Some structures are fragile. They are prone to collapse under very little stress. I'm working on building a more robust structure for my own slow learning. My habit is weak now―it collapses under very little stress. This is a self-interrogation.
How I Collapse
Let's explore two reasons my structure collapses:
- Curiosity (i.e. I direct my focus to something else).
- Cowardice (i.e. I give up).
Accordingly to employ study for the purpose of knowing sensible things may be sinful in two ways. First, when the sensitive knowledge is not directed to something useful, but turns man away from some useful consideration. ... Secondly, when the knowledge of sensible things is directed to something harmful, as looking on a woman is directed to lust: even so the busy inquiry into other people's actions is directed to detraction. [O]n the other hand, if one be ordinately intent on the knowledge of sensible things by reason of the necessity of sustaining nature, or for the sake of the study of intelligible truth, this studiousness about the knowledge of sensible things is virtuous. ―Aquinas "Summa"
My problem is entirely of the first way as I am ofter turned away from some useful consideration by my curiousity about, well, everything. While there was a time when my zeal for research was certainly productive (as in graduate school), I no longer have the luxury of the time I might otherwise spend on it.
The internet is simultaneously the best human invention ever, enabling near total access to the whole of human knowledge and the ability to disseminate things you create on your own; and it's also a cesspool of a place to waste time by being endlessly curious about everything to absolutely no end.
I don't really want to become less curious (as I value my curiosity), but it's worth considering ways to prevent myself from being non-virtuously curious, when I'm down an internet rabbit hole for no productive end. That doesn't help me get my work done, or acheive my goals, or build a better society―it just makes me not get the things I want to get done done.
This could be construed as too much fear or too little confidence. Either way, I have it. I'm chronically underconfident in my skills. I look at those who are able to work in the tech field and place them on pedastals in the sky made of gold. Of course I understand that they're normal people like me, but I've created a perception in my head that they're just simply better for a variety of reasons.
And here's the thing: they mostly are. That doesn't mean I'm bad, it just means that I'm not getting things to the finish line (i.e. completed product), and I'm too cowardly (i.e. lack confidence / fear the result) of publicizing the work that I've done―foolish me! The thing that they're definitely better at than me is saying out loud the things they've finished, and finishing those things.
The next iteration of slow learning for me is actually the simple concept of:
- Choose what to work on (pick one at a time).
- Finish it (do not become distracted by other things).
- Share your accomplishment with others (don't be a coward).
This seems possible, no?