Friday, March 20, 2009

Computers as an Escape Mechanism

When we are faced with difficulty in our life, we basically have 2 options

a) Accept the Problem -> Face the difficulty and try to work through it

b) Avoid the Problem -> Burry ourselves in something else and try to avoid the 'problem' and hope it goes away.

And, in general, for each problem we generally switch between a) and b) interchangable.

We develop complexities in how we avoid problems. For me, I tend to buy myself in some computer problem, some program I can make, or 'bug' I can fix. For others, they may put in extra hours at work, or use substance abuse or alhocol abuse, etc.

When I'm working on a computer problem, or developing a new tool or utility, my mind can drift off into some "never never" land, problems seem to disappear, and I can just focus on 1 thing. I imagine this is why we do this, we avoid and work on something (or try to work on something) that keeps us "at arms length" from the 'pain' of dealing with the problem. Perhaps it's a real pain or just a precieved pain, but either way we tend to avoid it.

But in the end, the thoughts return, we can't avoid things forever, and our Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTS) are always waiting for us. Sometimes the fear and anticipation is much greater then the actual pain, but we can't realize this until we face it

Strategies such as Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and cognitive therapy can be employed to help us face these concerns, problems, and fears. But sometimes things are easier "said" then "done" and we may find ourselves in an ongoing cycle moving from "facing" to "avoiding" to "facing" over and over again.

But at the end of the day, it will be our willpower, our desire for change, or need to evolve that moves us forward and motiviates us. It can happen in the similist of circumstances, we are staring at a flower, or at the rain drops sliding down the window. We are listening to a song we've heard a thousand times before, and it "hits" you. You have a shift in your thinking and you can move on.

For everyone, there is a "ratio" of facing vs avoidance, and a challenge to maintain a ratio that keeps us happy, that keeps our mind, body, and spirit heallthy.

How is your ratio working for you?

The imagination exercises a powerful influence over every act of sense, thought, reason, over every idea! - Latin Proverb

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