Get Motivated, Get Disciplined, Get Cooking

Okay Reddit, I owe you an apology.  In an earlier post I was a little bit mean when I referred to Reddit as a cat photo repository.  Although there does seem to be an unusual number of cat obsessed people on your site, there are subreddits for lots of great content, some of which is surprisingly cat-free.  I recently discovered a subreddit called Get Disciplined. It’s an entire community of people who have come to the same conclusion as I have about leading successful lives – success is mostly a matter of motivation, habits, and discipline (also luck, but that’s beyond one’s own control).  Some of these members are Stoics inspired by the same book as I was.  What’s cool about this subreddit is that there are many people getting help and inspiration from others sharing their ideas or experiences.  I particularly liked one post from a guy whose girlfriend makes him a breakfast ransom to help him deal with his distaste for early mornings.

Motivating Yourself with Random Tasks

One post I read discussed the concept of zero-days.  A big motivation destroying concept is the feeling of being useless. Getting nothing done is a good way to feel useless.  Feeling useless and unmotivated leads you to getting nothing done!  To break this cycle, just start doing things.  Read a single page of a book.  Write a blog post, even if it’s only 600 words. Bake something. It doesn’t matter.  Anything, any amount, just something you can say you did.  If you find activities you like doing, or like the results of, then your small successes will turn into motivation for larger efforts, which will bring larger successes.

Recently I’ve been struggling with motivation.  I think I’ve demonstrated to myself that I have discipline to accomplish any reasonable goal I set for myself, but I still lack clear purpose and direction in my life.  Many of the paths I’ve considered taking or attempted recently have been dead ends, or marginal propositions.  Why pursue further education when it would provide only minor benefits and it requires quitting a good job?  What’s the point in starting a business if you can’t find the help you need to make it work? Why buy a rental property when the calculations indicate you’re likely to barely make any money over 20 years, with the added risk and hassle of being a landlord?  Sometimes you need a good opportunity to really get motivated.  Right now I’m experiencing a waiting period in my life…  so what should I do in the meantime?  Apparently, the best answer I’ve found so far is doing random tasks. Anything that isn’t nothing.

A Cookbook and Herbalism

At the moment, life is busy for me.  Canadian Winter, full-time job, mother with two broken arms. I’m flying by the seat of my pants again, as I often find myself doing in many aspects of life.  Since I’m doing all the cooking around the house anyway now, I’ve decided to write a cookbook with my mother.  She is an excellent cook, and I’m good at writing and following instructions.  I want to record her recipes for personal use anyway, and I think we might be able to sell the book too, if we put in the effort to make it professional. Weekends I make meals for the week, and I write out the recipes as I go.  By January I hope we’ll have a first draft with most of the normal food and all of the special Christmas dishes recorded.

Our cookbook has an interesting selling point.  My mother has been chronically ill for decades.  When she first became sick, she stabilized her condition by employing herbal remedies and dietary changes that complement her traditional medical treatment.  She uses a concoction of more than 10 herbs that are brewed in a rather complicated process. I’m going to dedicate a few future blog posts to reporting the results of my herbalism research which I hope to use in our project.  It seems only natural to include her formula and a discussion of the treatment in the cookbook to inspire other people with her condition to lead healthier happier lives.  I suppose I have some life direction after all. It’s time to get cooking!


About Zeno

Zeno is an engineering graduate, currently working as software developer in Canada. The alias was adopted in honour of Zeno of Citium, the founder of Stoic philosophy in ancient Greece.
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