Sausage Pasta Freestyle

Song of the Day: “No Rest For The Wicked” by Lykke Li

Reading of the Day: “We Have No Right to Happiness” by C. S. Lewis

Thought of the Day:

What is life? I think it’s a journey through misery, suffering, and happiness. A good portion of it is uncontrollable. It’s like sailing down rapids. The current is going to take you where it wants to go, but you can steer it to minimize damage and maximize happiness. But life is more complicated than that. We have a right to happiness, but not the right to pursue it by any means necessary. Because there is something even more important than happiness, and that’s being a good person. Life is also complicated in another way, and it is freeing in some ways once this realization is known: a human being is only fully in control of himself/herself; everything else is outside of that and up to a huge range of uncontrollable factors.

I’ll come back to the happiness portion of what makes life complicated, but for right now I’m going to focus on the issue of control. You are only in control of yourself. You decide how to behave, how to respond to others, how to express emotions, and what to do. Every action you do is you (another TOTD for another day). Now, others do influence how you feel, but at the end of the day, only you decide how much you want to let something bother you. Obviously this isn’t easy or as black and white as I’m making it sound, but you choose whether to let an insult bother you or to laugh it off.

That said, you have no control over anyone or anything else outside of yourself. Any control found outside of the self is an illusion. Other people and events can be influenced, but that is different from control. Control means that you are primarily responsible/able to influence a situation to the point that you are the main factor that determines the outcome.

Here are two examples how control outside of the self is illusion. There is a married couple that has an issue when it comes to doing the dishes. The husband doesn’t like to do them and the wife doesn’t either, though she is primarily responsible for them. The wife can be very laid back about doing them, and the husband doesn’t like this. So in response, the husband decides to yell at her to express his feelings and get her to do the dishes. Then she does them, albeit unhappily.

It looks like the husband was in control of her, but that was only influence. His yelling was only one factor out of many that the wife took into account when she decided to do the dishes. She cares about him (would rather him be happy), would rather the dishes be clean, would rather him not yell, values the relationship, values the living situation, feels it is her responsibility (she’s going to do them anyway), recognizes she can be a bit laid back with them (at least partially understands husband’s discontent), feels partially anxious when seeing dishes to clean, etc. And when she made the decision to do the dishes, these thoughts didn’t all go consciously through her mind, a lot happened unconsciously based on all the previous decisions she had made leading up to that point.

Another example is a person applying for jobs. The person can look his/her best for the interview, know about the company, be qualified for the position, have good communication skills, etc. These preparations only influence the outcome. The interviewer uses a range of factors to determine whether or not you will be given the job. The interviewer has personal biases affecting his/her judgement, the quality of the other candidates, relationships with candidates, the company culture, the company’s full needs, etc. Because a big part of an interview is judging the interviewee, the interviewee does have a lot of influence on the outcome of it, but the interviewer is still the one fully in control. If the interviewer doesn’t want the interviewee for any reason, the interviewee can’t do anything about that.

Life is complicated because a person is only control in himself/herself, and can only minimally influence outside situations. What makes life is more complicated is that people have the right to happiness, but not by any means necessary.

Happiness is something everyone wants to obtain. The chemicals in the brain for it are basically drugs. It’s addicting to be happy. Being happy means feeling good and content. Being unhappy means there is something wrong. So most people without even being asked to try to become happier on their own.

Money happens to be the universal way to get anything one wants, so stealing is a source of this being taken too far. Murder can also happen this way. Rape is trying to have complete control over another person (a fucked up way to be happy). There are many more examples of this including, but not limited to abuse, cheating, affairs, lying, drug abuse, breaking promises, talking behind others’ backs, etc.

Even just trying to control others (everyone does this and society has a huge issue with this). Society is obsessed with control, even at an individual level. Which is interesting because love is the exact opposite. Love is recognizing that you want the other person to grow and do what they want as long as it is moral (sorry, no murdering or pillaging the townspeople for love). And as long as that person wants to be with you, it’s putting your needs and wants and their needs and wants together equally. Selfishness is not love. In fact, it is the opposite along with control. Sorry, I’m digressing. Trying to control others is just another bad/immoral way to pursue happiness.

Being a good person should be everyone’s number one goal, not happiness. And ironically enough, if everyone did that, then more people would be happier. Because putting one’s happiness over others’ (being selfish) causes others’ unhappiness. And what to people do when they’re unhappy? Try to become happy, and that is usually through further selfish means, further spreading unhappiness. Meanwhile, when happiness is spread, people spread that to others.

Be happy, but not at the expense of others. Be in control, but only of yourself.

