Tag Archive: discipline


The Most Frustrating Thing

I have recently become debt free, have started to save thousands of dollars and  got a promotion at work.  Things have been going really well for me and I am elated that I have reached many goals that I have set not too long ago.   Yet I am still frustrated internally.  I am fretful all the time.  When there are things to be done and deadlines I feel trapped and anxious, when there is free time I get fretful again thinking I should be doing something.  Upon excessive thinking and driving all over the place to relax I have found what may be the cause of my frustration.

I have been thinking of a post like this for a few weeks now.  I keep putting it off or rather just didn’t make myself do it until now.  That is my biggest problem.  There was something inside my mind, something that I should do or write and I don’t.  The longer I don’t the more I regret it.  Then I eventually lose it.

After writing goals and deadlines, or putting the date on ideas that I want to do, I become sickened by how long ago I had an idea and when I finally see that note again a year or more has flew by.  Now granted I am not doing poorly, from the first statement above you can tell that things are going really well, but still the frustration lingers.

I started this post on my tablet one night and then the missionaries from my church came for a visit.  These are always great cause I rant and rave about whatever topic comes up till I am blue in the face, and on this visit I spoke of all the controversies that inundate Facebook and how no one listens and no one cares, so it is just spinning wheels.  Then I went on to say, “if people really wanted to improve the world they would improve themselves, they would start in their own home and become an amazing father, or an amazing mother.  They would take care of themselves, get out of debt, figure out how to earn more money…and by being their best they would improve their situations, their lives and thus improve the world and later have real ability to help people around them become better and more fulfilled…thus improving the world even more so!”

I thought this was a great breakthrough, while this was in my mind for the longest time I did not have the words.  As I thought more about it and how I could enact on my own sermon the reason for my constant frustration became a little clearer.  The most frustrating thing is that we are capable, and know that we are capable of so much.  That we can have what we want and others can too…BUT we don’t cause we constantly allow small failures, habits and addictions to slowly ruin our lives.

Think about it, have you even decided to go to the gym, you are driving there and at the last turn don’t make that tiny effort to turn the wheel and you drive past and just waste that time or go back home and watch TV?  Have you tried quick drinking caffeine and rebound because you were just bored? These, among many other examples, fill our lives and then we wonder why we are tired and anxious.

I propose that it is just not the bad habits and failures that drag us down so low, but that we know on some level that we could have done better.  How scary it is to think that I would wake up at 40, 10 years from now and had done more of the same from age 20 to 30.  That hundreds of thousands of little choices buried me in the same mediocre person that I have been.

I don’t need to get more tasks done in a day, I just have to make the right decision in the right moment.  No more effort will be required than if I had made wrong choice, but often things are worse off if do.  I save nothing by neglecting a work out.  You may argue time but really how is that hour used that day that you did not work out?  Pay attention…you will find that you are cheating yourself…over and over and over again.  And THAT is frustrating! 

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Can make yourself not check you Facebook feed for one day? I don’t even care if you update your own status but can you do the dishes or clean your house instead if it is needed?

choose wisely!

Kids, code, or blog? The choice is yours…

How about your emails? I know that almost all my emails are really just a waste of time and perhaps I should figure out a way to stop those emails from coming in…but then I would have no emails…

How about Netflix? A service that lets us watch a million different movies and shows at any time that we please, but of course we are all so busy that we have to watch when it might be better to catch up on sleep or a million other worthy tasks.

When people curse technology saying that it has complicated things more than it has helped…my mind blows up a little…of course I even say this from time to time when I am struggling to repair a computer…  But really technology helps us in leaps and bounds, it is not technology’s fault that we have enslaved ourselves to using it in a wasteful manner!

So what I am driving at here is that in digital discipline we must stop blaming technology as the problem.  In all reality we could call this series of blog posts “Self Discipline” but I like having the emphasis in technology.  A good book to read or listen to to build some self control is: “The Willpower Instinct” http://www.amazon.com/Willpower-Instinct-Self-Control-Works-Matters/dp/1583334386

A concept that can be used to help us get more from technology is Clearing to Neutral : http://updates.lifehacker.com/post/34850636076/stop-procrastinating-by-clearing-to-neutral

I have found this to be the best way to use and enjoy technology.  I prepare my iPod or Android phone the night before with audiobooks or podcasts that I want to listen to, then on the morrow when I hope in the work truck to be on the road for a few hours I just hit play.  I know that if I did not prepare that it would only take me a couple of minutes to que something up or just find something to play for background noise.  But it seem that life is, for whatever reason, too busy for that, and if I am not prepared or at least put some forethought into it, that I end up mindlessly listening to the radio…which is really a terrible option with all the great content I have stored on various devices.

