Wikipedia defines Stream of Consciousness as:
In literary criticism, stream of consciousness, also known as interior monologue; which is a narrative mode or device that depicts the multitudinous thoughts and feelings which pass through the mind.
Last night’s post was clearly an example of stream of consciousness thoughts. Although the message was there, it was hidden in the fog of incoherence. I actually really like what I read when I reviewed it after a glorious night’s sleep. I see, this morning, how ideas can seem so much better when you are tired, and then less so when fully alert. I’m not convinced the wakeful way we live is “better” because we interpret through so many logical filters. The sleep-daze ideas aren’t filtered, they seem to drift in and out of being like a dance rather than a recipe. In any case, the message last night was meant to be that no matter what your circumstance, you can find lessons and make progress. This morning, as the muses would have it, the following Confucius quote crossed my desk:
It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. -Confucius
This hectic day and age, does this still apply? Can we make it if we make slow progress?
Progress is progress, and to hold out on incremental and iterative improvement because you think you ought to be making larger gains is pure silliness. We get to our destination by the series of steps, not one giant leap. It’s not only that last step that got you there, but all the ones that came before it.
How does any of this connect?
If you want to be better at anything, you have to do it. In fact, Malcolm Gladwell suggests you have to put in roughly 10,000 hours to become good at something. So even if the writing, or the sales call, or the free throw isn’t your best, if you keep at it, every day, whether you want to or not, you are getting closer to the prize.
On a related note, let’s look at a physical principle of the body that can be applied generally to personal development. This theory is called the SAID principle, or Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand, which means that your body will adjust to whatever stresses you put on it. Want to run faster? You need to do SPRINTS to make yourself used to the faster pace and adapt to running faster. Want to get stronger? Sorry 20 reps of low weight will not cut it, you need to lift something HEAVY to make your body get stronger.
If this works on your physical body, your mind is no different…the Stoics (Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, Cato, Epictetus…) preach repeatedly that in good or decent times, we must prepare ourselves mentally for the pains and unpleasant times that could arise in the future. You must build yourself a bulwark, and prepare yourself to deal with adversity. In essence, you can’t shield yourself from pain and suffering and hope to be resilient in times of strife. Our modern lives are build around maximizing our pleasure and comfort, but in the long run, this is creating the next “soft” generation.
Am i suggesting we “practice bleeding?”