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Day 3

Song of the Day: “Medicine” by The 1975

Album of the Week: “Zero” by Hawthorne Heights

Weekly Goals:

  • Waking up at 8.
  • Doing an 8 hour work schedule from 8-5. 4-6 hours spent on technical expertise and the other time spent applying to jobs.
  • I Am You and You Are Me activity. *new thing*
  • Othodontist/Dentist appointment.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Exercise.
  • Do new things.
  • See Amy!

Your assignment today is to look at some of your dreams. Pick one. What can you do to boldly go in the direction of that dream? Is there a clear and distinct move you can make today that will start to hurl you toward that goal? Would it really be so scary? What first step can you take in faith? The results may be magical.

No matter the goal I said, I basically need to get money. So I guess I should rob a bank! Eh, I don’t like this one.

Today I went grocery shopping. That felt really good. I can’t wait to cook! Otherwise, today was almost like a regular day if I actually had a job. I did chores and cleaning and tried to have a little fun. I’m not feeling very talkative today.

Day 2

Song of the Day: “I Don’t Fuck With You” by Big Sean & E-40

Today, your assignment is to observe your choices. Look at every decision you make, from food you eat to the time you spend on various tasks, to the people you choose to hang out with. Are you making choices that limit you or choices that nurture you?

Nurturing Choices:

  • Applying to jobs.
  • Making a kick-ass Resume.
  • Being with Amy.
  • Effective communication.
  • Trying to look my best most days.
  • Seeing friends.
  • Eating healthy.
  • Reading.
  • Helping out others.
  • Writing in a journal.
  • Listening to new music.

Limiting Choices:

  • Procrastinating job search stuff.
  • Not continuing my technical abilities.
  • Not grocery shopping.
  • Living at home.
  • Living without Amy.
  • Sleeping in late / Staying up late.
  • Putting off going to the doctor.
  • Not exercising.
  • Not doing new things.

I applied to another job. I really want it. I think I would be an almost perfect fit and it is exactly what I want. A position that allows me to use both my psychology and computer science majors. That’s when I feel most fulfilled, excited, and happy about my work.

One of the hardest things I’ve been dealing with is the long distance relationship between Amy and me. It gives her more opportunities to do things behind my back, but it is also just hard on me. I just want us to be living together again. Things happen and I’ll just think, “I should have seen her leave or she should have been able to excitedly walk in the door and tell me all about it.” Writing that just made me tear up a bit. I also want to be progressing on any issues we had with had with living together. But all is not lost because right now we are building on our effective communication skills and setting good habits for dealing with negative emotions, and some other things. Things are going pretty well. : )

Violin Life

Song of the Day: “Break Free (Feat. Zedd)” by Ariana Grande

Album of the Week: “Jealous Gods” by Poets of the Fall

Today I’m feeling pretty good. I applied for another job. That always feels good. I just need to start getting phone calls. It’s pretty demoralizing not having heard anything back yet, but from what I read online it can take a month before a company will get in touch.

I’m in a writey mood. I think I’ll do another “Thought of the Day”.

Weekly Activities:

  • Apply to two more jobs.
  • Hangout with Shay and Boski?
  • Fun things with Amy.
  • Do something helpful for my parents.
  • Cleaning Day.
  • Needs/love-buster check-in.
  • Go for a run.

Day 1

Your assignment is to get a notebook. You can go to a bookstore and pick out a fancy journal or find a quirky spiral notebook at your local drug store. It can be silly or pretty or bold or non-descript. The only requirement is that you take it with you wherever you go. Keep that notebook with you for at least a week and write down your dreams whenever they pop into your head. It doesn’t matter if they are impossible. Don’t judge them. Just write them down. Have faith. Take that first step.

My Dreams of the Future:

  • Having adventures with Amy.
  • Having a fun and challenging programming job.
  • Going to graduate school to get a doctorate.
  • Getting an apartment.
  • Going to Italy.
  • Going to Ireland.
  • Going to a tropic location.
  • Sky diving.
  • Creating a video game.
  • Writing a book.
  • Learning the guitar.
  • Making people happy.
  • Exploring the globe.
  • Learning to fly an airplane.
  • Going on a safari in Africa.
  • Getting Amy to see a Beatle in concert.
  • Continuing to grow as a human being.

 

My Thought of the Day:

We, human beings, try to separate logic and emotion, but they are connected in the mind. Emotion often influences logic, but logic also influences emotion, though emotion is usually the stronger force.

No matter what, a decision can not be made completely logically when intense emotions are going on within a person. That’s not necessarily bad on its own. The problem is when emotions are given into irregardless of logic.  When this happens, emotions are strong enough to create rationalizations (false logic). So when emotion is solely followed, it gives rationalizations that make a person think he or she is being logical when in fact he or she is not.

But how can you tell if you’re following blinding emotions? There really is no way except to continue moving forward as best as you can and the consequences of your actions will either snowball into something positive or negative. The opinions of people around you may be a good indicator of how rational you’re being since they aren’t going through the same strong emotions as you, though people too far removed can be too logical at the expense of emotion (remember, emotion and logic can both be good and bad).

