Self-inflicted brainwash + multiprocess thinking

Self-inflicted brainwash

Everybody gets side-winded. Sickness, lack of willpower, other people’s influence – there are many things that can get us off tracks. It doesn’t matter if it’s a new dietary regime, fitness challenge or a wish to grow – sooner or later, everyone is going to lose momentum and stop.

The only thing that’s important is this: are you going to stop completely, never to return, rationalizing about why you can’t continue OR are you going to start again, build up momentum anew and get back into your game?

There is a trick for getting back. I call it “self-inflicted brainwash” and it’s exactly that. What made you do the thing you stopped doing in the first place? What inspired you to do any of it? Identify the things that motivate(d) you. And then – just use it. If you read a book that made you want to become smart (e.g. Dune and Sherlock Holmes) – read it again! If you saw a show or a movie that inspired you to work out hard (e.g. Dragon Ball) – see it again! If a real living person made you laugh and made you more positive and thrill-seeking, then go talk and socialize with that person! Drown yourself in the stuff that motivated you to move forward and you will reemerge – stronger.

Multiprocess thinking

Multiprocess thinking is for me a new thing. It’s basically thinking about more than one thing at the same time. It sounds pretty impossible but I suppose there are individuals out there that can do that. I, for one, am not one of them. If I think, I can have only one thought process, one “line” at a time. I can interchange, but it’s always only one at a time. The key here is this interchange: if you interchange between two thinking streams fast enough, it basically becomes dual process thinking (i.e. thinking about two different things at the same time).

I came up with an exercise for this: thinking about something and counting 100 seconds. It’s important not to count at any speed because that allows for inconsistencies. You want to count exactly 100 seconds, mentally pronouncing every number, while thinking about something else.

It’s a fairly boring exercise, but if multiprocess thinking is possible (for humans), I’d say it’s the way to go.

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