Start Asking What You Can Do

To start is magic. It’s like the saying, “out of sight, out of mind.” We don’t think about things that we don’t remember. We freeze when faced to do something new.

It’s much easier to keep going than to start. A mind is like a flowing river. Diversions shift the concentration. But focus on the big picture and the details will pop out again. The important will show the limitations are artificial.

You must be starting new things to have fun. If you understand how the game is won it loses its charm. You must be kept on your toes.

Consider Douglas Hofstadter’s quote from Godel, Escher, Bach:
“This is, it seems to me, a general principle: you get bored with something not when you have exhausted its repertoire of behavior, but when you have mapped out the limits of the space that contains its behavior.”

I feel humans are the most fascinating creatures on Earth. Because humans self-reflect, they don’t have any limits on the space of behavior. Humans are always growing.

Self-aware beings have a gap between stimulus and response. They have the choice to change. In that gap is how we can make our lives better.

We don’t have to be subservient to the animal. We can push him into a pattern that while temporarily painful, leads to an insanely great life.

How do you persuade your core to start down that road? I like this tip from PJ Eby, a self-help thinker:
“You can’t always tell yourself what to do, but you can always ask what you can do!”

That’s the first step to starting. Don’t feel guilty. Don’t make yourself do something. Ask what you can do. Ask why it’s important. Break down your feelings. Emotions are not magic. They are understandable.

I had someone tell me that artificial intelligence isn’t really alive because it doesn’t have emotions. What a misunderstanding of human nature.

Emotions are our animal-thoughts. They work just like spoken-thoughts of our human selves. The mystery is not apart from the machine. The mystery is how the machine is put together.

You are a fantastic machine. Why not reflect on how you are put together? That self-study will teach you more than studying any book.

To learn how to start, study how you’re put together.

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