042 – intentionally controlling what’s meaningful and courageously going all-in with it

Feeling like in the mood of writing. Loads is going on around me and because of its nebulosity and accumulation it is increasingly taking the shape of noise and mess. Not that this is making it impossible for me to understand or act, but it is appearing to be making things more blurred and intertwined with each other.

I am going to let my thoughts run free and wild and try record them here, developing an append-only log of connection to things that seems to have mattered in the recent past. One may then parse that log and aggregate it to get a view of what has happened and what may makes sense to do next.

1 – Desire to disentangle everything. There is so much that I don’t know where to start so I will start from this feeling itself of there being a lot. What gives me this feeling of un-disentangle-able-ness? It seems to be relating to a desire of controlling. I think for a long time in my life I have been assuming that it is necessary for me to look at what is happening in my life, disentangle out of that whole the most important things, analyse them and conclude what I needed to be doing next about them. 

2 – Control as a response to undefined fear. This seems to be relating to the idea of taking control of one’s life, to escape being a victim of causality and randomness and shape one’s destiny. I think for a long time I never question the assumption that going through this process was necessary. I even didn’t really know what I assumed it was necessary for: a vague and undefined status of survival, happiness and success. Perhaps this desire of control was an unspecified response to a fear instilled inside of me by my upbringing: the fear of going astray, of losing control, of ending in a slippery slope.

3 – Controlling the undefined is not useful. Now I am questioning this assumption that controlling is necessary. I think we are unavoidably immersed in randomness and volatility. The effort of controlling anything as a whole seems hopeless and an illusion. Mind you, I don’t mean to say that we shouldn’t control anything, that we can passive anytime and it will not matter. In fact, I think is impossible for a human being to attain that level of complete passiveness. What I mean is that I don’t see anymore the value in control for its own sake, without any defined object that control wants to be casted over.

5 – Control intentionally the well-defined. This is why value articulation is very useful. It forces us to define the objects we want to cast control over. It forces to be specific about what we care about in practice. Upon doing that, we can then direct our control towards being a mean for those values to manifest. Control without direction is control using us as opposed to us using control. Or in other words, is us using control to respond to the fear of the unknown and unpredictable, to the desire of being safe and good as instilled by upbringing. But given that this desire is undefined, it enables control to expand end eventually use us for its own existence.

5 – Too much information. Less is more. Having enough cognitive capacity to inspect and evolve the pattern of thought and behaviour we apply in response to inputs from our environment.

6 – The beauty we perceive in ourself is a barometer of the care we put towards our values. I have been thinking about how beautiful I find myself. Sometimes not much. When I look at my hair and my spectacles, I don’t see beauty. I see sharp angles and goblin-like curves. But what is beautiful? Or where does beauty emerges from? In my experience, it often emerges from dedication and engagement. It emerges from having spend time with that this. So sometimes I think the lack of beauty is see in myself is a direct result of the laziness and cheapness that I put myself through. Of the reactions that I have to taking care of myself: I takes too long or too much money. I may consider taking the glow of my beauty as a barometer of how well I am taking care of myself, of how harmoniously I a managing, facing, interfacing and evolving the patterns of thinking that lead me to be lazy and cheap. Perhaps what I am noticing here, is that I want to be less lazy, impatience and cheap towards what’s meaningful to me. I want to ignore what’s not, give it zero resources and attention and go all in with what’s meaningful. Taking care of myself is one such thing, and a good barometer that is always there. If I am too cheap and lazy to make myself happy and beautiful, then which many other meaningful things I am too lazy and cheap to make shine?

7 – Gently challenging myself a little more? The above, actually relates with a challenge of mine. Funny that is call it challenge because what I am thinking about is the lack of self-challenging, the fact that I feel I treat myself with so much grace and gentleness that I don’t push myself to do x or y. Let’s be fair, for a long time I treated myself quite harshly and forced myself into doing a lot, producing a lot, to the expense of enjoying. Chief example of this, completing a degree I didn’t enjoy obtaining the maximum possible mark. So, I understand how I am careful of pushing or challenging myself, which is okay. But I just notice that I am very careful from throwing myself into this or that challenge. And maybe being careful is okay. Perhaps everything I am writing here, at the end of the day, is noticing that I am shyly, emergent eager for some such challenges and that I may be looking for such things in the upcoming time, so stay tuned.

8 –  Going all-in with what’s meaningful. Connected to (5) there is the whole topic of money. My relationship with money is turbulent and tiresome. I hate spending money. I dislike most experiences that involve spending money and I always find myself struggling, suffering and scrapping to find a cheaper option. This in turn ruins many things that I experience and parts of my life. I understand that is good to save some money, as there are many sources of meaning yet to be explored, but so much ruining of moments and experiences is borderline toxic. I want to develop a healthier and wiser response to money. I want to worry less and realise more. I want to save less and earn more. I want money to be beautiful and enjoyable. Life can be that way, and so I am asking for it. That’s a direction I want to work on and feel better about it. I don’t know what it specifically entails, but I want to understand it.

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