Today I got up with (or was it a little before?) the alarm clock. (Will the electric grid collapse today?) (Am I becoming more compulsive?) The Klinkenborg technique is to draft and rewrite a sentence in your head. Write it down afterwards. The Pomodoro technique is to focus on one process at a time, for 25 minutes. Pema Chödrön’s insight is, when your attention wanders, bring it back kindly. (Do not discourage yourself from noticing. That is the work.) BJ Fogg’s method is to write and practice minuscule recipes, which revolve around habits you already have, and to celebrate these minute behaviors. Ericsson documented the conditions under which you can reshape your brain. Identify a behavior you can’t perform. Find a way of getting feedback. Struggle to perform it every day. The soul is the unconscious mind. What we call god is the unconscious universe. The work of our conscious mind is to connect the two, so that the one reshapes the other, and then the other reciprocates. Cal Newport suggests that we do this without distractions. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi observed that absorption is liberating. We learned to be self-conscious to keep ourselves from getting cast out. That god we must please is an elder. If we fail him, we have to contend with the source. What is outside the circle. Wayne C. Booth et al teach us how to have dialogue with our elders. Philip Zimbardo does not say that if we look on the past with love we can create more and more that is beautiful, but he does a little. He does observe that people who love the past act more responsibly. Peterson preaches the wisdom of dying to our past self, and so does Rother, and Ericsson, and Chödrön. We should only let live what we want to see more of? But of course it’s both. Always both. I used to be unable to follow through on my plans, and, also, I loathed, instant by instant, my past self. But that’s who made the plans. Who is this that turns this sentence over and over? I notice that the traffic light outside my window stays red for thirty seconds but green for only twenty-five. Main Street gets five second more than 4th. Is that reasonable? If you could even celebrate each time you brought your attention back. We strength-train by lifting, not just holding. Plato (or was it Socrates?) taught us that to learn is to remember. Later, we learned that recollection is its own deliberate practice, distinct from recognition. Can you ask yourself a question? How? Can you rephrase it? Jung said: however far-fetched it may sound, experience shows that many neuroses are caused by the fact that people blind themselves to their religious promptings because of a childish passion for rational enlightenment. Is that true today? If you rephrase it, isn’t it a different question? The three turns of the wheel is the more relevant teaching. Everything else follows. 

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