Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here.

Discuss the November 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes.

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KELVIN KAY 2
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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

Post by KELVIN KAY 2 »

What do you do when your loved ones have left you? Let's say you are married for 30 years and you don't know anything about life except being with your husband. What do you do ?
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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

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Moisés Alcántara Ayre wrote: March 13th, 2024, 1:41 pm I'm an English language teacher whose native language is Spanish. I've been considering the possibility of writing a book, but don't know where to start yet.
Hi, Moisés Alcántara Ayre,

That's not actually a question.

Even though I sometimes can offer some advice that might be helpful even if presented with just a description of a situation without a specific question about it, in this particular case I am a bit confused what you mean. Namely, I'm not catching what the first sentence has to do with the second exactly. Like are you thinking writing a book that teaches people English? Or, if not, do you know what the book would be about? Why do you want to write a book?

Overall, do you mind providing some more details about the situation?


With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes






---
In addition to having authored his book, In It Together, Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) runs a mentoring program, with a free option, that guarantees success. Success is guaranteed for anyone who follows the program.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

If you haven't already, you can sign up to be personally mentored by Scott "Eckhart Aurelius" Hughes at this link.

Nisha DSouza wrote: March 14th, 2024, 1:40 am Hi Scott,

In one of your earlier posts about budgeting time, I had a follow-up question.

I love the concept of monotasking and budgeting or planning my time. My issue sometimes is that the time I have allotted to a certain task is less and it runs longer than anticipated and then it derails the following tasks. What do you suggest in this situation?
Hi, Nisha DSouza,

Thank you for your question! :D

That situation (deviations from one's budget) can come in many different forms in which the specific details would be different. What I would suggest specifically would depend on those specific details. If you later want to post a new question in which you explain one or more times it has actually happened in more detail, I can offer suggestions and advice in regard to each of those specific cases and unique variations. For example, if something that you couldn't have predicted suddenly happens such as your landlord increases your rent by $50 a month, the best resolution might be to simply adjust your budget accordingly. To take another different example, if the time or money that goes towards "home maintenance" (i.e. fixing things that break in your house suddenly goes overbudget, it might mean you wrote the budget incorrectly in the first place. For things that vary unpredictably, you typically want to err on the side of writing your budget towards the 'worst case scenario'. For instance, in a financial budget, if your electric bill tends to vary each month from between $100 - $200, then you would probably want to budget $200 for it, and you can even explicitly note in your budget what you are going to do with the extra if it's less (maybe split it 50/50 between your savings account and your date night fund, or some other luxury that might otherwise feel like a guilty pleasure/expense, to reward yourself for any role you played in keeping your electric bill lower).

In any case, in general, my advice would often be about the same for this general issue (i.e. not sticking to a budget) as for someone saying they are not sticking to a new habit they want to form. In other words, you can take the advice I have provided about using tiny micro-habits and about diligently avoiding macro-habits to the issue of financial budgets, time budgets, and even calorie budgets and food diets.

We can distinguish between two types of ambitiousness:

(1) 'non-superficial ambition' -- By this, I mean effective true honest ambition combined with brutal honesty especially in the sense of being honest with oneself versus engaging in any kind of self-deceit, dishonest denial, or self-delusion.

(2) 'superficial ambition' (including pseudo-ambition) -- An example of this would be the seeming ambition of someone who goes on a crazy crash diet or who signs up for a get rich quick scheme.


You can easily see a great example of superficial and/or pseudo ambition when you go to the gym on January 1st or January 2nd and see the huge crowd of people working out so hard and so intensely. Not only are there way more people at the gym on those first few days of the year, with their doomed New Years Resolutions, but the intensity and length of the average workouts is so much wildly more intense, long, and hard--and for that very reason also unsustainable, just like a crazy crash diet or get-rich-quick ponzi scheme are both unsustainable. Needless to say, its superficiality and/or pseudo-ness is revealed when you go check the gym a week later, and all those people have faded away.

Many would make the misconception or incorrect description of saying that those people lacked willpower, motivation, or failed to choose to stick with it. Even people who have read my book or other things I've written about choice, success, and self-discipline (a.k.a. spiritual freedom) will incorrectly apply those ideas to that situation. They might falsely and foolishly think, "Oh, if those people at the gym doing those intense long workouts had read Eckhart's book and applied its teachings then they would have been able to choose to be consistent and would have achieved their seemingly super ambitious New Years Resolutions instead of giving up." Likewise, they might look at a crash dieter who doesn't stick to their seemingly extremely ambitious diet and say, "Oh, if that crash dieter had just read Scott's book and applied his teachings about self-discipline (a.k.a. spiritual freedom) then they would have realized their choices are 100% in their control and they would have had the self-discipline to stick to their crazy crash diet that at a superficial level seems so insanely ambitious."

We can see how common it would be for even my own followers and readers to jump to such absurd conclusions based, in large part, on my own teachings.

How common it would be to do that acts as a very good and important example of why you will almost never want to apply my teachings to anyone else except the human you see in the mirror, and only that specific-aged version of that human. It's not Monday-Scott's job to apply these teachings to Friday-Scott. And likewise it's not Friday-Scott's job to apply them to Monday-Scott. And likewise it's neither Monday-Scott's nor Friday Scott's job to shove them down the throat of my sisters and brothers and cousins and neighbors across the street or some guy I see on TV who lives on the other side of the world.

When you follow the teachings of my book, you see your so-called future self as being as much of an 'other' as your siblings, nieces, nephews, children, neighbors, and even dogs, cats, lions, and antelope.

Some people are so abusive and/or tyrannical towards their so-called future self. On average, when I talk to someone about their expectations regarding their future self (e.g. the budget he's expected to stick to, the crazy crash diet he's expected to follow, the huge and numerous promises he's expected to keep, the already written checks given to others he's expected to cash, etc.), it's like I'm talking to Hitler or Stalin. People are typically so horrible and abusive towards their future self.

Typically, if he (the future self) rebels against you (or me), good for him, I say.

When it comes to a person starting a huge new macro-habit or coming up with some financial budget or time budget or crash diet, my teachings would apply more to their future self than to them, and my teachings would basically say: disobey; disobey that crazy tyrannical plan commanded upon you.

When I talk about self-discipline (a.k.a. spiritual freedom) the crash dieter might think I am on their side and that my teachings will help them (and their future self) stick to the crash diet. No! No, almost certainly the opposite is the case. It's their very tyranny that I will teach their future self to disobey.

Someone might look at someone who starts a crash diet, comes up with a new huge macro-habit, or some seemingly super ambitious budget (for finances or time) and think my book would help them (and their future selves) avoid breaking that crash diet, help them form and keep the macro-habit, and help them avoid deviating from the budget. When the person seems to fail at their seemingly super ambitious goal, one might look at them and say, "If only they had read Scott's book and followed his teachings, they would have had the self-discipline to stick to their super ambitious-seeming plan." No! No, if anything almost certainly the opposite is the case.

When their future self violates the tyrannical rules and absurd requests shoved on them from their past self, I'd say, "great job! Great job breaking those absurd tyrannical rules. That's how you disobey. That's how you can be a rebellious free spirit. Yes! End the crash diet! Rip up the paper with the absurd tyrannical News Years Resolution. Free yourself from this tyranny!"

