Sunday, June 24th 2018
People often say things like "two years before..." or "three years ago..." when talking about something that influenced them several years ago that they never got around to using until later. In the past I was pretty often shocked that such a phenomenon could even happen. Imagine something happening to you today, such as you discovering a book, or idea, or something, that you heard about for the first time today or got interested in for the first time today. Then it isn't until several years later that you found out this, this right here, would have been what you were looking for all along.
Though 2015 was an awesome year in my life, at the time it was going on I didn't think it was that special. In that year as well, I managed to miss out on several large opportunities that could have been completely life changing for me today. In hindsight, it all seems so obvious. In the present moment, everything feels normal, things are just as things are supposed to be, but in undoubtedly in the future, looking back on today, I would come to realize there are things I could have done differently or things I could have done better, and I may have greater appreciation for this year than what I give it today.
I mean the year isn't over yet, there's plenty left in the year to go, although it's already more than halfway over. I'm still shocked that these months passed by that quickly. It doesn't feel like anything has changed at all since the previous year, everything feels the same. I don't feel better, I don't feel worse, I feel like I've been in the same situation and unchanged from last year to here, even though things definitely have changed and many things are completely different.
I mention that "three years ago..." quote above, because I wanted to start off my sentence with that. Three years ago, I bought a book on stoic philosophy that I managed to read a good introductory amount through (at least 50 or so pages). Today, I am revisiting the stoic philosophy and mindset, to see what it can offer my life. The reason for this is that I've changed in three years and have experienced a lot more. I've gone through four family deaths (three of them this year), I've lost a job (again this year), I've strongly regretfully lost out on several life changing financial opportunities that many would have been suicidal to experience, I've become deeply envious of friends whose lives I personally have changed and improved completely for the better without any reward back to myself, I've met and lost several impactful friends, and possibly worst of all I've remained stagnant and unmoving despite wanting to improve and make a difference more and more.
I've sat here and watched the years come and go. I wish to relearn the basics of stoic philosophy, some ideas I may have already unconsciously ingrained in my life after reading about them the first time. Thinking often about losing what I currently have, I something I already do, but that may be because I've read about how and why to do it three years ago, although I can't precisely remember. That might be why I often hug my dad on a daily basis and my mom less frequently, because I imagine them being gone someday (as they inevitably and unfortunately will be). I think that's far as I went though in regards to thinking about loss.
I don't really think about loss of my personal possessions or my personal body quite as much, and that is probably why I don't appreciate these things and myself as much as I should. Prior to writing this entry, I gave a kiss to my two laptops, both possessions I adore very much. Without these two things, I would not be. Or, I wouldn't know how to be. Still, it's hard for me to imagine what my life would be like without them, as I have literally spent the entire day today as I have nearly every day, in front of these screens, typing away, browsing, doing non-productive miscellaneous activities on them.
But stoic philosophy forces me to imagine these life-changing objects in which I am dependent, disappearing from my life. What would I do? I'd probably sit down, lie down, look up at the ceiling. I'd meditate, be bored, then stand up and go outside. I'd walk around, not knowing anyone, not talking to anyone. I'd go to the park. I'd walk to the library and read a book. I'd try drawing. I would study for my college courses.
Now that I think about it, these devices, I don't need to be so reliant upon. In fact, my daily usage of them might have caused me to become complacent in the world. Using these machines, I have infinite access to nearly all the resources on the planet, at my fingertips. I can learn anything and I can attain anything, using these devices. But that opens up the door to a lot of trouble, as there are plenty of distractions, limitless distractions, in fact, nearly everything is a distraction and we pay using our finite time instead of our imaginary money.
I think the stoic philosophy is great, and I will continue to read through its ideas and teachings. However, stoicism may not have an answer against all these distractions and unlimited choices that we face in modern society. Never in any other period in history have we had so many choices for progressing our lives. There are so many options and so many choices, and unlimited resources to access any of them.
For example, I could work on a book and become a self-published author. I could also choose to become a YouTube star. Or I could be a person creating courses and selling them online. I could freelance as a programmer. I could do government contracting work building websites. I could start a real estate business. I could become a travel blogger or photographer. I could choose to become a musical artist or DJ. I could write scripts and direct movies. I personally could do any of these things and these are just the choices that I thought up for myself that are very accessible to do right in front of a computer. If I were to just bring about any willy-nilly idea, the options would be limitless (ex. Start a mechanic business, do wood carving, construction, electronics repair, lawn mowing, thrift store reselling, etc, etc).
