So, I have a rather large and important deadline approaching in a couple of days for which I have had approximately a week to address. I would say that so far the percentage of time I’ve spent on the deadline task is <33% … I’m quite good at reassigning my main stresses into other aspects of my life: less important parts of my project, money, weight, laundry, how many socks I own, how to do anything I might possibly need to do one day but don’t necessarily need to know HOWEVER its somehow important I SHALL learn immediately –> TO YOUTUBE. Inevitably I then end up in the strange depths of youtube, confused and completely unaware of the time … … … In this particular series of events, suddenly writing a blog post upon emerging from the my internet dreams* has become important … heheheeeee.
In a moment of panic and realisation for this task, I turned to a couple of friends, quoted some expletives … and asked one how she motivates herself. Seriously, that woman has no self awareness of how awe inspiring her motivation is. I want to know the secret and then I’d like someone to put it in pill form so I can medicate myself regularly …
I’m not sure why I turn to others in these situations to state my procrastination. Is it attention? Or am I presenting my life to them and asking them to deal with it? Or just sharing SOMETHING that has happened in my life that isn’t “I woke up today” … hahahaa!! I really do not know. Trying to contemplate it now, a small part of me thinks I want them to turn around and acknowledge it as a failure, being irresponsible or somehow a terrible person. “SADLY” this is not what happens. I get responses that essentially imply I can’t possibly fail, because I “succeed at everything” I do (I DO NOT**) … “you always procrastinate and do well”, or “pull it off”, etc. These responses do not make me happy. I don’t believe them and they’re not the truth.
Firstly, before saying saying what I’m about to say, I recognise that I am privileged, I have many privileges and one of those is a level of intelligence which helps shield me from some of the potential ‘crises’ that my procrastination threatens me with … I weirdly like to deny and question my intelligence, but as someone who has undergone and been diagnosed with dyslexia … I know my IQ … I have a bound report (that I like to hide) which states it … This does not influence how I apply said IQ and nor does it always prevent me from being stupid/ignorant/uneducated/etc, but I have that capacity there and I can’t comfortably present the next paragraph without acknowledging it … sadly. Oh, I’m also doing a PhD … but I’m convinced at the moment that after a certain level that it is more about determination/motivation … and perhaps a level of insanity (:
I think it’s unarguable that if I dedicated the time I should to the work I procrastinate over then it would be better and more likely to meet my own standards – the fact that generally my work is accepted/can be appreciated/meets the minimum requirements does not console me from the fact that it isn’t what I know I could achieve (the Dangerous Could Word!!). I see this as failure and sometimes my procrastination (myself) also leads me to fail by other people’s standards and I’d like this possibility to be acknowledged … ? Success and Failure to be seen by the probabilities they actually have … and to be comfortable with this? To see them as a process … ? And not to feel like your life and everything you’ve worked for will be ruined by one occurrence …
Now I can’t be certain whether my friends believe what they say or are just wanting to be nice (and perhaps this is a whole separate issue to discuss another time) or if it ties in with the argument I’m about to present … but let’s continue anyway … 😛
As part of a stream of procrastination for a previous deadline, before descending into the murky depths of youtube once more, I came across a TED Talk: Diana Laufenberg: How to learn? From mistakes which I have been thinking ties into this. I really wish I was insightful enough to draw the lines myself – but alas! I was aware that mistakes are important aids to both learning and mental resilience, etc … but I was a step behind.
Shall I introduce the idea now (; ?
Essentially we stream students, attribute success and label them “Gifted and Talented” according to how few failures they have had.
Just let that sink in a bit. From that sentence alone there are many sided stories to tell. You may even conclude that this has influenced your life, for better or worse.