You can practice unconditional love and thus love an abusive romantic partner or a physically abusive and deranged family member with whom you live. But you also at the same time can (and I recommend you do) in some sense or another say to that person with your words or more importantly with your actions, "I love you, but I am not going to let myself be abused. I'm leaving. I'm cutting ties. And if you find a way to attempt to abuse me again, I will defend myself with everything I've got. I have hereby assertively set and assertively communicated my healthy boundaries, and I am telling you that if you cross these boundaries I will enforce them and defend them with full force."

Likewise, one following my teachings can find themselves looking back at their past self and confidently and proudly saying, "I love you, but I'm cutting these ties. I refuse to be abused."

What I recommend is that if you are unable to stick to your budget or otherwise are not sticking to your budget for whatever reason (be it a time budget or financial budget or other budget), then drastically roll back the budget into something that is much less superficially ambitious. Create a budget that at the superficial level seems so utterly unambitious that you can and do stick to it with infinite ease. Make a budget that would be so hard to not stick to that it would take significant willpower and effort to not stick to it.

Then, after you have consistently stuck to that budget/plan for at least 21 days without any deviation, then--and only then--slightly adjust it to make it a little more superficially ambitious. Then, once per week or once per month, if--and only if--you have continued to consistently stick to the budget/plan without any deviation, make it slightly more superficially ambitious. Keep following that plan, one small infinitely easy step at a time.

That is what someone who is truly ambitious in regard to the alleged goal will do.

In analogy, someone who is truly committed to losing a certain amount of weight and keeping it off won't go on a crash diet. They won't even start a crash diet. They will instead create a sustainable plan that they can and do stick to, built on having a truly loving non-abusive relationship with their selves over time that demonstrates the power of voluntary loving teamwork and respect for each other's freedom. Don't be a tyrant impotently telling your future self they have to; be a good teammate or a freedom-respecting businessman, acting out of love, and figure out how to get them to want to and choose to on their own without being abusively forced or tricked by impotent tyrannical freedom-disrespecting commandments.

Generally speaking, especially when starting out on a new big goal (e.g. losing 100 lbs and keeping it off, or going from being in debt to being a millionaire, etc.), the more truly ambitious and committed a person is, the more unambitious they will seem, especially at first. Don't mistake (1) what seems to be true at a superficial level with (2) what is actually the case. I find that it's not merely just the case that appearances can be deceiving, but, even more, they usually are. I find it's not the exception but the rule. Those who most talk the talk usually least walk the walk. When you hear dogs barking behind a closed door, the dog that barks the most and loudest isn't usually the biggest and toughest and bravest dog, and isn't the dog you are going to want to watch out for. And the guys with the biggest and loudest trucks, who puff their shoulders up the most when the walk, and seem to want to fight everybody, well I'll leave that to talk about a different day. :lol:

If I am at the gym on New Years, and I am betting on who is going to stick around long-term from the huge new crowd, I'll bet on the guy who is doing a short workout and barely working up a sweat at all.

Whether I am betting on (1) who really wants to get to the top of a big staircase or (2) who will actually get to the top, either way I am betting firmly on the person who is taking one small tiny step at a time rather than the one who is suddenly taking a wild running jump attempting to jump up the big staircase. That latter person not only won't get to the top, but they clearly don't really want to either. Generally speaking, they are just putting on a big show. And the person they are most aiming to deceive with the big show is themselves. For most people most of the time, the person they lie to the most is themselves.

Don't walk into the gym when you haven't been there in years and put more weight on the bar than anyone else has ever lifted in that gym and "attempt" to lift it. No, start with an amount so small that you honestly and truly and accurately believe it will be super easy for you to lift. You would be shocked and blown away if you didn't lift it. Then, build up slowly from there. Each time you succeed at one level, add a little more weight and see if you can do that, with equal infinite ease. Then repeat. It's like simple computer programming: It's a simple powerful recursive algorithm. It's the kind of thing with which you can build an entire humongous diverse universe out of a few lines of simple recursive code.

Don't start by coming up with a seemingly super ambitious budget and then "attempting" to make your behavior, routine, or spending match it.

Instead, do the vice versa: start by writing a budget that matches your recent behavior and/or that you are confident you can stick to consistently for at least few weeks without deviating from it all.

Then make small subtle adjustments one at a time, and then wait to see what happens with that one small new adjustment before you decide whether or not make another small adjustment. If you aren't fully able to lift the new weight for the scheduled number of reps, don't add more, keep working at that weight until you can fully handle it before adding more. That's not (just) about working out. That's a proverb to apply to all aspects of your life and to all forms of habit-making, routine-scheduling, planning, and budgeting including time budgets, financial budgets, and any other budgets or plans or routines you are writing for your future self to follow if they choose to accept your favor request that they follow the plan that you wrote for them.

If you want them on your team, don't make your team one they'd want to quit.

If you want to make your marriage work, don't be the kind of spouse they'd want to divorce.

If you want to keep your job, don't be the kind of employee your boss would want to fire.

Once you 100% absolutely refuse to be other people's slaves or abused at all, but also firmly and 100% understand and accept that they aren't your slaves and 100% refuse to abuse them at all, then it becomes so easy to grow your team and work productively with others in a mutally beneficial as a healthy team, be those your others in space (e.g. siblings, neighbors across the street, children, parents, etc.) or your others in time (e.g. your so-called future self, meaning older versions of the human you currently see in the mirror).

Free people form mutually beneficial relationships.

When you are offering a mutually beneficial relationship or transaction, you don't need to depend on abuse, tyranny, aggression, dishonest manipulation, or slavery. The people will be practically knocking down your door to voluntarily take you up on your honest assertive offers--because they are by definition beneficial to them. They will say with a smile, "accepting your offer benefits me, so I happily and voluntarily accept."

Do your future self a favor when you are writing the notes, budgets, and plans that you give to them. Right one that will make them smile, not just you. It's more important that it makes them smile and that they want to follow it because they are the one you want to follow it.

If you are only doing yourself a favor and/or only possibly doing your other far far future self a favor, then of course your mid-future self is going to tell you to shove it. And I'll be cheering her on when she does.

Accounting and budget-writing services can be so valuable. Many people have a literal high-paying professional career as an accountant or bookkeeper or budget-writer or in budget and spending analysis. I am so thankful to all the work yesterday Scott and the other previous Scott's did to write the various budgets and wonderful plans I have in front of me in writing, some literally on paper right in front of me on my desk, some in computer spreadsheets, and some literally taped to the wall in my office or home. They are so helpful to me right now (and to many other different-aged versions of this huge cooperative team of Scotts scattered throughout time), and I am eager and happy to follow those budgets and plans. For me they are like the tattoos and post-it notes that guy used in the movie Memento. I'm thankful for them, and I'd be lost without them. I'm eager to see what they say and eager to voluntarily follow their helpful instructions, mainly because they were and are written to help me, not to help past me or future me but to help this me, right here right now. They were written by past Scott out of loving kindness to help this Scott, and that's why I gladly and happily accept them and use them and stick to them.


With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott



use-habits-not-willpower.png





---
In addition to having authored his book, In It Together, Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) runs a mentoring program, with a free option, that guarantees success. Success is guaranteed for anyone who follows the program.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
Nisha DSouza
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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

Post by Nisha DSouza »

Eckhart Aurelius Hughes wrote: March 16th, 2024, 2:33 pm
Don't start by coming up with a seemingly super ambitious budget and then "attempting" to make your behavior, routine, or spending match it.

