Sunday, January 13, 2013

Ignore the Noise; Do the Work

My thoughts have been mainly introspective lately. It's true that I've recently formed a study group to read Marx's Capital in one year, and that Marx is inherently about the world and other people, but I don't have much to say to you about that. I'm just reading, talking to other people about what I'm reading, and percolating.

This year's motto is going to be 'ignore the noise; do the work'. That literally translates into focusing on my job and my responsibilities to my family, but also metaphorically translates into 'do the personal work'. I've got some spiritual and emotional growing to do, and I've got to give myself some space to do it in.

One of the concepts that helped me quit drinking was the concept of 'the booze brain'. The idea that there was this ever-whispering voice constantly trying to sabotage my own sobriety and masquerading as my own mind, helped me dislocate myself from my disease. If I found myself in the midst of a clever rationalization I would ask myself, 'does this line of thinking end up with me drinking?', and if the answer was 'yes', I would know that it was not my own brain that was thinking, but my booze brain.

I have come to realize that the booze brain has many other cousins, and each can throw up a distracting clamor that prevents one from 'doing the work'.

'The work', by the way, is whatever is central to your character. It's whatever you need to do to grow, to find peace, to progress towards self actualization. It can be your job, It can be your relationship with others. It can be reading a book, riding a bike, or even washing the dishes. It's the product of your labor, a thing that you would do for the hell of it, even if no money or status were attached to it (maybe there is some Marx slipping in there). I would like to do things for their own sake, 'for the hell of it'. I would like to do things prayerfully, and seriously. Too often, I am trying to ride two horses with one ass.

'The noise' is the other horse. It's the thoughts that tempt you away from what you know you should be doing, or drain them of their joy. The noise is the self-doubt, the naysayers, the shiny thing that distracts you from your goals.

That's all. I get cranky if I go too long without writing something, so here's something.


Lodo Grdzak said...

Like that motto. Words to live by.

the elegant ape said...

marx...das capital .... no low hanging fruit there...It's goin to be a interesting year....