Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Note to Self V.1 (the PLASM troubleshooting technique)

Dear B,

You are such a scatterbrain. I understand though that when you feel drained, you find it easier to go on autopilot. For example, whenever you've just come home from school and are looking for something, you often open every zipper and look everywhere "instinctively" instead of just taking a moment to think about where it is and taking it. This is bad because you lose more time and energy by doing this. Your brain doesn't necessarily wear your body out if you think a little bit more about things, in fact your brain will thank you for the much needed exercise. Face it, you're past 20 and it's not getting any younger. Remember that episode on Discovery or Nat Geo about brain plasticity? You're not a kid anymore. Your child prodigy days are over and you slacked off towards the end. It's high bleepin' time you made up for that, which you already know, but have a hard time doing something about.

You need something that's easy to absorb and digest to keep you on track. I know how you've been reading lots of books and articles to help yourself, but you have NO WILLPOWER WHATSOEVER and when you're in that autopilot vegetable state, there's little hope for comprehension of any long-winded statement or wisdom nugget to put you back on track. You just do what you do when you do what you do. (QED, you use that statement a lot. More than you should.)

Well, we (you and me, which is.. really just me :c) deviced a five-step, single-word "mantra" for you to remember. A whole method condensed into bite-sized words, aimed to make functionality more accessible to you. Or us. Or me. (:c)

Oh, and look! I just wrote them down right now and realized that the five initials of the words actually form the word "Plasm". (kind of nothing short of perfect I guess for brain-exercising and retention of plasticity cos according to this, "plasm", coming from the word "plasma", means "to mold" in latin.) I actually thought of this a while ago, just the main germ of it, though. You already know this, cos you were there too, but well in case your/our/my(that sounds crazy) memory needs refreshing:

I was in the middle of an autopilot fit, and much worse, I was already aware of it and panicking. When this happens I usually end up talking to myself. And I did. I heard myself say "OKAY, SHUSH. Stop. Aim. Fire." as if I was talking about shooting targets. First I thought: "Bea get a grip wtf are you talking about you sound crazy etc etc etc." Then I realized that in a way, it wasn't so crazy. I was shooting items off of to-do lists. I suddenly realized the hidden wisdom behind the word Troubleshooting (okay, it was probably not hidden at all, but well, as life has taught me many times, to learn on the think-level is different from learning on the do-level). 

Now B, here are the complete steps of your new mantra(I HOPE YOU USE IT):

  1. Pause. Stop yourself dead on your tracks the second you observe yourself going on autopilot. It's hard to take action right away when you're at it, so your first step is achieving non-action. Be still. When you realise you're going the wrong way you have to stop before you turn back. Stop, relax, recollect yourself. But only for a second. Once you're there,
  2. Look. Observe the problem or situation ahead. What are you doing exactly? Where are you in the process? What is its significance? What's the problem? What needs solving? What is your goal? Imagine it clearly and
  3. Aim. What should you be doing to get there? Where do you need to go? Begin with the end in mind. Plan the steps. For a big project, plot your save points. Build a map of action. This is where "work smart, not hard" comes in. It doesn't matter how many bullets you get off if they're all aimless. Don't waste your ammo. Be precise. Try to make every action count.
  4. Shoot. Put your plans and ideas into action. Always the step you miss, but your chances are higher when you combine it with the rest of this method. Just DO THE WORK.
  5. Maintain. Do it again. Make it a habit. This is your biggest problem area so far. You do it right the first few times, but you don't keep at it. Don't stop shooting until the zombie is dead. Then start shooting the next upcoming zombie. This step makes this whole method come full circle. This step reminds you that you can, and must keep going. This tells you, after you become productive, to stay productive. This is the clasp that keeps the bracelet from falling off. This is th-you probably get it by now. 
Again: Pause, Look, Aim, Shoot, Maintain. I hate to be so anal about it, but to change stubborn people like you takes a lot of creativity.

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