It is never ever what I don’t know that messes me up. What really comes in the way of progress is what you know. In the last one week I have been involved in watching little bit of television and despite my dislike towards TV soaps, I got attracted towards their plot. Not because it was interesting or worthwhile but because it is designed in a way to get mass appeal. Fuck the cultural narrative. Or rather, my impulse towards it.
After giving a deep thought to what I know and where I want to head in my life, I proposed the following steps to ensure that I step back from second-hand sources of information and rely on self acquired knowledge :-
Get newspaper and television out. I haven’t read newspaper for the last five months. I gave it up after I had read the Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. If the things that you get in your head are about the world, you are unconsciously saying no to yourself. Call me selfish but I would rather do some breathing exercises than read newspaper. And television is basically to trigger dopamine. The more you watch, the more you’ll watch. So better avoid it completely. I left behind the misery of this world for the sake of my joy.
Get away from experiences of those who have had “experience“. Rather than trusting your elders who have lived their lives knowing what they knew, trust what you know at this time in your life. When I write a story, I won’t listen to my father since he teaches maths to high school kids. Expertise is field specific, so don’t trust somebody just because they have spent more time around the sun than you doing what they do, until and unless you share the same interests. Opinions are like assholes, everybody has got one. Go with your gut.
This is by far the most important thing to do. That’s why I saved it for the last. If you have any sort of compulsive habit that you wanna break, don’t break that habit. Replace it. Mind doesn’t have a vacuum. If you want to quit overeating, replace the time that you munch on food with something else. When you feel the urge to rub one out, make a stick figure drawing. Replace compulsive actions with what you think gets your mind away from the urges. Habits don’t die, they get replaced and then they slowly vanish and eventually die.
This is not a point per say, but I’ll say it anyway. If I change my inputs, I change how I respond to things and when I do that, my outputs begin to change. What I want to be good at will not become real until I let go of the crap I already carry with me. First thing is to unlearn. And that is more than actual learning without even learning anything directly.