Instead, do the vice versa: start by writing a budget that matches your recent behavior and/or that you are confident you can stick to consistently for at least few weeks without deviating from it all.
That makes sense. I will write a new budget that I can easily and consistently stick to at least for a few weeks. Thank you so much! I will come back with examples if I face difficulty again.
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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

Post by Moisés Alcántara Ayre »

Moisés Alcántara Ayre wrote: March 13th, 2024, 1:41 pm I'm an English language teacher whose native language is Spanish. I've been considering the possibility of writing a book, but don't know where to start yet.
Hi, Moisés Alcántara Ayre,

That's not actually a question.

Even though I sometimes can offer some advice that might be helpful even if presented with just a description of a situation without a specific question about it, in this particular case I am a bit confused what you mean. Namely, I'm not catching what the first sentence has to do with the second exactly. Like are you thinking writing a book that teaches people English? Or, if not, do you know what the book would be about? Why do you want to write a book?

Overall, do you mind providing some more details about the situation?


With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes

Hi Scott,
What I actually meant is that being an English language teacher wanting to write a book in English made me insecure as English is not my first language. The book could be on any topic--I just don't feel very confident with my skills to write yet. Then, once I decide to start this writing journey, where do I begin? Should I first brainstorm ideas on any topics that interest me? Should I just focus on one topic and add ideas methodically like for 30 minutes each day? ...

Hope I have explained this more clearly this time,

Best,

Moises




---
In addition to having authored his book, In It Together, Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) runs a mentoring program, with a free option, that guarantees success. Success is guaranteed for anyone who follows the program.

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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

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Eckhart Aurelius Hughes wrote: March 12th, 2024, 4:27 pm
My main point in that post was this:

When taking on a big goal or big project (e.g. starting a weight loss plan with a goal to lose 100 lbs, learning a new language, starting a side business or side hustle that they one day want to quit their day job to do, etc.), most people put way too much time towards that thing per day and/or way over-estimate how much time it requires per day, which in turn causes them to do one or more of the following:

(1) not choosing to even start because they overestimate how much time it will take and either don't have that much time to spend or don't want to spend that much time on that thing

(2) quitting because it's so exhausting and time-consuming

(3) use their time inefficiently and waste time

In other words, even if they don't quit or give up due to their choice of making it so much harder, more expensive, and more time-consuming than it needs to be, they are still wasting all that extra time, money, and energy that they are throwing at the thing.

The workout example is just an example. If you are going to get basically the same results by working out for 2 hours every day as you would by working out for 30 minutes, then working out for 2 hours is at best going to be a waste of 1.5 hours per day. And that's at best. More likely, it's going to lead to you skipping days and/or giving up entirely.

My point was also to show how much you can get done with just 30 minutes or less, using 30 minutes as just an example. There's nothing magical about that number versus say other numbers like 15 minutes or 45 minutes.

[...]

30 minutes per day is about 2% of your time.

An hour per day is about 4% of your time.

An hour per week is about 0.5% of your time.

Two hours per week is about 1% of your time.

Those are just examples. For some tasks and projects, I'd recommend only budgeting 10 minutes per day. For others, I'd recommend budgeting 2 or even 3 hours per day.

However, I strongly advise my mentees to err heavily on the side of budgeting less time.
Kaitlin Bryant wrote: March 16th, 2024, 10:55 am I just want to say, I absolutely love the break down of the percentage of your day. That is so encouraging for me. Makes working on the projects I have been avoiding because they seem overwhelming...seem a lot less so.
Would you suggest setting a timer for tasks? Do you think that would be more stressful or helpful?
Sometimes I get wrapped up in what I am doing and then get frustrated that I "wasted time doing this, instead of that."
What would your suggestion be for helping with such issues?
Hi, Kaitlin Bryant,

Thank you so much for your question! :)

Whether or not I would recommend a certain person set a timer for a certain task or not would vary depending on several factors:

(1) what the specific task is. For some tasks, I would be more likely to recommend a timer; for others, I'd be less likely to.

(2) what your inspiration, motivation, and/or goals are in relation to that task specifically. This can be explored by me asking you (or you asking yourself), why are you doing the task? And, what are you hoping to get out of doing the task?

(3) what your broad overall big goals and dreams are in general. This can be explored in part by me asking you (or you asking yourself), where, ideally, do you see yourself in one year, in two years, in five years, and in ten years?

(4) your overall unique personality type. For example, my recommendations would likely be different for someone who tells me they struggle disproportionately more with issues like overthinking, anxiety, intrusive self-critical thoughts, over-motivation, and/or people-pleasing, versus someone who tells me they struggling and want help with almost opposite issues (e.g. under-thinking, carelessness, laziness, etc.).


Finally, a 5th factor is best summed up by this common and fairly accurate two-sentence piece of wisdom: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. And, insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results.

In practice, what that 5th factor means is that the degree to which I would recommend someone change their habits and routines is strongly correlated to the degree to which they are lacking in free-spirited inner peace (a.k.a. true happiness). This is why in my book, I talk a lot about (1) the beauty of diversity and ideas like (2) live and let live and (3) to each his own. If two people are in nearly identical situations, but one of them is truly happy in terms of having free-spirited inner peace and the other is very unhappy (i.e. doesn't have inner peace and/or feels like a spiritual slave or like a prisoner in their body), then I will likely give those two people opposite recommendations despite them both being in nearly identical situations. For one of them, they want different results so it's time to stop doing the same thing. For the other, it ain't broke.

For example, if someone asks me if I recommend they drink more alcohol on average each week, less alcohol, or keep it about the same, my recommendation will have almost nothing to do with how much they are currently drinking. But it will have a lot to do with what their stated goals are and whether or not they are currently truly happy, meaning whether or not they have extreme full-fledged free-spirited inner peace.

One person might only be having 5 drinks a week (which is less than one drink per day on average), and I'd recommend they do even less.

Another person might have 14 drinks a week (more than double the previous person), and I'd recommend they keep at it.

If what you are doing is working, then I typically say keep doing it.

In contrast, if you are persistently feeling spiritually unfulfilled, meaning you persistently feel that you don't have wonderful graceful free-spirited inner peace (a.k.a. true happiness), then it's probably time to not only change your habits and routines but take a bigger step back and look at the larger-scale patterns and cycles in your life that you can choose to break. An unhappy alcoholic might bounce back and forth from going to AA meetings religiously while remaining temporarily sober to then go back to binge drinking, with the grass always seeming greener on the other side. It's not really 'doing something new' if it's just part of a larger-scale unbroken cycle of re-chasing the same old allegedly greener grass on the other side where you just came from not that long ago. Unhappy people are often great at lacking consistency with their habits and routines in the short-term (which is good because obviously those habits and routines aren't working for them). But they (e.g. textbook addicts) tend to get trapped in a bigger cycle that ultimately does keep them stuck and stationary without progress. If you run really fast in a medium-sized circle, you still end up going nowhere. And that's what addicts do. They are motivated to run fast and hard because they are unhappy, but because they are unhappy the grass is always greener on the other side and thus they just run in circles from one side back to other. All humans are on the addiction spectrum, so that's a universal pattern, at least that is for anyone who hasn't yet found their inner peace (a.k.a. true happiness) and full-fledged spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline).

