I re-read a post from Wait But Why called “Religion for the Nonreligious”. I find it somewhat poorly named as I don’t feel it has much to do with religion. It’s a great post about Wisdom, consciousness and it’s title would probably have the word mindfulness in it if it was published today. What struck me is how similar the post is to discussions about life / the meaning of life from the Dalai Lama, the Leadership and self deception book, Ken Wilber, and a whole range of modern pseudo philosophical / spiritual books.

For most of these, we’ll read it, agree, and then a few days later it’ll be out of sight out of mind. What’s interesting about this post is he mentions that. How it’s a struggle to stay “aware” of our consciousness and that we keep making good decisions and not get dragged down into negative impulses.

It’s a very similar thought to my post on setting the conditions for things to come naturally and I guess it’s been on my mind a lot as I try to be more compassionate and to stick to it and not have knee-jerk reactions to things. It’s interesting because one thing I worry about is that people reading this will be like, “Wow Steph talks a lot about wisdom and compassion and all that, but he sucks at it, he always has oversized reactions and throws out blunt opinions when he’s frustrated”. This came to mind recently because a friend of mine had a boss who kept writing Facebook posts about management and leadership and all that. And she was like: “he’s a horrible boss”. I want to believe the reason he posted about it was because he was aware of that. Or at least, had a nagging suspicion that he could improve his management abilities and not that he thought he already knew the answers or rather that he “knew” the answers, but the implementation wasn’t there yet.

The interesting part is just a few days ago I wrote about self sabotage and the answer was to make small steps each day. Isn’t it the same answer as the question here? That yes we might forget things, but we should keep striving one day at a time? I guess that’s if we keep remembering things. Kinda like remembering Sammy Jankis….


On (self) Sabotage

(This post was originally written in early 2017 and just sat as a draft until this week)

Here is the theme song to this post:


I think the core of self sabotage comes from fear. This fear is mostly from our reptilian brain. Seth Godin talks about this here:


(This also applies to Shipping Software which I haven’t blogged about yet but I should warn people reading this that I will probably be talking more and more about code and code related things)

Now I have a lot of friends who “know” who they are. Therefore, if they know who they are, they don’t need to change how they act in certain situations. Or more precisely they use this as an excuse for why they can’t or won’t do something different than what they’ve done in the past. For example, someone who has trouble committing, well they shouldn’t go on that second date with that guy because it was way too strong a connection and in the past that’s just been too hard.

Now often time people are aware that they are doing this. But they don’t think they can change. Or more to the the point, they are scared of the change. Because this would be different. This would mean they are a different person than their current self image. Even if you want this and you say you want this. It’s scary because you don’t know what this new you could be. Who is someone who commits to relationships?  Who is someone who opens themselves up to others? Who is someone who ships software? Usually the answer is that its definitely not the current self.

Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is freedom. ~Mary Ferguson

I relate it somewhat to how you feel when you are in a state of depression. Often there is this feeling that you belong “here” there is this comfort in the feeling you have. A feeling of belonging, that you “deserve” this, that this is the true you.

Of course it’s all BS, and as soon as you climb a little bit out you can see it for what it is. But boy is it fun at times to think we are a twisted soul. I suspect this is why some of the things such as the law of attraction and visualization and etc work so well for some people. It’s because it helps them break out of this thinking of this is who I am. It gives them a reason or an excuse or rather a way to convince themselves that they can change.

Really we are nothing more than the sum of our actions. If I want to be a coder, I am one if I do code, that means that small decisions every day count. I’m currently trying to get in better shape. I can easily say “I’m not someone who exercises and eats well”, well bullshit because every few hours I need to make a decision and I’m deciding that I’m someone who eats pretty well and every few days I decide I’m someone who does an exercise video or go to kick boxing. or what have you. If you want to be someone who has loving relationships with trust, you just have to do it one step at a time. If you want to be in shape you have to do it one step at a time. If you want to be someone who, well you get the idea.

Thinking will not overcome fear but action will. ~W. Clement Stone

So let’s go and make whatever today’s step is on to road to accomplishing whatever it is we want to accomplish 🙂