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Learning to become focused

Rebis

Blessed are the hearts that can bend
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Naturally I'd wander from idea to idea, discussion x,y and z.

Last year I got into this state: Methodically keeping track of every 10 minutes I had, accounting for variables like cooking time, a 5 minute break, transportation and the likes. Over summer I reverted back to relaxing, playing video games and exploring the smallest of ideas.

I think I'm going back to being hyper-focused, almost one-dimensional. Does anyone go through these transitions? I don't mean compartmentalized hours of hyper-productivity, but genuine weeks and months of complete laser focus.

I'm glad I transition between these states, I do see a large personality change on my behalf. It's almost disassociative as I see the other side of me being ineffectual: If I'm exploring every idea in detail then there's too many tangents, if I'm not exploring tangents I'm becoming too narrow minded.

The change feels psychologically different from just concentrating, it feels like a complete personality change, I can't stress it enough.

I sometimes wonder if this is a disorder, or through the act of not accepting myself I constantly seek change. There was a story from one of jung's work, either the red book or relating to the self that always struck me, it was about a man that pushed himself beyond what anyone even anticipated about him, he climbed to the height of skyscrapers but then he climbed a mountain and at the top he died. I feel I'm becoming this person, it's a high risk high reward scenario and I'm taking all the risks.
 

Serac

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long-term focus is not about micromanagement, it's about cultivating a deep-seated belief in certain goals. It's quite powerful, to the point where you might become willing to destroy your own health for certain goals. And it certainly means sacrificing a lot of things that most people hold dear, like leisure, entertainment, etc. It's what most people would call obsession.
 

moody

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It's almost disassociative as I see the other side of me being ineffectual: If I'm exploring every idea in detail then there's too many tangents, if I'm not exploring tangents I'm becoming too narrow minded.
I can relate to this. A few years ago, I started having really bad symptoms. I never noticed my symptoms for what they were, because I was laser-focused on my work. As they got progressively worse, I attributed it to me being unproductive and lazy (things people had always criticized me for). Anything that set me back I attributed to something I was doing wrong, and would do whatever I could to re-direct my approach and habits.

I've been like that my whole life, though; I analyze my actions separate from my physical and emotional state. It made me extraordinarily hard on myself, because I would never give myself the benefit of the doubt. It also makes me more apt to notice flaws in my reasoning and work because I can analyze myself separately from my physical/emotional context.

It's helpful, but yes, it can be dentrimental if you never weight in your physical and emotional limitations. You can't be objective to those, because you're the only one experiencing them. No one will be able to define your limits for you, and if you try to seek guidance on how you could judge yourself, no one will ever cut you a break. They'll assume you're always fine, because that is what you will be projecting when you don't spell out what you are able and willing to do.

I sometimes wonder if this is a disorder, or through the act of not accepting myself I constantly seek change. There was a story from one of jung's work, either the red book or relating to the self that always struck me, it was about a man that pushed himself beyond what anyone even anticipated about him, he climbed to the height of skyscrapers but then he climbed a mountain and at the top he died. I feel I'm becoming this person, it's a high risk high reward scenario and I'm taking all the risks.
I wouldn't know that, but you may relate to clinical descriptions/symptoms of OCD. With OCD, the neurochemicals that allow you to feel satisfaction after completing a task are extremely low, so you will never feel satisfied. (It has to do with dompamine's pathway in the brain). Serotonin is also involved in this pathway system, and usually the hunger system is also a factor/cause. When your rewards systems are wack, you won't be able to conceptualize how your emotional and physical states factor into the way you judge yourself and your output. If you're really struggling with this, I recommend seeing a therapist. There are some medications that could make your day-today life much more bearable.

I once refused myself food and water until I finished something, because I thought I didn't deserve it until I was done. (Again, pre-diagnosis). I fainted and injured myself.

long-term focus is not about micromanagement, it's about cultivating a deep-seated belief in certain goals. It's quite powerful, to the point where you might become willing to destroy your own health for certain goals. And it certainly means sacrificing a lot of things that most people hold dear, like leisure, entertainment, etc. It's what most people would call obsession.
Well said. INTPs are more prone to obsessive mindsets (I've gathered), and I know I get extraordinarily fixated on whatever it is that's caught my attention. I forget to eat, drink water, and sleep.
 

