8.23.2010

The cult of being done

I found this today and it managed to snap me out of my ennui and endless surfing for a better way

The Cult of Done Manifesto

1. There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.
2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.
3. There is no editing stage.
4. Pretending you know what you're doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you're doing even if you don't and do it.
5. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
6. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
7. Once you're done you can throw it away.
8. Laugh at perfection. It's boring and keeps you from being done.
9. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.
10. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.
11. Destruction is a variant of done.
12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
13. Done is the engine of more.

It's really beautiful and I need it hanging over my desk at work and at home. Self-motivation is a very difficult factor of graduate school for me right now. Everytime I even begin to think about work a dark cloud takes over my brain and all I can think is that my project is shit, I'm not cut out for this kind of life and compare myself to all the "successful" people around me. Knowing that what I'm creating with very unlikely have much to do with what I decide to do after is of no consolation. I feel simultaneously overwhelmed by what needs to be done, and underwhelmed by the content of it. I'm worrying too much about the future and not enough about what I'm doing now.

I want to stop whining in my head. I want to want to get things done. Why isn't there a pill for self-motivation? There's one for everything else.

Here's my greatest fear. That my reasons for wanting to go to grad school are wrong. That I should lead a much simpler life and be a baker, this way I would have time for whatever pursuits I might want and I would not have to feel the anxiety of the unknown. An anxiety which leaves me so paralyzed that I can't get anything done. I've found myself missing terribly the days when SG was little and I would stay home with her. I had a real purpose, and time to explore ideas and hobbies. I created a home and my life was simple. If I continue down this academic path my fear is that I will never have that simplicity again, and I'll burn out. But I forget why I was dying to get away from the life of the homemaker, because ultimately it was dull and unchallenging. So here I sit, the product of my decisions. I must learn how to press on and get done. In 9 short months I could be a doctor. What that means to me now probably doesn't matter. See #13, and #6.

2 comments:

Alex said...

oh my. this is very timely. I've been thinking a lot lately about why I'm in grad school. We all think about this. I am working on a post about commitment. I think it comes down to committing ourselves to something and sticking through it for me. Sigh. Lots of hugs.

B. Miller said...

I love the list. I really understand where you're coming from about procrastination, et al. Often I ask myself why I can't be more frickin motivated. It's a struggle all the time. But don't give up on yourself.

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