-alignment.3235/

Which is longer and more in-depth ( just because it got more responses ) over at:
https://www.thefastlaneforum.com/co...-depressed-maybe-you-need-an-alignment.79193/

Same threads, but longer and more in-depth at the fastlane forum.

Go through them and really think about what I wrote and what others are saying. I think you will find what you need there.

I have already started to read the post on Fastlane.

I have a question though: when you point out how to find your values and your reasons for pursuing certain things, you give the example of the fast car. You came to the conclusion that you didn't really value that fast car, but wanted it because society regarded it as a measure of success.

However, say you want to have a lot of money. You dig down and find out that this desire comes from the fact that you were born in a poor family. Let's say that this is the only factor why you want to make money. Would you consider this a value, or just a compensation for a lack and dive even deeper looking for the actual value?


@Upsilon, it sounds like you're pinpointing some of the events in your biography that reinforced a laziness towards thinking. You were rewarded for not thinking. What is rewarded is reinforced.

It sounds like a matter of happenstance. Cheating was available and easy. You were convinced to some degree that your thinking would be fruitless because you wouldn't be good enough anyways, etc.

Speaking of happenstance, I was big into puzzles, RPG games, even now those rinky-dink incremental games. I get a lot of satisfaction out of solving puzzles, mysteries, etc. At the same time, a problem I experience with that satisfaction is I start to look at "decisions to be made" as "problems to be solved". That ends up leading to things like staying in a relationship for years after it should have ended or not killing off a business project I should let go of, etc. My point is, there's always "something" we all need to confront and defeat in our psyches.

It also sounds like, to me, you don't have an aversion to thinking but an aversion to confronting aspects of reality, such as the pain and trauma we all experience going through life, the responsibility and discipline that comes with starting to face down the big hurdles of life and business, etc. Avoidance, cheating, the easy path of least resistance... it has an allure in childhood but as an adult you're realizing that all that glitters is not gold.

Living vicariously through Youtube personalities and vapid Hollywood celebrities, to take it to an extreme, is pretty much brain death. You've resigned yourself to not having the life you want and are just biding your time, waiting for the reaper to take you, while escaping through fantasy.

I think a part of it for a lot of people is they don't realize the rewards of achievement and building the life they want are infinitely better than the pain associated with the challenges. They're being pushed away by the pain instead of being pulled forward and through by the reward, because of a lack of imagination or experience with the rewards.

Once you know what the rewards are and how they taste (even in imagination) there's no stopping you from trying to have them. You may not get them, but you'll try, because laying on your death bed wondering how you got there so fast, since all you did was consume entertainment and it was gone in a flash... laying there with nothing but regret. I'd rather lose 100% of the time while trying than to never play the game at all. That's part of my aversion... an aversion to not having gone for it in a big way.

Yes, it is funny. I am going to use the power of anonimity and say this: my brother is earning a huge sum of money every month, out of which I get a cut of $1000 for doing nothing. Call it charity, pity, both terms work just fine. In my country, this money is what a corporate employee would get after perhaps 5 years of experience or so. Add to it that I am living with my mom (common for 24 year-olds in Eastern Europe) and I am not paying any bills. Needless to say, I am living an above average life here.

So I've been living, and am still living a life where somehow I manage to cheat all of my responsibilities.

As funny as it sounds, this is the battle against myself and the situation I am in: pushing myself to do something when it doesn't seem like I need to. I have more than what is considered enough in my country. Therefore, from already having all of my needs met and virtually 24h/day of free time, I have to convince myself that it is worth trading that "freedom" to get more than I have.

You hit the nail in the head, especially when you said: You've resigned yourself to not having the life you want and are just biding your time, waiting for the reaper to take you, while escaping through fantasy.

Most days I just put on music in my headphones, lay in bed for an hour, and imagine myself living an awesome life through the money I will be making when I start working (lol!). Then I wait for the day to end and repeat. I am indeed waiting for my death while escaping through fantasy.

This is why I am trying to change something.

Also, I will be the first to say I am acting like a man child.

Hey @Upsilon, let me give you my view on this. @DanielS gave you some good advice.


You remember a lot to myself. But this is not a problem about thinking avoidance, It's probably something deeper. Most of the time this is due to some form of anxiety/stress, and Youtube is a source of instant gratification to easily relief it/avoid it.


