mental big rocks

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motherjuggs&speed
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mental big rocks

Post by motherjuggs&speed »

Ian King had the big rocks metaphor. Put the big rocks in the jar.

Most of us here have read a lot of meditation/mindfulness/blahblah but what are the big rocks?

My best guess right now is something like:
:
clear perception of the facts
rational/logical comprehension of the situation
avoiding known traps
reassessing frequently
getting better information if possible
being willing to use that information

Where I'm going with this is, I feel these days that I'm so far in the fog that I can't do the full stack, psychoemotionally. While I would like to read Awaken the Buddha Within, and maybe it is what I need, for now I have to get my head right. I have to start somewhere. I've stalled on the self authoring program, have to get back to that. But for now I have to do the basics.

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Bram
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Post by Bram »

Appreciate another deep question!

I look at it as: “What actions and attitudes keep me in the best head space?”

* being humble (not bragging)
* not complaining
* looking for, and taking, the opportunities to give
* giving genuine praise

Less frequently, and usually in response to more intense situations….

* being brave
* being kind and compassionate
* not giving unsolicited advice (the exception being if people are a threat to themselves or others)
“Do not reflect upon the possibility of defeat; you become too anxious and lose your freedom of style.” — Harry Vardon


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Post by motherjuggs&speed »

I look at it as: “What actions and attitudes keep me in the best head space?”
That meta view has been hard for me to find, although it is important, even essential. Another tough one for me is to determine what the best head space even is. Naturally different jobs require different mindsets. I have a few mindsets that work pretty well for different situations but I need about fifty other subroutines, as well as finding/building the state of mind to start from. One objection I've heard to questions like this is something like, why do you need all that? Just use your common sense! But my thought is, what about if I struggle to find a good default setting? How do I get there if I'm not there?

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Post by Bram »

An exercise that changed my life….

Write down any situation that comes to mind, where things were very stressful, but you rose to the occasion.

Once they’re all on paper (or the screen), look at how you were talking to yourself.

In my experience, this can reveal how you talk to yourself when you’re at your best.

For me, there were a few common elements.

* Sometimes I’d say something positive
* Sometimes I’d make light of the situation
* Sometimes I would speak kindly to myself
* Sometimes I’d tell myself to let it go.

But it was always at least one of those four. So I started telling myself “positive, funny, kind, let go” when I was stressed. And it’s really helped.

——

You could apply this to anything. “How did I speak to myself when I’ve resolved a conflict well?” “How did I speak to myself when I asked out a random attractive woman and it went well?”
“Do not reflect upon the possibility of defeat; you become too anxious and lose your freedom of style.” — Harry Vardon


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Post by motherjuggs&speed »

That's a good exercise. I've been struggling with it for the last few days. I haven't found many commonalities so far, except staying focused on the job at hand. Which has led to a lot of problems with tunnel vision. When I get dialed in I can often get the specific thing done that I set out to do but I usually lose sight of the bigger picture. I sometimes tell myself cues which do help with some jobs but they don't help when I have to act like I'm not stressed. For that I haven't found something that works. .Sometimes it just happens but I don't really know why.


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Post by motherjuggs&speed »

“What actions and attitudes keep me in the best head space?”
Another way for me to approach this is, what actions, speech and attitudes lead to me not being in a well functioning head space?

If I look at what I think every day, I see a pattern. I fill my mind with bad thoughts. Not all day, but too much. I have tried to counteract this by putting in good messages but I have bad thoughts every day. So that might be a big rock too -- make sure I'm thinking the right way, without errorful patterns of thinking..Sometimes darker thoughts are correct but even those should be managed skillfully if possible, for example being angry if it's called for but not so mad I can't think straight.
Last edited by motherjuggs&speed on Mon Nov 27, 2023 10:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Bram »

Two things that fuck up my head space are bragging and complaining. I've been working on eliminating both.

Actions that have helped:

* deleted instagram and Facebook accounts
* am keeping some good things and some bad things to myself
* cut back on giving unsolicited advice -- I think this is a form of bragging
* working on not being passive-aggressive -- feels like a form of complaining

Are there any common threads with your bad thoughts? Especially those that seem kinda useless?

