Habits and Priorities

TL;DR. I didn't stop blogging. I talk of habit creation. Psychology doesn't apply to individuals as much as it does to people as a whole. Pros and cons of moving from shared to single room. Decorating is cool. Everything you do boils down to prioritizing. Do you own a bitchin' attitude?

The blog is not dead. I am not gone.

Nah man, I did not have a writer's block. On the contrary, I've been eager sit and write again. I have been scribbling my notes back and forth. There is a constant charge of ideas surging all the time.

Now, before we begin...

Ah, yes! First a cup of coffee with one – no, two speculaas cookies, and I my put headphones on with some music. Now let's write.

Once Upon A Time...

...there was a man of habit. Even the most known figure in psychology, Sigmund Freud, realized too late the power of habits. He regretted that he did not create better habits when he was younger. In his defense, he asserted that his old brains were not plastic enough to change his behavior markedly anymore.

I believe this claim to have some truth behind it based on my own observations of older adults. I wonder too if one day I will be a rigid box, resistant to change and complain how it was better in the past?

At any rate, habits tend to break once there is a major change in one's environment. For me, I had to move places, which naturally put many of my habits to back pedal. With any habit, the initial creation is rocky and a difficult journey. Even if you achieve creating a habit it can (and will) break. The key to success is in the initial phase where you actively work on it: one has to continuously work the habit, both in the surface as well as in deeper level.

New habit creation needs to include a plan that lays out measurable instructions on how it is executed. A concrete, solid plan is much sturdier than a vague one. Such a plan supports you to get up and do it. I can tell that it works; I began doing push-ups and at first got 25, but then climbed up to 80 at one point! Nowadays I think I can manage 50. Simply, I told myself to just do more push-ups than what I did the day before that. Keeping a journal helped to see the visible progress.

Find out your why; it has to be personal. It has to mean something to you, and deeper the reasons, the better. If you have trouble finding anything personal, you can make something up even if you don't believe it at first. That's the power of plastic minds; young brains believe everything you tell it. Wait what?

Habit creation takes patience, and getting back to routine is a tremendous work. Blogging just happened to be in the bottom of my list. As Dr Maslow put it; self-actualization in the 'Triangle of Needs' comes after the most important needs have been satisfied. Although, psychology books point that current research of Maslow's theory of needs is not as accurate and valid as were once thought. In particular, one doesn't need to satisfy one level to move to the next. Understandably, for if life consisted of levels, where is my boss fight and my princess?

I finished exams with satisfactory grades – I am happy. I took three new courses: developmental psychology, experimental & correlational statistics, and lastly social psychology that has piqued my interest compared to the other courses so far. It contains plenty of exciting current topics that can be seen in everyday life. Although psychology itself has clarified some aspects of my past, I can't say that I understand people any better, notably women.

Psychology doesn't apply to individuals as much as it does to populations. We as people tend to be quite similar in many ways and exhibit predictable behaviors, however, humans in individual level are much more complex, with their rich desires and wishes, and unique personalities. Thus, in my opinion, a person cannot be summarized into a barcode whilst pretending as if we didn't have more colors.

I moved out of the city to live in a little village near the sea. The village called Noordwijk is full of life and friendly people. I have befriended a few cats too.

However, I miss the times in the Hague. Having a roommate was very enjoyable because you had always somebody to laugh and talk with. Now, living alone in a “suicide cubicle”, as my friend likes to put it, has been somewhat less rewarding socially. The neighbors are all busy working and living their own lives. I have spoken with perhaps three (out of ten) people in my apartment, but with others I have only waved or shaken hands. All the more reason to go to lectures and socialize I suppose!

The room is quite small, but I have everything I need. Decorating the room has been an enjoyable experience. I will do a separate post on that. In short, interior design has taught me about designing, minimalism, and green consumption. It feels nice see your own room slowly grow into the reflection of your own creativity. Every object has a history, and meaning or a function.

To Be Continued...

...of how our ideas are tested by the storm of time. As with many of my ideas, many won't see the light because of time. It's as if there was a black hole, which holds ideas from escaping. That my readers, is prioritizing. Prioritizing means giving an order of importance to the tasks you are planning to do. Some ideas never get to flourish because they don't get the attention they need.

Quite often what I've noticed in myself is that prioritizing occurs on the emotional level. Emotions are what makes us human and without them life would be meaningless – we would be all but roaming zombies.

Though, sometimes you need to switch off emotions, because it is those temporary urges that keep us from doing what we really want to do. Everyone has had a moment where you don't feel like doing something and then say to yourself you will do it later, ultimately postponing it for long periods. Though I must say, sometimes it feels just fucking great to just eat a whole packet of chocolate cereals – not that I did that!

Furthermore, say we had all the knowledge and time to build a new habit but we still deviate from the plan. How to can we avoid that? What I've noticed is that all we need is a change in attitude, in particular, some bitchin' attitude! OR, if you are a male, then rockin' attitude!

To take the leap, just say fuck it and do it. Go fucking crazy. Don't dwell on feelings or rationalize your current or past choices. Go numb, zombie or whatever. Shut down your feelings, just for the moment that you can get started. Like the car engine about be ignited, the spark lasts only for a while until it is up and running. That temporary spark is the brains switching off and on the cognitive junk and emotions.

Listen to motivational music and swear while you do it. Definitely swear. Most of all, fuck time. If you read this during 10:00 pm and you feel like watching videos. Stop. Just fucking do it. Once you actually start doing whatever you planned set out do, everything else will eventually follow.

Also, existential crisis or near-death experience works too, but please don't put yourself in danger!