As this is essentially procrastination for me right now … I’m not going to delve into more than one. Talking about my views on the education system/exam culture/society etc etc … Is just too much for right now … hahahaa! Not to mention my views on the university system … (;
Successful people are viewed as people who do not fail. If you are a person who has completed some milestones attributed by society to be ‘acceptable’ or ‘worth doing‘ and maybe even have managed to complete tasks that others have failed or convinced themselves they are unable to achieve … AS WELL AS, and this is important, being a person who HAS NOT completed milestones (or perhaps even one, depending what it is) which society would deem ‘unacceptable‘, ‘not worth doing‘ or would not do themselves due to a series of belief systems … You are a successful person. As a result I currently believe that on a subconscious level we see success as an unfaltering path: no mistakes, no failures, arguably none of the aspects of humanity!! hahaa … ! A perfect story with a happy ending which can meet our ideals.
Sorry, but perfect is unattainable and does not exist, especially since the definition of perfect is different for everyone. Mistakes/failures/bad choices are all unavoidable and to believe that you can only be successful without them not only causes an altered life view for the believer but also for the people those beliefs are thrust upon. It probably sounds really obvious when you read it, but I always find it surprising how much the obvious can actually be ignored – especially when on the scale of a society/community/friendship group/work place/your own brain/etc …
In simple terms:
- If you see yourself as a failure and believe that success can only come to those who never fail, you believe on some level that you can never have success yourself.
- If true success is never failing then failing once removes all your previous success. I think exams can be a brilliant example of this? I also believe that the associated stress is unnecessary and unrealistic: you need your “failings” to learn properly …
- Equally, just because you’ve been successful in the past doesn’t mean that you will be in the future, or that previous “non-successes” didn’t play a role in where you are today.
It’s probably also important to acknowledge here the fact that for different people the definition of success changes and therefore a societal definition may actually make it as unattainable as perfection … ? Discuss (; ?? hehee
Wow, this turned into “self-help book stylee” pretty quickly!!! hahahaa!! Let’s give it a “moral of the story!!!”:
Define your own success, because society’s is Warped and Unhealthy
Perception isn’t always truth
Could we invent failure day? So we can all celebrate the failures that make us human beings? Excuse to eat cakeeeeee~~~~? (; Or just a necessary mental process society needs to go through to stop punishing ourselves for being ourselves 😛 ?? We could find some well known “successful” people to publish their failures in the public space … and these aren’t “I wasn’t successful, I was failing, but then I did this and now I’m awesome” stories … but “I’m a successful person who still fails and that doesn’t change my success … I’m a successful person because who I am and who want to be work together to be my definition”
Someone else feel free to advance this idea because I WILL just procrastinate … (; …
And I really hope that one day soon I can say that to myself and fully believe it … so I’ll write it again whilst I also ask you to say it to yourself:
I’m a successful person because who I am and who want to be work together to be my definition [of success] …
*internet dreams are essentially what I believe to be when you use your browser in a way to either try and reinvent yourself or which influences your daydreams (I daydream A LOT) … this time around I found a set of videos of people who had obviously been cornered in different areas of korea to be shown videos and then give their reactions (a popular youtube format if you’re looking to become the next star of the internet?) … and I thought to myself … wouldn’t it be nice to actually understand without subtitles. CUE: daydream on speaking ALL LANGUAGES … then obviously somewhere my brain realised how unrealistic this was … and just made it ALL ASIAN Languages … yeah … right. Thanks Brain … OH. I also had a parrot friend … because youtube revealed to me the equivalent of cat videos … for parrots … and it taught me some techniques for training your parrot friend (prisoner? :P) tricks I haven’t yet or may never befriend.
** I DO NOT SUCCEED AT EVERYTHING I DO! That would be weird … I have failed exams and general tasks for being a “successful” human being 😛 … examples? … hahaaaa … I fail at making my blog look professional and inviting (; … I’ve failed a few exams … WHICH JUST HAPPENED to become unnecessary to my academic awards or were part of extra curricular options. I failed at driving. I fail everyday at getting fit and healthy (; … I fail in my relationships on all scales probably at the same rate everyone else does … I’ve “failed” interviews, applications … I’ve failed even applying to opportunities because I procrastinated too much or believed I would fail … ETC ETC ETC!! OMG ! I’m a human being 😛 !!! hahahaaa. Isn’t it lovely 😛 !!