I know that it would be better if I went to bed earlier and yet I keep staying late at night. I understand it's in my best interests to meet with people but instead I frequently find myself chickening out of social situations. I realize I need to cut down on barely meaningful internet activities so why did I spend so much time reading Discord logs I'm not interested in today?
Sometimes I feel like life is just a movie with an unlikable main character. You're seeing this jackass making bad decisions all the time and yet you're unable to influence them in any way. You can only keep watching and facepalming at their stupidity. Because it's all biology and you have no power. In this sense, human self-awareness is nature's greatest prank. We are able to think and we believe we are in control, but actually it's all preprogrammed and we can only observe our bodies doing stuff, whether we agree with it or not. This is probably the cleverest form of torture imaginable.
In life, we deal with a lot of bullshit. We gotta work to keep ourselves strong and above the rest of people so we can be confident and kick ass at everything we want to do. It's almost never easy. What we do have, however, is a civilized society that enables us to pick the lifestyle of being a weak bitch. We can sit back and watch our lives crumble right before our eyes and not even realize it until you're so far below the bar that it could take many years to get to a place that you'd consider normal.
You may think you're incapable of being awesome, and you're just a passenger on this slow painful ride to loserville. But in reality, you've done a lot of things that a passenger wouldn't ever be able to do. Here's some examples:
You're a really open-minded thinker, and rationalizer You've filled up the speed demos archives with highly competent UV-maxes You're a killer at tetris You make maps that are so good that you've become bored of all the positive feedback you get
I've heard this in a lot podcasts between actors athletes, and comedians, but sometimes people pull something called 'self-sabotage' which is a subconcious phenomenon where people tend to fuck up their auditions or their standup sets, almost on purpose, because what they're doing requires an intense amount of focus, and deep down they're actually afraid of how much potential they have. They don't think they deserve the credit they would receive for an outstanding performance, and in the moment where they could make or break their career, sometimes they allow themselves to become distracted from doing something amazing that they've trained all their lives for.
I think you're more than capable of some pretty amazing things, if your involvement in Doom is anything to show for it. That energy could be channeled into something profoundly useful for yourself or the rest of the world. I'm not a very good example of someone who practices what they preach. In a conversation I had on the phone with my wife today she opened my eyes in that I've been avoiding doing something I know would be extremely useful for my career. It's not that the thought was nagging me and I just wasn't responding to it. It was that I actually blocked the idea from ever approaching my mind because I managed to get comfortable with doing what I was doing, even though it was making me feel disrespected and helpless. I'll always perform mental gymnastics to make sense out of this, but when I'm arguing with someone over the internet, its more or less a distraction from doing something that would make me much happier. But if you resist those helpful thoughts long enough, sometimes they just give up trying to get past your barriers.
Thanks for the encouragement. I think I'm just afraid that maybe free will doesn't exist and if something was meant to be, there is nothing you can do. I simply don't see how else to explain situations like I've described. Like I can be engaging in self-destructive behavior while completely understanding that I'm doing so and that I really should stop. So why don't I stop? Why wouldn't I stop, what kind of sick reason could there be to continue? It just doesn't make any sense. But maybe this self-sabotage thing you're talking about is the real reason. I'll try reading more about it.
I don't believe in free will, but it doesn't stop me from kicking my lazy ass into shape every once in a while. Start small, scale upwards.
So you stay up at nights. Open a text file, make a note of when you're about to go to bed.
The next day, shut down the computer 1 minute earlier. Not 3 hours, not half an hour, not even 5 minutes. Make it 1 minute. Write it down, carry on the next day.
You fall off the wagon one day and end up staying late after you've kept this schedule for 2 weeks? No worry. Write it down, then resume going to sleep 1 minute earlier the next day.
We're slaves to our genes, and everything we do is determined from the start (in my opinion, no offense to anyone with different beliefs). Yet this doesn't mean what you live now is what you must live. There's the endless existential questions we can wonder about, and then there's the tiny steps we can take to nudge things the right way. We're creatures of habit, so the easiest way to make a positive change is to change your habits, little by little.