As to figuring out how you deal with stress....sounds like progress! If I noticed the things you did, I might tell myself, "task at hand, bigger picture."
“Do not reflect upon the possibility of defeat; you become too anxious and lose your freedom of style.” — Harry Vardon


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Post by motherjuggs&speed »

I don't know if this is true of anyone else , but a common pattern with me is that thoughts stay with me for a long time. I imagine it's related to the fact that I tend to not let go of activities or people that aren't good for me any more and in some cases never were. So the persistence is a thing all its own, but there are some similarities between the recurring thoughts/thought patterns. I'll have to think about what those are and what they mean.

So maybe this fits into my 'avoid known traps' item: "Don't think the same things as you used to, unless they help.' Not very elegant. I'll try to think of something more pithy.


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Post by motherjuggs&speed »

Bram wrote: Mon Nov 27, 2023 3:27 am If I noticed the things you did, I might tell myself, "task at hand, bigger picture."
That's a good idea. I'll try to put that in my cues: "What's the bigger picture here?" or "Does this really make sense"? I've often lacked the ability to see that in the moment but if I make that question/statement part of my process I might remember it in the future.

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Post by Bram »

motherjuggs&speed wrote: Mon Nov 27, 2023 4:09 am I don't know if this is true of anyone else , but a common pattern with me is that thoughts stay with me for a long time. I imagine it's related to the fact that I tend to not let go of activities or people that aren't good for me any more and in some cases never were. So the persistence is a thing all its own, but there are some similarities between the recurring thoughts/thought patterns. I'll have to think about what those are and what they mean.

So maybe this fits into my 'avoid known traps' item: "Don't think the same things as you used to, unless they help.' Not very elegant. I'll try to think of something more pithy.
This is super interesting.

I had this issue for years. I'd obsess over some douchebag at school who embarrassed me in front of others, or fixate on a girl who rejected me (or might reject me). This was particularly true in junior high. I was getting humiliated so often, that the only way I knew to deal with it, was to burn, with deep hatred, every transgression into memory.

And I'm not that person anymore.

If I had to guess, I'd attribute this to an overall lower level of stress, a focus on being present, and a shit ton of work on dealing with people.

Getting thoughts to shift away from being sticky is a real challenge.
“Do not reflect upon the possibility of defeat; you become too anxious and lose your freedom of style.” — Harry Vardon


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Post by motherjuggs&speed »

One thing that puzzles me about this is, why do I persist in thinking about some things and not others? I'm not sure why this is, but I think we can all control this to a significant degree. I suppose one step is to realize that I can choose at least some of what I think and all of my responses.

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Post by Bram »

I have the sense that it’s like a muscle.

If you dwell a lot, on anything, you get better at dwelling.
“Do not reflect upon the possibility of defeat; you become too anxious and lose your freedom of style.” — Harry Vardon


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Bram wrote: Thu Nov 23, 2023 5:21 am Write down any situation that comes to mind, where things were very stressful, but you rose to the occasion.
After thinking about this some more I realized that when I've been successful in dealing with stressful situations, I usually didn't see the situation as stressful as in 'I'm so stressed', but happily excited at best or I thought of myself as a man on a mission, going to take care of this thing. So I thought of myself as a capable person. Dealing with my mom's many crises while she was dying of cancer was stressful but most of the time I dealt with it a manner I would describe as professional -- got a job to do here, let's check these boxes. I thought of myself as the guy in charge of dealing with things.

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Post by Bram »

Nicely done helping your mom!

I know what you mean with the role thing. I threw a couple parties at my house this summer. When I focused on being a good host, it led to a good experience. When I didn’t do that, I didn’t like how I showed up.
“Do not reflect upon the possibility of defeat; you become too anxious and lose your freedom of style.” — Harry Vardon


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Bram wrote: Mon Nov 27, 2023 2:31 pm I have the sense that it’s like a muscle.

If you dwell a lot, on anything, you get better at dwelling.
I've been dwelling on this. I've been reading about state orientation, which is

"Action orientation is, in essence, the capacity to regulate emotions, thoughts, and behaviors to fulfill the intentions that individuals form. State orientation refers to the inability to regulate these emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. That is, these individuals are unable to modify their state--their anxiety, dejection, confusion, and uncertainty, for example (Kuhl, 1981, 1994b, 2000).".

Which answers a question I've had for a long time. Why have I been unable to change? Because I have blundered into a state where I can't change, including changing my default setting of being state oriented instead of action oriented. To which people might say, stop with all that stuff, just do the thing in question. Which I sometimes do, but more often I remain in a condition where, as much as I hate it, I don't change my setting. And the only way to change the setting is to act. And to then stay action oriented, which leads to being better able to handle external stressors and internal states, so I will be more likely to stay action oriented.

