25 September 2018

I am wondering today if every issue I’ve experienced in life has been the result of excessive boredom. A lack of control over my brain and its inner workings. Perhaps a severe undiagnosed attention disorder. Everything that I have accomplished has been from me fighting my natural state - leading to my success in college, but also resulting in me pushing myself into things that are not right for me.

I push myself to distress in order to concentrate on the simplest of tasks. And, being the hard ass bitch that I am on myself, if I experience a feeling of distress, it results in me pushing myself even further to be different. Followed up with a ridged label of ‘laziness.’ I have incorrectly learned that in order to be successful, you must constantly be doing things that you do not enjoy. Life became about accomplishment, not enjoyment. Presented in this manner, it is easy to see that this is incorrect. But, bury it under years of subconscious actions, and it is a bit trickier to understand.

Everyday is a rolodex of attention fulfilling thoughts, often landing on finding a new job, higher education, or endless Youtube videos. I have an obsession with needing to find something to concentrate on. A life’s pursuit. And it changes so often, that I beat myself further to concentrate on finding something to concentrate on.

The internet compounds this problem. Any whimsical thought is indulged while the tasks I want to accomplish are casually pushed aside for stimuli. I feel boredom so often, and I can no longer control how often I turn to my cell phone for assistance. I simply enjoy it too much, and it only perpetuates the problem.

The cell phone problem will be ending shortly - smartphone, more specifically. Stay tuned for that change.

Sorry for a wandering, but this is a journal. I am solving all my life’s problems here, sorry if it isn’t cohesive. Let me summarize. Ya’ll like lists right?

  1. I have difficultly concentrating. So much so that I physically feel pain with boredom.

  2. I have learned to “cope” with this problem with negative self talk, ie. “I am a lazy sack of shit if I don’t finish this on time” or “my natural desires are wrong, and will lead to a life of excess.”

  3. This negative self talk has resulted in self destructive behavior. Often times if I feel I don’t want to do something, I often push myself to do it for my benefit. This benefit is often only perceived, and not truly beneficial or positive for my life.

  4. I am afraid to eradicate this negative self talk, as I have relied on it to accomplish the simplest of tasks for as long as I can remember.

  5. I fear I am a truly lazy, ignorant person who will spend all my time dicking around on the computer or a smartphone for the rest of my life.

  6. As a result, I comfort myself by dicking around on my smartphone for hours on end.

  7. I want to change, because the older I get, the more destructive the negative self talk is in my relationship, work, and creative life.

  8. I will need to find new techniques that will result in me accomplishing the tasks/hobbies/skills that I have been putting off.

I need to breakdown learning each task in a way that I actually enjoy. It must be stimulating, and a technique that I can repeat on a daily basis. Let me begin with learning a language and practicing an instrument. I would begin with my work, but my job doesn’t require much of me, hence the blogging for stimulus. When I was in a job that required tedious desk concentration, that was a real bitch. My advice? Multitask your ass off, and go for many walks.

Time to figure out how to be a motivated, self starter with personal interests. First of all, I just want to say, it’s fucked how tough that this really is. How anyone learns anything at all is quite remarkable.

Experiential learning may be my only hope. I can confidently say I will never learn a language from a book. At least not from a book alone. Luckily, I have already come up with what may be the solution. I have enrolled to take a class at a neighborhood learning center, focused on conversational practice. I don’t need to be able to write a thesis in Spanish, I just need to enjoy communicating first.

Now, learning an instrument. This has stumped me for years now. I’ve purchased books, downloaded videos, bought subscriptions, and taken lessons without much to show for it. I am terrible at improvisation, leading to much frustration from even trying. I want to be adequate at it, so that I feel more confident that I know what I am doing before I begin. Instead, I’m wildly banging about on the wrong notes.

But, when I listen to music, I get inspired to keep trying. That may be my solution. Each day when I get home to practice, instead of forcing myself to sit, and learn the notes from a book, I put on the music that inspires me to play. Perhaps I play it in the background while I cook dinner, clean, or whatever the fuck else I do when I am home, and I will just naturally gravitate towards picking it up to practice.

It doesn’t have to be painful, but it does need to become a routine. Just as I am trying to create the habit of daily meditation by scheduling it in my day, I will need to add the easy habit of just turning on music when I get home. Everything else should just happen naturally.

Maybe that is the best way to manage any sort of attention deficit hurdle; by surrounding yourself with things that inspire you. I am a diligent enough person to accomplish a task, and I don’t lack an ability to focus, it just needs to be a stimulating task. Who knows, maybe everyone struggles to a varying degree, they just accomplish the same things in different ways.

That will be my experiment for tonight. No judgments. Music goes on, and we’ll just see if motivation shows up.