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Getting In the Moment

"One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision." - Bertrand Russell

Whether because of self-doubt, legitimate mood disorders, simple crankiness, bitchiness, or procrastination, it's often hard to get in the moment. We spent a lot of time upset about stupid shit, which can ruin your whole fucking night. And we spent a lot of time and energy worrying qua worrying about problems rather than taking action to solve the problems.

I've used some self-hypnotic techniques from Handbook of Hypnotic Suggestions and Metaphors (expensive, but cheaper than an hour with a therapist) to help me get in the moment. It's also a form of active meditation.

When people ask, "Do you medidate," I say, "Yes." When they ask me where, I say, "Everywhere, and all the time."

What's it mean to get in the moment? It means shutting off meta-cognition - that is, to stop thinking about thinking, or feeling about feeling. What's that even mean?

Imagine you're writing a legal brief or presentation or love letter. Probably you're thinking, "This is awful. This is stupid. I shouldn't even write this. What am I doing with my life?" Yet you must write something. You can always edit it later. Stop thinking about the process of thinking, and start writing. If it sucks, at least you'll have something to throw away. Don't be a fucking pussy who doesn't do anything. 

Or imagine you're getting bitched at by someone. Maybe a boss had a bad day or your girl is being a cunt. You don't want to get sucked into feelings about feeling, since what good is that? It's a black hole of misery. 

Here's a simple way of getting int he moment. It works in nearly every situation. If you have writer's block, instead of thinking about writer's block, get into the moment of where you are. Here's what I did this morning, for example:

I'm sitting at my lap top. It has a QWERTY keyboard, 15.4" inch monitor, and black keypads with the impressions of white symbols on them. Word is open, and if you double-space your paragraphs and use 12-point Times New Roman font, you'll get about 250 words per page. Also, even a skillful typist with 95% accucray will have over a dozen errors on a single page.

Soon enough the writers block is ended.

I was at a bar getting bitched out over some perceived flaw. So I looked at my drink:

Look at this. It's a side car, but it's made with vodka instead of cognac. It has a sugar rim. The sugar is orange, and this martini glass is substantially larger than most glasses. It probably holds 12 ounces, though it wasn't fully filled, and probbaly has 10 ounches of liquid. Which means it should have 4-6 onces of vodka. At $12, this is probably the best value in the City, and the views in this place are splendid. I am going to start taking people here, and it's an impressive location.

I can't even remember what I was being dressed down for, since I wasn't "there." I was in an entirely different moment. Yes, you can choose the moment you're in.

Even if something terriblle is happening, you don't have to experience that moment. No, you can experience an entirely different moment. 

At any give time-slice, there are several different moments you can check into. You just need to learn how to get into them. Narrating - using the same detail you mind see in an overwritten novel - the scene you're in is an especially effective way of getting into the moment.

Try it out, and you will have much less anxiety and much more productivity.