Learning to write using my voice

There is an immediacy in talking to the camera. The words have to flow straight off the top of your head. Unless rehearsed or written down you need to know what you’re talking about before you start talking. With writing, you can talk to the page and then go back and change what you have said to make it clearer. You have time to process what you’re trying to convey, you can have new ideas spring forth which add to the tapestry that is the article.

I’m always let down by what I say when I talk to the camera. The language is not on point with what I expect from a speaker. Just like writing you can catch ideas as they bubble up, or remember something pertinent to the story. Watching someone like Jordan Peterson talk so formulaic has ruined me for watching back my own bungling attempt at spoken free flow thought, where I often trail off and forget where I was up to.

If you’re a fast typer you can catch your thoughts free-flow like talking and keep up with your own train of thought. I’m not a fast typer and have to struggle with slowing down my thought process to keep up with my typing speed.

Audio dictation ‘speech to text’ is a way around this, but I still have to wait for the software to catch up with the speech as it tries to decipher my spoken language. I want to use this method more for first drafts, but I still find the process inhibiting. I’m hoping with practice I can better master this method. For now, it seems faster for me to use the keyboard.

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Overcoming poor self-esteem Part II – Stable mindset

I had separated from my wife and I was living in a caravan at my parent’s house. It was my wife’s decision to separate and I was at a loss. I was very low. But this would be the catalyst for my growth and would put an end to my cycle of ego inflation.

The term used for growth caused by a traumatic event or situation is ‘Post Traumatic Growth’ or ‘PTG’. I’d experienced PTG four years earlier from a psychotic episode (I have schizophrenia). I had grown tremendously from the process but was still a very flawed individual.

The processes that caused my growth this second time was fourfold. One thing was that I’d been watching a lot of Jordan Peterson speak in his lectures on YouTube and took on the idea of incorporating my shadow (This deserves a post of its own so I’ll do a part III).

Another big lesson was that I started recording myself, talking about all my beliefs and ideas about what I’d come to realise were delusions. Talking about these things made me recognise I didn’t have a good grasp on what I thought and knew. And a lot of my ideas and beliefs were flawed. Low-resolution concepts that didn’t add up but bolstered my sense of self and what I thought was genius-level thinking.

This was hard to stomach, but it set me more firmly in reality and helped me to recognise my own limitations and faulty frameworks of thought. This would be the start of my journey into doing and expressing, rather than thinking and obsessing because I didn’t have to live up to the expectations of my own delusions which made me free to be more creative and honest.

A big part of my growth was just spending time with my parents and creating a better perspective on our relationship. I started seeing them as flawed human beings like everyone else and recognised they weren’t going to change. It made me accept and love them for who they are instead of wanting something from them to fill my esteem void.

I now have a great relationship with my parents and I don’t need for them to give me anything to feel strong in myself because I have given that to myself.

The final thing which brought it all together was a notion I’d call the Trinity which I’ll do a Part IV about. Incorporating my shadow, humanising my parents, recognising my own limitations, and adopting the trinity has made me a far better person.

The result was that while I used to be full of doubt and always questioning myself, needing others to affirm that I’m ok. I am now sure of myself, my bubble doesn’t burst and rather than it inflating to the point of delusion, I am now stable. Able to execute every day, and while I still have low periods I am far more functional, less reactive and not at war with those who challenge my self-belief.

I don’t need to win an ideological argument to feel strong, because now I am a winner despite the situation, because my sense of self doesn’t bottom out or inflate based on external circumstances. I know who I am and I know my limitations. I’ll explain what it means to incorporate your shadow in part III. Coming soon.

Harvard Positive Psychology Lectures

One of the few big sources of knowledge on self-development I’ve incorporated is a series of Havard lectures on Positive Psychology by lecturer & author Tal Ben-Shahar.

Each lecture is an hour or more and there are twenty or so lectures in the course. I’ve watched all the lectures at least twice and some of it has stuck with me and has helped me navigate my life in a meaningful way.

The lectures are jam-packed with information on how people who excel at life think. It’s very digestible understandable knowledge and is a large part of the basis of my knowledge in the realm of psychology.

I found these lectures on http://ThePirateBay.org but they have also been uploaded to YouTube.

Overcoming poor self-esteem. Part 1: Inflating ego

There was a time when if somebody slighted me I would go on the defence and my ego would puff up, I would become arrogant and smug. I would go to war with them in my head. Not to destroy or undermine my attacker, but to prove them wrong on an intellectual level. Bolstering all my reasoning on attacking the opponents POV and affirming my own. I’d have arguments in my head. My mind was at war with those who saw me as less than I was willing to see myself.

The cause of this was low self-esteem. I wanted people to see me as I saw myself. There were two problems with this, how I saw myself was not based on reality. And I was looking for external affirmation on who I was, my standing, my values and what I was about.

As I puffed up I’d become more insular and isolated and in a state of internal and external struggle, until my ego would pop either because I realised my internal narrative was incongruent with reality or the weight of my delusion got too heavy. I’m not 100% sure why my bubble would burst but it always did after weeks or even months of self-righteousness.

The aftermath was that I’d collapse in a heap and spend the next week or so in a rut feeling weak, sorry, silly, wrong, and humbled, not being able to function. I’d slowly get back to normal but before too long something or someone would trigger me and I’d start to puff up again, creating a new cycle.

This was my reality for a long time. Now things are different and while I’m not sure about what part of my recovery changed me. The fact is I am changed. Part 2 coming soon.

20 Second Rule

Today I learnt about the 20-second rule by Eric Barker. The idea is to reduce barriers to regular habits as to ensure you can start them in under 20 seconds. He gives the example of wanting to play the guitar. But to play his guitar he had to remove it from the cupboard then remove it from its case which took 20 seconds. He then took the batteries out of his remote and put them in a cupboard in the kitchen.

This created a barrier to him watching TV as it would take more than 20 seconds to put the batteries in the remote. So the next time he sat down to watch TV he realised that he couldn’t easily switch the TV on, so he decided to pick up the guitar which he had placed in the lounge room on a guitar stand. Soon started spending more time playing guitar and less time watching TV. If you want to get something done reduce the start time and you will be less likely to procrastinate and find something easier to do.

Being Real Means

Being real means showing who you are, not what you think what others want you to be. Being real means being in the moment without trying to impress. Being real means being vulnerable. Being real means telling it how it is.