Something similar happened to me, this is because of low self esteem and self-trust problems.

The school part, same here. You probably got used to doing the bare minimum just to achieve the same results as the rest of people. So you start getting used to doing less and less and keep going with the instant gratification.


Same stuff, you are thinking, so you are "working", It makes you a bit anxious/stressed out, and you look for the easy/instant gratification option.


This is not the problem, this is a consequence.


How can you fix this? It will take a while, and it will not be easy at all. But you can start with some basic stuff. If the main problem is the action taking, because you have a few things to fix. You already have a little step in the right direction. Start playing chess! and get used to thinking more and more. If you start feeling too much anxiety/stress or whatever, don't avoid it, you are gonna have to fight it a bit.

With some time, you should include more and more "uncomfortable" activities, until you reach the point where you are "comfortable" doing it.

If you read about my life in the comment for Ryuzaki, you would see that there is no reason for me to be stressed or anxious. Maybe it is something different? Maybe it is too much comfort, too much time spent on the path of least resistance...

But you are right about my self-esteem and self-trust. In the end, how could I have high self-esteem and self-trust when all I've ever accomplished was acttually handed to me?

And I am not blaming those who handed me the goodies, I am taking full responsibility for taking what they offered, instead of working for it.
 
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If you read about my life in the comment for Ryuzaki, you would see that there is no reason for me to be stressed or anxious. Maybe it is something different? Maybe it is too much comfort, too much time spent on the path of least resistance...
Are you sure about that? If you had a balanced lifestyle, you wouldn't "need" to escape. You say that you dislike the situation, you feel useless, like a man child.

It could be because of a million reasons, maybe you feel like you are "not living the life you want", or maybe you are afraid of losing that "helping hand" and you don't see capable of living on your own if that ever happens, or something like that, or it could be something as simple as: if you spend all the day at home, and you don't interact with people daily, your stress levels will be breaking the limit, It can be normal for us working from home, happened to me too.

The thing is that I can't know the exact reason without knowing you better, but ask yourself about it. And I strongly recommend going to a psychologist. It will help you a lot with that stuff, and if you have high IQ like most people here, you probably have more trouble to fix than more normal people.

But you are right about my self-esteem and self-trust. In the end, how could I have high self-esteem and self-trust when all I've ever accomplished was acttually handed to me?

And I am not blaming those who handed me the goodies, I am taking full responsibility for taking what they offered, instead of working for it.
Oh man, this will be stupidly hard to do. At least in my case, I had to go to psychologists, learn psychology on my own, and It's been 3+ years and I'm not completely "fixed" yet. If It's been going since you were a child, It's even harder.

It requires some discipline and a ton of work, even more if you want to make your own business, there is a reason why only a small percentage of people do this stuff as their main source of income and why the day 1 on the crash course is about this topic.

You are gonna have to start doing stuff on your own, whatever makes you feel uncomfortable, until you develop some level of discipline. But start slowly, don't try to run before learning to walk. Start with simple stuff like, learning chess 1-2 hours a day, and slowly increase the time until you develop a habit. You will see that you start going up and up in lvl, then switch to other stuff, like working, and keep increasing slowly.

They are more ways to fix this, and exercises. I'm writing a small guide about all the stuff I learned doing this, it will probably help you. But again, look for a good local psychologist or an online one, it will help you a lot, their work is to literally fix this kinds of problems.
 
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Are you sure about that? If you had a balanced lifestyle, you wouldn't "need" to escape. You say that you dislike the situation, you feel useless, like a man child.

It could be because of a million reasons, maybe you feel like you are "not living the life you want", or maybe you are afraid of losing that "helping hand" and you don't see capable of living on your own if that ever happens, or something like that, or it could be something as simple as: if you spend all the day at home, and you don't interact with people daily, your stress levels will be breaking the limit, It can be normal for us working from home, happened to me too.

The thing is that I can't know the exact reason without knowing you better, but ask yourself about it. And I strongly recommend going to a psychologist. It will help you a lot with that stuff, and if you have high IQ like most people here, you probably have more trouble to fix than more normal people.


