Let go of your old shit / Destroy scarcity mindset

  • I realize I have been operating with some sort of scarcity mindset. I keep revisiting and referencing old blogposts as though there’s some sort of amazing wisdom to be unearthed there. The truth is that I’m a bit of a hoarder. I’ve been afraid to cut and run.
  • (8 feb 2014: A horrible thing I do to myself is I keep and maintain lists of things I want to read and write. I do it primarily to make myself feel good about the future. I like having a big stash of books. I like having all these plans that I never really act upon. It’s a sort of escapism. A man can tell you many things that he’ll do when he’s a millionaire, but he can’t tell you what he’s doing to earn it.
  • So I’m wondering how to combat that. How do I get rid of my epic to-do lists? My long reading list? My long idea list?
  • I thinking… I gotta eliminate something every day. So suppose I have 200 books. I should get rid of a book every day,  dump it into a “burn pile”. Might that work? I don’t know. Is it worth trying? I don’t know that either. I guess all that really matters is that I think about it regularly. Commit to meditating, reflecting, planning for a few minutes each day. What do I want to read next, and why? What is the most important task? The most important thing I have to write next? Should I finish Dreams from my Father, finish OB markers or start on Flow? I guess all that matters is that I read something everyday and not let the analysis-paralysis leave me in a state where I don’t read anything at all. Same for writing, I guess. If I set a minimum target for how much I need to write, and I achieve it every day, it doesn’t matter so much that I be so ultra-precise about my writing goals.)
  • Why? Why not start over each time? There was a time when I was a kid that I used to start new game sessions over and over again. I would get really good at stage 1, and then start over. It’s a form of deep procrastination maybe. What I really ought to be doing is reverse engineering what works well for me.
  • Mean girls- I wrote that in a single vomit after I watched the movie. I had been inspired by also reading the Gervais Principle on Ribbonfarm.
  • Today I wrote a blog guide at work after a flash of inspiration, too. After a conversation I had with the boss, and then after encountering an external blogpost that fit my description almost perfectly.
  • My lighting fires article I had written after drinking some coffee and reading a bit of Founders at Work. I got angry-excited and wrote the whole thing in one sitting.
  • How to bullshit people with a success story sans facts- I wrote that after reading some entrepreneur porn that didn’t sit well with me. I’m sure there’s all other sorts of satire I could write if I encounter the right stimuli + get into the right frame of mind.
  • Boy and his wolf cubs I wrote after reading Ray Bradbury’s zen in the art of writing.
  • If Singapore were hit by an atomic bomb- having played around with the nuke secrecy webapp, and just having a lot of fun with it knowing that it was a visual people weren’t expecting.
  • Maybe I really just need to let go of all these crutches that I’m holding onto. Reduce my blog to the 20 or so most Important posts and eliminate the rest? I don’t know. What I do know is that I’m holding on to too much junk in my extended memory- in my notebooks and such.
  • What does all this tell me?
  • 1:  I need more random stimuli. But what I need to do is to scroll quickly until I hit something that triggers a thought
  • The mistake I make is to stew in my thoughts and then talk about it with other people. Conversations are a bad idea when I haven’t yet attempted to say what I think i want to say.
  • 2: Once triggering a thought, I need to go into isolation and pull that thought out of me as quickly and fervently as possible. I can’t really do slow and steady. Maybe I will be able to one day, but for my current purposes I can just run with it and see what happens.
  • Random stimuli. Trigger a thought, hunker down and write it out. Publish and see what happens. Getting people to look at early drafts of my writing tends to force me to clarify things. Sometimes it even changes my “eyes” and makes me hypersensitive to errors. Grammatical errors are minor. The real difficult thing is spotting fundamental story errors. A post can be mispelled and ungrammatical and yet still be incredibly useful, entertaining, compelling. As I write this vomit I wonder what else has been stewing around in my head that I haven’t noticed, that I haven’t gotten around to writing about. Socioeconomic class, I guess. Rich and poor and middle class… but how does that help me? Somebody asked for my perspective on marrying young, maybe I should write about that.  Yeah, let’s talk about that.
  • Marrying young was a good decision for me. It forced me to grow up pretty quickly. Having bills forced me to be more responsible- helped me realize that I ought to prioritize my work, for example. Home ownership is a lovely thing. I think one of the worst things about Singapore is how few young people are completely independent of their parents. I know that extended family is a big thing…
  • Family values and norms I think are largely a consequence of economic forces. In rough environments, people depend on family ties more. Extreme cases- mafia, yakuza, triads.
  • Marriage used to be a very economic transaction for the families involved. It still is for really rich people, I think. It’s a way to cement ties, build networks that can’t flake too easily, etc. Nobody tells you this in school, do they? How families are so much about power and control. Maybe they talk about it in Game of Thrones.
  • So it’s understandable for large, powerful families to use extravagant weddings as a show of power. It doesn’t make sense to me though when middle class families try to do the same. It’s a kind of upper class envy that fools nobody. And everybody is miserable, but hardly anybody kicks a fuss about it because it would be rather rude and impolite. Thus ‘civility’ is used as a weapon to induce compliance. It’s not hard to see some appeal in the viking/barbarian approach to things.
  • Why do people participate in these mass charades? I suppose because life Inside The Plastics somehow seems superior to life outside it. I don’t know. I’ll have to think harder about that one. I suppose the simplest explanation is that people are wired to stick to the default setting. It’s too much effort and pain to
  • I had a conversation with my wife about our recurring issues

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