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45 years to go - Many a mickle maks a muckle

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October 12th, 2003

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09:54 pm - 45 years to go
Apparently, I have a 32% chance of being alive and well at the age of 73 and a 29% chance of being alive and well at the age of 79. These scores put me in the very middle of the population.

Bit of a gloomy mood today, largely due to another day spent not getting on with things. Sometimes I feel that my capacity is so much less than it used to be, that I am simultaneously struggling to manage everything I am involved in at the moment and that I am not doing nearly as much as I used to. I can fill a day with remarkably little and still be satisfied that I am somehow making progress. I somehow envision each day by the nature of the major entertainment that evening and feel that I have not had too bad a day if the major entertainment goes roughly to plan.

I definitely think I am happier when I'm busier, but somehow I feel reluctant to take the steps which will lead me to being busier in the longer-term. Definitely not good and also self-reinforcing. I don't feel like I have made much progress here, really, since last time I said this, which was also the last time when you gave some very useful, appropriate and relevant comments which I haven't really done much with. It's not been a complete disaster, but definitely I haven't been making the progress I'd like to.

Some of you don't get on with self-improvement, but here are the comments from the test above.

I can significantly improve not only my score, but also my prospects for a long, healthy life by working on the problem areas listed below:

** If your deeply-felt feelings are not expressed and acted upon, it causes emotional reactions which weaken your immune system and make you prone to disease and accidents. You need to learn to recognize and express your feelings more.

** Rational thinking should not override the satisfaction of your own deep emotional needs. Your needs are important! If you don't value them, your health may suffer.

* One of the most important skills for keeping your life on track is the ability to adjust your behaviour to improve unpleasant situations that develop. The experimenter approach to life is a powerful technique which you should learn as soon as possible. After you print this page, you should read our material on The Experimenter Approach and begin practice as soon as possible. It could save your life!.

* Social connections are very important for good health. We are instinctively herd animals and need the support and enjoyable companionship of others. Having a wide variety of types of close social connections (work, family, children, neighbors, church, etc.) where problems and feelings are shared is particularly important.

* Autonomy is the important ability to be free of unhealthy attachments to people or goals that cause you feelings of helplessness or grief. Depending upon and enjoying friends is healthy, but letting people make you miserable is not.

Here is the pamphlet with the quick version of the tips to improve emotional independence and a healthy personality.

Source: Attitude Factor, recommended as a winner of the Health Social Innovations Award for 1998.

In the meantime, I can at least get on with some of the cheerier stuff, because we all like a bit of cheery stuff:

  • The carryover professor on the better-in-theory-than-in-practice freshers-and-professors WWTBAM? is a bit of a star and has rather a fun home page.
  • Talking of quizzes, the challengequiz community has lots of good ones. I particularly liked this vocabulary one in which I shall probably finish last and mhw (now that he knows about it) shall probably finish first.
  • sbisson points to a silly TV advert in which a well-known British TV presenter's clothes get stained.
  • Electic Sheep comix suggests hopefully that the second strip of conceptual-future-blog-naughty-comic Delta Thrives is expected this month.
  • The new series of compare-sportsfolk-across-sports Superstars, of which I've long been a fan (see bottom), starts on Thursday.
    Current Music: "Heavy Action" - UK Superstars / US Monday Nt Football theme
  • (5 comments | Leave a comment)


    Date:October 12th, 2003 03:15 pm (UTC)


    I hate hearing about Operations Research, as per the good Professor's homepage. I discovered towards the end of my degree course that that was a field I was good at and loved doing, but I've never managed to find a way to get from Point A (wherever I happen to be at the time) to Point B (having a fulfilling career actually doing it).

    Oh well. The road not travelled and all that. :-/
    Date:October 12th, 2003 04:48 pm (UTC)
    I remember back to the early summer when we were talking about the reasons for doing various things... and you said (more than once!) that you're a very goal-oriented person, frequently orienting so much on the goal that you ignore thefun of the path.

    Could your present dissatisfaction come from some lack of a definite, forth-set goal? You've been suitably vague that I can't tell what exactly you're referencing, but thought that this might be part of the trick.

    If so, perhaps laying out a set of very specific short and long term goals would help light a fire under you.
    Date:October 12th, 2003 07:11 pm (UTC)
    Here's an idea. Keep a diary of everything you do for one week. Actually, only 2-3 days might be enough. This will enable you to work out where you spend your time. Then multiply that up to see what you do per year. I think the outcome of that will motivate you to at least re-consider what you're doing and what you'd like to do instead.
    [User Picture]
    Date:October 13th, 2003 08:20 am (UTC)
    Hi Chris,

    Just wanted to say thanks for all the links in the past few entries, and this one for self-help. It's a bit late, but I have been reading your chess posts with keen interest, and enjoyed them. :)

    Hope you can get more done, and be happier too. I read a quote somewhere about this, not sure that it helps, but it goes something like this, we over-estimate what we can do in 2 years but under-estimate what we can do in 10 years. Not sure what it means really, but I guess things get easier once you start making a habit of it and getting some momentum. Sorry for rambling on.

    Date:October 13th, 2003 10:29 am (UTC)

    The fear

    I think "the fear" could help motivate you to keep yourself busy. In this case not so much in terms of voluntary unemployment but more in the way of voluntary imposition of a situation where there is an increasing amount of self-reliance. When life's necessities become just that - a necessity, one may find a new level of enthusiasm to provide for oneself (and one fear level higher - the responsibility to provide for one's family).

    Incredibly vague - highly impractical and sort of sadistic to impose upon oneself. But still.... a certain winner.


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