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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Is there such a thing as being too independent.

I know I’m not alone in my mixed feelings about society.

We are a modern society and have abundance but we still have some
problems one being that we pushed a nation off to reserves so we
could build.

Anyways, I know I am part of the human race and I know I personally
need human contact to be healthy so in that sense I accept being
a part of society.As well I was born from another human being
and received help and am thankful.

However I’ve decided just to test the waters of individuality, that
I would question “society as most people know it. Where you work
a job for the benefit of everyone who in turn work to help you.

This idea although it seems kind of utopian, at the same time it
spells hopelessness in the sense that a human needs to be a part of
one of these societies to survive. A child more likely would
and that is understandable so I guess this is also about adulthood.

What if I or another adult was exiled from society. Would that mean
that person had lost their chance to survive and to thrive.
That would mean that person had no personal power to begin with and
that kinda sucks for an individualist.

I am looking at this from the perspective of everyone is responsible
for themselves and their happiness because this independence is the
essence of personal power in a way. So what would someone do in that
situation assuming they accepted responsibility.

Well remember john Crichton in farscape when he was on that planet
that had no energy. He met people but he still lived off by himself
and thrived as best he could in that environment.

As best he could. I think this is key, because thriving can be seen
as relative to many things. To other people, to past levels of
comfort. The only real measure I would say is how much work you
put into thriving. If you put in 100% into having all your needs
met “as best you can” then the result is thriving.

John at that point, could maybe have gotten cavity that he couldn’t
deal with or an infection but he would take responsibility for it
, ask (maybe not beg) for help but otherwise figure out what
he could to deal with the problem if nothing else deal with
the pain or pull the tooth slowly himself iunno.

Thriving is about taking responsibility for ones self, ones level of
comfort and ones environment and ones survival as best they can.

You can have more lofty goals in mind and that’s good, even better
though is to be working towards the goals but at the same time
happy that you are working towards them because you are therefore
thriving. Of course once work outweighs benefit?/need?/want? then
the work should slow to maintenance or a bit above.

So lets say a man is thrown into a forest. He could get upset
and depressed and just catch squires with a stick and have a
shorter life expectancy.

Or he could build a shelter, find the right kind of food by
observing what other animals eat ect and live natural and
eventually get old and worn out and weak and succumb to the
environment. If that is the best he could do then you could
say he thrived. However if he just didn’t have the right attitude
and was negative then he didn’t thrive.

I say this because I’m assuming he is a man from this generation
so he would have seem how machines and gears work at some point
in his life. He as seen the wheel. So if he wanted to thrive
even more he could keep building more every day. Out of wood
or whatever else. He could do great things in the years before
he starts getting old so that when he did get old he would be
able to chill and still survive. If he has the forethought
and wants to live a long time that is what he’ll do.
That is more like what John Crichton did although maybe not for that
reason.

Also, if he did this and took that level of responsibility for his
needs and even his wants/(needs of the future), he could
attract people from the society that exiled him for purely
vain purposes maybe, but still, taking responsibility for himself
the society respects him as an individual and not a cog that is
helpless on his own. He isn’t helpless he has abundance, and then
society realizes that his frame of mind, his innate abundance,
and they salivate because if there were more people like him working
within the society then who knows how much better it could be.

Then if he needs an antibiotic he’ll get it because of his personal
power he is worthy of the highest respect. Also he will probably
be pretty compassionate feeling the abundance(present and future)
that he has.

There are a few areas where you will find this type of person in
abundance I think although they may exist scattered in many fields
even art or music, I think a lot of them are entrepreneurs and
hackers. Especially hackers because they use new technology and do
basically whatever they want with it. They have adapted and I’m
sure they feel bad ass because of it. They have that self-efficacy
and positive attitude. They have abundance and freedom. They are
used to solving problems and doing things to make there lives
easier without waiting on anyone else.

That is why I think it’s important for more people to get into
technology. It’s adaption. It’s the new muscle.

(btw, when doing spell check, I wonder if there is a way to arrow key

between highlighted words instead of having to move the cursor

with the mouse. hmmm)

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I was handing out resumes in my area and I was about to head
home and realized ymca was across the street. Ymca where I used to
work out like an animal 4 or 5 years ago. When I was a teenager and I
had this energy. Part of it came from what I was passionate about
which was power and fighting and warrior spirit, and a small part was
wanting to look good.