The next issue is taking things personally or just wanting a perfect customization so badly that you lose sleep over it.  Yeah we all thought we were the cool hacker that stayed up all night drinking Jolt or Red Bulls, but after you realize that no one cares and you figure out that you stayed up all night to try and find the perfect wallpaper for your newly installed Linux laptop…there might be problems…

When something would not work I would take it as a personal insult and when I finally won (many times 3-4 in the morning) I would boast my victory…and then crash and wake up in a few hours and have the day from Hell!  So…many times it is not worth it, there are a few times when it is worth it and is totally appropriate, like getting a project done for a client.

What use of technology has your self control at ransom?

My iPhone jailbreaks were a little on the fritz and I just ignored it. But then I updated my legit apps through the app store and then updated my Cydia apps.

I had to delete all my podcasts to get enough room and after all the updates I decided that I needed to simplify.

A cluttered iPhone is like a messy kitchen!

A cluttered iPhone is like a messy kitchen!

First I will clean out the legit apps.

– Bad Piggies (126 MB)
I love this game, but lately I cannot spend the time it takes to figure out the puzzles. No matter, I purchased the app so I can download it later if I so desire.

– Angry Birds Star Wars (109 MB)
Same as above.

– Angry Birds Space (51 MB)
Same as above.

iBooks (67.1 MB)
I got the Kindle app, but I did re-download this when there was an epub book that I wanted to read.

– Skype (49 MB)
Sorry but the video chat is not worth it. I will go to a computer or a tablet to use Skype.

– Reminder Free (48 MB)
Neat app, but I never use it…

– Twonky (37 MB)
Awesome app, but I never leave my machine on to use as a server, maybe if I pay for the service and could stream all the audio from my computer while I was on the road…but until then I will never use this app.

– eBay (27 MB)
Never use it.

– Cue (24 MB)
Just another reminder app, a great one, but I never use it.

– FTPOnTheGo (23 MB)
The serious use of an FTP client is just not feasible from an iPhone. A high capcity Android device maybe, but definitely not from an iPhone.

– RH (16 MB)
A side scroller game that I never played after the first time of trying it.

– Starcraft 2 Guide (14 MB)
Never read it…

– Then I deleted a bunch of todo and habit forming apps that I never touched.

After all that I had 1.1 gigs freed up on my 8 gig iPhone, so then I decided to look through the jailbroke apps, the only thing that I deleted was XBMC since I never used it and there is no way I could fit a ton of movies on my phone. After that I had 1.3 gigs available.

So the last and the best thing to free up some space was unloading all the pictures from my phone to my laptop. My space double to 2.6 gigs!

Conclusion:

Since my old Android phone (16 gig) and an old iPod (8 gigs) have all my audio books, there is no reason to clutter up my phone with all of that. Also there is no reason to have a ton of apps that I never use just giving me more nonsense to wade through when I go to use my phone.

 

This has been something that has been in my mind for the last 6 months or maybe even the last year if I would have been keeping a proper journal. I am a techno geek, I love gadgets, I love computers and I love nifty programs and websites. I go through phases of loving and being disgusted by social network sites. I had a Twitter account a long time ago and it seemed that it was a million people talking and no one listening.

My daughter Chloe trying to figure out how the touch screen on this flip phone works...

My daughter Chloe trying to figure out how the touch screen on this flip phone works…

You cannot promote yourself or your wares, whatever they might be. Everyone posts quotes left and right, which I don’t mind…but it is still not a conversation. It is a bunch of people talking at you hoping that you will buy into whatever they are selling.

I use to be extremely excited about all forms of technology. When the iPhone was first coming out my brain exploded with all the possibilities. I could run a business from my phone! From the marketing to the quotes on services. Even the FTP accounts and the Joomla administration could all be done from the phone!

But alas! The simple truth is that real business is done when you get clients or customers. Customers give money to people they can trust, and they trust people who they can talk to, have a conversation with, and hold accountable for the services or products that they purchased.

And while Smartphones can do so much they do not improve how we communicate or work. If anything I find all the alerts and buzzings from my phone as a nuisance and treat it almost like spam. But oddly enough the first thing I do when I wake in the morning is check my email on my phone, and more likely than not I delete all of them as they are spam or marketing of some sort.
With this series that I have dubbed “Digital Discipline” I hope to move myself, and anyone else that is interested into a new era of technology. Not the gadgets and computers themselves…but our on self discipline to use all the technology around us to our utmost benefit and improvement.

We could be learning new languages, improving the knowledge to become the best in our fields and careers, and improving habits. The most important thing is not use it when we don’t need or really want to. Go to bed if you are low on sleep. Make a phone call to someone if you are lonely or just looking for some human interaction instead of trolling down your facebook page replying to everyone wither or not you care about what they have written.

The world at large seems to be socially caving in on itself and it is no fault of the software out there, much of it works in a fantastic manner.

Can you see the negative affects that technology is having in your life? Is it outweighing the positive effects?