As we mature we learn more about ourselves, if we are careful. I know the weaknesses of my natural disposition, so I diligently pursue the cure.
Thinking is effortless, but writing takes courage, and it is all too easy to fall back on lesser goals and dreams. It is not that the fight is too difficult, or the labor too intense, no; it is the thought of what lies ahead, the task as envisioned by my imagination that hastens my first step down a path that is much less formidable in reality than in my mind. And so I delay. I check the news, see if the Irate Gamer has posted a new video on YouTube, check the news again, get some tea. I cannot be defeated if I never begin, and it is easier to put off beginning if I know I don't have time to finish. So day after day slips by without engaging the dream.
I have found a quick antidote to fear: pressure. I will not learn Greek on my own, but I will learn it for a grade. I won't learn how to build a store for my website except I need to eat. Necessity is the mother of invention and the slayer of that dragon, Fear. But alas, some dreams cannot be forced in this way for they produce no income and have no external pressure pushing us forward. Here is the abiding dilemma, fear must be conquered from within.
After sufficient struggle I take that first step, and even as the journey begins I find myself too easily swayed by my timid heart. I would rather live in my former delusion that my work is too laborious to complete, that my heart and mind are not up to the task, than accept the facts that what I am doing is not as difficult as I thought. So that I might not be proven wrong I work half-heartedly. As a half-man cannot hope to accomplish anything he sets out to do, I soon discover that the work really is too much for me. But in a strange turn I do not find myself comforted in being right, but angered that my dreams have over-reached my abilities. This fury, while achieved through much wasted time and psychological self-deception, is the elixir I have earnestly sought to overcome my fear. Fury to fight, fight to battle, battle to tears, tears to perseverance; all in a lonely room in front of my computer screen.
The Intellectual Life is a book that has confirmed my suspicions about how I should live. It has brought order to the chaotic musings of my mind and has given practical direction for ordering a life devoted to study and giving. In light of my reading I have come to some idealistic conclusions for ordering my time. As life changes I will need to adjust, of course, but for now this small schedule might help tame the dragon within. So here it is:
I have discovered that 5 hours a day is more than enough time to accomplish all the "work" I have to do. This includes school, web design, King's Yomen details and house management. I have also seen that 12:00 to 5:00 is the best time to accomplish these things. Consequently, anytime before 12:00 can be spent on other things. I have decided to devote 8:00 to 10:00 to reading (never school reading as that falls under my work time). This is because I need something to stimulate my mind in the morning and it is the most enjoyable and least fearful task before me. I say "8 - 10" and not "two hours" because this motivates me to be use that time for that task, and I cannot just put it off until later. Between 10:00 and 12:00 I eat and write (hence this blog). If this regiment is successful I may be blogging more, or perhaps I will spend more time working on the various projects I have considered since finishing my former work.
This schedule makes all the time Chrissy is at work (8-5) valuable and helps curb some of my tendencies to put things off or to grind everything to a halt while I attempt to complete a "prioritized" task. I know this regiment is idealistic, but idealism is a good motivator for me and this will help me accomplish all the things I love, reading, writing, and finishing my work. I highly recommend The Intellectual Life to anyone who hopes to write or influence others through the accumulation and exposition of knowledge. It is written by a Catholic monk so it is both thoughtful and holistic, that is, it considers the entire person and their relationships when teaching about truth and life. I haven't enjoyed a writer this much since Lewis or Dallas Willard.