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December 2nd, 2019
Just before you start something, anything, especially something creative, there is a moment when the human spirit seems to come up to the edge of an insidious chiasm. At first it’s just a quick skip to bridge the gap, and then as we hesitate and lollygag, the chiasm grows wider and deeper. Procrastination becomes it’s own whirlpool, it’s own vicious cycle.
Before we know it, we’re medicating our own psychology with distraction. Checking a social media app, scrolling through reddit, or going down a Wikipedia rabbit hole of needless research. Anything to keep from facing the growing barrier between ourselves and the thing we should be doing. The thing we wish we were doing.
The answer here is to simply start as fast as possible and let the structure of the process arise on it’s own. There are tricks to this, like setting a 5 minute timer and hitting the keys before or on the timer, or like a trick used by insomniacs: don’t lie awake in bed because then the mind becomes accustomed to being awake in bed and fails to associate the environment with sleep, thereby becoming a vicious cycle. So if you can’t sleep, don’t stay in the bed, or so goes the current thinking on this niche of behavior.
We also have this surreal ability to visualize things on top of the world that we see. Whether you are reading these words or listening to them while doing something else, for those blessed with visual faculties, it’s strangely possible to suddenly see the green apple floating in space right in front of you. It just pops up there because I mentioned it. Of course it’ll fade away as quickly as we forget about it but this ability to superimpose another reality on top of the one we see is a strange tool that is perhaps not used to any remarkably good effect.
Certainly athletes and performers of a similar nature use visualization techniques akin to this superimposition, and this visualization apparently aides their performance greatly.
But what about for the non-athlete. How can this visual canvas be used?
Well, to return to that interminable growing canyon of procrastination, one way to use this superimposition is to see – as quickly as possible – the best version of yourself acting as you’d expect that person to. Leaning into the work before you even feel ready for it. Imagine that version of you, feeling like they’d left you in the dust, experiencing the exhilaration of leading the pack in a race.
We are all capable of imagining better versions of ourselves, and certainly many if not all of us sense that this person actually exists in some way, if cooped up by strange constraints, whether that be situational or psychological. Regardless, there’s a sense that this person could one day finally stretch their legs and take reality for a ride.
Is it possible to visualize this person, and superimpose their actions upon our waking life, and then try to race that person?
But first we have to imagine the mark of that person clearly,
Get set to try and outdo that person,
and then go.
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