Tell me if this sounds familiar: you have an idea for an amazing new article/story/blog post, so you flip open your laptop, load up WordPress, and…nothing happens. You’re at a total loss for words. The idea’s there, but somewhere between your brain and your fingers is a broken link; a faulty synapse firing off into nothing. What happened, and what do you do about it?
What does freedom mean to you?
Freedom is the ability to pull yourself away from things that limit your potential. Freedom from obsession, from doubt, from criticism (both self and from others), from social norms and expectations. Freedom is an escape from the artificial worlds we build around ourselves and the impositions that we place on ourselves because of them. Freedom is the permission to be who and what we truly are: not as people or citizens, but living, breathing, thinking, and feeling animals.
Wanting to better yourself as a person is a noble and admirable endeavor. As humans, we have the power to think critically about our actions and our behaviors. More importantly, we have the power to change them. This insight and desire for change is a core tenant of what we call “the human experience”, but it’s also a core part of our suffering. As someone who is actively working to overcome my own faults, I want to take the time to look into the idea of “self-help” and how it can actually be damaging when applied in the wrong ways.
Google’s Digital Wellbeing app found its way onto my phone yesterday, and it’s an interesting new app. Unlike most apps, which fight to hold your attention as long as they can, Wellbeing is all about getting you off of your phone. For a company that amassed its fortune on clicks and views, this seems counter-intuitive. What exactly does Wellbeing offer, and can it actually help you spend less time on your phone?
Most of us experience at least one major shift in how we perceive the world. Whether it results from a traumatic event, or from the natural aging process, at some point we find that our old habits no longer serve our current needs. For me, one of these shifts happened earlier this year.
After taking some time to reflect on the experience, I set about summarizing my thoughts into a set of simple guidelines. These guidelines are meant as a motivational tool to keep myself focused on the things that are the most important to me. I called these guidelines the Three Cs.
In an earlier post, I explored the idea of productivity gamification and how it can help increase your motivation. I’ve been testing this over the past few weeks by using an Android app called LifeRPG to track my habits, tasks, and important milestones I wanted to reach. In this post, I’ll go into detail about my LifeRPG setup and how it’s helped me stay focused in my everyday life.