Oh man, this will be stupidly hard to do. At least in my case, I had to go to psychologists, learn psychology on my own, and It's been 3+ years and I'm not completely "fixed" yet. If It's been going since you were a child, It's even harder.

It requires some discipline and a ton of work, even more if you want to make your own business, there is a reason why only a small percentage of people do this stuff as their main source of income and why the day 1 on the crash course is about this topic.

You are gonna have to start doing stuff on your own, whatever makes you feel uncomfortable, until you develop some level of discipline. But start slowly, don't try to run before learning to walk. Start with simple stuff like, learning chess 1-2 hours a day, and slowly increase the time until you develop a habit. You will see that you start going up and up in lvl, then switch to other stuff, like working, and keep increasing slowly.

They are more ways to fix this, and exercises. I'm writing a small guide about all the stuff I learned doing this, it will probably help you. But again, look for a good local psychologist or an online one, it will help you a lot, their work is to literally fix this kinds of problems.

Haha, looks like we have a few things in common.

Well, the reason why I was saying I sound like a man child is because the issue is trivial yet I am making a big deal out of it. It can literally be summed up by saying: Well to work more and be more mindful you just have to... work more and be more mindful. Go figure.

I started a working schedule today that I seem to be ok with. I am planning to make it last.

Also, I've been to an amazing psychotherapist for about a year and I was able to gain insight into much of the things that were bugging me at that time. I will start going again eventually but her rates are a bit high, not gonna lie.

And to give more insight into what I was saying... I feel useless because I don't support myself. I don't earn my own money and this is bugging me. Guess I am not sugar baby material to a sugar momma haha, I wouldn't be able to take the money for nothing without feeling like sh*t.

As far as escaping is concerned, one of my New Year's changes involved it. Instead of blasting music and imagining fantasy scenarios, whenever I get the urge to do it I just start reading instead. I know it's still escaping but it's still better than what I was doing - at lest it is giving me a bit of value back. I've been blasting music and imagining stuff since 7th grade (24 now) and being able to quit cold turkey - even if that meant changing the coping mechanism with another one - is something I am proud of.

Thanks for the insights man, really appreciate it. It goes for you and all the people who replied in this thread. :smile:
 

eliquid

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I have already started to read the post on Fastlane.

I have a question though: when you point out how to find your values and your reasons for pursuing certain things, you give the example of the fast car. You came to the conclusion that you didn't really value that fast car, but wanted it because society regarded it as a measure of success.

However, say you want to have a lot of money. You dig down and find out that this desire comes from the fact that you were born in a poor family. Let's say that this is the only factor why you want to make money. Would you consider this a value, or just a compensation for a lack and dive even deeper looking for the actual value?

So that would not be a value.

I think people mix up what values are. Many times I am on a company website or in a building and see their values printed up and many of them are not values.

But for what you are asking, this would be looking deeper for the actual value. In my case, the need for money came down to being able to live simply and with autonomy, which I know can be achieved without money, but is made easier when you do have money.
 

bernard

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There's no great epiphany that will happen. You won't suddenly change your neurotic personality, you won't "figure yourself out". You are who you are, accept it, work with it and go kick ass. Stop self sabotaging. There's nothing else to it. You are your actions, not your past.
 
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@Upsilon, @eliquid is right. While money is a unit of account, that has a set, known, and stable value (eg a $1 bill has the same value as any other $1 bill and you can use $1 bills as a unit of measuring the value of another commodity), it in itself has no value (eg $1 bills are worthless unless you find someone to trade the $1 bills with). Having the goal of acquiring a lot of money is in itself an empty goal. Money only has trade value and no intrinsic value.

Eliquid is referring to "value" as in guiding moral principal or virtues. The "value" you're thinking of is actually market price for a commodity. It's a different meaning of the word "value".

If you're intending to mean that your goal is just to become wealthy because you grew up poor, it makes sense why you aren't motivated to work: your life is pretty comfortable at the moment. You already meet your goal.
 
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So that would not be a value.

I think people mix up what values are. Many times I am on a company website or in a building and see their values printed up and many of them are not values.

But for what you are asking, this would be looking deeper for the actual value. In my case, the need for money came down to being able to live simply and with autonomy, which I know can be achieved without money, but is made easier when you do have money.

