Tags: Drain Time
Generally it's infinitely easier to loll around on the ottoman all day on one's phone than it is to get up, get out and do something: the notion that it takes more energy to move than to not is something of a common law of physical objects.
But doing so, that is laying on one's stomach and giggling at the front-page of Reddit or reading article after article of which is hardly relevant to you can slowly ferment into dissatisfaction with oneself: because one knows there are more satisfying things which take more effort, effort which to expend is daunting and paralyzing sometimes when one has taken no steps at all. When one stands and looks at the thousand steps ahead simply taking that first step seems like a laughable mis-step when the only true way to win it seems is not to play.
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.
To understand your dissatisfaction and to recognize its form in yourself and your actions is a first but important step in moving toward self-fulfilment. There is no better way to move forward and plant one's foot firm toward this goal than to survey one-self: to weigh on the scale one's desires and long-term goals against what one is actually doing to achieve them. Once one has surveyed like this it is much simpler to discern the inconsistency between one's ideal and one's reality.
Further strip away unnecessary mental drain: sinks of time and thought which detract from the expression of one's character. Recognizing and avoiding mental drain is simple: but only once one is able to discriminate between activities which express oneself and activities which do not. This is a keenly personal step which depends on one's interpretation of "activites which incur mental drain" so I can only give advice from myself: some activites which I see as mental drain are like so:
- Browsing the Internet
- Reading about national issues (which are not relevant to you)
- Reading about global issues (which are not relevant to you)
- Broadly philosophizing
- Talking with the people who do not care about you
- Trying to help people who do not want to help themselves
- Talking without saying anything
All of these activites are brain-draining for me: that is, they demand thought and return nothing, only diffusing my thoughts and ideas around a room like a thin vapor soon spreading so thin that the total sum of my impact becomes zero. In the end the sweet aroma of the gas is diffused so completely that it's disappeared into the air.
This is to say grandly only this simple notion: I do not waste time on things which I have no effect on and things which I do not wish to affect. It is either with all my heart that I dive into something or that I do not approach at all: to do anything less for me would only sink my time and drain my mental and ultimately detract from my grand total.
That is only the personal case of my understanding of mental-drain: another's could well be different.
After identifying and extinguishing all sources of brain drain one must now ask the question: just what to do with the time and effort which has heretofore been wasted on deaf ears. This too is a personal question but I strongly advise not to replace mental drain with mental drain. This is: evaluate one's goals and follow the normal and well-known steps of setting goals. If you're not familiar with good goal-setting techniques just consider making goals which are:
- Outside your comfort-zone
- Develop new skills / knowledge
Set aside time to work toward these goals; ideally this (sinking time and effort toward their completion) should make one feel fulfiled; actually the feeling which is imparted when one completes a goal should be negligable: the completion of a goal is a good touch-stone but should hardly be looked at as the chance to stop.
And do: be careful not to fill your time only with goals: activites which are still expressions of yourself and which make you feel fulfiled are still worthwhile too. Drawing, writing, learning: these things are meaningful expressions of the self. Even passive things like reading can be transformed into active expression so long as one takes the new ideas, new words and new feelings and carefully considers them and weighs them against one's own understanding and character, taking some ideas close to the chest and discarding the remaining garbage. Only take care to not let these activities teeter into unabashed dilettantism.