Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Technical Success

It's fascinating the positive experiences that can arise from our flaws. Our example for this particular exercise is over thinking. Around 30 hours ago I began to freak out when I found out that I might be doomed. As of 29 hours ago I had finalized plans to find out for certain if I was doomed, and had amassed a number of contingency plans, and put a few of them into tentative motion. The problem is the time between 28 hours ago and 3 hours ago. That time was filled almost entirely with what we'll call background panic. This is what expresses in most people as actual panic, and expresses in me as a kind of null emotion hyper vigilance. The phrase that seems to mark this state is

"This isn't the time to be scarred/worried/upset/angry, this is the time to think tactically."

Now there's some obvious risk here, the phsychological implications of this are complex, but when all is said and done I'm prepared to write this one off as a merit. I'm willing to trade a bit of long term psychological health for vastly improved problem solving skills.

That being said, I don't stop functioning in this state even after I've done the key tactical task, and without an immediate objective this mindset is a bit... Stressful. This prolonged stress raises the subjective signifigance of the problem that sent me into tactical mode. This means that the result of the tactical action will come with a double dose of emotional impact. The Success will be glorious, and the defeat will be crushing.

So that brings us back to three hours ago, when I was told that the thing that had started this whole process didn't have to be an actual issue, and, if I continued to show improvment, could be circumvented.

Now this feels like a tremendous victory. The thing is, all I really did was check on a possible problem and confirm that it wasn't a real problem. I didn't really do anything. And when you run the numbers things now are functionally the same as they were before this whole episode started. A potential problem was addressed yes, but it doesn't really seem like it should feel like this much of a victory.

But that's a mindset that I'm trying to reject. Is it really a victory? Who cares. it's an excuse to enjoy it. This, however, is another subject that I'll discuss later.


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