A clear mind

I am still thinking about these posts on motivation. What do you need to move forward? Not technique by this time, or interest in project — technique helps and some level of interest is needed, but the fundamental need is peace of mind. You need a clear head. You need to be comfortable enough. You need a strong enough ego to consider that your hunches could be right.

I in particular need to stop thinking that it is technique or discipline I lack (although it is more research time and a narrower set of tasks I need, and although I know that it was when I renounced some research time for Reeducation that my task list broadened). So yes, I need to take more research time and make deeper use of it. But more fundamentally I think the kind of academic advice I need is different, for Vichy State and other things:

The first group practiced meditation, breathing exercises, and qigong practices to hone mental focus. The second received instructions on curbing negative thoughts, practicing gratitude and reclaiming an aspect of adult life.

In the mindfulness group, for instance, they were told to bring a moment-to-moment awareness to a daily activity like chopping vegetables. An assignment in the positive development group might entail taking a “guilt inventory” to assess if your guilt is healthy or counterproductive.

[Participants] learned ways to tackle their distress as problems arise. The idea is to stop wasting energy…

(Those were techniques of “denial” in Reeducation, but Reeducation was wrong.)





Filed under Resources, Theories, What Is A Scholar?

3 responses to “A clear mind

  1. Hattie

    These things all seem to trend toward control, and you are already so self-controlled.

    • Z

      That’s a very perceptive comment. This is why I am impatient with the idea of getting yet more self-control, or pretense that all problems can be solved with self-control. I am also impatient with the fortress metaphor, self protection. I think one should think in terms of expanding one’s core and increasing agency (as well as flexibility and love).

  2. My problem is that I have trouble coping with aggressive people, since I don’t have an aggressive nature. This has always put the onus on me to be under control, since I can control myself and aggressive people can’t, or more accurately can’t be bothered to control themselves. But I’m so much better at this than I used to be! Aggressive people used to confuse and depress me. No more! I just deal with their antics and go my own way, giving what I have to give and refusing to be a punching bag for moody people, power players, etc. I am old and do not have to put up with any shit I don’t like.

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