GMG is thinking
I feel it's sometimes better to be able to write down what is on your mind even when no one reads it. Therefore these thoughts are really just meant for me thinking out loud. I might put some opinions here, but bear in mind that feelings change faster than sites update their content. I've actually already written a few thoughts on the difficulties of being a private person stating their opinions on the internet already. In a world where personal information isn't private, and there's no foolproof way to save it. How can people change their mind, admit mistakes, or aknowlegde good work following their mistakes if the internet doesn't give you an update on the stories you read. Then there's no incentive for change? That's why I'm doing this as an experiment. At best no one will read this :). At worst my life will be dumbed down into a simplified headline and overshaddowing the rest of my story. Creating it's own "true" narrative right before my eyes.
The hardest hurdle
I wonder what self-esteem does to us all. Can lack of self-esteem lead mean a lack of success in life…? If people are told from young age that they are good with numbers will it mean that they become better at math? Can a good or bad grade change a person’s mindset and potentially their life?
If we assume that a person with more good grades has more self value. Then we could also assume that same person will treat themselves better because they already feel valuable. Shouldn’t we also assume that negative and positive traits of stereotypes have the same effect? Or will it have the opposite effect of helping people try harder to prove the stereotypes wrong? Some of the strongest people in the world have overcome great obstacles, but I wonder how many fall off the wagon before it even begins rolling. Where is motivation when nobody believes in you?
The underdog match of constantly trying to prove your worth to a close friend/family member happens all the times in movies. A child works all its life to impress a parent. When finally the child grows up and meets its big break, then everything falls into place. The problem with this story is that we all know the odds of an underdog. They are stacked against them for a reason. No one believes in them getting out of the scenario they’re in.
Afterwards the ones we look to for how to succeed are the ones with the success stories. How did you do it? How can I also succeed? The problem with these questions is that anyone can make the right choice after seeing the result. What’s worse is that they might choose to share their success when they don’t really know why they passed the test. Usually that means trying to boil success down to a few factors, while the answer is really everything that happened to them on their way there.
Maybe, in the end, success itself is really an arbitrary thing. If you meet someone who is happy with themselves, is that person successful? Or is it just a person you really look up to? Anyway you see it, I feel like a person who values themselves enough to believe in themselves has one less hurdle to cross than the ones that do not. Maybe that’s not enough, but at least it’s a start. Because if no one has the slightest belief in you accomplishing something, I don’t think you’ll have the chance to do it in the first place.
So I read this book about The Power of Habits, and something just clicked. I’ve always understood how important habits are to me, but recently haven’t really put enough effort into breaking the bad ones. For example biting my nails, the high of receiving notifications (breaking my focus), and not getting into the rhythm of exercising.
All these are really import to me so I’ll try and make a list of good and bad habits I’m trying to install and trying to break.
Biting my nails I’ve always been a bit fidgety. I still remember starting to bit my nails. I watched my father do the same thing, and didn’t really understand the appeal. So I tried biting my nails and it slowly became a habit. I have always been quite stubborn, and that lead me to believed I could easily break the habit quite easily through sheer power of will. I would for example never sleep in a car or stop a movie midway, and because I said so I did just that. Unfortunately, with nail biting, saying I would quit would sometimes entail semantics. Like chewing the skin around the nails instead of the nails themselves. When my father tried to stop biting his nails he used the bad tasting nail polish, and so he’d put it on me too. That would only make things worse for me since I took that as a challenge which meant that I was proud of making it through the nail polish without breaking the habit. Once I heard that the nail polish was only to work as a reminder I quit in an instance because the feel of accomplishment had shifted toward breaking the habit. The point is I didn’t really need the nail polish for breaking the habit because the real stimulus was overcoming a challenge. That’s what really motivates me. The clearest example was when my father would tell me that I couldn’t possibly stop biting my nails, so I did just that to prove him wrong.
When I quit I would always fall back into the state of starting again when I got a hang nail or was playing the piano. Playing the piano meant that I had to keep my nails short, and when I didn’t have access to nail clippers I would sometimes bit them. This would trigger the habit all over again. Since the nails wouldn’t be smooth after biting them, stroking the uneven top of them with my other fingers would trigger the crave biting them again. This was also a vicious circle of repetition since the more you bite your nails -> the weaker they become -> the more likely it would be for an uneven top -> the more likely you were to trigger the craving. I didn’t really understand this until I saw a picture of how biting your nails and using clippers left the top of the nails.
Even though I understood the problem I didn’t really have a solution to fixing it, and didn’t really see it as a problem I was focused on solving. Recently though I worked at a job where a coworker urged me to stop it and even brought the bad tasting nail polish back. The major difference was not the nail polish though because that, by itself, does not kill the craving. What killed the craving was that I had access to his nail clippers. That resulted in being able to smooth off the tops of my nails even after biting my nail a little. Because the habit is so ingrained that it’s hard to stop yourself from doing it, so you sometimes don’t notice. When that person quite, I started biting my nails all over again like clockwork. The habit just gets stuck in your head and as soon as you can’t kill the craving you start again.
After reading The Power of Habit I understand that habits are stored away in your head and don’t really go away. They have a “cue” (uneven surface), a “craving” (for an even surface), a “routine” (biting your nails), and a “reward” (more even surface/sometimes you don’t reap the benefits though so you feel you have to bite more creating a vicious circle). Even though it may be hard to break a habit since it can always be triggered again, especially under stressful situations, you can instead alter the routine while keeping the same “cue” and “reward”.
In my case the solution is simple. Switch the routine of biting out for a routine of using nail clippers. This results in a smoother surface, and won’t trigger your craving as often. I also have positive feedback when I can show people that my nails are in good shape. This improves my motivation similar to how support groups and team spirit on sports teams work as a motivating factor.
Now we’ll just have to see whether I can keep strong.
Ever thought about the dilemma of being stuck between wanting to take part in something, but fearing the consequences. It may be the irrational fear of telling someone a secret, news, or having an opinion. How people react to your every move. I don’t have a particular problem with this in everyday life. My issue rather how people would see you if they would never forget anything you say or do. The beautiful thing about not remembering everything is that your life isn’t marred by something minor in your past. Friends see you for who you are today and can change with you. You may have had an opinion at one point which you have forgotten about, but have changed it later and if you didn’t write it down it may be lost forever. By stating this opinion at some point on the internet, however, it has the potential to live forever.
This is kind of how I feel with the internet. It loves strong opinions, takedowns, and angry responses because we can put a tag on you as a person for eterity. There’s no room for change on the internet. No changelog to mark progress of you as a human being. If it’s boring it’s not read, but eye catching you are marked for life. I sometimes don’t feel like I can quite fit in.
So I’m going to write something private now, and post it publicly.
When you’re a private person in a public world… This is my try to fit in. Hopefully no one will read this so I can change my opinion later.
Gudmundur Mar Gunnarsson, Launch site
Well. I finally got around to making a Jekyll blog site. Neat thing about it - powered by Jekyll and I can use Markdown to author my posts. It actually is a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. I went through this little tutorial here: Creating and Hosting a Personal Site on GitHub.
def thisstupidfunc(a): a = 12 return True
<div> <span>This is amazing</span> </div>
I’m going to keep a tab on how to make a site here.