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Feb 22, 2019 15:28:16

Cranking the Wrong Machine Incorrectly

by @abrahamKim PATRON | 536 words | 🐣 | 337💌

Sir Abe

Current day streak: 0🐣
Total posts: 337💌
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I wrote about switching to writing in the mornings about a week ago. The time of day I write — the time I do anything in fact -- is something that’s fluctuated so much that I’ve grown a reluctance to share changes in my routine. Not only am I hesitant to tell others but more impactfully I’ve become shy in considering potentially helpful schedule changes in fear of my own self-judgment. Often, I’d instead soldier on, doing my best to ignore the ineffectiveness of my current strategy. 

In this case, I saw that writing in the evening wasn’t working. The words wouldn’t flow and the gears-of-ideas grinded against each other. With a lot of exertion, I forcibly cranked out the words. This activity was feasible when willpower was abundant, and had this precious willpower been a consistent, predictable source then my evening routine might’ve been alright; I would’ve been willing to forcibly crank that machine everyday so long as a certain level of willpower was guaranteed to me every evening. But similar to the financial market, willpower, and motivation, is an unreliable vehicle.

Fear of my own self-judgement, blocks off entire areas of thought and imagination. There is a CEO within me. And there are the front-line workers within me. When the workers are scared of management’s judgment, or they feel as though they won’t be heard, then the employees actually doing the work will continue laboring in ineffective ways with their mouths shut. And if the CEO doesn’t listen to their employees, then they will ignorantly retain the current strategy until there is a breakdown in the entire machine.

I’ve noticed that whenever I claim to desire doing “X” or achieving “Y”, yet still fail, it’s because the CEO hadn’t listened to the workers.

Most people DO want to do one/some of these things:

Be fit.

Produce a film.

Found a business

Write a book

Be a good parent/friend.

Learn a new language.

But those are simply the desires of the CEO within an individual. An individual can never get near their goal without a symbiotic relationship between the CEO-within and the Workers-within. In my case the Workers-within didn’t enjoy writing in the evenings. But they were scared to let the CEO know. So the workers would show up and do their duty, but over time their willpower and motivation faded. And the CEO became scared and started cranking the workers harder instead of re-thinking their strategy. This worked for a little longer until … well you can see already the only direction this ‘corporation’ can head. Down!

Luckily, I’ve made this mistake so many times before that this time I was able to shift the strategy before my Workers and CEO hated each other. I shifted the strategy to move writing to the mornings, where the Workers are happy producing words.

Using writing in this example because this website is catered towards writers — if you constantly say you want to write, but dread the action of it, quit whipping your Workers. Figure out why they resent Working. Because the CEO-you might want to write, but apparently the Worker-you doesn't. Quit cranking the failing machine for just a moment and figure out why.


  • 1

    @abrahamKim Great analogy, I enjoyed this. It's a bit like all those things about the lizard brain's impulsivity in spite of our capacity for longer-term strategy, but a more interesting way of presenting the conflict.

    Gabriel Greco avatar Gabriel Greco | Apr 10, 2019 10:02:15
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