this is a reply to the following analysis of procrastination in two parts
Excuse me for my bad english, this post is, as all the posts of this blog written fast and sketchy, it is a part of the concept.
Thank you for the great analysis of procrastination, as you rightfully suspected I ended up here while at the dark plaground.
Anyway, while I find many points good and clarifying the analysis made me think and I came up with the following complentarry analysis. I think you touch on some of the points I make below but in a different way. Atleast my analysis below clarified more things form myself and hopefully someone else also might find my thoughts striking and helpful.
To all procrastinators: Congratulations! You are a true and beautful monkey, you are not a soulless machine. I take it that you read the article because your procrastination is a problem that needs to be solved. I agree, it has to, but I would formulate the problem and solution slightly different. I am a procrastinator, but I am quite a a successful procrastinator, my procrastination is not ruining my life, it earns me my daily living.
I have made it into my life style and I assure you that it is a possible life style for many (although of course not all procrastinators, we are all individuals and have our own uinque ways, reasons and mechanisms for procrastinating) and it is a rewarding life style. The problem is not the procratition but the obstacles that hinder the full unfolding of the procrastinating life style.
First of all, in the analysis above we are supposed to idenity with the rational agent, wile the monkey is someone who disturbes or sometimes work with us. I see it the other way around, we are mainly the monkey. One aspect of procratination that is not mentioned in the analysis above is the fact that our society is full of expectations, demands, social obligations, ideals, values and so on that we might half-heartadly interalize but really do not care about. I believe alot of procrastination is a result of such internalized preasure to do things we do not really want to do. Therefore we need to work on getting rid of those ideals and makes our rational agent forcing us with the help of the panic monster into doing things we do not want to do.
If you procrastinate often you do thinks you want to do (my analysis does to a large extent only apply to these cases, if you procrastinate even when you do thinkgs you ”want” to do it might be the case that you do not really want to do them, as I presuppose here, or you might actually really really want to do them, but still procrastinate, in those cases, the analysis above is more suiting than mine. But remember that the question of what you really really want to do is a question of self-knowledge and that is something difficult it takes more than a life time to master for most of us, therefore you cannot simply trust your first reaction in this case, jsut becaouse you think you want to do a thing you might not actually want to do that thing). Anyway, if you procrastinate it is because you do not do what the monkey feels like but what the selfimposed rational agent has decided that you should do, therefore it is important to realize that it is not the monkeys desires and behaviour that makes you feel bad, it is the rational agents demand that you ought to do things you do not want to do that is the source of the negative feelings. The first step to be a successful procrastinator is to accuse the rational agent within youreself and start listening to the monkey. If you avoid doing something that is a sign that you should stop try to do that and stop feeling that you ought to do that. The cause of all the self-hatred, and negative feelings is the internalized out-side demands from a society that is not suiting for you.
”Well”, you might think to ourself now, ”this strategy will surely ruin my life.” I say to you; the attempts to do things you do not want to do are already ruining your life. Right? If they don’t, why are you reading this? Anyway, the only way out of the present bad life, is accepeptance of what you are. The theory behind this is: if you do what you want to do you will put more energy and time into it and you will be better at that than the things you have to force yourself to do. (That is, the goal is to always reach the flow-path within the dark playground and raise everything you do within the playground to real activities and real products)
Secondly; do not throw out the rational agent completely. The key to success is to let the monkey rule, but in alliance with the rational agent. While the rational agent right now is in opposition to the monkey, trying to stop and limit the monkey, the rational agents task is to fuel and encourage the monkey even more! The reason for this is that the goal is to be able to earn an income on your procrastination and that is surely possible if you monetize on your procrastination, but the only way to do that is to procrastinate even more, but in the right, smart, effective way. (Where the suggestions in the end of the analysis above can be helpful)
How do you earn a living as a procratinator? In many ways! As an accademic, as a journalist, as writer of fiction and poetry, as a popular historian, as a you-tuber, as a blogger, and so on and so on. All of them are surely lying outside the tight box of ”safe” (and boring!) carrers. The key to success is to not try to become for example an accademic by way of any standard path, but your own path. Let your monkey take you whereever it may lead you. The rational agent’s task is to stear the monkey’s energy, not in new directions, but in the monkey’s directions because in order to be able to live on your procrastination you surely have to finnish products (articles, etc. Such as the terrific article above and similar products). The rational agent’s task is to carry the monkey all the way to the finnish line.
”But this is exactly what the procrastinator cannot do!” You might say. But remember; the procrastinator have problems to reach the finnis lines the rational agent sets; you do not know yet if you can reach the finnish lines the monkey is allowed to set, right? I think you can train and become better at reaching those finnish lines you want to reach. To be fair and honest, I am not implying that I believe this to be possible for every procrastinator, surely some people will have problems even with this. These people I cannot help, they might need professional help. But I encourege you to at least try to let the monkey rule with a smart rational agent in the background feeding the monkey with positive energy instead of negative energy. It has been working for me at least and it might be working for you too.