Another “Hackable Me” post, which for the newbies is a few words on incremental personal self-improvement: a personal hack of mind-body-soul to ultimately better myself. I’m not a DIY, fixer-upper, read-this-book-to-change-your-life sort of self-improvement guy. On the other hand I tend to consider that (a) publicly scrutinized goals and (b) introspective evaluation of those goals through words tends to lead to making me a better person. This is some words to do with that.
Part of me wants to elevate my conscious self to a state of transcendent awareness and clarity about all things. But the truth is, I’m a human just like the rest of you.
Shocking… I know.
Alas, there is a bit of narrow, short term thinking that is soft, squishy, and extremely comfortable. It is the trap of memory and static brain patterns, the kind of instantaneous, instant-gratification, animal-brain, feedback-loop-jargon instinct that is like a great big warm, deceptive hug.
It lurks at the edge of reality and expects us to perceive time in ever-shrinking chunks. The idea that something, anything, all-good-things take time and effort before real payoff can be measured and tracked, that is a concept that escapes our social-media nourished brains as they feed at the trough of now-ness.
The Hack of the Long Game
The tricky part is that we’re usually in control of very little, but we can hack in little wedges of mental appropriations and as long as we keep applying pressure those clambering bits of metaphorical mental real estate remain under our control.
Long term thinking is tough. Not impossible, of course… but tough.
This is week five of this weekly hack check-in and you’d think that after five weeks of rambling, self-reflective posts I’d have some monumentally great news to share. But… no.
In fact: HA!
Five weeks is such a narrow window of time that the telegram my brain sent out to the rest of my body hasn’t even been delivered yet. It’s like Rolf, in that movie the Sound of Music, before he turned into a kinda-evil Nazi sympathizer, riding around on his little nineteen-forties era bicycle making kissy-faces at all the young girls and handing out important military messages from headquarters. Rolf is kinda lazy and bad at his job, though he gets there eventually. Rolf is the mental feedback loop, or at least the part of it carrying the messages, and he’s riding a lazy little bike and wasting time conspiring with the enemy.
Bad, Rolf. Bad!
He does the right thing in the end (kinda) and some would argue that he saves the day when the moment counts, but Rolf is playing a long game. It’s the one thing we can learn from him that isn’t (kinda) racist.
And getting into that mindset is tough… but necessary.
It’s too easy to throw in the towel and surrender to the bad guys otherwise. It’s too easy to look at five weeks of effort with virtually no payoff and forget that five weeks is now even long enough for Rolf to peddle his little bicycle across town to deliver that message.