013: Act Natural

There's this scene in Spongebob where Patrick says "act...natural."

Spongebob starts to eat grass like a cow.

The phrase "act natural" is just funny.

Because the second I try to act natural, I've already lost.

Sometimes at the gym, I'll walk from the treadmills to the free weights.

I have an endorphin high. Listening to music. Feeling confident.

So I start walking, and as I do, I feel insecure.

"Am I walking too confidently?? What do people think of me? Am I attractive?"

This mind narrative is just madness.

Because the moment I become aware of how I'm walking, I'm fucked.

The only way to walk normally is to forget about it entirely.

It's funny how that works.

Sometimes trying helps, sometimes trying hurts.

It's an apparent paradox: can I try to not try?

I'd say yes. But it's less of a tactical strategy, and more about accepting the thoughts in my mind.

"Okay. I'm self-conscious right now. Moving on with life..."

Hearing the thought, but not taking it too seriously.

Pretty soon, I'll forget about the self-conscious thoughts entirely.

And I'll realize: "I've done it! I'm back in the moment. This is my natural state and I declare victory over my thoughts!"

Yet somehow, even that is a self-conscious thought and I'm back at square one.

But that's fine. It's a continual process.

Quote I'm Pondering

"It is the thing that I tell young writers...you just have to be starting out. Anything you do can be fixed. What you cannot fix is the perfection of a blank page. What you cannot fix is that pristine, unsullied whiteness of a screen or a page with nothing on it, because there’s nothing there to fix."

– Neil Gaiman (via The Tim Ferriss Show)

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