Gotcha. I used your lists and after dedupping them I was left with 500+ values to sort through.

I feel like the final stage where you try to figure the top 5-6 values is going to be the most difficult and will require a lot of introspection. But I see how that alone can help me get a grasp of what I'm really about.

@Upsilon, @eliquid is right. While money is a unit of account, that has a set, known, and stable value (eg a $1 bill has the same value as any other $1 bill and you can use $1 bills as a unit of measuring the value of another commodity), it in itself has no value (eg $1 bills are worthless unless you find someone to trade the $1 bills with). Having the goal of acquiring a lot of money is in itself an empty goal. Money only has trade value and no intrinsic value.

Eliquid is referring to "value" as in guiding moral principal or virtues. The "value" you're thinking of is actually market price for a commodity. It's a different meaning of the word "value".

If you're intending to mean that your goal is just to become wealthy because you grew up poor, it makes sense why you aren't motivated to work: your life is pretty comfortable at the moment. You already meet your goal.

Yes, I totally understand that he was not referring to the type of "value" a dollar bill would have.

I think my question was... could something become a value to someone just because they lacked that something? For instance, could a grown up have a value regarding being liked, famous, etc, just because he was not given enough attention when he was a kid? Or is that just an overcompensation for. a lack?

Also, just for the record, your last paragraph hit hard. It does explain a lot of my behavior/attitude towards work.
 
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I think my question was... could something become a value to someone just because they lacked that something? For instance, could a grown up have a value regarding being liked, famous, etc, just because he was not given enough attention when he was a kid? Or is that just an overcompensation for. a lack?

Also, just for the record, your last paragraph hit hard. It does explain a lot of my behavior/attitude towards work.

Over compensation for a lack. That’s still not a virtue as eLIQUID was saying. You’re referring to value as desire. Work would not get you attention. In fact, it’s the opposite. You won’t get attention when you’re working, especially on the computer and by yourself.

You’re welcome. Entrepreneurship isn’t for everybody. Figuring out it’s not for you would save you a lot of time, money, and effort. It’ll also give you peace of mind. Not sure what pushed you to join BuSo but you’ll have a lot better future with a career. There would actually be people in the office to socialize with and, with that, attention. Same with the schooling for the degree. There’s tons of attention at school. Entrepreneurship, the type spouted here, is towards projects that are done in isolation. It’s not what you’re looking for. Hope this helps.
 

eliquid

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Gotcha. I used your lists and after dedupping them I was left with 500+ values to sort through.

I feel like the final stage where you try to figure the top 5-6 values is going to be the most difficult and will require a lot of introspection. But I see how that alone can help me get a grasp of what I'm really about.

It will take a lot of time, if you do it properly.

Personally, I value getting data "right". So when I take something like a personality test, I might take it 20 times over 12 months to make sure no one test was influenced by mood or other factors.

I did that with core values too. I've been re-evaluating my core values every year for several years now. I've gotten it down to where the last several years have pretty much been the same values now.

You'll maybe get down to 20-30 values real quickly out of the 500. Maybe even 10-15. Getting those down to the 4-5 or 6 will be the really hard part if you get down that low ( I think you should ) and might take months.

My first year, I thought I put in enough time to get it right. By my second year when I re-evaluate things ( typically on my birthday ), I changed out a few after some introspection.

Yes, I totally understand that he was not referring to the type of "value" a dollar bill would have.

I think my question was... could something become a value to someone just because they lacked that something? For instance, could a grown up have a value regarding being liked, famous, etc, just because he was not given enough attention when he was a kid? Or is that just an overcompensation for. a lack?

Also, just for the record, your last paragraph hit hard. It does explain a lot of my behavior/attitude towards work.

I think you can "start" there if you want.

How I got it narrowed down was I kept asking "why" until I hit a core value. The place where why could no longer be answered really.

For 1 topic, maybe you can only get 3 why's deep. For the same topic maybe I can get 5 whys deep.

That's ok at the start. Roll with it and re-evaluate later when you can and refine if you can.

At some point with enough time and experience and understanding, you'll hit deeper why's.

However, it's a tough one to crack because you got to start somewhere and you got to put in the time and have the experience and reflection skills too.

It's ok to start imperfectly and work towards polishing it up.