Going nowhere can be more than fine if you are happy where you are.

In contrast, traveling and journeying, especially in terms of going on an endless journey with no destination, is great if you love the journeying and are happy when journeying.

Letting go of the timers and letting yourself get lost in tasks that are allegedly "time wasting" can be a bit like going out with friends to the bar for a drink or two, staying out a little late, and losing some sleep. For a stressed anxious workaholic whose parents use to pressure him during his whole childhood to get straight-As and follow all sorts of strict rules, who still constantly hears their critical pressuring "you're-never-good-enough" voice in his head as his own inner monologue, day-in day-out, I might recommend he do the timers less and do the relaxing allegedly "time wasting" nights out with friends more. For someone else, or just for different tasks, my recommendation will be the opposite.

Roughly speaking, there's an old adage I like, most likely coined by Marthe Troly-Curtin: "Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."

The only thing I would possibly consider as truly wasted time is time spent being unhappy, meaning time spent not having free-spirited inner peace. Another rough way to say that same thing is to talk about being more present in your unique present, which we can--very roughly speaking--then use to say, "the only time wasted is time spent not being consciously present". However, at a deeper level, even that is an illusion. At that level and in that context, there simply is no truly wasted time. In other words, you can't truly be un-present since that would be to therefore not be at all. That deeper truer simpler and more absolute level of reality is explored in the following topics of mine:

- Trying, failure, underachievement, and should-not-have-ness are imaginary phantoms that cause you real misery. (Everyone and everything is a success.)

- When I see someone in hell, I smile inside myself, and I think, "Good for him; he's getting what he's choosing." (In this most heavenly of heavens, even the hell-wishers get their wish.)

The Universe doesn't miscalculate. Reality is right. Nothing wrong happens. Nothing happens at the wrong time nor at the wrong place. Everything that happens, happens at the right time and place. The sleepers will wake up to lucidity when they are ready. Or, to say it shorter, they will wake up when they are ready.


If you give me a few specific details about your unique goals and the specific tasks for which you are considering adding a timer, I can advise you in more detail about those specific tasks specifically and whether or not I recommend adding a timer or not for those.

Nonetheless, the following four sentences might be the best, most direct, and shortest answer to your overall question: It's not that hard for you to empirically test if adding a timer for any given certain task adds more stress, productivity, and/or happy free-spirited inner peace to your day. You can add a timer to a daily task that you haven't been timing for a few days and see how it feels and what the results are, or vice versa. Just A/B test it. See which way is more or less stressful, productive, and/or happiness-conducive for you, and then go with that.


You do mention that you feel "overwhelmed" by the prospect of some tasks, and feel "frustrated" at yourself when you get wrapped up in some things. For those issues in particular, I suggest you read my answer to the following question as well:

I am feeling overwhelmed in college in my first year. How do I manage everything around me?

In that answer, I point out that my book (In It Together) will teach you how to feel neither overwhelmed nor underwhelmed but perfectly whelmed, a powerful state better known as inner peace, grace, or gracefulness that comes with instant invincible free-spirited happiness and also leads to seemingly supernatural levels of external success and achievements, such as making huge amounts of money or achieving ridiculous results in the gym, or whatever your unique external goals happen to be.

My book won't just give you some vague hints to reach that amazing graceful state. I guarantee that anyone who reads my book and strictly follows all 11 of the numbered suggestions at the end will thereby achieve that state instantly.




With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott


If you chase happiness, you will never be happy. If you are happy chasing, you will always be happy, because there is always more chasing to do.<br /><br />If you happily love the endless journey and endless work, you will always be happily in love. If you wait for the end of the endless journey to be happy, you will never be happy. If you wait to happy until all the work to be done and there is no work left to do, you will never be happy because there will always be more work to do. If you wait to be happy until all the goals have been met and all the desires fulfilled, so you no longer have the so-called suffering that is the state of having unmet goals and unfulfilled desires, then you will never be happy because there will always be unmet goals and unfulfilled desires.<br /><br />Be happy now, and let your free-spirited happiness inspire you to happily do the work that you happily do.
If you chase happiness, you will never be happy. If you are happy chasing, you will always be happy, because there is always more chasing to do.

If you happily love the endless journey and endless work, you will always be happily in love. If you wait for the end of the endless journey to be happy, you will never be happy. If you wait to happy until all the work to be done and there is no work left to do, you will never be happy because there will always be more work to do. If you wait to be happy until all the goals have been met and all the desires fulfilled, so you no longer have the so-called suffering that is the state of having unmet goals and unfulfilled desires, then you will never be happy because there will always be unmet goals and unfulfilled desires.

Be happy now, and let your free-spirited happiness inspire you to happily do the work that you happily do.


---
In addition to having authored his book, In It Together, Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) runs a mentoring program, with a free option, that guarantees success. Success is guaranteed for anyone who follows the program.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Posts: 12
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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

Post by Kaitlin Bryant »

Eckhart Aurelius Hughes wrote: March 18th, 2024, 2:23 pm If you haven't already, you can sign up to be personally mentored by Scott "Eckhart Aurelius" Hughes at this link.


Eckhart Aurelius Hughes wrote: March 12th, 2024, 4:27 pm
My main point in that post was this:

When taking on a big goal or big project (e.g. starting a weight loss plan with a goal to lose 100 lbs, learning a new language, starting a side business or side hustle that they one day want to quit their day job to do, etc.), most people put way too much time towards that thing per day and/or way over-estimate how much time it requires per day, which in turn causes them to do one or more of the following:

(1) not choosing to even start because they overestimate how much time it will take and either don't have that much time to spend or don't want to spend that much time on that thing

(2) quitting because it's so exhausting and time-consuming

(3) use their time inefficiently and waste time

In other words, even if they don't quit or give up due to their choice of making it so much harder, more expensive, and more time-consuming than it needs to be, they are still wasting all that extra time, money, and energy that they are throwing at the thing.

The workout example is just an example. If you are going to get basically the same results by working out for 2 hours every day as you would by working out for 30 minutes, then working out for 2 hours is at best going to be a waste of 1.5 hours per day. And that's at best. More likely, it's going to lead to you skipping days and/or giving up entirely.

My point was also to show how much you can get done with just 30 minutes or less, using 30 minutes as just an example. There's nothing magical about that number versus say other numbers like 15 minutes or 45 minutes.

[...]

30 minutes per day is about 2% of your time.

An hour per day is about 4% of your time.

An hour per week is about 0.5% of your time.

Two hours per week is about 1% of your time.

Those are just examples. For some tasks and projects, I'd recommend only budgeting 10 minutes per day. For others, I'd recommend budgeting 2 or even 3 hours per day.

However, I strongly advise my mentees to err heavily on the side of budgeting less time.
Kaitlin Bryant wrote: March 16th, 2024, 10:55 am I just want to say, I absolutely love the break down of the percentage of your day. That is so encouraging for me. Makes working on the projects I have been avoiding because they seem overwhelming...seem a lot less so.
Would you suggest setting a timer for tasks? Do you think that would be more stressful or helpful?
Sometimes I get wrapped up in what I am doing and then get frustrated that I "wasted time doing this, instead of that."
What would your suggestion be for helping with such issues?
Hi, Kaitlin Bryant,

Thank you so much for your question! :)

Whether or not I would recommend a certain person set a timer for a certain task or not would vary depending on several factors:

(1) what the specific task is. For some tasks, I would be more likely to recommend a timer; for others, I'd be less likely to.

