Self-control, hedonism, apathy, and over-indulgence

Pikachu (@pikachu) 10 years, 10 months ago

Please help me master myself.
I must be doing something wrong. Nobody else seems to have these problems. How do you… "regulate" yourselves when it comes to things you enjoy?

Let me explain a bit more…

Let’s say I just found a new song that I love. I’ll download it, and listen to it over and over again. I will listen to it until it has lost almost all of its appeal, and then I move onto the next song. I over-indulge and repeatedly abuse new things until they lose their glamour, and then I go looking for something "new" and exciting to replace it.

Same thing happens with video games (all forms of media really). I tend to be incredibly hedonistic in my daily life. I cannot pace myself. If given a bag of candy, I will eat the whole thing now instead of rationing it over time.

Oh, today I feel like I want to start working out? I’ll run 2-3 miles and do 50 push-ups, then wake up sore for the next 4 days, and won’t exercise until I get that same euphoric urge 5 weeks later.

My activity on this website is the same. "Wow, this site is perfect for me!" <3 days of very persistent activity, posting and reading> Then it loses that "new" glamour and I move onto the next new thing. Then it becomes 2-3 months before the cycle repeats.

Meditation? That sounds amazing and exactly like what I need in my life! <2-3 days of persistence, then… time for something new>
Lucid dreaming?! I’m totally gonna commit to keeping a dream diary every day… (lasts for less than a week)

Where do these desires come from? Where does this apathy and burn-out come from? And where do you all get what appears to be unconditional resolve?

I’m not really interested in that "count to 10 and tell yourself you’re beautiful" bullshit; I’m interested in any insight you can give me into the mastery of self.

Part of the trouble seems to be my reluctance to refuse myself of what I want – I *want* to listen to this song again, I *want*to eat that whole pan of brownies (bad example), I *want* to do this now instead of what I was doing.

I’m also a software Engineer – you have no idea how many half-finished weekend projects I have.

November 23, 2011 at 1:35 am
Prittii (55) (@prittii) 10 years, 1 month ago ago

@pikachu, Most people are like that! Even more with music!

The problem is that you don’t get in problem if you, for example, don’t finish one of your programing projects.

Believe me, when something become a obligation, such as one of this programs, you will finish it! So one solution is trying to sell the project before it’s ready, for example! Then when your costumer is pushing you the whole time to get it done, I’m sure you will do it!

I have a friend that is a model. She always had problem to lose weight while she was in her home country. We have to agree: having a discipline to stop eating and exercising is really hard when you will actually not get any trouble for doing so!

Then she’s got a 2 months contract in an agency in China. When she got there and the agency saw her overweight, they told her she would have to stay home, so she wasn’t allowed to get jobs or go casting if she didn’t lose 8 kgs. She struggled so much at home to lose 1 kg… In China she lost 8 kgs in 10 days! This is one example how the power of pressure make things happen!

Antonia (25) (@tunista) 10 years, 1 month ago ago

Hi guys, thanks for flagging this up. I too suffer from a similar “affliction” so it was really interesting to read all of your responses on here.
Myself, I have approached it from 2 different sides. I have started practising KY Yoga, and particular with this lady, Carolyn Cowan: who uses KY Yoga to combat addictive behaviour & negative aspects of addictive personality. Carolyn and subsequently I, myself believe that those who have those traits are passionate, creative, multidimensional personalities who have difficulty dealing with their emotions leading them to act out. So getting to know “the enemy from within”.

On the other end I am coming to terms and accepting this part of myself, and come to know myself as a multipassionate/ multi potential/ renaissance ‘sparkler” or a “scanner” – all different definitions of the same thing really. I have found tons of resources online and plenty of communities of like minded people who are creating a whole lifestyle out of their particular “build” rather than confirming. I feel much more aligned and truer to myself since I have started looking things this way.

@(deepak87) I really liked your take on this. Developing self awareness is definitely important as it helps to understand what the emotional driver is behind the reasoning. Also great comparison on hunter Vs farmer model. This will be my research project for the day haha

DANM!! (107) (@deej) 10 years, 1 month ago ago

@prittii, losing that much weight in within 10 days isn’t necessarily very healthy for you although it may feel like an accomplishment especially when you get paid big money to do it or tag your identity to the amount of weight you lose. Notice that in Jordan’s temporary 14 day fast he lost weight too but gained it back as soon as he started eating what his body was asking for. I feel like I need to say this, A lot of weight lost can be through the loss of fat but, even more likely water and other working body tissues, like muscle so your body can use it as energy. Working out or exercise work well only when you ALSO give your body what it needs, and I swear that you can eat a lot and lose weight too without your body trying to fight it. I think that was a good analogy you used for your idea but a bad example. But that that is my opinion.