Now I don’t really believe in the fighting and war stuff so I have
had to redefine my reason for working out. I want to look good
and I want to feel good. It has been harder to feel good as I
grow older but maybe its just because I had been growing more
sedentary.

I felt these feelings like unworthiness but I realized right away
that these are negative self talk which has no place in my mind.

So I walk towards the YMCA and remember what it was like. It felt
almost like I had a reputation I couldn’t live up to anymore. In a
way I did. People would notice when I worked out. I always worked
out with a purpose and it was always intense/ Girls noticed
and I was at that point where I was learning how to talk to them
and everything too.

Now I show up there and it feels completely different. I feel like
I don’t have that command I had, like I was almost an imposter or a
subordinate to everyone who was working out there with a purpose.

I saw a girl with really short shorts and very single toned light
skinned legs working out on a bike and I thought, wow, back when
I was 19 I would have felt like I had more of a chance than I feel
I do right now. Part of it is that I am more aware that I wont
connect with or want to connect with every girl. A big part of it
though was that I didn’t have that eye of the tiger that I had
towards fitness that I used to and it made me feel unworthy of the
type of girl(physically) that I was attracted to which is the type
that works out. The type I had a glance at.

I made sure to keep in mind, I have abundance, I can do anything,
I can be as healthy and therefore attractive, as I want, I just
have to figure it out, and I will.

also I had a thought that with such nice skin, she seemed like she
might be young, like maybe the age I was back when I was in that
warrior mode.

It got me thinking, besides the passion, what is it that is keeping
me from having that eye of the tiger. Is there something else I can
do to get back that youthful energy? Yes, there is.

I need to move more. I need to make moving a part of my lifestyle.
If I’m always moving, I will have energy to make that movement
possible. However I can’t start like always lifting heavy ass weights
or always doing sprints all day. That would be too taxing, at least
to start.

I have to start somewhere though, something I can do all the time.

O I know, I remember articles on the internet about how sitting is
bad and lower metabolism and how standing and walking are better.
I know it works at least for energy cause I’ve done it already.
I’ll do it again.

I’ll get back that life energy that is so important for health
and therefore for sexual attractiveness.

Now that I think of it, this relates back to inertia which is what
I am doing with language learning by always having Mandarin around
me.

The Inertia from always standing allows me to walk, where as if I
were sitting, I would have to get up and then walk.

With sitting, each time I need to get up, to answer the phone or get
food, I have to get up which takes a fair amount of energy especially,
when coming from a position where the metabolism actually slows down.

So I think inertia for activity isn’t simple an on or off. there is
a range with negative, zero, and positive, and if you are sitting,
you are in the negative. If you are standing, you are in the
positive.

When you sit your body lowers your energy, when you lie down it is
lowered even more. That is why its easier to fall asleep when sitting,
and even easier when laying down.

When standing, the energy rises, with walking it rises even more.

So to build positive inertia you really only have to do the bare
minimum to begin with to increase inertia. That is, you have to
be standing, kneeling, walking, all the time, never sitting.

Once you can do this, your energy will build and you will be able
to move to doing weights some of the time either spaced throughout
the day or at one time for an hour or something.

However, lifestyle changes trump regimens for building inertia, and
inertia as a Psychological concept is very important.

I just finnished Final Fantasy 10 and boy do I have a lot to say about that game.

Themes: Hope vs Hopelessness/Oppression, Tradisionalism & Oppression, Japan and Robotics and Time(my personal relation).

Theme 1, Hope:

The main theme in the game that I really valued was the theme of hope or defeating the oppression of hopelessless. The character you play as named Tidus is a smybol of this theme. He is the team leader and star of the Zanarkand Abes a fictional sports team and he is an optimist.

He is transported to a world were people don’t have real hope. They have a sort of contentment that is bred from hopelessness. This is first shown when he meets the leader of another team who tells him that team has never one a game in ten years and that it’s ok cause their goal is to do their best. Tidus joins the team and says now they have a new goal. To win. Everyone liked that better.

Soon after we learn that actually the whole world he was transported to the mentality where they are’nt even really trying to win, they are’nt trying to improve their situation and they actually don’t even believe that it’s possible.

