Getting stuff in control

I’m going to jump straight to the point: I’m soon going to be 21 and that will make a full year of my decision to improve myself onto “superhuman” levels.

Now, there’s no hurry and time is here to be savoured and enjoyed (just like food 🙂 ), not passed or rushed through, BUT I would like to see more progress and I would like to systematize what I’m doing just so it becomes clearer to myself and so that I can measure it.

What I’d like to do the most is apply the SMART system to these goals I wish to achieve.
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-framed or -based. So, for example “I’m gonna be more productive at work” changes into “By 20th October I will have completed 45 sales to customers X, Y and Z”. Quite a change of perspective. The latter sentence obliges you to something, while the former is just vague.

Now, the problem is here that some of the goals aren’t really measurable. What I CAN measure though, is how many times do I “exercise” perception, memory and so forth. So, counting deliberate attempts of exercising, sessions, so to speak.

And so I came up with a plan/program of my exercises which could potentially serve as a draft for others, or maybe just advice, but I plan on sticking to it. The first three month period, or semester, consists of the following subjects:

Mnemotechnics 1

After three months, the student should be capable to remember up to 50 vehicle registration plates, up to 1000 unconnected one digit numbers and 2 decks of shuffled cards. The main topics are:

  • Major system
  • Dominic system
  • PAO system
  • memory palaces (loci) and journeys

Literature:

 

Non-verbal communication 1

After three months, the student should be more aware of other people and their communication, emotions and intentions. The student should also apply concepts to himself and his own communication and be capable of communicating with others while at the same time being capable to perceive and analyze others’ signals.
The main topics are:

  • the FFF reflex (freeze-flight-fight)
  • changes vs. static states
  • pacifiers
  • an introduction to lie detection

Literature:

  • What every body is saying, Joe Navarro

New language 1

After three months, the student should be conversationally fluent in either a new language or a continued language. The choice of language is free, but “big”, widely spoken languages, are preferred. Examples: English, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, German, Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese and so on. The focus is on phonetics of the language and the student should learn how to transcribe sounds into phonetic symbols. The literature is diverse, but various grammars for foreigners are recommended, as well as finding native speakers via Livemocha. This is also useful.

Meditation 1

After three months of practice, the practitioner should feel more relaxed and less stressed, and be ready for deeper, longer and more complex meditations, such as Prana Bindu. There is no literature as it is very simple: find a lonely spot, somewhere where you won’t be distracted, sit comfortably with your back flat and up, do not lie down, relax all the muscles you can except those that keep you sitting and breathe normally. Concentrate on your breath, observe it. When thoughts come up, discard them and focus on the breath. Sessions should last anywhere between 10 minutes and 1 hour.

That’s all for this post, the next one will be more about physical training.

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3 thoughts on “Getting stuff in control

  1. Hey,
    So I’ve read through a significant amount of your blog and I find it to be quite interesting. It’s clear that you have been influenced in a major way by Frank Herbert’s “Dune”, particularly the Bene Gesserit. Given that one of the major ideas behind it is the control of one’s own reality, I would point out an idea mentioned in the books: when you accept the words of a language, you accept the assumptions that come with them. Thus you may wish to consider creating your own language wholesale.

    My fiance and I are currently doing this. Even if you never become fluent in the language and never speak it to another soul, the very act of truly sitting down to create a language is the creation of a reality independent of the assumptions of others. You will find yourself creating or incorporating your own myths, thoughts, and idioms into the language. Ultimately, it will have its own weaknesses as all languages do but having created it, you will have a very different perspective on all other languages you encounter.

    To get started, I’d recommend examining the following site if you’ve never seen it before:
    http://www.zompist.com/kit.html

    Hope that helps in some way. I’ll be following your journey with interest.

    -Ito

    • Ito, thank you very much for this. I have experimented with creating my own language before, but up till your post I’ve never given it any serious consideration. This is true what you say about language defining your reality. I often find myself trying to create a word for a concept that doesn’t exist in my language (Croatian). For example, it would be cool to have a word to express just that feeling when you need one word for a concept, and the language doesn’t have it. Because if you name it, it becomes a legitimate concept, and shapes your reality.

      I like the example of the French word dépaysement: the sensation that one has when one is not in his home place, but abroad or anywhere else. In Croatian (and in English, I believe), there is no such word, but if you’ve ever been abroad, you can understand it instantly after being explained the meaning. But what’s interesting is that you probably never thought of “dépaysement” before as a genuine “thing”. And when you understand the word, you create the concept. 🙂

      I think I’ll create my own language too. Thanks.

      • I’m glad I could help! 😀 That’s very interesting about the word dépaysement. I’d studied French for a while but I’d never come across it, thought the word does make sense.

        A good example of what I’m talking about can be seen in my first language, English. In English I would say “my family”. The implication being that there is a separate entity called “me” and then the family which I possess. In Edani (our constructed language) this idea would be absurd – one cannot own a family. Family is something you participate in. The proper way to say such a thing would be rial val me. This translates to “family that I am part of”. The implications inherent in this are very different.

        This can even be seen the in native language of my mother’s people, Efik. In Efik, you would say “our family”. It would not only be strange but grammatically incorrect to ever say “my family”. Accordingly, Efik culture is much more community and family oriented than many modern day Anglophone cultures. Whether this says that the culture determined the language or that the language determined the culture, I cannot say. But I do know that, before I started working on Edani, I was like a fish swimming in the language ocean: I did not notice the water or how it affected me. Now I am the same fish, but I can see the water, if you take my meaning.

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