Monday, March 4, 2013

Making harnesses for myself

Keeping myself in a harness, while getting trained - Motivation to keep at it: the days keep coming and I don't want to be responsible for overcrowding any of them.  If I am too busy or too tired to exercise or to write, I am too busy or too tired and it is up to me to do something about the problem.  Self-castigation is to be avoided. Substitute records of feelings and checklists of doing what I aim to do.

I was impressed by the research that Sheena Iyengar reports from her college days her "The Art of Choosing".  She is the blind professor at Columbia University who was raised in a Sikh family and spend her childhood in both India and New York.  She found the American schools and college offered an invitation to personal freedom that was quite different from the family-practiced religion with many rules and regulations that were all followed carefully.  In college, she took a class from Martin Seligman, the famous founder of positive psychology, and did some research comparing the life satisfaction levels of people who lived highly constrained lives and followed many rules and prescriptions with those who lives were less formalized and rule-bound.  She was surprised to find the rule-bound lives rated higher than the "free" and somewhat formless ones.

Recent developments in apps and computer tracking, as exemplified in these June articles in the Atlantic magazine on apps and programs that assist in controlling oneself just right to lose weight intelligently and keep it off, make it possible to train or modify oneself for exercise, or music, art, or language lessons.

The Perfected Self - B.F. Skinner's methods self applied to changing myself under my own direction

Messing with Fate - Some people get help from some of the new apps and some, not so much

One can always run into the problem of what changes to make. To experience hypnosis, I needed to give the hypnotist some goal I wanted from the session.  I finally decided on "new eyes", seeing my life and surroundings as though I hadn't before.  Worked pretty well and is still doing so.  Of course, maintaining a life, a house, cars, eating right, exercising, reading, blogging and handling money and taxes all offer places I might want to make some changes.

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