Thursday, 15 November 2012

Procrastination.

Randal: You know what the real problem here is? [...] You should shit or get off the pot. [...] I'm talking about this thing you have, this inability to improve your station in life. [...] You sit there and blame life for dealin' you a cruddy hand, never once accepting responsibility for the way your situation is. [...] There's other jobs. They pay better money. You're bound to be qualified for at least one of 'em. So what's stoppin' you? [...] Oh, you're comfortable, right? This is a life of convenience for you, and any attempt to change it would shatter the pathetic microcosm you've fashioned for yourself.
Dante: I can't make changes in my life like that. If I could, I would. But I don't have the ability to risk the comfortable situations on the big money and the fabulous prizes! [...] My mother told me once that when l was three years old, my potty lid was closed, and instead of me lifting it, I shit my pants. [...] The point is, I'm not the type of person who'll disrupt things just so l can shit comfortably. 
- Clerks, 1994
I procrastinate. Heavily. I'd say it's the main thing holding me back in life, and has been for some time now.

I've always done it, but it hasn't always been quite this bad. I work well to deadlines - which is how I managed to graduate from university. But when there's no deadline, no particular sanction for not getting it done today, no one to yell at me if I fuck up ... I figure it doesn't really need to be done.

I'm comfortable, but not content. I'm at least dimly aware, all the time, that I should be in a better place by this point in my life. But I'm not struggling - at least, not in the sense that human beings have struggled for a million or so years. My conflict is an internal, spiritual one: what am I going to make of my life? Anything at all?

Everything has been deincentivized. Why work hard to get myself into a better position? So I can provide for a family that can be shattered by the state at any moment, so I can be forced indefinitely to pay most of my wages to an ex-wife and children I'll never get to see? Marriage is a lie. The family is a lie. The willing provider role has been transformed into that of the indentured serf. As such, why should any man step up to the plate?

Knowing this will save you from making a fatal error down the road, but it doesn't justify being a lazy underachiever. Take the hypothetical women and children out of the frame and put yourself in the center instead. Yes, when you're thinking of your future in terms of the family you could have in a few years time, or not, it makes little sense to better yourself. But what about improving your situation for you?

There's so much I want to write about - and it strikes me that keeping a blog is just another form of procrastination. I'm sitting here writing about going out there and getting things done, rather than actually going out there and getting things done. But I have to share this thought I've been having. If you put yourself in the center, and live for yourself - like the MGTOW - two things can happen, depending on your point of view:
  1. You decide to live hedonistically. There's no point improving yourself. Society wants you to be more productive so that it can siphon off the fruits of your labor. So drop out, do the minimum needed to survive, and kick back and enjoy life as much as you can, without taking on any unnecessary burdens.
  2. You decide that there's more to life than pure hedonism. You make a continuous effort to improve yourself, for your own sake. Keeping in mind what you know about all the ways society will try to screw you over, you nevertheless strive to become a better person - in your own terms. You navigate all the pitfalls of modern life, taking on burdens that are necessary to your personal growth, and you sacrifice simple gratification in order to achieve more complex and fulfilling goals: pride in having overcome adversity, self-discipline, independence, etc.
I've been lurking in the manosphere for a long time, and it seems to me that the popularity of the first aim is gradually being replaced by the second. Pure hedonism, prescribed as a rejection of traditional values that don't work in a modern world, is being replaced by the will to reclaim self-control and dignity. Bloggers like Ferdinand Bardamu and Matt Forney have been influential in promoting this new approach. For procrastinators like myself, it can only do us good to grab this bull by the horns.

I know well enough the feeling of achievement through struggle. Whenever I get the chance, I go hiking in the mountains. The surge of feelings upon reaching a summit and looking down is indescribable. In pushing myself to the peak of my physical capabilities, I achieve things I didn't know I could before. And that does wonders for self-esteem. How much can you actually do, without knowing it? Probably a lot more than you think. You might impress yourself if you tried. But you have to overcome that old enemy, self-doubt.

Self-doubt is the excuse for comfortable, riskless hedonism. Self-doubt is approach anxiety. Self-doubt is what makes you shit yourself rather than lift the lid.

I procrastinate on trivial things too, like getting my hair cut. Right now, my fringe is almost down to my eyes, but what was my first thought upon waking up this morning?

"I can let it go another week."

Let it go another week? That's what I've been doing for about a month now. I have the day off today, and the first thing that comes into my head is an excuse for staying in the house and dicking around.

No more. As soon as this post is done, I'm heading out. Then I'm going to focus on actually important shit and send out a couple of job applications.

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While I'm on the subject, here's a little story illustrating the failures of feminism.

In the third job interview I attended following graduation, all was going well until the dreaded question came up:

So, tell us about your weaknesses.

What I know now is that you're supposed to talk about some flaw you've overcome, at least partially, because this shows you are able and willing to improve yourself. I hadn't really prepared for the interview at all, figuring I could just wing it (overconfidence about your abilities can be a problem too). After a few moments of uncomfortable silence, I came out with some line about procrastination, that although I had ended up with good grades, I had a tendency to leave most of the work until the last couple of days then get it all done quickly.

The Chair laughed and told me that she is exactly the same way. I couldn't have hoped for a better outcome than that. I got the job.

I worked there for the next year or so, and would occasionally hear some less-than-complimentary remark about men from the woman who interviewed me. These remarks were never directed against any particular man, just against 'men' generally. While I thought this was a bit fucked up, further observations confirmed that this actually worked to my advantage.

She had low expectations of men, so that whenever a man performed well, or even just to a mediocre standard, she was full of praise. Many times, I was told that I had done an excellent job when really, I had just done what they paid me to do.

On the other hand, her much higher expectations of women - she intimated that women are smarter, more organized, etc. - meant that my female colleagues couldn't get away with a mediocre performance. They had to meet a considerably higher standard to receive the proverbial pat on the back. Otherwise, they might just get a cutting remark. I never got a single one.

The women I worked alongside were no more or less experienced than I was; but their inexperience was not forgiven, whereas she would be patient and gentle with me. After all, I was a mere man. I couldn't be expected to know these things.

You might say that I was being patronized, but then I was the one who ended up getting promoted. Presumably because the gap between expectation and achievement was wider in my case.

So there you have it, a bona fide example of male privilege, undeniably the product of the feminist meme that women are smarter than men. Unintended consequences can be a real bitch, can't they?

- Mojo

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