Be Present

Written on January 26, 2020

I was watching YouTube last week, and noticed this guy, Derek Banas, put out a video on every computer language that’s popular. Then I read some comments which asked how he did it? Then I began to wonder myself. You can’t become an expert on that much stuff, normally. So I watched one of his videos on how he learns stuff and also read some of his responses to comments.

I’ve been thinking a bit more about how, when we take on a project, it’s so easy to not continue. I’ve been reading when we are trying to learn from one book or one online pdf file, and we do it for days on end, soon we’ll be looking for another book, or website because (they claim), we feel we are not learning it fast enough. In other words, we are impatient.

Everything takes time. Rome wasn’t built in 32 years. And, despite what social media seems to show, people do not just pick up the piano and play a killer song one day. It takes years. And we’re too impatient for “years”. So, subtly, our attention gets diverted to things related to the project, and soon, we’re on another project and have two projects. And the first one eventually gets neglected, then ignored. Because we are impatient. And don’t take the time. And don’t do things one step at a time. And, like the person who has to walk a thousand miles, are not willing to focus on the current step, following it up with another and keep going, but instead look at the destination, and think it’s not attainable.

Derek’s method involved scheduling slots during the day for certain learning tasks. His job mostly involves learning how to do something, then make a video of the topic, after he learns quite a lot about it. And he’s disciplined. Yes, disciplined. That evil word in recovery. A rare trait indeed.

I was off the beam for the past two days. On Friday, I got out of bed at 5:16 pm. So, my meditations went out of the window and readings, and learning tasks, and everything.

The next day I had to go play music, but I wasn’t really present, and really didn’t want to be with people. And today, I missed an opportunity to play at the senior’s home, because I stayed up late last night, and my brain convinced myself that it’s better this way. That brain of mine in bed, it’s a killer.

So today, I got up before noon, nothing spectacular. But I decided I’m going to just do my routine again, even though I’ve been not doing it at all for 2 days. And I’m fine this evening. I wasn’t fine in the last two days.

Enlightenment consciously chosen means to relinquish your attachment to the past and future and to make the Now the main focus of your life . It means choosing to dwell in the state of presence rather than in time. It means saying yes to what is. You then don’t need pain anymore. -Eckhart Tolle

My mind concentrates on my imagined poor state of existence when left on its own. But when I have tasks laid out for me to do, it doesn’t seem to have time to do it. If I am too lazy to do one, then my brain connivingly convinces me that it’ll be ok, and, not only that, it convinces me that that item I should have been doing was not all that important until I want to give it up.

Normally we are encouraged to develop into our “real self” – the person we were meant to be. This leads to a solid sense of self; less likely to be overly influenced by others or circumstances (or at least not losing oneself to these). Conversely, with a fragile sense of self, we’ll feel overly anxious about being loved and accepted and be overly concerned with how others respond to us, rather than focusing on who we are. (paraphrased from 12 Smart Things)

It’s easy to get caught up in the past and in the future, if left unchecked. When I’m a rudderless boat, it’s even easier. When I have no structure, I’m a rudderless boat.

I think I’ll have to be content with learning one thing today from that book. And tomorrow will take care of itself.

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