Reboot at the OK Plateau

I have been inspired to restart blogging by, as usual, several seemingly random prompts that combusted in that imaginative furnace I am pleased to call my mind. The first was Shannon Wilkinson’s recent completion of 13 weeks of straight Monday-Friday blog posts. The challenge, of course, is in coming up with enough ideas to fill up that many posts. But I firmly believe that the more you write, the more you can write.

Another prompt was reading Joshua Foer’s Moonwalking with Einstein, particularly the chapter on becoming an expert by working past the “OK plateau.” The OK plateau is that level of skill whereby you get good enough results without improving your execution.

Foer’s example is that of typewriting. Most people’s typing speeds improve to a certain speed and then stay there. The patterns and movements are well-burned into the neurons so that they hardly have to “think” about typing anymore.

So, to type faster, the key is to move those unconscious skills up to the conscious level where they have to be examined, honed, improved, etc. This is exactly how my banjo teacher has instructed me to practice — set the metronome faster than I can play comfortably. The point is to get uncomfortable and stretch and confront your weak spots, which the faster speed highlights.

As far as blog posting — well, I’m not out to set any records.  But I would like to challenge myself, particularly on producing a lot of  writing. I always have a ton of little ideas, and one way to break the blog barrier is to write faster, shorter posts. Since I typically take a long time to write a post, this will be good exercise for me.

My plan is to write 50 Monday-Friday blog posts over the next 10 weeks (thanks for the M-F idea, Shannon!). This gives me the weekend to rest up, maybe write some posts in advance, and hone my writing and posting process. One reason I stopped blogging is because I couldn’t figure out a great workflow. I hope this exercise will help me use my software tools better.

And I have a few other reasons for wanting to write regularly. I will talk about them in later posts.

While we understand the energies of accelerated change can seem intimidating, what they really are is a wonderful opportunity to move very quickly into a much more empowered place. You do not need to be afraid of change, Dear Ones. It is change that can bring you healing, joy, love – all of the aspects that you wish to enjoy as you move forward in your life. Change only feels scary if you are living your life by accident. You are the captain of your life expression! Do not be afraid to take the wheel! You get to chart your course through your intention. You set things in motion by surrendering and allowing the flow to move you at the perfect speed. You stay on course by using gratitude as a tool to provide additional feedback to the universe. This system works, it is available to you right now, and it is the way to the life of your dreams. What are you waiting for? ~Archangel Gabriel

Libra Horoscope for week of July 26, 2012

Philosopher William Irwin Thompson says that we humans are like flies creeping along the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. We literally cannot see the splendor that surrounds us. As a result, we don’t live in reality. We’re lost in our habitual perceptions, blinded by our favorite illusions, and addicted to beliefs that hide the true nature of the universe. That’s the bad news, Libra. The good news is that every now and then, each of us slips into a grace period when it’s possible to experience at least some of the glory we’re normally cut off from. The veil opens, and previously undetected beauty appears. The weeks ahead will be the closest you’ve come to this breakthrough in a long time.

Libra Horoscope for week of July 5, 2012 Goldfish that are confined in small aquariums stay small. Those that spend their lives in ponds get much bigger. What can we conclude from these facts? The size and growth rate of goldfish are directly related to their environment. I’d like to suggest that a similar principle will apply to you Librans in the next ten months. If you want to take maximum advantage of your potential, you will be wise to put yourself in spacious situations that encourage you to expand. For an extra boost, surround yourself with broad-minded, uninhibited people who have worked hard to heal their wounds.

Stop stopping

Stop stopping. Stopping is the worst thing. Stopping breaks your momentum. Stopping is the start of decay and regression. When you choose to stop, you set yourself the task not only of getting back up to the same speed as before but also to the same altitude — the same level of Japanese. Taking a break from Japanese will hurt your Japanese. A lot. Each time you stop, you lengthen the road to fluency. When you stop, you quite literally become like Sisyphus: forever pushing the rock of your Japanese ability up the hill, only to have it roll down each time you pause. And just like Sisyphus, you have to retread the same ground to get back up where you were. Always restoring, never progressing; it’s a huge freaking waste of time.

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