August 11, 2020

Addicted To Distraction


"Resistance hates two qualities above all others: concentration and depth. Why? Because when we work with focus and we work deep, we succeed. (...) Resistance wants to keep us shallow and unfocused. So it makes the superficial and the vain intoxicating."
~Turning Pro, by Steven Pressfield.

As mentioned in an older post that refers to Steven Pressfield's book The War of Art, Resistance is that part of our brain that's trying to do everything it can in its power to not follow our dreams. Because following our dreams is hard, a path fraught with risk. So it'll throw tons of things at us to distract us from doing the work.

Resistance is a Very Powerful Enemy.

And our modern world takes full advantage of that. It wants us to stay distracted, enticing us with dopamine-releasing strategies that will only get us even more addicted to them. Like binge-watching TV shows and movies, playing games, scrolling through our friends' (and the occasional celebrity's) pics on IG and FB, or through their videos on TikTok, or shopping.

Oh, how easy it is to fall pray to Resistance and let ourselves become a "shadow" of our true selves. Even letting ourselves be controlled by a day job can be considered a distraction! Why? Because all these things are pulling us away from our calling, from doing what is needed to turn our ambition into a reality.

I, like so many people, am guilty of this as well (I totally like to play app games while binge-watching, distractedly, whole series on Netflix, for instance). Worse, due to outside (dark) forces, I was already finding it really hard to concentrate at all (double-whammy!). Brain fog is no laughing matter (the fact that COVID causes this as well, on top of all the other nasty effects, is really scary too).

But I don't want to let my own life slip through my fingers. The battle is constant, and will always be a part of our lives, so I need to keep reminding myself that I need to put my butt in the chair and work on my storytelling, like any pro would, with focus and depth.

Otherwise my dreams will be just that.

Dreams.


----Edit---

I just saw this new Ted Talk today (Aug 12) where actor Ethan Hawke talks about what creativity truly means, and how vital it is to our lives. If you have a listen, you'll see how perfectly aligned his statements are with what's mentioned above :)




----End Edit----

Additional Sources:

Television, Videogames, and Other Stimuli That Hijack Your Brain's Dopamine Reward System

Dopamine, Smartphones & You: A battle for your time


August 6, 2020

Ambition

"Ambition, I have come to believe, is the most primal and sacred fundament of our being. To feel ambition and to act upon it is to embrace the unique calling of our souls. Not to act upon that ambition is to turn out backs on ourselves and on the reason for our existence."
~Turning Pro, by Steven Pressfield

August 1, 2020

August 1913 - The Year Before The Storm

Ford assembly line in 1913

Anecdotes of the month include:

  • Aug 3:
    Artist suffocates inside a pile of sand at Berlin Jungfernheide.
    His art consisted of being buried alive for up to five minutes at a time, but today, his director got carried away by a conversation, and forgot to excavate him until ten minutes had already passed.
  • Aug. 16:
    For the first time ever, an assembly line is put together at the Ford automobile factory, in Detroit.
  • Aug 22:
    The Austro-Hungarian army wants to strengthen itself, and so starts a search for deserters from military service. The police publish a missing persons notice:
    'Hietler, Adolf,
    last known residence in a men's hostel in Meldemannstrasse, Vienna,
    current residence unknown,
    enquiries under way.'
  • Aug 28:
    Celebrations of Goethe's birthday.
    Emperor Franz Joseph goes hunting and shoots a goat.

Source: