Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The New Man in Charge

Hey there, it's been a while. A long while. But not to worry, this is a comeback post.

The Procrastinator's Brain

I've purposely picked the headline in honor of where the Walkabout really began - LOST. It turns out, LOST did not end in the TV finale. Check out The New Man in Charge, just in case you missed out.
But seriously, the reason we shall continue to have regular posts on The Walkabout is because there is indeed a "new man in charge".

That said, I have decided to get back to regular blogging. The reasons are many, but I'll highlight only 2.

1. Procrastination is the real reason I haven't been blogging.

I admit that for a long time, I thought I was a rational decision maker. In case you're wondering, such decision making involves:

a multi-step process for making choices between alternatives. The process of rational decision making favors logic, objectivity, and analysis over subjectivity and insight.

Turns out, I also have this instant gratification monkey that comes in the form of seemingly worthwhile distractions and urgent stuff. In many cases, and despite writing about how we mistake the urgent for the important, I end up not doing stuff. Especially writing.

I could go on and on about procrastination, but we all know what it is. And for a blog where there is no pressure to meet deadlines, the risk is ending up as a spectator of my own life in writing, with many blog posts in draft, unfinished books and lots of content that gets retained in my head.

Writer's Block is not the reason I do not write as much as I would like to. It is procrastination.
To be clear, this post is not really about how I have been procrastinating, but how procrastination adversely affects many other people in many areas of life. Thankfully, it is a problem that can be overcome.

The problem of procrastination was very well summarized by Tim Urban in his TED Talk.

Here are all the epic posts about Procrastination from

Why Procrastinators Procrastinate.

The Procrastination Matrix.

How to Beat Procrastination.

2. The TIME 100 Reminder

In this year's TIME 100, one thing struck me and actually got me breathless. This statement:

"I think of it as, 'What’s the thing that’s not in the world that should be in the world?"

You see, there is a danger in knowingly letting time pass while not doing the things one knows need to be done. It is essentially being irresponsible and negligent. The end result is regret, like a certain man Carolyn Arends sang about in Seize The Day.

I know a man who's been doing some thinking,
He's as bitter and cold as the whiskey he's drinking,
He's talking about fear, about chances not taken,
If you listen to him you can hear his heart, breaking...

That is not a place I'd want to end up.

All in all, what I write on The Walkabout has meaning, makes a difference and adds value. It should be in the world.
But it remains something that is not in the world until I actually write it.

And since what stands in the way of regular blogging is the instant gratification monkey, a new man needs to be in charge inside my brain. That man cannot be a panic monster, which, as shown above, takes a backseat in cases where deadlines (such as on a personal blog) are not in place.

My rational decision maker therefore has to be in control. This is the new man in charge.

* * *

The Walkabout has been unrelenting in saying, "Hey you, I want you, Pete." And like Jewel, kept reminding me, "You were meant for me, Pete."
Well, I am back just as Arnie promised in Terminator.

I can now only hope that things will run smoothly like I never left in the first place.


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