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September 17, 2004


Highlights of my day:
1. A very fast bike ride into work. I turned a 15 minute ride into 10.
2. I learned more about library cataloging today: How to understand and generate Cutter Numbers. I saw a very old 3 character Cutter-Sanborn book that one of our Librarians keeps around because it’s old and nostalgic.
3. I finished creating a list of the books I have labeled and cataloged so far. My ‘organized’ collection is now at 39 books and counting.
4. I overcame a great mental block in one of my programming projects by outlining and identifying the scope of the project fully.
5. I met with my language partner and ate with him at a good Chinese restaurant in Dinky Town. I had this really great tasting Tomato Shrimp dish. Then we went to a coffee shop and listened to some live folk music and talked. It was fun and I learned a few new things and we both practiced our language skills.

I was thinking today about the motivation behind many of our activities in life. Sometimes people see them as ‘escapes.’ Many people read a lot of books and it could be viewed as an escape. When people cycle a lot of miles it could be considered an escape. Anything could be an escape from our daily lives. When I looked at the programming problem I was having at work, which I had been stalling on for a while, I realized that some of the other tasks I was doing were escapes from that project. It wasn’t until today that I saw that. When I finally broke through the mental blocks I was having I came up with a good plan. Having a good plan I was able to focus and keep on task with this project today. I wasn’t looking for an escape from it.
It’s very difficult to know when we are playing escape games with ourselves because it’s not always easy to see. Understanding our underlying motivations behind our thoughts and actions can help us. However, I am in no way saying that all escape is ‘bad.’ Our underlying motives determine the consequences of our actions. If I continued to ‘escape’ from my programming tasks, I would not have a happy boss. If I escape from work and stress by writing, reading a book, cycling or seeing a movie, I’m not avoiding work, I’m resting from it. We all need rest and the escape is refreshing. An escape that is ‘avoidance’ has different consequences.

Posted by carl1236 at September 17, 2004 11:59 PM | Attitude