Acually it’s even in their religion’s teachings. It says that the monster that periodically attacks them is doing so because they wanted too much. The moster is their until they atton for their sin of wanted too much. That they can’t do anything about the monster except have summoners volunteer to go on suiside missions to “defeat” it, only for it to come back after a few years.

That is the only hope they believe in which is sub par. I mean there is always better, but their religion is telling them that there is’nt and that even if there was, if they were to strive for it, they would be punished. They have learned to accept their fate. Well Tidus has’nt and neither has Auron and so they come and change things.

To me that is oppression. A state of mind of hopelessness. I believe that oppression, although it can be facilitated by others, in the end comes from the mind of the oppressed. The oppressed believe that their poor situation is out of their control and/or that they are supposed to be that way, that is what oppresses them. Hopelessness is what oppresses a person, and hopelessness comes from the mind not from someone else. Ofcourse that is’nt to say that someone who became hopeless could have just not. It’s not that simple, cause if they knew better than to be hopeless they would’nt have become that way. They just did’nt know and what happened, happened. Tidus comes along though and shows/reminds them of hope and then they choose hope cause it’s just better. Once they choose hope they can see ways of getting what they want and then work towards hopeful goals. In the end when you have hope, there is no failing, only winning, and attepts that give feedback that lead to more educated attempts and winning. I think it’s important to cultivate a winning attitude.

Theme 2, Traditionalism:

I feel like the theme of the dead coming back as something bad that is seen a lot in this game is a reference to traditionalism.

Most of the bad guys you fight in the game are fiends which are monsters that are made out of the essence of the “unsent”, dead people that never left the human plain.

Also, even though it’s a rule in the religious teachings that you are supposed to send the “unsent”, some of the people at the top of the ladder were “unsent” so there was that internal corruption that seems to come with traditionalism.

Maybe the idea of Tidus and Jecht being from the past ties in there too some how.

Also when you kill/”defeat” sin he is simply reborn.

Also in the religion that they are’nt deviating from even though it sucks it says you can’t use machines, but they use them anyways, only for certain things, as well as the higher ups using them and not saying anything. So it’s like the only thing that should be brought back to life because well it is’nt really alive anyways, is being controlled heavily and the “Al bed” the group of scavangers that still dig up ancient machines, are basically oulaws. I think it’s important for people to think for themselves and live based on what is real and what makes sense instead of on what someone just said. Critical Thinking. Terry Goodkind talks about the same thing in his “sword of truth” series.

Theme 3, Japan and Robotics:

Sin is said to have come as punishment for people’s vanity. The vanity, or only element of it they really mention is using machines. Japan is basically the Zanarkand of the real world right now and they know this. Their population is decreasing and they are relying on machines more and more because they can.
I have a feeling the idea in ffx of machines being seen as a problem is a reference to Japan, or maybe the whole developed world which is using machines and robotics more and more.

Theme 4, Time:

The theme of time. Tidus travels to the future. His dad travels to the future. Auron travels back to the past and then to the future(his present) again.

Tidus uses time magic. He is one of the fastest characters.

The theme of time actually related to me in a completely different but equally strong way. I, and a lot of people, spend a lot of time thinking about the past or the future instead of experiencing the present. This may not be the most healthy way to live. It makes sence that it is a survival mechanism but we have to decide at what point are we over doing the precaution and the fear and actually hindering our survival not to mention our happiness.

The reason we get scared and hurt and plan goals ect could be said to be instinctive survival tactics. The thing we are trying to protect the most, the reason we want to survive, is the experience of life. The experience of life is in the present for the most part. That feeling of awe at what life really is, is truely felt in the present moment. If we deny ourselves that then we deny ourselves that true gratitude for life it’s self that comes from realizing you are actually alive right now. That true gratitude is the difference between true happiness and situational happiness.

This is’nt to say that to be gratful just to be alive means you wont care about anything else. It’s just to say that you will be happy and striving to be situationally happier instead of sad striving to be situationally happy. It is obvious which one is more fun. It’s just about knowing the first choice is possible.

Ofcourse the past and the future cna be fun too and they are important especially having hope. However I think that to experience really just being alive in the moment is the biggest gift there is. It’s a gift because we did’nt give birth to ourselves. Hah. So I think it’s important to practise mindfulness routinely as a form of enjoyment. Finding a practise that is enjoyable, not just going and being a monk and hating life.

