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I am posting this as a benchmark, not because I think I'm playing very well yet.  The idea would be post a video every month for a ye...

Friday, September 8, 2017


I was looking at Operation Razor's Edge and I saw a goal I could achieve instantly, which is to buy a piano. (What I had is broken.) I just bought a keyboard off the internet and it will arrive tomorrow.  This conflicts with another goal, which is to pay off credit card completely, setting me back a few months from that.

But with this piano, a Yamaha electric keyboard of about $400, I can go to an open mic and play, which will achieve a second goal. I also had to buy a stand for it which wasn't expensive. I can also play at night when I am lazy to go to Murphy hall and find a room. I could have waited until I had money to buy a $1,500 instrument with cash and not credit, but I felt a strong impulse of something I could do right now.  


We think of habits as things hard to change, lose, or acquire.  Yes, this is true. But you can also make a change instantly.  Look at your own equivalent of ORE and find something you can do today.  Many things have happened to me like this. Incremental change is fine, but you also need to do things that will fundamentally re-orient yourself (assuming that you are not well oriented!). You cannot make fundamental changes every day, because there are only so many changes you need to make, and you cannot rush certain things either. I am not recommending impulsiveness as a general rule, but sometimes an impulse must be followed. End a toxic relationship?


How do you know if you are oriented? First, does what you do every day line up with your core values and identity? So if you want to be a professional musician but you are not practicing and playing, then there is a mismatch. If you are doing things to sabotage yourself, prevent yourself from doing what you really want to do.

Secondly, do you feel at ease with yourself, comfortable in your own skin? I have rarely if ever felt this in my entire life, but I feel it when composing music and bad poems, sometimes when lecturing my friends on poststructuralism. I begin to feel it when I feel completely accepted by someone I love, and get some inkling of what self-acceptance would feel like.



Anonymous said...

There is a lot that can be done instantly, but they have to be things you actually want, like the piano in this example. I discern that there is a difference between behavior modification and discipline, and I think one should grow ego and shrink superego.

Parth Jain said...
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