(2) what your inspiration, motivation, and/or goals are in relation to that task specifically. This can be explored by me asking you (or you asking yourself), why are you doing the task? And, what are you hoping to get out of doing the task?

(3) what your broad overall big goals and dreams are in general. This can be explored in part by me asking you (or you asking yourself), where, ideally, do you see yourself in one year, in two years, in five years, and in ten years?

(4) your overall unique personality type. For example, my recommendations would likely be different for someone who tells me they struggle disproportionately more with issues like overthinking, anxiety, intrusive self-critical thoughts, over-motivation, and/or people-pleasing, versus someone who tells me they struggling and want help with almost opposite issues (e.g. under-thinking, carelessness, laziness, etc.).


Finally, a 5th factor is this common and fairly accurate wisdom can be described with the following two sentences: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. And, insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results.

In practice, what that 5th factor means is that the degree to which I would recommend someone change their habits and routines is strongly correlated to the degree to which they are lacking in free-spirited inner peace (a.k.a. true happiness). This is why in my book I talk a lot about the beauty of diversity and ideas like (1) live and let live and (2) to each his own. If two people are in nearly identical situations, but one of them is truly happy in terms of having free-spirited inner peace and the other is very unhappy (i.e. doesn't have inner peace and/or feels like spiritual slave or prisoner in their body), then I will likely give those two people opposite recommendations despite them both being in nearly identical situations.

For example, if someone asks me if I recommend they drink more alcohol on average each week, less alcohol, or keep it about the same, my recommendation will have almost nothing to do with how much they are currently drinking. But it will have a lot to do with what their stated goals are and whether or not they are currently truly happy, meaning whether or not they have extreme full-fledged free-spirited inner peace.

One person might only be having 5 drinks a week (which is less than one drink per day on average), and I'd recommend they do even less.

Another person might have 14 drinks a week (more than double the previous person), and I'd recommend they keep at it.

If what you are doing is working, then I typically say keep doing it.

In contrast, if you are persistently feeling feeling spiritually unfulfilled, meaning you persistently feel that you don't have wonderful graceful free-spirited inner peace (a.k.a. true happiness), then it's probably time to not only change your habits and routines but take a bigger step back and look at the larger scales patterns and cycles in your life that you can break. An unhappy alcoholic might bounce back and forth from going to AA meeting religious while remaining temporarily sober to then binge drinking, with the grass always seeming greener on the other side. It's not really doing something new if it's just part of a larger scale unbroken cycle of re-chasing the greener grass on the other side where you just came from not that long ago. Unhappy people are often great at lacking consistency with their habits and routines in the short-term (which is good because obviously those habits and routines aren't working for them). But they (e.g. textbook addicts) tend to get trapped in a bigger cycle that ultimately does keep them stuck and stationary without progress. If you run really fast in a medium-sized circle, you still end up going nowhere.

Granted, going nowhere can be more than fine if you are happy where you are.

Traveling and journeying, especially in terms of going on an endless journey with no destination, is great if you love the journeying and happy when journeying. I don't create and chase goals because I think the goals will make me happy in the future (which they won't). I make and create goals because I am already happy because the endless chasing of an endless series of goals is something I have learned to love and find great deep spiritual joy in doing.

Letting go of the times and letting yourself get lost in tasks that are allegedly "time wasting" can be a bit going out with friends to the bar for a drink or two, saying out a little late, and losing some sleep. For a stressed anxious workaholic whose parents use to pressure him his childhood to get straight-As and follow all sorts of strict rules and he can still hear their critical pressuring "you're-never-good-enough" voice in his head, day-in day-out, I might recommend he do the timers less and do the allegedly "time wasting" nights out with friends more. For someone else, or just for different tasks, my recommendation will be the opposite.

Roughly speaking, there's an old adage I like, possibly coined by Marthe Troly-Curtin: "Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."

The only thing I would possibly consider as truly wasted time is time spent being unhappy, meaning time spent not having free-spirited inner peace. Another rough way to say that same thing is to talk about being more present in your unique present, which we can--very roughly speaking--then use to say, [i"the only time wasted is time spent not being consciously present"[/i]. However, at a deeper level, even that is an illusion. At that level and in that context, there simply is no truly wasted time. That deeper truer simpler and more absolute level of reality is explored in the following topics of mine:

- Trying, failure, underachievement, and should-not-have-ness are imaginary phantoms that cause you real misery. (Everyone and everything is a success.)

- When I see someone in hell, I smile inside myself, and I think, "Good for him; he's getting what he's choosing." (In this most heavenly of heavens, even the hell-wishers get their wish.)

The Universe doesn't miscalculate. Reality is right. Nothing wrong happens. Nothing that happens at the wrong time nor at the wrong place. Everything that happens happens at the right time and place. The sleepers will wake up to lucidity when they are ready. Or, to say it shorter, they will wake up when they are ready.


If you give me a few specific details about your unique goals and the specific tasks for which you are considering adding a timer, I can advise you in more detail about those specific tasks specifically and whether or not I recommend adding a timer or not.

Nonetheless, the following four sentences might be the best, most direct, and shortest answer to your overall question: It's not that hard for you to empirically test if adding a timer for any given certain task adds more stress, productivity, and/or happy free-spirited inner peace to your day. You can add a timer to a daily task that you haven't been timing for a few days and see how it feels and what the results are, or vice versa. Just A/B test it. See which way is more or less stressful, productive, and/or happiness-conducive for you, and then go with that.


You do mention that you feel "overwhelmed" by the prospect of some tasks, and feel "frustrated" at yourself when you get wrapped up in some things. For those issues in particular, I suggest you read my answer to the following question as well:

I am FEELING OVERWHELMED in college in my first year. How do I manage everything around me?

In that answer, I point out that my book (In It Together) will teach you how to feel neither overwhelmed nor underwhelmed but perfectly whelmed, a powerful state better known as inner peace, grace, or gracefulness that comes with instant invincible free-spirited happiness and also leads to seemingly supernatural levels of external success and achievements, such as making huge amounts of money or achieving ridiculous results in the gym, or whatever your unique external goals happen to be.

My book won't just give you some vague hints to reach that amazing graceful state. I guarantee that anyone who reads my book and strictly follows all 11 of the number suggestions at the end will thereby achieve that state instantly.




With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott



only-work-happily.png



---
In addition to having authored his book, In It Together, Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) runs a mentoring program, with a free option, that guarantees success. Success is guaranteed for anyone who follows the program.
Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to my question and answering it so thoroughly!
I would say that after reading through your breakdown, I would say setting a timer for some tasks would be beneficial while stressful while doing others.
Such as: I run an Etsy shop and therefore, I would like to spend a little time each day creating products for the shop. However, I am also a stay-at-home homeschooling mother so I have a lot pulling me in different directions. I thought maybe setting a time or timer such as: I have 1 hour to work on creating products and then I need to move on and handle my other daily tasks. Then I can confidently tell my children: "This is mommy's working time."
I appreciate the quote by Marthe Troly-Curtin: "Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."
I have this need to "be productive," and not "waste time." But this quote you shared encouraged me that it is ok to do things I enjoy even if they aren't necessarily productive. Like reading lots of books! :lol:
I think if I set a timer on my "reading time," it would make it far less enjoyable.
So perhaps for me a timer for productive activities, to keep me from doing too much and feeling drained. But skipping the timer for the unproductive activities that I simply wish to enjoy!