Wrap up:

Anyways, when I first got this game like 4 years ago I was in a pretty bad place mentally thinking about the future. I got to the last boss and could’nt beat him, got sick of it, and stopped playing. I started playing the game again in February and this time was different because I guess was at a point where I could see how everything in the game related to my life. I have been studying positive psycology, mindfulness(not really a theme),thinking more critically, and Japan is awsome. I was ready see and I saw what the game could show me. Last night I beat the game. The last boss took around 4 hours off and on once I decided I would beat the game that night. It was worth it. That game was worth it.

This is the second time I have learned around 1000 characters and got the feeling that I was selling myself short by learning this way. I’ve always been good at making connections between things in my learning and I think I have made another one.

I’m sure this will be obvious to some people, it’s kind of common knowledge, but I’ll say it. In Chinese, the radicals often give a clue to the meaning of the character. Some radicals like the water radical or the hand radical, are used for around 200 characters each in the most common 3000. The characters with the hand radical mostly have to do with actions you make with your hand like tying a knot or climbing or beating someone. The characters with the radical water are things like ocean, and juice. A lot of the characters with the woman radical interestingly enough have to do with marriage and family. So When I’m learning these characters, I was trying to learn all the characters that used one radical, then all the characters that used another. I started catching on I guess. Also I was getting stressed, I was stressing myself out actually , about learning them all fast.

The next important thing is that most of the characters have more than one meaning so if you are just learning one meaning like people do with rth, you are still only having part of the story. What I am trying to say is that all those people that got fluent after learning rtk actually didn’t have the total grasp of each and every character. Not completely anyways, but pretty good.

What I am suggesting is that a person who is quick to catch on to these connections and become board might need to take learning into their own hands and learn in a way that is more natural for them.

Here is my suggested method.

1) Start off by learning all the 214 radicals.

2) Learn Hanzi using mnemonics RTH style and if you  burn out and feel what  described…

3) Switch to sentences and makes sure when you read you read each radical, each component making a guess based on the radical and any other knowledge you have.

4)At same time as 3 or maybe before, go through the 3000 most common Hanzi in RTH or an online deck and figure out how the radicals are mainly used. Meaning what types of characters each one is mainly used for. Then if there are any characters that deviate from the pattern, learn those RTH style. The rest just learn from sentences as part of other words and phrases.

See I started learning the Hanzi because when I first did the sentences method it felt like the characters were only vaguely learned. I felt I would enjoy it more if I new all the characters. Now after having around 1000 or so I feel like, I don’t need to have ALL the characters, I have enough that I would benefit from sentences. Now that I’ve gotten used to separating the characters into components I would be paying attention to that as I read, not like the first attempt at sentences. So I have around 1000 characters and a good grasp of the radicals and other character components.

This might be an INTP thing so any of you out there y’know… really…catch on to this. Like if you learn well by osmosis or by understanding what your learn rather than rote, you might enjoy this. I also like this just as an argument against this hesig traditionalism that seems to be the tendency. Like, you think you need 3000 characters? Why? Why isn’t 2000 enough? Why not 1000? I know studies say with 3000 you have like 95 % of the characters in modern use or something. However you’ll still be illiterate so that still isn’t an argument for learning 3000 rth style. Once you learn 1000, experiment. If you feel a flow in your learning of sentences and words after only 1000 characters then maybe it’s enough to start with.

Make the mnemonic stories entertaining in one of probably a billion possible ways there are. I will work on compiling a list of ways so I can make my sessions even more fun:

– Sexual
– Rhyming
– Dramatic
– Funny
– Dealing with intellectually stimulating material(physics, sci-fi, ect)
– Use people, places, and things that are personal to you
– Use them to hone literal style like creating funny phrases you can use anywhere
– Scary
– Romantic
– Positive messages
– have a song in your head playing and set the story to the song, or even cue a different song for each card and when the card shows up, think of the song and the story.
– Write a story that reflects something that happened in your day and put the date below so it acts like a journal entry
– Cool pictures
Write a story that reflects a nice memory or even a cool dream
– Use Characters from videogames, movies, and tv shows as primitives and create fan fiction.

Also very important is don’t rush them. Do them all with the intent on enjoying the stories and picturing them. When you do things this way it’s just like daydreaming and you lose track of time because you are focused and enter into a “flow state”. The minute you rush to beat some time limit or anything, your mind starts thinking about the future and everything starts to seem like a drag.

