The Autopilot Mode

Tags: life-lessons

In addition to the whole idea of Rationaliy and Reality, I came to realise that I even have phases of complacency and procrastination as well. The first one simply makes me more lazy, because everything in life is just fine while the second one guarantees that everything in future is going to be a-ok. And what else do I need? Living in the present while the future seems rosy, this is supposed to be life. Throw in the fact my general idea that I can’t change the past, but can only learn from it and every aspect of time, and every phase of life seems to be taken care of.

But while this seems to be the general mode of life that I (and possibly a lot of other people) delve in, the autopilot mode, reality is that there are so many things which are going on around me, which I seem to miss. If I look at what tangible thing I have done, what have I made (good or whatever), I see that I have absolutely nothing to show here. In the past few months, I’ve not

  • posted any article on the site
  • learned any piece of music on any instrument which I bought out of sheer love of music,
  • read a lot which helps me professionally,
  • applied anything which I read otherwise(I’ve read a lot of behavioral and cognitive psychology stuff), so there have been only a few personal gains,

And even in the hot winters of Hyderabad, my mind slips around on a slippery slope; never to be in control and in place for longer than normal duration.

I came across a subreddit a few months ago: r/nonzeroday and I really liked the idea, and then it went back and got archived in the storehouse of my memories. Yesterday I came across it too, after reading a few posts about discipline, psychology, and behavior and I realised that I already know about. But even at that time I felt that while the idea behind that subreddit is so simple, and at worst you need 5 minutes to do the job, and it’s not so difficult to use it, to apply it, to integrate it in my life, I’ve not been doing that. And this thought instantly pops up in my head: But I need more than 5 minutes to better myself, 5 minutes don’t do shit. And I asked myself: Really?

What shall I call this behavior, I don’t really know, and my mind is jumping up and down to find that word, because it’ll increase my vocabulary, and it doesn’t matter I’ll lose the flow of thought that I have here and simply get lost in the vastness of internet.

Seneca, in one of his letters, explained what a lot of people write huge books about: everything should start with planning, because anything that starts with planning, succeeds. That’s something Edison lacked apparently, according to this by Tesla,

If Edison had a needle to find in a haystack, he would proceed at once with the diligence of the bee to examine straw after straw until he found the object of his search. I was a sorry witness of such doings, knowing that a little theory and calculation would have saved him ninety per cent of his labor

(maybe that’s why the former took 10000 tries, but again he created electric bulb and I’ve not yet invented anything so I’ll keep my mouth shut about how inventors should work.)

Proper planning is something that has to be foundation of anything that we start, and once you’re wasting the time and life being in the modes of satisfying present and a rosy past, planning cannot take place, at least it won’t get the first priority. Instead of planning and then executing, a lazy ass will just stay on couch for the longest time, and then rush to the work at the very last minute; taking more time and possibly screwing it up a few times before actually delivering a sub quality thing. That happens a lot in software development, quite possibly because we are given enough chanced to screw around before delivering the end product. Not a lot of other professions allow that. A doctor cannot test his hypothesis on a live subject, a civil engineer won’t be having an alpha, beta, and RC testing for a bridge that he’s building. Only software world has that power of messing and cleaning up stuff at regular basis.

So where am I going? It’s difficult to understand (I can pull in some philosophy in this as well: who has the idea where he or she is going), but when you realise that you haven’t done anything worthwhile in a lot of time, simply pondering over the subject just don’t cut it. You have to pick yourself up from the couch, quite possibly slap yourself, and then start doing stuff by planning and structuring your work, and keeping your priorities straight.

Having said that, I was (in a fit of rage right now) thinking about writing more regularly here, and share what I have learned on either programming or life in general.