Monday, September 7, 2015

Impulses

I had a friend who did things on autopilot, or so she claimed. We've been there, driving long distances and being surprised when we get there.

I read this morning that what keeps us procrastinating is impulsive behavior. Sometimes I rationalize that it is more important to do something rather than the task at hand. That something might be going to a gym or looking out the window. And after looking out the window, I need to walk around a little... perhaps to explore what is in the refrigerator or to see if we have received any emails.

Soon 70 years have passed, and the job is not done. Funny how procrastinating one minute can become an hour, a day, a week, a month, a year, a decade, and then a lifetime.

The impulsive behaviors become riding a horse with a mind of its own. I am holding the reins, but the horse has a mind of its own. I think that one more trip to the fridge won't set me back more than five minutes. What's five minutes in a lifetime? And then that five minutes insidiously becomes a lifetime.

There is a Zen saying that when you are hungry you should eat and when you are tired you should sleep. Is that saying that I should go wherever the horse wants to go?

“What shall I do now, what shall I ever do?” TS Eliot wrote that in the wasteland. We look back and see that we wasted time. How did the horse take charge?

I suspect that an untrained horse just follows it impulses. A good trainer can teach a horse to obey the rider's whims. But what is involved in training my horse?

P.S. Since I wrote this last Tuesday I’ve been feeling that I’ve been run by impulses. Today I turned over a new leaf and took the bull by its horns. We’ll see who wins.

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