Thank you again for your reply and meaningful advice. :)
-Kaitlin
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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

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KELVIN KAY 2 wrote: March 16th, 2024, 12:51 pm What do you do when your loved ones have left you? Let's say you are married for 30 years and you don't know anything about life except being with your husband. What do you do ?
Hi, KELVIN KAY 2,

Thank you for your question.

If I am understanding you correctly, you are saying that you were married for 30 years and then your husband left you, so you are now newly single after 30 years of marriage. Is that correct?

In short, my answer is that you can do whatever you want. You're free. That's especially if you live alone and don't have a roommate.

If you want to sign up for a dating app and go on 50 dates in the next two months, you can. If you want to stay home alone, and enjoy the silence, and quietly sit looking up at the stars by yourself drinking tea, you can. You can play music loudly, or watch TV, or read books. You can sign up for dance classes or yoga or archery. You can move to a secluded cabin in the woods and take a vow of silence. You can dance naked in your kitchen while you cook bacon and french fries and shoot out silly string from canisters in both hands. The options are infinite. You are so incredibly free.

I'll say what I said in my answer to the similar question by Reva, "let go of any illusion that you could choose wrong. You can't choose wrong."

As I say in the book, life is not a test. It is not like a paint-by-the-number color-in-the-lines activity book. No, no, it is a sandbox of free-spirited creativity. When life asks you what you are you going to do, you answer with your actions not your words, and there are no wrong answers. You are so very free.

May I ask if you already read my book, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All?

If so, may I ask if you have been consistently and strictly following all 11 of the numbered suggestions at the end?

And, thirdly, may I ask if you feel you already have consistent inner peace (a.k.a. true happiness) and extreme spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline)?

My advice is start with those three things. (1) Read the book, (2) do your absolute best to strictly follow all 11 of the suggestions at the end, and then (3) check in to make sure you thus have the wonderful consistent inner peace (a.k.a. true happiness) and extreme spiritual freedom (a.k.a. extreme self-discipline) that comes from doing those two things.

Most likely, by then, the concern or issue you have will be resolved and have faded away on its own. You'll be a happy agent manifesting free-spirited creativity into the world. You'll answer the question of what would I do by doing it yourself.

And that speaks to an important and extremely liberating truth talked about in the book; and that important truth is this: The true answer to the question, "what would I do if I was in your shoes?" is always that I would do exactly what you are doing, and you would do exactly what I am doing if you were in mine. That's because, really, in terms of the real me and the real you, we are one in the same. The two previous usages of the word 'if' in this paragraph were a misnomer. It's not really an if, not in terms of the real me and the real you. We are in these shoes over here at this point in spacetime, and we are in those shoes over there at that point in spacetime. In some places we are lions and in some places we are antelope. The question is never really what would I do if I was in those shoes, but what did I do when and where I was in those shoes. There's really only one thing doing it all. I most often call that one thing the real you, but you can alternatively also look at it from and describe from the perspective of what I call the false self and thus externalize the real thing and call it The Universe or The Soul of the The Universe or The Singular Shared Spirit of All Things or even a fancy three-letter word starting with G. Call it what you want because it transcends words, especially with their binary duality-based limitations.

It's going to be okay. It's going to be okay because it already is, everywhere and everwhen, in the infinitely beautiful perfection that is timeless spacetime, what some would call the whole of all creation. It's going to be okay because it can't not be. Reality is always right. The universe doesn't miscalculate. Enjoy your freedom. Play as happily as you can in this lovable sandbox of free-spirited creativity. Whatever you decide to do is right. Whatever you paint on the canvas is going to be inexorably perfect. It couldn't possibly be more okay.


With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott


&quot;How paralyzing it is, that stare of a blank canvas, which says to the painter: ‘You can’t do a thing.’ The canvas has an idiotic stare and mesmerizes some painters so much that they turn into idiots themselves. Many painters are afraid in front of the blank canvas, but the blank canvas is afraid of the real, passionate painter who dares and who has broken the spell of ‘you can’t’ once and for all. Life itself, too, is forever turning an infinitely vacant, dispiriting blank side towards man on which nothing appears, any more than it does on a blank canvas. But no matter how vacant and vain, how dead life may appear to be, the man of faith, of energy, of warmth, who knows something, will not be put off so easily. He wades in and does something and stays with it.&quot;<br /><br /> - Vincent Van Gogh
"How paralyzing it is, that stare of a blank canvas, which says to the painter: ‘You can’t do a thing.’ The canvas has an idiotic stare and mesmerizes some painters so much that they turn into idiots themselves. Many painters are afraid in front of the blank canvas, but the blank canvas is afraid of the real, passionate painter who dares and who has broken the spell of ‘you can’t’ once and for all. Life itself, too, is forever turning an infinitely vacant, dispiriting blank side towards man on which nothing appears, any more than it does on a blank canvas. But no matter how vacant and vain, how dead life may appear to be, the man of faith, of energy, of warmth, who knows something, will not be put off so easily. He wades in and does something and stays with it."

- Vincent Van Gogh




---
In addition to having authored his book, In It Together, Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) runs a mentoring program, with a free option, that guarantees success. Success is guaranteed for anyone who follows the program.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

Post by Emmanuel Asamoah 5 »

Hi Eckhart,
Each time someone asks me to tell them what my career path would be, I get confused and I often don't know which response to give but in most cases, I avoid saying I do not know to avoid further questioning. Could you suggest or give me advice on how to get clarity on career path since this has been a major pandemonium in my life.
Swimmingly,💖
“There is beauty in our unity no matter how harsh that war is, and no matter the result or winner. There is beauty even in losing if we do it together."
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Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Moisés Alcántara Ayre wrote: March 18th, 2024, 7:51 am I'm an English language teacher whose native language is Spanish. I've been considering the possibility of writing a book, but don't know where to start yet.

[...] being an English language teacher wanting to write a book in English made me insecure as English is not my first language. The book could be on any topic--I just don't feel very confident with my skills to write yet. Then, once I decide to start this writing journey, where do I begin? Should I first brainstorm ideas on any topics that interest me? Should I just focus on one topic and add ideas methodically like for 30 minutes each day? ...
Hi, Moisés Alcántara Ayre,

Thank you for your followup.

If you don't mind, I have two more questions I'd like to ask you so I can understand your situation more fully before I provide advice and suggestions: Why do you want to write a book at all? And why do you want to write in English rather than Spanish (your native language)?

Those aren't rhetorical questions.

I'm looking to better understand your fundamental and/or ultimate goals and better understand your motivations and/or inspirations, so that I can tailor my advice and suggestions accordingly.