Rebis

Blessed are the hearts that can bend
Local time
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It's almost disassociative as I see the other side of me being ineffectual: If I'm exploring every idea in detail then there's too many tangents, if I'm not exploring tangents I'm becoming too narrow minded.
I can relate to this. A few years ago, I started having really bad symptoms. I never noticed my symptoms for what they were, because I was laser-focused on my work. As they got progressively worse, I attributed it to me being unproductive and lazy (things people had always criticized me for). Anything that set me back I attributed to something I was doing wrong, and would do whatever I could to re-direct my approach and habits.

I've been like that my whole life, though; I analyze my actions separate from my physical and emotional state. It made me extraordinarily hard on myself, because I would never give myself the benefit of the doubt. It also makes me more apt to notice flaws in my reasoning and work because I can analyze myself separately from my physical/emotional context.

It's helpful, but yes, it can be dentrimental if you never weight in your physical and emotional limitations. You can't be objective to those, because you're the only one experiencing them. No one will be able to define your limits for you, and if you try to seek guidance on how you could judge yourself, no one will ever cut you a break. They'll assume you're always fine, because that is what you will be projecting when you don't spell out what you are able and willing to do.

I sometimes wonder if this is a disorder, or through the act of not accepting myself I constantly seek change. There was a story from one of jung's work, either the red book or relating to the self that always struck me, it was about a man that pushed himself beyond what anyone even anticipated about him, he climbed to the height of skyscrapers but then he climbed a mountain and at the top he died. I feel I'm becoming this person, it's a high risk high reward scenario and I'm taking all the risks.
I wouldn't know that, but you may relate to clinical descriptions/symptoms of OCD. With OCD, the neurochemicals that allow you to feel satisfaction after completing a task are extremely low, so you will never feel satisfied. (It has to do with dompamine's pathway in the brain). Serotonin is also involved in this pathway system, and usually the hunger system is also a factor/cause. When your rewards systems are wack, you won't be able to conceptualize how your emotional and physical states factor into the way you judge yourself and your output. If you're really struggling with this, I recommend seeing a therapist. There are some medications that could make your day-today life much more bearable.

I once refused myself food and water until I finished something, because I thought I didn't deserve it until I was done. (Again, pre-diagnosis). I fainted and injured myself.

long-term focus is not about micromanagement, it's about cultivating a deep-seated belief in certain goals. It's quite powerful, to the point where you might become willing to destroy your own health for certain goals. And it certainly means sacrificing a lot of things that most people hold dear, like leisure, entertainment, etc. It's what most people would call obsession.
Well said. INTPs are more prone to obsessive mindsets (I've gathered), and I know I get extraordinarily fixated on whatever it is that's caught my attention. I forget to eat, drink water, and sleep.

I think I've created systems to stop me from not eating, drinking and sleeping: I am aware of the time throughout the day, graciously within a 20 minute margin of error but mainly right on time. I drink a tonne of water, I've drank 750ml and I woke up 2 hours ago, getting my second bottle after this post. I tend to structure my day around food, I get 3-4 meals a day.

I understand the reward system completely: Currently I've been researching dopamine and its effects on the reward systems, a few things I've been doing recently:
-Little sugar to prevent dopaminergic surges that close a dopamine transporter's activation area which contributes to less dopamine being sent to the brain.
-Dopaminergic Reuptake Inhibitors which keeps more dopamine within the brain.
-No fap, this is interesting: So I've been doing no fap and the current process is this: If you were to masturbate quite regularly you're exposed yourself to large surges of dopamine, and given the fantasy element of porn it't ticking all the boxes: fantasical gratification and physiological gratification. Testosterone levels increase if you haven't masturbated, which contribute to better exercise performance along with taurine and creatine while reaping the rewards of an increase in BDNF levels, Endoprhins like dopamine and anandamide. So at the moment I'm a bit more aggressive but I think it's a good trade off for now, thankfully I'm not an angry footballer.

