this post is too long but whatever, i hope people respond anyway.
in Lullaby, Palahniuk says something like, "Orwell had it backwards. Big brother isn't watching you. He's singing and dancing. He's pulling rabbits out of his hat. Keeping you distracted while your imagination withers."
I've found that my overall efficacy significantly improves when I altogether cease listening to music and watching movies. I've tried this mental diet before, and experienced cool results, but I've always reverted back to losing myself in mp3's and movie rentals. It's like they melt something important, like the precious tiny amount of 'J' I have in me. I space out, forget time, and lose any resolve for taking care of my responsibilities. For me, movies and music are very addictive.
I glanced at Lullaby in a bookstore and I liked what he said about people being afraid of their own thoughts, afraid of silence, so they "spray the air with someone else's mood".
That and the Orwell bit made me re-realize how disconnected I've become from my own mind, how i've been nearly catatonic, how i've favored distraction over any kind of measurable progress for the last 3 years, favored immediate gratification over everything.
This is the third time i've resolved to eradicate 'mind polution' from my life. I've been without music/movies for a full day now. I can think more clearly. I feel more inclined to take care of myself. And I was actually on time to work tonight. which is incredible. but of course I'm afraid my resolve won't last several more days. No major life strategy I've implemented has lasted more than a week. But I do have hope that i can make something stick, after learning that, on average, smokers quit 8 times before they can permanently resist.
My biggest motivator maybe is my father--he watches American Idol (which boggles my mind), he's always playing a dvd on his laptop while sorting papers, watching taped sitcoms on the kitchen tv while he does dishes, and has earphones on while hanging laundry, and it seems every week he gets STUPIDER AND STUPIDER. My motivation is not wanting to be like him. I resent him.
I know i can't go the rest of my life w/out seeing a movie or listening to an album, and i shouldn't want to since they're part of why we're here--to create. But i want 'me to own them', not the other way around.
My question to forum members is are any of you like me? Does music confuse you, make you listless, make you disappear into your mind. Does television/movies hypnotize you, pacify you, make you forget time, lose your drive? Make you generally fail at life, forget stuff, be chronically late? If you go on youtube or watch videos elsewhere on the internet do you also subsequently kiss several hours goodbye each time, just always wanting more, to absorb more, to know more? Do you come out of hypnosis spells from this stuff feeling totally pathetic because you couldn't/ didn't know when/how to stop? If so ...
I'd like to know: what tricks do you use to get you to do stuff right? to WANT to do right? How do you regulate your impulses? Do any of you have a central idea that governs you? Do you have a quest or some goal/ constant threatening reminder that keeps you in line? I know we each need to find our own way, but I'm still curious to know ...
How do you make yourself function correctly?