Delimit My Life

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing" ~ Hellen Keller

Archive for the tag “writing”

Day 28 Growth happens over time


Every day, our society is becoming more instantaneous to our every need. People want everything now, not later, and we won’t wait for anything. No one has the time or patience to wait around for results or progress. This is the reason for quick fixes, “x days” for anything. It’s impossible to search online without finding something about losing weight, learning a language, or building muscles in some short amount of time. However, how often do those quick methods ever work? The simple truth is that growth happens slowly, incrementally, which makes it’s hard to comprehend.

Growth can be represented as a tree or a plant. If correctly maintained every day, it will grow, slowly and steadily, but to the naked eye it will seem to stand still. Gradually, you may see new sprouts appear which signifies visible growth. However, for the most part, the growth is unseen until substantial change occurs. Eventually, the tree will get taller and stronger, and you will recognize the growth. Even comment at how well it is progressing, but then the growth will be invisible again. Next, the tree may bear fruit and everyone will notice the different. They will celebrate the wonderful bounty. Though, like most things in life, the fruit will become common and cease to be interesting. Still, the tree will continue to grow and change.

There is no difference from anything we do in our lives. We grow slowly with possible quick strides forward, like the sprouts, but it takes time. Yet, we continue to believe that we can lose weight in a week or a month. It took time and energy to put on the weight and it will take the exact same time and energy to take it off. The problem is that people don’t see the slow weight gain, they only see the substantial change, tree trunk got bigger. This is why we love the before and after photos so much. We gawk and marvel at the difference because it is so significant, but we lose focus on how much time it took. So, we work at it and make small improvements which people commend us for, but the praise soon fades. Then most people get frustrated and quit, falling back into old habits. The solution is to think about progress like a tree. Every day make a small change, fractionally small, and over time they will add up to a significant difference. Progress can only be made through continuous effort.

The issue with fears is that they are not visible. Progress is hard to see because they are internal to everyone. I can’t simply look at a before and after photo of me conquering a fear. No, the mind adapts gradually. and one day you realize, suddenly, that you are not afraid as you once were. The fear that used to haunt you is gone. So, why is there no quick fix for conquering a fear in “x” days online? People have written tons about facing fears and they break the problem down, exploring possible solutions. In the end, there is simply no proof of the fear. If I show you a photo of me skydiving and I say “I was scared of heights” then it’s on faith that you believe me. For this, I see writing as the solution.

Most people write after they have conquered a fear. It makes sense because people want the answers, instant gratification. However, I think they are missing a large part of the story. Like watching a slow motion film of a blooming flower, I see writing as a snapshot that can be assembled into a complete story. One that gives the audience that initial fear and the slow progress that the writer makes towards conquering the fear, but this is just my philosophy on Delimit My Life. I want to give a complete story of what it takes to conquer a fear!

Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle. ~ Napoleon Hill


Day 14 Just Write!

It’s been a long day and I’m quite tired, physically and mentally. My mind is telling me to go to sleep but my challenge is telling me to write. I keeping trying to think of a topic but my mind is blank. I mean I have some topics floating around up there but they would require more time and crafting. Not something I can just write in a few hours and more importantly with an exhausted mind. So what happens is that I get stuck in this cycle of thinking, what to write, but never actually writing. It just makes the whole challenge more difficult and it really starts to eat away at my sleep time. I really like sleep. To fix this I have a simple rule, just write! It’s a pretty common rule for most things in life, like just start. The idea is that once you start it becomes much easier to keep moving forward.  You know an object at rest stays at rest… unless acted upon by an unbalanced force, it’s a law of nature! So create an unbalanced force and get some words on that horrible blank page rather than have it just stares back whispering sweet nothings in your ear. The writing will probably not be beautiful, or elegant, but at least it’s a start. No one said anything about perfection.

My cold showers has been challenging, but I can feel myself getting used to the colder water. Still, I really have to focus on each breathe otherwise I start to shake and shiver uncontrollably. It’s kind of awesome to realizing how much power lies in a single breath. I have experience a similar effect in mediation which focuses on calming the mind and maintaining concentration. It’s nice to have a chance to use it in another area of my life. Also, I have adjusted to taking five minutes showers almost perfect because the alarm goes off right after I am finished with my routine. We are creatures of habit, defining who we are.

Something unusual happen today. One of the problems with a hot shower is that all of the mirrors get fogged up but that’s not a problem with cold showers because there is no steam. However, I got out of the shower today to a mostly fogged up mirror. I can definitely tell you that the water was ice cold because I was freezing. If it was hot or steamy, I would have known, and it hasn’t happened before. I still double checked the knob in the shower. Don’t really know why since I knew it was same old cold water, irrational compulsion I guess. Still I haven’t figured it out, and I am not warm enough after a cold shower to be creating any steam. Just thought it was funny to have the same old problems still.

  There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. ~ Ernest Hemingway

Day 4 Cold Shower Challenge

Yesterday, I wrote about the nightmares of cold showers, and I was proud of the fact that I don’t see them that way. It felt like I was conquering a fear and pushing past my limits. However, as we head towards discomfort we find the fears that truly haunt us. When I woke up this morning, I was stress out and panicking over some detail in a post that I had submitted. I slowly realized that it had all been a dream and that none of it was real. In my dream, I was reviewing a post and found that I had written “it” rather than “its”. A small error yet I was thrown into turmoil over the mistake. I feared that I would be criticized, judged, and that everyone would see my mistake. When I became this challenge, I always knew it was double sided, fearing a cold shower and public writing. I knew that writing was a deep-seated fear for me. While I can stand the discomfort of an icy shower, I don’t have as much control over my fear of writing. It is not just a five minute ordeal or something I can just accomplish. It is a constant; it follows my thoughts through night and day.

Consequently, the cold shower was always masking my fear of writing, but deep down I wanted to face this fear. I wanted to start improving my writing and myself. So as I am continuously asked the same question, why, my answer is that your fears become layers like tinted glass in front of your eyes. As you slowly remove a layer of tint your vision becomes clearer and you see the fears that were being hidden. So by learning how to remove one layer, even as simple as a cold shower, you learn how to stand up and face your deeper fears.

Interesting enough I found a solution for a cold shower, sunburns. I would not suggest it, for health reasons, but it does increase your skin temperature. The trouble with sunburns is that the water doesn’t feel cold on the skin, but when it hits another part it can feel ten times colder. In the past, a warm shower would normally make me fall into a trance or daydream. I would practically fall asleep, standing up. This is the relaxing state everyone so abundantly enjoys. On the other hand, a cold shower keeps me focused and snaps me out of that dreamy state.

Resistance is fear. But resistance is too cunning to show itself naked in this form. Why? Because if Resistance lets us see clearly that our own fear is preventing us from doing our work, we may feel shame at this. And shame may drive us to act in the face of fear. ~ Steven Pressfield

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