I notice that when I really get into the Hanzi studying, close to about a month in I start to worry about if I will Finish or not. It is an extremely compulsive worrying and it seeps into my image of learning the language as a whole. What I mean is, the more I start to worry, the more I associate the language with stress. I obviously love the language a lot for it to cause me this much worry, but the worry has already once been my undoing. It got to the point where I couldn’t sleep properly and I eventually felt it was best for my health and any future chance of learning the language for me to quit so I did.

Now I’m back at it, and the worrying is rearing it’s unattractive head once more. this time I have many more perspectives to view the worrying from.

For one, I am viewing this as a challenge, and one I will overcome and learn from and be able to apply to many other areas in my life so it’s such a win right now.

I can see areas that are causes and affects of stress.Three are passive, (physical, mental, and emotional), and one is active, the actually acting on the stress either my ruminating on it or surfing the web for help or trying to figure out how to deal with it. different forms of stress I think require different treatment but it seems with this compulsive form of worry, the actual acting based on the stress is what needs to be treated.

Lets make no mistake about it, what I have here is a compulsion. It is a chronic worry that starts with the fear that I wont reach my goal, the fear that I will lose interest before I can reach it. This worry then leads to me associating the language with stress which builds until it becomes at least temporarily self-fulfilling.

The compulsive action that I need to treat is the super vigilance of the possibility of losing interest. Of course I need to keep my motivation in check, but not constantly and not as actively as I start doing as part of the compulsion. There is a difference. I am already putting off any other interests so that I don`t get distracted. I already started of small and built up slowly. I already made learning the Hanzi fun. I already try to focus on one day and one moment at a time instead of setting my sights on a goal so far away that it makes me sick with need which would be stressful on it`s own. Things like this keep motivation in check. These and then just doing the work and making it a habit.

What have been doing compulsively is checking to see thathatat I am still enjoying the work, compulsively checking that I am not too stressed or on the verge of burning out and compulsively checking that I still want to learn Chinese. Really downer type stuff. This is due in part to the fact that I am an INTP and so I have had many fleeting interested thathatat came and left me feeling like I`d failed once I lost interest. Another part is that I naturally have a bit more anxiety than the normal person which leaves me a bit more open to compulsive worrying and precautions.

However, I have wanted to learn Chinese since I was first introduced to it at around 8 years old so I think that is saying something about my level of interest. It`s probably not going anywhere. It`s more valuable than a fleeting INTP interest in something like poker or magic tricks that lasts for like a week. I think what was happening was I was filtering through what was really valuable to me and what was not. Poker is not. So that`s why I never kept up with it. Chinese is. That’s why it`s been a life long journey.

How do I defeat the stress, the worrying. The main thing I am going to try is to not entertain the compulsion which only strengthens the anxiety. I will simply let go of the idea and keep learning as if nothing is standing in my way. That way if the stress is truly just because of the compulsion then the less I entertain it, the weaker the thoughts and anxieties will get until they can no longer exist.

When I decide not to engage in the compulsion, I am left with choosing to have fun in everyvery moment and letting go of what will happen when I complete the Hanzi. I know I can do it, I’ve made it easy and fun, and I can continue to make it even easier and more fun if I need to. To be so stressed out about what will happen once I finish (not be interested any more or something) definitely says something about where I am in the moment and day to day. I’m not enjoying myself simply because of a worry of the future. That is what I need to fix. That is what a lot of people need to fix in life in general. People need to decide on what they want to do, decide what makes sense, and then enjoy every moment of there lives with confidence that they will reach there goals and that they can overcome any obstacles if they arise

Other areas of stress reduction work too like full-body relaxation(for physical and emotional) and positive psychology(for mental) which I am doing as well.

This is my first assault against burnout and I think the logic is sound and that it should work. Otherwise I will try something else. Also I hope others can benefit from this as well.

Another possibility is that the speed I am going, working up to 5 hours a day, is based on the need to finish fast because of the fear that if I don’t I will lose interest. I have a strict bed time and schedule and I do this every day without fail unless I have work then I miss one or two of the five sessions per day. The thought of doing 5 hours a day is stressful to imagine however I have made studying quite fun and find I can easily get into a flow so time passed very fast. 5 hours studying a day doesn’t even compare to school, plus I have done this same strategy for a fitness certification with success so I know it’s not too hard.