Turning Off Autopilot

What do you want to do right this minute? Goals, and the means to achieve them are discussed often, and that’s important. But how often are really doing what we want? I’m not trying to write a free pass for me or anyone to just be blatantly irresponsible; but as important as discipline is, impulsiveness has its place as well.

It seems extremely straight forward, right? Just decide and then act? It just doesn’t work that way, unfortunately. We only think about what we want to do or how we want to do things generally in the pre-approved times to do so. That’s not to say we don’t daydream about what we might rather be doing, it’s just more involved to think about what we could actually be doing at this moment.

The reason it’s so easy to choose daydreaming over the actions we could be taking right now is because then we have to choose, and then we have to follow through. Or don’t. But the stakes are higher than daydreaming, because they’re just that dreams. Which could be anything or nothing, but nothing about unfulfilled daydreams weighs on you like action not taken.

Perhaps the daydreams should be considered as well, because they’re not all far fetched. Besides the random acts of violence I may consider throughout the day, there are dozens of little things I think about and consider doing that wouldn’t come with so much jail time and losing custody of my kids. Really, starting to write this blog was one of those things. Thought about it quite a bit and then at work I drafted up a couple posts, and went from there. I beat it around awhile though, and I feel like I shouldn’t have, because by the time I decided to actually put thumbs to touchscreen and tap out those posts I had already lost good ideas.

Taking this in another direction for a moment; its not always about deciding to do something better or act in a more efficient way. Maybe even more important is recognizing when we don’t have to stick to the program or play some fucked up bureaucratic version of Simon Says. It’s so easy to forget about our own free will. My hospital, like any hospital that’s part of a bloated “health network” of medical facilities, has a large and oppressive amount of policies. Some valid and worthwhile, and some I read and immediately my bullshit meter reads “Fuck That”, I equate this to just about any aspect of life, and its liberating to recognize the times you can decide when something is fucked and not go along with it. I’ve been astonished by how often this evokes positive responses in the most unlikely people.

 

Impulsiveness can be a crippling trait, but when harnessed its an essential tool for deciding to act when necessary. These little decisions can be so small, but we are creatures of habit. We don’t want to make decisions. Especially new ones about things we feel like we decided on long ago. This ties in a bit with what I was talking about with doing something new, but is a different aspect of that same idea. Its more broad, but more subtle as well. This can be doing something new, or something in a new way. Or not doing something you usually do. I think it also ties into the Eyes Above the Dashboard post in that its very much about awareness.

It’s an internal awareness, and it’s scope is immense. So much so that the balance that needs to be stuck to be aware and conscience of opportunities to make these decisions and not be stuck in our heads all the time is a very delicate one. Its already easy to get there when game blogs can have men so concerned about projecting “alpha” at all times, but really alpha is about your will. Will is control. Control is getting off autopilot and making decisions.

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