Tag Archives: learning

Quit complaining. Start learning

I’ve done a lot of complaining today. I’m certainly not the only one, though. I’m one of many people complaining about the election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States.

But enough now. It’s time to quit complaining and start learning.

Why? Because complaining is pointless. It achieves nothing. All it does is make me feel better about the fact that I don’t understand how a man like Donald Trump could be elected into power in a democratic system.

The point there is: I don’t understand. The solution to not understanding is learning, not complaining.

I can complain as much as I like about a situation I don’t like. It won’t change that situation one tiny little bit. I don’t have the power to change the US election result. I do, however, have the power to direct my own attention towards trying to understand the forces at work in the United States that led to Trump being elected.

Nobody forced the citizens of the United States to vote for Trump. They did it of their own accord.

It’s too easy to dismiss the American voting public as being ignorant or stupid, but that doesn’t actually help at all and it is in any case not true. All it does is make me feel like I’m better than them in some way. It doesn’t help me understand them and their motivations.

So I say to myself: Quit complaining. Start learning.

Screw depression

Screw depression. Really. It sucks. If anything in the world is unfair, it’s depression. My own brain literally just doesn’t do what it’s supposed to, and the result is a compromised, stunted experience of life.

I suffer from depression. It’s been a part of my life for a long time, though it took years to work out that I might have a problem. Once I sought medical help, I discovered that antidepressants are truly magnificent.

Unfortunately, dealing with my own depression is not just a matter of taking medication. Over time, I am learning that depression has shaped the way I see the world. It has affected many of the habits I’ve developed during my life. It is without doubt the most limiting characteristic I have.

Depression makes me extremely effort-averse – productivity is a chore, rather than a path to achievement. Even though I now understand that my aversion to effort is a result of depression, it seems well nigh impossible for me to change my own behaviour.

I’ve been accused of being lazy at various stages of my life, and I’ve even believed it much of the time. But I’m not lazy. I’m depressed. When I’m not depressed, I’m capable of sustained hard work, which I enjoy greatly. When I am depressed, it’s almost impossible to get started.

I’m full of interesting ideas for what I’d like to do with my life. Almost none of those ideas ever see an attempt at implementation. That’s the result of depression convincing me that hard work is unpleasant, when the exact opposite is true: Hard work is invigorating and satisfying. I know that intellectually, but that’s apparently not enough to overcome the negative emotions I’ve learned to associate with effort.

Depression is the one part of my life I wish I could remove. I detest it. It makes me ordinary, when in my imagination I am extraordinary. It holds me back from pushing my own boundaries and expanding my life experience. It tells me I will probably fail and that failure will be a bad thing, when in fact failure is my most useful tool for learning and growing.

Screw depression. Seriously. Screw it.

The irony of it all, of course, is that depression is a part of who I am.

I’m fighting with myself.