Friday, 10 May 2013
Getting back into the groove.
Ah, that nebulous period of time in between me finishing my final exams and getting my reports back from the university's career center as to prospective job offers. I'd rather not go for my commencement - it really is just one big waste of time, to be honest - but since my folks want me to go, I'll oblige them, I suppose.
Nevertheless, with a bit of idle time on my hands, I've been doing a little XML coding for various game mods. The most productive use of my time? Perhaps not, but it's definitely getting myself back in the creative and problem-solving groove that I've missed being in for a while now. And more importantly, it's a problem I can solve, as opposed to the various pieces of news that filter down into this box from the outside world.
Maybe it's just me, but I vastly prefer a problem when there is a clear victory condition stated. "Make this piece of code work." "Solve this set of equations." "Obtain the required art assets to make this work." All I have to do is push the box over the stated line, and that's going to be the end of that. The same can't be said, for example, for preparing for SHTF. You have no idea what to expect beyond general guidelines and there's no victory condition you one can define. It's like writing a program from scratch - the further away you get from where you are at the moment, the less well-defined things get.
The main suggestion, I've heard, is to break down one large goal into a number of smaller, more manageable goals. In the same vein, it might do one's psyche good to break down an amorphous goal into several concrete ones. Will it change the fact that the end goal is not a concrete one? No, but it's motivation to get off one's ass and start weighting the odds in your favour, as opposed to the non-existent odds you'd have had if you sat down on your couch and watched the world sail to its doom without taking any sort of action.
You don't say "I will get a job" or "I will have a successful business." You can say "I will submit my CV" or "I will learn basic accounting instead."
You don't say "I will have a family someday." You can say "I will do X cold approaches this week." or "I will overcome my approach anxiety by trying to strike up a conversation with X people today."
You don't say "I will prep." You can say "I will buy an extra sack of rice when I run down to the store." or "I will look in X and Y places for extra ammo."
The more quantifiable, the better.
Does it make a physical difference? Perhaps not. Perhaps luck isn't with you, and you never get to find that one lady who falls through your filter or you prep for exactly the wrong situation and you have to either leave your stockpile behind or it becomes useless. There's nothing you can strive for that will give you that 100% guarantee by dint of your hard work. But it keeps one going psychologically, and that results in a chance of success that isn't at or near zero.
It means you don't capitulate to fear.