Focus? Or a brief decompilation of our brains 


A simple concept, in theory


This post is not directly programming-related. It’s just a plethora of ticks and tacks over my own thought processes.

When I first started this development blog, I wrote the following in the “About” section: “I’m going to focus on the thorns in our side; Or how to work around all pesky limitations, all pain in the neck around different kinds of libraries and technologies that pulverize our precious time”. I originally planned to post at least once a week. And despite having enough content, and enough time to write, I was unable to fulfill this weak, fragile requirement formulated by my wanting mind.

Now, I can present a lot of clever reasons why. I’m able to understand that I had other things to do. I’m able to understand that suddenly other things became more important. I’m able to understand that the mind can be tired, or lazy, or lacking focus, effort, and concentration. I’m able to understand that you need to create a habit to do things efficiently. I’m able to understand that “just doing it” is an excellent way to get things done even without willingly wanting to do so. I’m able to realize that I don’t always have fun writing, though I generally love it. And on top of that, I’m also able to understand that writing is often seen as simpler than it really is. This is not what I’m doing in this post.


Decompilation?


I got into this post because, as it turns, it’s also surprisingly related to my main objective. “How to work around all pesky limitations, all pain in the neck around different kinds of thought and action issues that pulverize our precious time”. And what a better way to do this than to open up a reflector and point it at our own minds? And I know this is as abstract as abstract gets, and my point is not to solve my issues, or give you the “secret to success”: It’s merely a poor man’s analysis with some interesting considerations, and by poor I mean it’s just my uneducated guess on the subject.


The clean slate


As I see, a great way to understand yourself and your actions and reactions, is excluding them altogether. Suppose you don’t have ideals, or memories, needs, plans, and know-hows. Consider nothing right or wrong, complete or incomplete. Then you can build it all back, little by little, while you think on your issue.

Usually we get carried away by our first set of thoughts and emotions, and this impairs our thorough analysis. This may seem obvious, but when you tell yourself everyday “I need to workout”, for instance, and you don’t, most of the times you’re just satiating the virtual need for an excuse. You don’t need to think about anything, this is just your own personal, built mindset kicking in. If you really need to workout, because you want to take care of your health, the mere thought “I need to workout” is useless. You don’t need this thought in order to workout. You just need to go there. Think of it as a noise, as a commented “TODO: Fix this bug” that lingers in the code inside your brain.


The exaggerated foresight


Planning is, by all means, important. However, I often get my brain to enter an “unproductive” state of foresight. I keep simulating all my next steps so much, that my time is drained into those thoughts. The best part about planning is that you can still forget your plans if you kept them somewhere else. The whole thing about concentration and focus is very accurate, and I’ve read a lot of articles about that recently. However, I believe the catch is: Sometimes it’s just hard to shut down your brain . It keeps reminding you of the “thing” you have to do tomorrow. One word of advice? Stick to a perfect simulation and carry yourself out of that thought. If you’re thinking so much about the “meeting” tomorrow, just simulate it going perfectly for now, and keep doing what you’re doing. Our minds, like machines, can also get stuck trying to find a definite solution to unsolvable equations, such as predicting behavior of completely unknown people. Note that this “perfect” is very relative, and perhaps the perfect simulation is meant to be a total disaster. It doesn’t need to be perfect for the situation itself: it just needs to be perfect enough to convince you and your stubborn brain to let it go.


The interpretations


And last but not least, having an unique point of view is something underrated these days. The whole internet polarization thing seems to me like an extension of our own thoughts, as we say to ourselves “I’ll never use the GOTO keyword in programming, because everyone sees it as horrid”, for example. Is this our own conclusion? Usually not. The way society puts us on “thought” rails is amusing. And we keep following the thought train so blindly, as our brain carves it all so hard in our skull. My take on this is: never assume anything on a 100% certainty. People bash failure. People criticize attempts. Yet almost no success is made without lots of failed attempts.

And what is a failed attempt? Series of inputs which don’t cover all output targets correctly based on your own expectations. Nothing more, nothing else.

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