These are the limitless amounts of choices that I have in the world. I could still do and become a master at any of these things during my remaining lifetime. The amount of choices do not dwindle even after choosing a field. After choosing, say wanting to become a musician for example, you would have to choose what kind of music genre to tackle, what kind of instrument if any you will play, what kind of software if any you will use, etc, etc. Well, when it comes to music, I don't know that much about what kinds of choices they have available to them, but they are lucky if the amount of choices are limited.
The thing is, people have made solutions for each one of these where you don't have to write as much code as you would have, and a lot of the problems you may run into yourself, have already been debugged and fixed. These solutions are libraries and frameworks, and you can technically use all of them for a single project, but it's a much better idea to just use one, as each of these libraries or frameworks have their own philosophy in how your code should be modeled using that library or within that framework.
The choice paralysis comes when you have so many of them to choose from. Frontend frameworks for example, you could choose: Angular, AngularJS, Vue, React, Ember, Dojo, Aurelia, Elm, etc, etc. Once you choose, you're basically sticking with it for the entire run of your project (unless you want to do a complete overhaul starting again from scratch).
Then after that you have to choose a database: MySql, Postgresql, MongoDB, MsSql, Sqlite, etc, etc.
Then after that you have to choose a web host, or even if you want to avoid using all that, you can choose a CMS which there's again very many to choose from. I didn't even start talking about any of the CSS themes of CSS frameworks to choose from yet either.
The worst part about all this is that you can choose any frontend framework to work with any backend framework to work with any database to work with any theme to work with any CSS frameworks, etc, etc. It's so hard and so annoying because you want to do this, you want to do that, and each one you choose has its own costs and benefits.
I use AngularJS and Asp.Net at work, but the reason why I want to use Vue.JS and Laravel for my own personal websites (though I haven't learned anything about even how to use those two frameworks yet), is because the two I chose are free (well AngularJS is also free) and I could use them for my current web host. For me to host an ASP.Net website, I'd have to use either Microsoft Azure which is expensive AF, or find another source, but ASP.Net is not cheap, where as Laravel I'd be able to use for free on my current web host and it's arguably faster too.
But using those two different technologies means that I would have to learn an entirely new paradigm, which will take a long time to getting used to. I would have to get used to programming in two completely different styles and languages as Laravel uses PHP while ASP.Net uses C#.
Thankfully, I have my own personal philosophical solution to all these choice problems I have in my life. I have only been applying these ideas to some situations, though I could and should certainly apply them to all. I came up with these ideas, though definitely I have had a lot of influence from many other sources. I don't know if any other sources offer these same solutions and ideas though, as I have not yet read through all of the different Stoic techniques, or any other philosophies' techniques.
All I know is that distraction is a modern problem, and so is choice paralysis and choice freedom. We can in our modern society, do anything we want as long as it's legal. That kind of choice freedom opens up the doors to nearly everything, which causes us choice paralysis at the same time because there's way too many options to choose from. I have to give some credit to my vegan lifestyle in which, despite to others it seems like I have fewer choices in food, to me it feels like my choices are as abundant as ever and I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything while others paradoxically view me as missing out on a lot.
Okay, so the idea. It's 11:59 PM now, and I will just start this on tomorrow's entry as tomorrow starts.
Study College Courses
Full list in the Extended Backlog page
--Required Daily Tasks--
Did I take over 10,000 steps today? No
Did I write at least 2000 words in my journal today? No
Did I program for at least an hour? No
Did I work on or complete any backlog tasks? No
--Questions About Today--
Was today a productive day? No
Did you take a selfie for the day? Yes
Did you upload the previous day's journal entry? No
Did I eat just around 2000 calories today? No
Rate how satisfied you were with today: 0/10
Why this rating? I ended up doing "that" twice and I did absolutely nothing with my time. I did try to catch up on Stoicism though, and the mindset is interesting to me again. Still, I need to really change if I want to make significant progress in my life. Everything has been the same. I'm frustrated, annoyed, that I'm not getting anywhere despite having all the options for me to. I am too stagnant.
12:00 AM – Untracked – 10:49 PM
10:49 PM – Writing Journal – 11:59 PM
Productive Hours (1:10)
Writing Journal (1:10)
Neutral Hours (22:49)
Unproductive Hours (0:00)
Web Development: 373
General Programming: 8
Game Development: 4