My mum has relatively extreme OCD if it's possibly genetic:
-Wouldn't touch money from my granny with her hands, she had to wear a special type of glove. (My granny was an alcoholic during the time my mother's dad died when she was 13, people in the community would bring my granny home as she'd fall face drunk into a bush, must've been terrible on her)
-Any pennies she collected had to be transferred to someone else: she would make my brother lift the money, which then she would take. It was like transmitting dirt, this was also done in conjunction with the point above.
-Never went to the school for teacher meetings because she used to go there when she was a kid (this is understandable to a degree, but definitely representive of her compulsiveness than any event that occured there).
- Made me return clothes because I entered a store that had some incense, which she thought transferred to the clothes. It was a big shop too, we missed the bus.
-Generally, she has disgust sensitivity. I basically called it quits when I saw that disgust applied to me, even though she's trying to keep contacting me when you see someone perceive you as a disgust, particularly a parent you'll never forget it. The eyes tell too much of a tale.

Maybe there is a genetic component, or at least I've been raised around this behaviour. I don't perform much rituals so in that sense I'm fine, but I'm certainly never satisfied with the moment and always look to the future. I can't revel in satisfaction over a task, it just doesn't happen. I try to artificially induce it by trying to watch tv or "chill out" but it never feels genuine. I feel i'll never be satisfied until it's a true achievement which is a utopian perception at best. We all know utopian ideas can't be met.
 

Serac

A menacing post slithers
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I had to do a “no fap” for medical reasons a few years ago, and basically couldn’t touch it for like 10 days. I can tell you my focus was absolutely obliterated, and I could smell women from a distance of 60 meters.

Essentially I became a K9 detection dog that searched for female smells.

And also, I started jizzing like a goddamn cum fountain in my sleep every night
 

Rebis

Blessed are the hearts that can bend
Local time
Today, 21:07
Joined
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Messages
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I had to do a “no fap” for medical reasons a few years ago, and basically couldn’t touch it for like 10 days. I can tell you my focus was absolutely obliterated, and I could smell women from a distance of 60 meters.
Was your focused obliterated in the sense you were constantly distracted by females or you couldn't relieve yourself to relax? I think it gives me more focus as it reduces the insurgence of pleasure, making me feel rewarded by less stimulation.

I haven't had sex in 2 weeks, but that's not exactly included in the no fap situation, it'll probably make sex a lot more enjoyable when it comes aorund. Having said that I'm not socialising as much so it could be a month or a bit, I'm not messaging anyone at the moment. Let's see how it goes.
 

EndogenousRebel

We're all trying our best. Aren't we?
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I would call that laser focus, being driven. It's like one is possessed by the ideals they have in mind, almost like the ideals are giving them energy. Serac makes a fine point when he he brings up goals. I decided on a goal a little while ago, and it was to be in absolute control over all my time. I've broken up my days into 2-3 hours blocks of time, and am getting a sense for what exactly I can accomplish in a day, a week and or a month, so on. It really is encouraging to feel the progress, and understand myself a bit more. Building on that goal, I want to find out how many hours a day I can work, and slowly increase that number. It could take a year before I'm ready to increase it, but in a couple years time I could be an extremely efficient monster. Theres nothing wrong in being driven, so long as you know how and when to relax, even constructed machines need maintenance from time to time. Be attentive to your thoughts, and let nothing go unquestioned when you believe you may need to cut yourself some slack. Life is short, and you may regret working so hard in the end, taking life too seriously.

I know that abstinence from fapping does indeed at least have a temporary increase increase in testosterone, and I believe that when you don't get apparently usual dopamine rush might make you seek that amount in other things that could maybe be associated with limited/delayed gratification, but I feel like the biggest influence is what we tell ourselves.

Mind is a powerful thing, simply believing something (placebo, nocebo) can make something happen on a physiological level, so just imagine it's influence with psychological states. I personally have the belief that I'm fighting off a fucking wild animal when I don't fap for certain periods of time. It clouds judgement and makes me more.. pussy oriented. Just the other day I went 3 days without doing the do and I actually tried to flirt with someone, something uncharacteristic of me. When I do the business I feel a release of tension and a quick deescalation of crazed lustfulness, and am usually disgusted.

Granted this brain fog could also be because I have some sort of addiction to the rush, or maybe even pornography and my senses need to re calibrate when I don't get my fix, but hey I'm extremely functional and don't really feel much guilt or shame so whatever. Maybe if I tell myself it's for a higher cause I could resist for a longer period, and cut myself off, but in the event that I get to the nasty I feel I'd bust like a chemical reaction, so there are plenty of pros and cons.
 
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