A few years ago I came across a video by a guy who talked about 4 types of motivation, toward reasons and away reasons, as well as positive reasons and negative reasons. Using lifestyle change as an example, it went like this (though his technique relied on tapping on parts of your body while reciting affirmations):
What this brought to my attention is that the greatest motivator, Love, is working against change as much as it is working for it. In our basic state, we don’t diet or exercise because we love comfort. Many people are aware that if they don’t diet or exercise, it will kill them, but because this is highly unpleasant and generally distant, they don’t make that change. Oddly, more people will change in response to a fear of fatness. An ideal motivation would be love of health.
This morning it occurred to me that these align with levels of function (adapted from both Peter Attia’s orthopedist and the ASD chart in the DSM5) Attia’s process travels from unconsciously incorrect (I prefer stressed) to consciously incorrect, where you know what you should do but aren’t really doing it. Then you may be consciously correct (robust) and eventually you can do the right thing without exertion.
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So we can put these together to illustrate the spectrum of degree, and add a couple of other domains that are often of concern.
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Though I’m not as sure about the lower end of organization, which may be why it’s a problem for me. The concept of hoarding is pretty vague. By “fear disaster” I mean if you have stuff on the stairs, someone could fall, or clutter could hamper fire rescue. It gets at my advantage listing for safety. Having a messy kitchen could result in foodborne illness. I think the number of cardboard boxes we have may constitute a fire risk. But hoarding? What do we get from hoarding? How is it indulgent? I suppose that in that moment you decide to keep something, it is giving into an impulse that you might need it, you just never know. Well, you do know, that’s what caused you to consider tossing it.
My flow had gotten a bit puckered, where I’d miss a couple days, then make them up, and so forth, but I pretty much just missed a week here on day 30. I realized that Sunday and decided to just pick up on that day. I am interested to read the chapter involved. Our college kid has been in town. I’m actually kind of surprised that a week is all I have missed.
I used to have a pinecone on a granite post, but I found this painting my grandmother made that she sent for Christmas cards one year. It’s called World Peace Conference, and peace is one of my key motivations for my organizing project. Also, there was one time my Grandmother came over and made me clean my living room when I was a freshman. I had a living room, even, as a freshman. I was living in a house my mom bought near campus while she was getting her degree.
I cleaned my dining room and kind of the kitchen today. Not perfectly, but enough that my kid noticed. The idea is to be able to take a remote proctored exam tomorrow.
I wrote a talk for church last week, the topic was the Atonement in my personal life. At first it closely tracked my 12 step journey, but I eventually went over to more churchy things (which were still spiritual experiences that were part of my 12 step journey). But I guess it’s stirred up that part of me.
Thinking mistakes often come from past experiences, voices of people we’ve known who were not always at their best. My friends used to try and help me oppose these voices. The 12 step way has a strange corollary to the brass serpent Moses made when the children of Israel were bitten by snakes. Sometimes to recover, you have to look at the very thing that made you sick.
We can’t escape the past by fighting it. Instead, we have to make peace with it. There is an element in this in “one day at a time” and “just for today”. We deal with the past in inventory and amends, and that frees us to live today.
I’ve read 3 weeks of the Beck Diet Solution and written reflections applying them to organization as best I can. My friends on the forum that got me started on this seem to think the program covers more ground than it needs to for any given individual. I can maybe see that. On the other hand, I think our various cognitive domains are very clever at adopting new ways to subvert change.
Yesterday I decided to count my boxes, and I realized I actually was closer than I thought to being semi organized. That is, I have 106 boxes in my basement, but I had 71 places to put boxes, so there was only 35 boxes more than I have places for.
So I was actually able to rearrange things so that every box has a face visible to the outside world. The boxes are not in mysterious piles anymore. This is strangely liberating, and moves me into a new phase of organizing. That is, I feel like I’m actually organizing and not in hoarding detox. I can have shelves/rooms dedicated to particular functions.
I’m in a nutrition class at nursing school and decided to try and classify what I’ve identified as the 3 types of clutter.
What I hope is helpful about this is that it draws analogies between the things I struggle with and the things I maybe don’t. We’ll see how it works.
Mal: You have to look past what she is to what she can be.
Zoe: What’s that, Sir?
Zoe: No, I mean what’s that, sir?
Mal: Oh, that. I think something was living in here…
Today I was super tired. think I may have only gotten three hours of sleep last night, because of an earache. So not at my best. But at one point I stole a hug from my autistic preschooler, and it felt so good, and I realized something. It’s important to see past limitations to possibilities.
I have done well with this in some things, but not with my house. It’s probably part of my body dysphoria too, and why I really do feel good when I do strength training. Of course, optimism can be dangerous if it keeps you from striving for improvement (like when I tried Kondo method and found everything sparks joy.)