Discussion Wait... is this the personal development thread ?

Li Kao

It’s a strange world. Let’s keep it that way.
Jan 28, 2019
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Of the difficulties and complications of cultivating his garden
- was to be the topic title, but I would maybe have hit negative reply number -​


Just a little thought nagging at me intermittently for some years now, and I felt like gathering your precious inputs on it.
I make no big secret that I have spectacularly failed at life, and have very little social life, that's not the point but context ! So, knowing that and the fact I dropped out of university an eternity ago, I believe you won't have trouble believing that I, like so many people I suppose, stopped actively feeding my brain, cultivating myself.
I'm tired of that. It ends. Now.
(Yeah, right :disappointed-but-relieved-face:)

But my point is... how ? How can someone resume bettering his mind ? As I write this I realize the pointlessness of such question, as everyone is at different stage in his intellectual life, so there probably exist no answer.

Do some of you feel like that ? That need to educate oneself again ? I suppose you could say it's simply a matter of curiosity but at the same time it's so difficult to apply. Learn ? What ? How ? Languages are cool, but self-learning is super hard motivation wise. It doesn't help that I tried Japanese, granted. History is cool, but what part ? Creativity of all flavors is OT but fuck it, let's include it.
And what's the point if your life is in a bad place and you don't have use for this knowledge ? Yeah, it is its own reward, I won't dispute that, but wouldn't it be a little odd to study some very specific subject or another when you have no use for it.

That's a badly structured post, evolving with each passing sentences, but could it be any other way ?
Meta, do you cultivate your inner self ? Do you enjoy creative endeavors ? Did you stop and suddenly resume ?

Comments, suggestions, observations, every input is great. Because NO MAN IS AN ISLAND (but that's a matter for another rambling, I must save my shit posts, not blow everything at once, where would be the fun in that ? :coffee-blob:)
 

Le Pertti

16.65% Steam Boy 100% Xbox Bro
Oct 10, 2018
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Well we did have a thread about similar thing, about reinventing oneself for the new decade.


Didn't mean to steal attention, this thread is very much needed, so thanks Li Kao !
 
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Li Kao

Li Kao

It’s a strange world. Let’s keep it that way.
Jan 28, 2019
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I suppose it really was a poorly thought out thread :thinking-face:
No problem Monooboe
 

Swenhir

Spaceships!
Apr 18, 2019
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I'd say : take it one step at a time. Small battles, small victories and lessons (which others call failures) that go along a long way. I get the feeling that motivation might be the issue, which means you may benefit from having a project and short term goal of sorts, something to give you that sweet glory and joy of "Yes I did it!".
 
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xinek

日本語が苦手
Apr 17, 2019
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I'm old, and I can split most of my life into before and after the internet. Before, and while it was very young, I read books voraciously and learned all kinds of real world skills things (gardening, electrical/plumbing around the house, for example). I often found an interest and followed through on it until I was proficient -- I could recite a long list of skills that directly came from doing these things, I met interesting people, and when I look back, I feel great about those memories and experiences.

After the internet became a normal part of life, that changed. The endless scrolling, scrolling, scrolling, feeling the steady drip of dopamine hits as new "content" appears. It saps energy and all mental motivation. I don't use social media much, but I do read a lot of just random crap. None of these interests have really given me the feeling of self improvement that actual real world participation gives, and I can't point to anything really that has served my life in any meaningful way. I used to think that it was weird when people separated internet happenings from real life -- you be whoever you want, say whatever you want (note the battle cry of the obnoxious online 12 year olds: "it's the internet"), and so on. I always thought that was weird, because the internet IS real -- it's full of real people, right? But after many years of this, I've come to realize that the internet overall is a huge time suck and has impacted my life negatively, at least recently.

It sucks up my time, it helps me form parasocial relationships that end up having absolutely no meaning or influence, it lets me filter everything based on what I find interesting right now to feed that dopamine. There's no pushing through anything difficult or boring -- I can just sit on my ass and feed on whatever's interesting on the surface. This is the distinction between real life and the internet -- in real life, say when I did my undergrad degree, there were huge stretches that were difficult, boring, or didn't seem to serve me right that moment. Pushing through all that paid off in dividends in the future -- both because some of it ended up being useful, but mostly because I learned the mental discipline to stick with something that wasn't fascinating or amusing right in the moment. In contrast to my life before the internet, I feel terrible about all the time I've wasted online in the past few years.

So yeah, speaking for myself, I blame the internet. I don't think there's anything wrong with wasting some time scrolling or whatever, but I have definitely realized how that behavior can expand to fill almost every non-busy moment. And it doesn't improve my life at all. Since social distancing started last year, I've been learning Japanese pretty seriously, and it has felt GREAT to disconnect somewhat and focus again, retraining my mind. It feels like starting to use muscles again that I haven't seriously used in a long time. It's boring, tedious, and frustrating. The payoffs seem laughable compared to the amount of time I put into it every day. But when I go back to material I found difficult six months ago and it's now doable, that's the payoff. I'm back to feeling good about how I've spent my time.

This year, once normal life resumes, I'm going to keep with the language learning and continue to find that balance between real life and addictive dopamine-feeding wastes of time. I'm sure there are language meetups around, and I want to join a local gardening club. When I feel the compulsion to scroll, I'll go for a walk instead and experience my actual real surroundings. I plan to get involved in some local activism for improving biking and pedestrian infrastructure, instead of just reading about it online and liking posts. I'll play games instead of reading about them (lol, but seriously too).
 
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Li Kao

Li Kao

It’s a strange world. Let’s keep it that way.
Jan 28, 2019
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Well thread redeemed with a combo of interesting posts ! :photoblobheart:
 

NarohDethan

日本語の学生
Apr 6, 2019
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I've decided to be more conscious about the time I spent just staring at my computer. Up the last week the first thing I did every morning, was turning on my PC and sit on my ass all day, even when I have things to work on, my PC was always on.

At least today I turned it on well past the afternoon, and plan to go to bed much earlier today. I really need to start looking after my health, mental and physical.
 
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Li Kao

Li Kao

It’s a strange world. Let’s keep it that way.
Jan 28, 2019
4,858
9,508
113
I've decided to be more conscious about the time I spent just staring at my computer. Up the last week the first thing I did every morning, was turning on my PC and sit on my ass all day, even when I have things to work on, my PC was always on.

At least today I turned it on well past the afternoon, and plan to go to bed much earlier today. I really need to start looking after my health, mental and physical.
I should do that !
But then again, with the state my life is in, I would have so much free time that I wouldn't know what to use for :disappointed-face:
 
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