Monday, May 18, 2015

On Habits

    I sit here this morning thinking about habit. There are very few things better than a well trained mind. I believe I have my emotions generally in check. This took years of meditation and generally getting angry at myself when I blew up or got excited. After this training, I am generally known as the coolest head, if not the most unemotional person around.
     Training myself started as a generally religious exercise after finding myself leaning towards the agnostic side. This, of course, occurred as a teenager when I did not find Christianity particularly applicable to my life. I was interested in meditation and self-control but thought that it was something that I did not have much to do with. I began listening to some affirmations or goals on tape. This was just a blank cassette tape and the recording button on my radio/stereo. The problem with my poor recording equipment was that I had no looping equipment. I would simply say my affirmations for a few minutes and record them onto the tape. Then, I would meditate and listen to them.
      I wanted the well-trained mind of Luke Skywalker or Obi-Wan Kenobi. The prequels to Star Wars were not out yet, therefore I supplemented my opinions of the Jedi through Star Wars novels. Particularly I read about those that I aspired to be. This method can be used in making oneself more like the Green Berets or other heroes of youth. Incorporate the advice of your heroes, yet avoid idolatry. Your goal is not to make yourself a Green Beret or Theodore Roosevelt, but to copy their habits to make yourself the best possible version of who you are.
     Besides meditation and reading for "manliness," I simply began imitating the person I would like to be. "Fake it until you make it." That quote, seemingly useless can make oneself a different person over time. You want to fake being someone like you aspire to be. Goal-setting may lead to the best vision of who you want to be. Proper goal-setting will lead the person to understand who they want to be like. Then, read about that person. Meditate on some aspirations that they have or that you wish to have. This will lead to the best vision of yourself.
     Habit-training is very difficult, yet with practice you can become the best version of you ever. I would supplement this habit training with exercise. This will make you more of a gentleman, scholar, or warrior. Or should I say "gentleman, scholar AND warrior?"
     My primary changes I would make at this point would be to make myself more of a warrior-philosopher. I have served in the US Army as an infantryman. I felt fear but faked my way through that. I was not the best firearms shot or the most physically fit. I followed orders better than any other and always executed what was asked. Skill problems are different than behavioral problems. While you cannot meditate yourself to better shooting or fitness, you can practice at them until you get there. As far as philosophy, I have been reading on Stoic philosophy from Marcus Aurelius and Seneca. I incorporate other parts of philosophy (particularly neo-reaction philosophy, hence this blog).
    I will always be improving myself. A friend of mine after I left the Army told me to always be improving my foxhole. This is not about a foxhole, but about your position. I suspect I will be improving that foxhole until I am dead. I must become what I want to be. This must be done through any means available, like meditation, exercise, hero reading, and other means.