There's a good description of all this here --

https://www.sicotests.com/newpsyarticle ... regulation

So this goes in the category of "Which mental states lead to other desirable mental states/outcomes?". Being action oriented seems to be one essential element. I haven't explained this well but I wanted to be action oriented and get it down instead of contemplating it endlessly.


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Post by motherjuggs&speed »

Recently I've been thinking more about my brain and how it's affected by everything I do. So one of the big rocks is, get the things I need for my brain to function right. For example, when I'm tired I make poor decisions, including not getting the rest I need. So in addition to checking whether I'm too tired, stressed, etc., to make good choices, it's better to avoid doing the things that put me in a lower functioning state to begin with, and to actively try to help my brain. I've been eating more nuts and doing unhealthy things less often, although I still have lapses every day, mostly when my brain gets tired.


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Post by Gene »

motherjuggs&speed wrote: Wed Nov 22, 2023 9:17 am Ian King had the big rocks metaphor. Put the big rocks in the jar.

Most of us here have read a lot of meditation/mindfulness/blahblah but what are the big rocks?
Rocks have different meaning. Covey referred to them as the big things that you tend to first. Others who wrote about Lean Manufacture talked of rocks as hazards lurking under the surface that your boat will hit when profits or volume falls.

Me, I rely upon indifference. Indifference can be empowering if you use it intelligently. It's not the "Art of not giving a fuck" that's too emotional. People who claim not to give a fuck are giving up, they haven't reached the destination of indifference.

When you don't even notice what used to bother you, then you're there. You don't even care if someone brings it up.... 'Oh, that.... yeah... hey about". You change the subject because.... it's not interesting.

One master of indifference was Andy 68. He cut out non-essentials. Andy wanted to have a good time. Drinking, smoking and getting busy with young ladies. So he did what he wanted to do. The drinking and smoking probably gave him cancer, but on the way out he took care of what mattered to him.
Don't like yourself too much.


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Post by Boris »

Gene wrote: Tue Jan 02, 2024 4:57 pm
motherjuggs&speed wrote: Wed Nov 22, 2023 9:17 am Ian King had the big rocks metaphor. Put the big rocks in the jar.

Most of us here have read a lot of meditation/mindfulness/blahblah but what are the big rocks?
Rocks have different meaning. Covey referred to them as the big things that you tend to first. Others who wrote about Lean Manufacture talked of rocks as hazards lurking under the surface that your boat will hit when profits or volume falls.
I was recently reading "Four Thousand Weeks" and he basically said the rocks metaphor is kinda BS because the reality (often) is that you are just trying to stuff too much shit in - you have too much shit and it really doesn't matter what order you try to tend to them, you're never going to get it all done. Learning to pare things down and give up stupid rocks that you're never going to get to anyway is a huge first step towards a more sane life.

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Post by Bram »

Boris, that’s a really good point and something I struggle with.

An area where I actually have done that well is in exercise. I lift weights and I surf. If I can’t surf, I’ll mountain bike, do yoga, run, etc. But I used to try and force cardio and it always made me feel worn out and like I was falling behind — even just the idea of it.

I’ll have to consider some other areas where I’m putting too many rocks in.
“Do not reflect upon the possibility of defeat; you become too anxious and lose your freedom of style.” — Harry Vardon


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Post by Boris »

Bram wrote: Fri Jan 05, 2024 5:29 pm I’ll have to consider some other areas where I’m putting too many rocks in.
Not just eliminating rocks, but eliminating areas if possible.

It's interesting, at work for example, how much time some co-workers spend on email. I don't ignore email, but my time spent there is minimal - that can burn you professionally at times if you're not smart, but my God email can be an endless time-suck...

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Post by Bram »

That's something I've been wrestling with in letting go of difficult people, or at least setting boundaries with them.

I've been friends with someone who's been inconsiderate for over 20 years. I finally confronted him this week because he was coming along on a snowboarding trip, which had originally been planned with just one other friend. Immediately, he began with his normal behavior. I canceled my flight and told him why.

Unclear if our friendship will continue. Kind of feels like the right thing, but also....weird.
“Do not reflect upon the possibility of defeat; you become too anxious and lose your freedom of style.” — Harry Vardon

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