Prittii (55) (@prittii) 10 years, 1 month ago ago

@deej, I was talking about my friend, not about myself! lol… I’m 175 (5’9″) – 53 kgs (117 lb)… If I lose 8 kgs I’ll be just bones!

I am totally aware that is not healthy to lose 8 kgs (17 lbs) in 10 days and I suggested that to my friend! She has a few bad side effects from this crazy almost non-eating diet.

But you have to recognize it’s a very good example of how the “pressure” can make people accomplish their obligations. ;)

Anonymous (2,654) (@) 10 years, 1 month ago ago

@prittii, Jeez, now you’re just bones. Your height and weight are typical for a model. Crazy walking stick-women!

zowie (115) (@zowie) 10 years, 1 month ago ago

I feel the same with with the things I do. Maybe you’re the people that go with the flow of things and desire whatever comes to mind.

Manimal (2,998) (@manimal) 10 years, 1 month ago ago

@prittii, “I am totally aware that is not healthy to lose 8 kgs (17 lbs) in 10 days and I suggested that to my friend!”

Well, weighing 53 kg at 1.75 m is probably worse than losing 8 kg in a week, especially if the person losing the weight is overweight.

Being skinny is NOT healthy.

Prittii (55) (@prittii) 10 years, 1 month ago ago

@beyond, I’m not crazy! I’m naturally like this! I felt always really bad when I was a child and teenager when people called me stick, bones, etc, but it turns out that I’m in my 20’s and I didn’t turn fat like the “hot” girls in school… Thanks to my bones!

DANM!! (107) (@deej) 10 years, 1 month ago ago

@prittii, I forgot to add in there somewhere that I was referring to your friend for the most part not you like I meant to!, but I assumed the idea that it was also part of your thought pattern too by looking at how you used it as an example..
Personally I think a small amount of pressure to do something good when people know you are working below your capabilities is great, but most of my energy to do what I want comes from what I do inspiring me or being part of my interest and influence. Outside influence and pressure from other people can be really shaky and ESPECIALLY from corporations and agencies.

phanci3 (46) (@phanci3) 10 years, 1 month ago ago

@deepak87, woah, brilliant

Shredder (16) (@shredder) 10 years, 1 month ago ago

@pikachu, You should really start enjoying your life more, because from the sounds of it you get everything you want, WHEN you want it. What more could you ask for? You wouldn’t like it very much if you decided you wanted something and then found out you COULDN’T have it.

You want to be more productive and embody habits that will improve yourself which is a great idea. Your dilemma is common, as is your question, and the answer is simple: When you want to stop eating enough(exercise properly, etc.), you will; you just don’t want it enough, as your actions prove because no one is stopping you from following your desires.

No one can steer your will but you, but just realize like Deepak was saying that you should feel good about whatever it is you do because you’re getting what it is you desire.

Also, what Deepak was saying in his alcohol example is besides enjoying satiating your desires as they come, LEARN FROM THEM! Wisdom comes from paying attention to your experience, and the self mastery you wish for comes from using the wisdom.(Now you know not to run so much and do so many pushups if you would like to not be so sore).

Pikachu (6) (@pikachu) 10 years, 1 month ago ago

woh! My email has been blowing up the last few days with replies from this post, which I made quite some time ago. There’s a lot of great advice and insight here, and I’ll have to be sure to sit down and go over it more thoroughly soon, but I did want to acknowledge the recent activity and let those that replied know that their input has not been overlooked.

A brief update on my adventures since the original post: I have grown-up a bit more now, and developed more self-control and clarity of ambition. I did attempt to follow some of the advice that was posted back then, but my habits remained consistent, as these new “activities” fell victim to the same issues. I found that the best remedy was time… An eventual (inevitable?) “acclimation” to the way in which we consume information and pleasure in today’s world. The skills required to do this better were improved upon naturally, without any explicit training or encouragement (not for a lack of trying, mind you). I don’t remember waking up one day and suddenly having these problems solved, but as I explicitly look back at where I was, and where I am now, I can see that I have made great progress in identifying what I really want and how to go about getting it, and reduced the overhead in getting there. I still have a long way to go, but perhaps strangers will read this and replenish their motivation for self-improvement.

as I said, I intend to get back to those that left detailed responses, and I apologize for the delay, but I want to make sure that I invest an appropriate amount of time in this (which I do not have at the moment).

also – it’s great to see that this site has grown in both size and quality since I last saw it. There were only a few thousands members back then, and I wasn’t sure if the community would make it past it’s “adolescence.” But it seems to have matured very nicely. Perhaps I will integrate it back into my “routine.”

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