A great example of this is infidelity in marriages. The one who was cheated on (betrayed spouse or B.S.) and the cheater (wayward spouse or W.S.) have huge emotions causing very strong rationalizations in both of them. Most W.S. don’t go looking for an affair, rather they find themselves in one. This even happens in good relationships (maybe I’ll touch on this in another thought of the day).

W.S.es usually get such strong emotions that the marriage, kids (any age), family, financial future, friends, living, and etc. don’t matter compared to the affair partner. Much like drug addicts, they are willing to throw everything else away that in some way prevents them from being with the affair partner. Due to the strength of emotions towards pulling the W.S. to the affair partner, there is a huge amount of rationalization. History with the B.S. is rewritten and misremembered to the B.S.’s disadvantage. Aspects of the B.S. that the W.S. disliked are greatly exaggerated and compared to the almost flawless affair partner. There are many more rationalizations that occur. In the end the W.S. usually throws away everything necessary to be with the affair partner. Because this is what true love feels like.

The B.S. undergoes very strong emotions that produce rationalizations as well. Contrary to popular belief, most B.S.es want their partner back. They have not been prepared in anyway for their W.S. to be leaving them and to have betrayed them so deeply (and if a B.S. is, then the marriage wasn’t really good in the first place). The future they thought they would be having and were in the middle of living is ripped from them out of no where. It’s as if their W.S. died, but worse because the W.S. is still alive and has crushed the B.S.. So the B.S. usually becomes very dependent on the W.S.. The B.S. rationalizes that he or she is mostly responsible for the cheating, that he or she needs the W.S. to simply live, and that he or she is worthless. These rationalizations and emotions make the B.S. throw away the self to accept whatever the W.S. does, which is usually cake eating (having both the affair partner and the B.S. in some way).

While the W.S. doesn’t necessarily end up back with the B.S., they usually don’t end up with the affair partner. Reality eventually kicks in (months or years later) due to a snowballing effect of negative consequences. As the new love feeling fades away (usually takes half a year-two years) and the W.S. relies on the wayward spouse in every way, the fantasy is slowly replaced by the reality of living with that person. Financial stresses, daily living stresses, and others bring out negative traits in both the W.S. and the affair partner. Now the W.S. and affair partner could work out, but when a relationship is built on lies and secrecy, the death of a previous relationship, and fantasy, there is little chance of that occurring. So the W.S. usually wants to be with the B.S. again or neither.

And the B.S. doesn’t necessarily end up back with the W.S.., not being with the W.S. builds up positive consequences. When an affair comes to light, W.S.es are usually pretty abusive, whether that be verbally or emotionally (constantly putting down and blaming the B.S.). So on the one hand the B.S. is constantly being hurt and used/treated as worthless by the W.S. (who doesn’t care about anyone, but the affair partner and him or herself). This pushes the B.S. away because the consequences of being around the W.S. snowball negatively. On the other hand, being away from the W.S. builds up positive consequences. The B.S. continues living his or her life and little by little becomes independent again. As the B.S. does more and more, he or she finds his or her self-worth again and rebuilds self-esteem. The B.S. begins to realistically see the W.S. and the cheating/affair for what it is, an abuser abusing. And only the W.S. can stop being abusive. So the B.S. can eventually go on to live a successful life with or without the W.S..

Strong emotions are strong and can lead to rationalizations that cause illogical decisions. The W.S. let strong positive feelings build on an inappropriate relationship with someone else while rationalizing it until it got to be an affair, and then throws away anything in the way of being with the affair partner once the affair is discovered. And the B.S. lets feelings of self-blame, guilt, and worthlessness make them give the W.S. whatever he or she wants (cake eating).

Logic also influences emotion. Continuing the example of infidelity, the B.S. and W.S. usually suffer from depression. Both are going through a very traumatic experience, though it is most traumatic for the B.S. The B.S. usually gets out of the depression by doing things. Doing things is usually very difficult at first, but once the B.S. logically realizes they don’t want to feel like garbage and nothing anymore, they can force themselves to do things even though emotions are against it. This could be things like grocery shopping and cooking again (probably eating pretty unhealthily due to low-energy, lack of appetite, and apathy) or in some way getting out and doing something. Emotions will not be in this for a long while, but as time goes on as the B.S. forces him or herself to do things (listening to logic), they become easier and easier to do. Eventually, they start to become fun again. At this point, the emotions now become a positive influence that can finally be listened to in conjunction with logic. Logic has changed emotions.

Logic and emotion are intertwined. They affect each other, and can both be good or bad. Strong emotions can create rationalizations and logic can eventually change emotion.