Okay okay, I know I like ridiculous headlines. But here’s the gist of this post – I failed. I failed my Spiral of Awesomeness™ Challenge. After three full weeks of successfully adhering to it, my discipline finally slipped up, my willpower betrayed me, and well, here I am… gathering the pieces.
What Happened, Bro?
I won’t get to details, but if you’ve read the original post you notice that the challenge consists of 7 hours worth of things to do, and NOT doing some things. Well I failed in the latter department. Well, actually, after doing something that wasn’t part of the challenge, I also fell asleep before meditating so that also got not done – but sufficed to say had I not already failed the challenge that wouldn’t have happened.
I don’t like to dwell on failure but it’s always healthy to look at why it happened. If my challenge is called Spiral of Awesomeness™, then the day that ultimately lead to my failure would get called Spiral of Shit™. It’s funny how things always work as spirals or chain reactions. I basically woke up much later than usual, which would have been fine if I had just gotten to writing like I did for the three weeks prior that right away. But no, I was coming off a record week, feeling good, and perhaps a bit complacency crept in and I allowed myself to procrastinate for a few hours.
Then I ended up being even further behind on everything when I played games socially with my friends. So after we stopped playing games, I was already tired but with a mountain of tasks to do. My willpower didn’t yet fail though. I kept persevering and completed most of my tasks. But all the tiredness and upset for myself for letting my discipline slip up ultimately ended in a willpower failure. I’ve known it before – my willpower breaks if I let myself get too tired. The rationalization hamster for doing shit that I shouldn’t do takes charge of my mind when everything else is too tired to stick around.
I set my reward for completion of challenge to be a visit to Malaysia. Well obviously given I failed the challenge I can say my goodbyes to that plan. If I don’t follow through not giving myself the reward then it shouldn’t have been a reward in the first place. Now obviously I’m eventually going to go to Malaysia, it just won’t happen this year.
It was an enormously hard challenge and while I am not going to be apologist for my own failure, or have a loser mentality of being satisfied with it, I can still say I did well by being on it for three weeks. But like I said, I obviously won’t settle for it.
The Phoenix Rises
So here I am, at the ashes of the Spiral of Awesomeness™ Challenge. But you know what? I’ve not stopped. Anything but. I’m going to go for the full length. I’m going to rise from the ashes like the fucking Phoenix and complete the rest of the five weeks.
Some changes will need to be made, though, as a reaction to my failure.
- Absolute zero tolerance on any form of instant messaging & games before all the tasks are completed
- Zero tolerance for anything for that matter that’s just a distraction from the tasks of the challenge
- Get up the bed by 10 am. every morning
- Get to bed by 1 am. every night
- Only form of entertainment allowed during eating is reading
I am glad that I failed. No, you read that right. For I had noticed distinct lack of quality in the way I went about the challenge at times. I had denied myself music for instance while writing under the ruse of it hindering my focus to the task itself. Well, how do I think chatting with someone while writing is going to affect my focus? Very negatively. This kind of pattern repeated all the time and it really defeated the purpose of the challenge.
Not that awesomeness hasn’t been spiralling into my life, because it has, but had I been fully focused to the process, the way I intended it, this whole thing would be a total Whirlpool of Awesomeness™.
Well okay I admit now I’m bordering on the ridiculous. But remember, don’t take yourself too seriously, right?
Anyway, back to the point. Only way I’m going to avoid somehow distracting myself is to absolutely close off distractions from my life.
That’s not to say I will never chat again, or play games. Of course I will. But it will have to come after I’ve taken care of everything I set out to do. Not doing everything you decided to do with your day is pathetic. But for the duration of completing my Spiral of Awesomeness™ habits and other tasks I need to do that day, I’m going to close all chat programs, deny myself games, even close my phone. Not even watching videos is allowed (Youtubepoops have become my nemesis) – normally I watch videos while eating but no distraction won’t be allowed this time.
Notice how I’m slowly but surely slipping into more and more rigid challenge, similar to the vein of my earlier failure of Self-Discipline Challenge. It comes to the old discussion about flow vs. rigidity. Initially this challenge was more of “flow” challenge as I had certain things to do, but no set pattern to do them. Self-Discipline Challenge, on the other hand, had everything engraved in stone with no freedom in it – no wonder I failed miserably. Perhaps this form of my challenge will finally provide the perfect balance of freedom and structure.
Now as for reward, I can’t obviously go for the Malaysia reward any more, so I will have to figure out something new. I’m not even sure if I do still need a reward – like I said, I’ve been doing this for three weeks now, so I have considerable momentum. But for those lower consciousness moments, when the rationalization hamster is running, its good to have something simple to aim for that even the brutish mode of your brain understands.
So for my Spiral of Awesomeness™ Challenge, reward for the Rising Phoenix™ segment (ie. the latter 5-week part I’m on now) is… Well, I will need to think about this cause I simply can’t come with anything that really compels me that I would need that I actually can get right now. But I’ll figure out a reward and continue without one until that!
Now if you excuse me, I’m going to get to the challenge.
As always, leave me comments!