With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
Emmanuel Asamoah 5
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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

Post by Emmanuel Asamoah 5 »

Hi Eckhart,
how do you handle the situation of finding yourself in the midst of people who are always expressing negative or lower energy. What do you advice. I've encountered lots of people who are always wishing doom for themselves. They are at loggerheads with positivity. It is overwhelming to cope with it whenever I find myself in the midst of such people. I am mostly affected by this energy.
Swimmingly💖
“There is beauty in our unity no matter how harsh that war is, and no matter the result or winner. There is beauty even in losing if we do it together."
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

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Emmanuel Asamoah 5 wrote: March 19th, 2024, 3:44 pm Hi Eckhart,
Each time someone asks me to tell them what my career path would be, I get confused and I often don't know which response to give but in most cases, I avoid saying I do not know to avoid further questioning. Could you suggest or give me advice on how to get clarity on career path since this has been a major pandemonium in my life.
Swimmingly,💖
Hi, Emmanuel Asamoah 5,

Thank you for your question! :)

I can and will offer you some advice and suggestions about gaining clarity on finding your career preferences and possibly choosing a specific career path. However, from my perspective, it sounds like that is not really the root issue and not really the main issue.

Let me paraphrase one of my favorite writers, Henry David Thoreau, who once wrote something along these lines: For every one person striking at the root of a problem or challenge, there are thousands of people hacking away at the branches.

I understand the annoyance of being asked questions that you either (1) annoyingly get very often and/or (2) don't have a good answer for. For a sort of analogous example, I usually bend over backwards to avoid mentioning to people I am a vegetarian so that I don't get the same old questions about that.

However, it seems like--especially in terms of the one specific question you get--that it is a branch, not the root. It seems to me like it is not the root of what is troubling you and leaving you unsure how to proceed. Even if you gave these people a satisfying answer to their question, wouldn't they then just find another new question to ask you and with which to pester and pressure you? Would they not just pry even further into your life after that?

To get at the real root, I think you will want to take some dedicated time alone to slowly ask yourself the following questions, and answer them to yourself as honestly as possible:


(1) Why do you feel the need and/or desire to answer the question when people ask you it? Why don't you want to simply reply, "I don't know", especially if that's the truth? Or what about assertively saying something like, "I'm not going to answer that question. Don't ask me again."? Would you not want to say that either? If not, why not? I'm speculating quite a bit, but it seems possibly like you may be constrained or spiritually enslaved in some way that you may not be fully noticing or acknowledging, or at least not fully and honestly addressing with yourself. Perhaps you are focusing on one particular superficial thing that the constraints and puppet strings are causing you to do or deal with instead of focusing on the fundamental constraints themselves and the overarching puppet strings themselves, and how they are controlling and infringing on you more generally in presumably many other ways than just this one, and who exactly and specifically is pulling those strings and why you are letting them infringe on you like that.


(2) Do you really want to commit to a career path right now at all, or is that more like something you are going to let yourself be inadvertently bullied into doing as the price you need to pay to avoid the discomfort of being asked about it and not having an answer? If you really want to commit to a career path on your own, freely, of your own free will, not the result of any kind of bullying or infringing social pressure, then why? To what end result is you choosing a career path a means? What is the indirect or ultimate goal you hope to achieve by choosing a career path right now? If you don't have good clear confident answers to those questions, then that indicates that you probably simply don't really want to choose a career path yet, in which case my advice would be then don't.


(3) Who is it that is asking you this same question so much? Is it a lot of different people each asking it once, or is it just the same one person or very few people repeatedly asking it over and over? Would a preferable solution for you be to find a way to assertively set healthier and/or firmer boundaries with those people, and/or create more distance between you and them, and/or to possibly remove them from your life entirely? For example, have you considered simply asking those people to not ask you that question anymore? Have you done it? If so, what happened? If not, why have you not done that?


(4) What will these seeming bullies do once this act of bullying is successful? Bullying and aggressive control comes in many forms. It can be a schoolyard bully taking your lunch money, or an inmate testing you by pretending to accidentally bump you hard shoulder-to-shoulder on your first day in jail while walking past you in a hallway, or any of infinite other examples of the initial steps of progressive bullying. It usually doesn't even start with outright bullying, but just a subtle almost unnoticeable test of your would-be boundaries to see how you respond and whether you are a defender or a caver. If you don't pay the price to set and enforce your boundary by standing up to the seeming would-be/might-be bullying, it's going to keep going up in price to do so until you do. You don't have to overreact and go crazy and be aggressive yourself, but you also don't want to be unassertive in the sense of extreme underreaction or it will cost you more and more to re-claim your freedom and independence later. Virtue is not in the middle; rather, you want to defend your borders 100% with full force, while not at all even slightly infringing on others' borders and freedom. Be an extremist in both respects. In any case, if you don't defend your boundaries and borders when they get tested or crossed, then they aren't your borders anymore, and your territory gets smaller and smaller because the infringers rarely stop there. They keep marching closer and closer until the battle happens. Most often, the infringers, aggressors, and bullies don't think of themselves as bullies. They think of themselves as do-gooders doing good. They aggressively pave roads to hell with their allegedly good intentions that they genuinely believe are good. Even Hilter thought he himself was the good guy. The Nazi soldiers thought they were doing good in the world. That's what everybody thinks. In reality, there are no good guys, there's just people who use aggression, violence, and/or bullying to force their version of good on the world, and then in contrast those who don't do that, meaning those who don't engage in aggression and bullying and don't act like the ends justify the means when it comes to things like aggression, violence, lying, and manipulation. For more on these concepts, please see the following topics of mine:

- All the do-gooders are troublemakers: A plague of virtuous people | A perfectly pestiferous mass of a million saints

- Dangerous Moral Busybodies | "A tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive."

- Orwellian Agent-Smithism | How Control Freaks, God Complexes, And Violent Nanny Statism Attack Freedom and Diversity


(5) Are you being fully honest and very assertive with these people who are asking you the question (and everyone else) or are you engaging in unassertiveness (e.g. toxic passiveness)? For more on that, please see the following advice articles of mine:

- Advice about Ultimatums and Setting and Enforcing Healthy Boundaries in All Relationships: Personal, Business, Political

- Aggression vs. True Assertiveness | No means no, yes means yes, and everything else generally means nothing.

- How Unassertiveness Leads to Aggression and the Illusion of 'Shoulds' and 'Oughts'

- Big Tip for Negotiation & Productive Communication: Less is more. | The power of direct, simple assertiveness. Say less!

- (Q&A) How to deal with the constant pressure and expectations of parents



I suspect that once you take some dedicated time alone to carefully ask yourself all of the above questions, and then carefully and honestly answer them to yourself, and implement broadly in your life my advice about being extremely assertive, including but not limited to setting and strongly enforcing healthy boundaries, then--after all that--the answer to your original question to me will become obvious to you. Ultimately, minr is a philosophy of freedom, especially in the sense of free-spirited creativity and extreme self-discipline (a.k.a. spiritual freedom). Mine is a philosophy that--if you want it--calls on you to be a rebellious free spirit and to exercise extreme self-determination and free-spirited self-actualization. Thus, in short, you will be the one answering the question of which career path you choose or if you even ever choose one, not me. And I think you wisely know that; I think you wisely haven't asked me to tell you what career path to choose, but to just share some wisdom and/or brainstorming that may help you find that answer for yourself.

I suspect that much of the confusion and perhaps anxiety you are having about not knowing what you want to do (in regard to choosing a career path) is actually a reflection of you simply not honestly doing what you want to do, and not really aiming to do what you want to do, but instead doing some kind of toxic self-abusive people-pleasing.

In other words, I suspect the issue you are having isn't that you don't know what you want to do per se, but rather that you are so busy worrying about what other people want you to do that there isn't space left for what you want. Once you clear that clouding confusing infringing stuff away, I think the clarity will make it so that it is clear to you what you really want to do when liberated from all the puppet strings currently pulling you in all sorts of directions perhaps making it feel like they might just rip you apart.

