January 15, 2015

Beginning of School and Self-Control

Last week was my first week at Regis University. So far, I’m enjoying the forum discussions and the material is coming somewhat naturally to me. My first two classes are Control Structures and Ethics in the IT Profession.

I enjoy going over the ethical information, but I’m more enjoying building programs in my control structures class.

Lots of stuff has been happening since that last post, I think. Let’s go over it all, shall we?

  • Started School;
  • … uhm … I swear there was more;
  • Listened to lots of Harry Nilsson (the “Missing Beatle”);
  • Shaved my mustache (I’d post a picture, but I don’t photograph well);
  • Listened to lectures on Self-Control (oooo lectures);
  • Listened to The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell (Would Absolutely Recommend)

Wow, what a list! I know what you’re thinking: “Patrick. How do you even get through the day with that much stuff going on?” The honest to God answer is, I don’t know. It takes a lot of patience, and self-control. Which brings me to one of the topics of this post – Self-Control.

When I was driving back up from FL to SC after Christmas Break, I started listening to a 3 or 4 hour lecture on Self-Control by Nathan DeWall Ph.D. It was sort of an interesting listen, but he didn’t give too many specifics on the studies he cited, which bothered me a little bit.

Things I took away from his lecture? Successful people are able to focus a lot better than us “normies” (as I just called us – that includes you… probably). Stephen King, for instance, writes 2,000 words each day? (That has a question mark because I’m not sure whether that’s correct or not. The question mark also denotes upward inflection? On the end of my sentence?)

I attempted writing 1,000 words a day, excluding weekends, totaling in at least 5,000 words each week. I did that for about 4 or 5 weeks, and I felt good doing it, and then I justified stopping because I was starting this new degree. Now I wish I had kept writing… not because what I was writing would have been any good, but I would have well over 100,000 words for editing right now.

I also took away that planning and sticking to a schedule makes everything much easier. And sure, things are going to get in the way, and there are going to be bumps in the road, but you can really take a lot of power out of the hands of your own procrastination by making a list and sticking to it no matter what. It is a kind of absolutism that I find useful at times, and unjustifiable at others.

I haven’t been able to come up with a list of priorities for each week regarding my studies, but the sooner I do it, the more productive I’ll be overall. I’ve never been great at finishing assignments days beforehand, and although it doesn’t get to the point where I’m turning anything in late, I’d still like to correct it and give myself a bit of a buffer.

At the end of the day, I have to take responsibility for my own actions.

That’s all.

2 thoughts on “Beginning of School and Self-Control

  1. Ann Piccard

    Imagine all the people . . . taking responsibility for their own actions. What a wonderful world it would be.

    Why don’t you just start writing a thousand words a day again, starting tomorrow? Falling off the wagon doesn’t mean you have to stay there, does it? Nope, it doesn’t. G’head, write some words. Wait: am I talking to you or to myself? Hmmm.

    1. Patrick

      I might have to start doing this, again. It’s not a bad idea. I just need a little more organization in my life right now, and a little more self-discipline, and perhaps a little more energy. We shall see.


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