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Hi, I'm Your Problem

Hi, I'm Your Problem
Hi, I’m your problem. By Detlef.
Who would not know it: you have something REALLY important to do and you simply cannot get yourself to perform. It’s called: lack of discipline.

Sometimes there are even things you would like to do, but as they are so very important, you want to do them very, very good. You wait for the right time – which unfortunately never comes.

I met my own problem at Jeb’s post.

“Hello Problem! So you are here at Jeb’s, too?”
“Hi Detlef. This is probably a misunderstanding. I’m not your problem, I’m Jeb’s. People often mix us up – but we are different.”
“Oh, sorry.”

But how is it that we meet this problem-family so often? I suspect there was a time when that behaviour actually made sense. Back in the cave, in Stone Age, if you did not like to perform a task, it was probably dangerous – so you better avoided it. The avoiders survived.

Of course there were those adventurous tasks involving a lot of adrenaline and prestige (if you completed them successfully), like hunting the mammoth or killing the saber-toothed tiger. To defend the horde from an imminent danger was an instant benefit.

And you didn’t need discipline – you needed (only?) courage. That’s the story of discipline and how it got wired into our brains in a rather negative way.

Of course, this is just my little uneducated theory. If you are an expert in the field of discipline (either executing or avoiding) your opinion would be cherished very much.

  1. January 26, 2009 at 6:23 am

    So you’re saying I’m not alone? Awesome. But yeah, if you could get to the bottom of this ‘issue’, find out where we went wrong, that would be great. I’d like to know. Because paying the bills, to continue the example, isn’t dangerous, it’s just…suckish. It (unless or until) you are quite well to do, tends to highlight what you don’t have, rather than allowing you to imagine what you’d like. Ahhh, perhaps there’s something in that. If we could find a way to still imagine what we want, while doing the things that try desperately to make us see what we haven’t, then its hold over us would be minimized.

    I think we’re on to something Detlef…what do you think?

  2. January 26, 2009 at 8:31 am

    Jeb, I’m circling the problem like Joshua circled Jericho. I hope the walls will be tumbling down some day. Presently I’m trying to tackle it in a humorous way. But in earnest: I think it’s always helpful to look at “strange” behaviour under the perspectives:Under which circumstances would this behaviour make sense?Did these circumstances exist in the individual (or genetic) history?Do they still exist or is the “strangeness” triggered by something that is no more – but once was a huge threat.

    In this example: What does it mean to pay bills? Where is/ was the menace?

  3. January 27, 2009 at 3:52 am

    So, evolutionarily speaking, they’re like pinky toes or tonsils or my little nub of a tail. They served a purpose at some time, but now, they’re merely remnants of a past imperative. Interesting. I like that.

    (just kidding about the tail)

  4. January 27, 2009 at 8:48 am

    Hi Jeb, is it curled?

    Those organs are easy to detect, but what you have learned is difficult to unlearn.

    There is an interesting article in the New York Times about children prefering to learn by imitating adults – even if it’s clearly counter-productive.

  1. January 26, 2009 at 5:57 am

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