Maybe you don't even want to choose a career path right now. Maybe you don't even want to choose one at all ever. Maybe you want to start your own risky business venture. Maybe you want to go after some wild risky goal or dream rather than commit to some long-term highly stable career path. Maybe you are someone who is going to never really have a specific career. I'm not advising you to do those things, but rather I'm just pointing out that one of those things or countless others could turn out to be case, once you clear away the cloudiness of other people's infringing desires to control how you live your life or push you in a direction that represents their choices and desires not yours.

I'll give you three short tips for choosing a career path:

(1) don't rush it. Feel free to wait and choose a career path much later on.

(2) If, when you imagine yourself doing the job, you don't imagine yourself as being very happy, don't choose that career path. If you aren't gitty with excitement when you picture yourself in the career, like a schoolkid fantasizing about what it will be like to kiss their crush and have a future with the crush, then don't choose that path. Have a crush on your career. I want your face to look like this when you choose your career: 😍

For my part, I'd rather my son become a garbage man whose face looks like that (😍) when he thinks about his job and life than he become one of the countless doctors or dentists who commit suicide because they are so anxious and depressed, or just live with the sad plaguing thought of doing it, day in and day out, while they drag themselves to and from work, or drag themselves around the house in their time off, uninspired, feeling empty inside, feeling spiritually unfulfilled, with a hole inside that they feel can't be filled with anything. And indeed, no amount of money, career success, or creature comforts will fill that kind of hole. No amount of food, sex, or tasty treats will fill that kind of hole. Feeding that kind of hole only makes it bigger.

There's also plenty of happy doctors and dentists, so don't take what I am going to say in a different way than it is meant: but nonetheless statistically on average I do find they seem less happy on average than the average person (with plenty of exceptions), so, if anything, if my son told me he wanted to be a doctor or dentist or lawyer or some other conventionally high-esteemed high-paying career, I might be inclined to slightly encourage him off that path. All else the same, I'd probably feel safer if my son told me he was choosing to be a garbageman versus choosing to be a doctor or dentist or lawyer or such. Granted, the real reason certain seemingly desirable careers tend to come with such high depression and suicide rates is because they weren't desired by the job-haver but by the anxiety-inducing pressurers in the job-haver's life, whether that is literal overbearing pressuring parents or it's just an egotistical greedy imaginary voice in someone's own mind acting like an overbearing pressuring parent except harder to escape since the egotistical greedy insatiable anxiety-inducing pressuring voice is in their own head. It follows them around everywhere they go 24/7, always putting that critical pressuring on them. If we open our hearts, we can almost hear the imaginary nasty-toned voice some of those seemingly high-achievers have in their mind that understandably drives them to at least fantasize about killing themselves just to shut it up: "You're only that kind of doctor?" "You're only the second best dentist in the state?" "You are not good enough!" "You should be different." "You should be doing different." "You could be doing better." "You could have done better" "You should do more." "You need to do more." "When are you going to do that?" "When are you going to achieve that?" "You need to hurry up." "You need to make a decision." "You need to get going now." "Where you are right now is not good enough!" "What you are doing is not good enough." "You simply are not good enough."

To anyone who hears those kinds of voices, whether those voices are coming from real human people and entering your ears, or they are coming from corridors in your mind and popping into the inner monologue of which you are the conscious listener, I advise you so strongly: Don't listen to them. Be the loving rebellious free spirit that you truly are by realizing, without even necessarily needing to think the words but just merely truly realizing that no matter what those wrong words from those foolish voices say, you are good enough. You already are good enough, and so you don't need to do anything to become good enough.

They fear if they told you the truth--that you are good enough--you would lack motivation to do anything and sit around and starve to death. They don't want that for you so they pave a road to hell with good intentions, thinking they are saving you when they are only pushing you towards damnation with their scared, cowardly, and allegedly good intentions. But, I tell you, there is a thing called happy free-spirited creativity. I tell you, you can be good enough and know you are good enough and still take action. You can eat and make art. You can make your whole life into a piece of art. I call that happy inspiration, versus unhappy motivation. You don't act because you are using your actions to desperately chase happiness from an unhappy state, with that happiness you chase always seeming to be just a little further in the future, like you are running on a treadmill with a carrot hanging from a fishing line a few feet in front of your face, just miserably hungry and miserably running forever, never actually catching the carrot. No, no, you can be happy while you act. You can have your carrot and eat it too. You can be free and happy, and still inspiration finds you and moves through you. You become like the artist rather than the slave, like the free playful child playing freely, rather than the prisoner. Life becomes like recess rather than an anxious test. You are free, without master and without strict assignment. You aren't trapped on someone else's path, like a train stuck to a track; No, you are happily free to happily choose and create your own path. You are so very free.

(3) Imagine right now you won a huge lottery jackpot for millions of dollars (USD), so you don't need to worry about money and would never take a paying job again. What would you do with your time? What unpaid volunteer work would you do most? Consider finding a way to make that your job or career now for pay. Since you need money to live, my advice is that you find a way to make money doing what you would do if you didn't need money to live.



With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott



boundaries.jpg




---
In addition to having authored his book, In It Together, Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) runs a mentoring program, with a free option, that guarantees success. Success is guaranteed for anyone who follows the program.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
Reva Parker
Premium Member
Posts: 23
Joined: November 3rd, 2022, 10:16 am

Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

Post by Reva Parker »

I really like that quote about boundaries and what you wrote about being like a child free and playful and at recess instead of taking a test. Thanks for sharing.
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Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Emmanuel Asamoah 5 wrote: March 19th, 2024, 4:36 pm Hi Eckhart,
how do you handle the situation of finding yourself in the midst of people who are always expressing negative or lower energy. What do you advice. I've encountered lots of people who are always wishing doom for themselves. They are at loggerheads with positivity. It is overwhelming to cope with it whenever I find myself in the midst of such people. I am mostly affected by this energy.
Swimmingly💖
Hi, Emmanuel Asamoah 5,

Since I answered your earlier question before I saw this one, I suspect I may have unwittingly already answered this one as well in my ( long :lol: )answer to the previous question, namely with my comments and links regarding setting and strictly enforcing healthy boundaries.

So I won't risk wasting your time by repeating all of that. Instead, if you still have a question regarding this (or anything) even after reading my previous (and long :lol: ) reply, please do let me know. :)


Nonetheless, for easy reference, here is the list of links from the previous post about being assertive and setting and firmly enforcing healthy boundaries:


- Advice about Ultimatums and Setting and Enforcing Healthy Boundaries in All Relationships: Personal, Business, Political

- Aggression vs. True Assertiveness | No means no, yes means yes, and everything else generally means nothing.

- How Unassertiveness Leads to Aggression and the Illusion of 'Shoulds' and 'Oughts'

- Big Tip for Negotiation & Productive Communication: Less is more. | The power of direct, simple assertiveness. Say less!

- (Q&A) How to deal with the constant pressure and expectations of parents




With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott


boundaries.jpg
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
Jacy Covers
Premium Member
Posts: 13
Joined: March 22nd, 2024, 4:40 pm

Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

Post by Jacy Covers »

I would like to know how you started this company from the scratch. Are there any plans to start a physical branch?
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