What is Mental Masturbation
Mental masturbation is the amount of knowledge that doesn’t have a point, doesn’t arrive to a conclusion and it’s useless for you that you occupy your mind with.
The last year I won a prize for the best Calisthenics Athlete Aspiring Blogger Mental Masturbator in Pisa.
So I think I can explain it without feel guilty of being the preacher of the moment.
Take this example to have a clear understanding:
Let’s suppose you want to invest in stocks your 1000 euros your family gifted to you in occasion of the Christmas Holidays. What you have to do is study stocks, how they work, study what great investors did before you and what you could do to arrive a point where you know how much to invest regarding your budget and in what invest this budget.
In this case, Mental Masturbation would be watching 1000 motivational videos of Warren Buffet, read a lot of his wise essays, buy books giving them a light read and then being hold watching what other people think and do.
This is exactly Mental Masturbation. Why? Because you have watched and read an excessive amount of useless things and, at the end of the story, you haven’t done what you actually should have done, that is sit down to the chair, open a book you are actually able to study, study it, start to study the movements and the numbers of stocks and then think how to or directly trying to make your first move.
Let’s suppose a boss Mental Masturbator wants to start to draw. What a real M.M. would do is doing some little sketches of something, then start to watch dozens and dozens of youtube videos of comic artists or fine artists who draw, videos about how to make portraits, how to hold your pencil, how to use dark, lights and shadows, how to apply the color, what paper is the best regarding of what are you doing, buying books about inking, about how to represent scenes in comics, about realistic drawing, about the human figure and so on..
What the boss M.M. would have done, so then he maybe would have stopped to be a boss M.M. becoming a former or a wanna-be Mental Masturbator, is doing some sketches, of course watching what artists who inspire him do but with the direct purpose of drawing himself some shit on the paper. Then, if he was convinced to continue and to seriously learn to draw, he should set a learning plan, picking a book or buying a course or start taking classes.
How to Avoid Mental Masturbation
The problem of a M.M., and I can say this because.. remember? Last year I won the prize.
The problem is that actually try, do and produce something new is uncomfortable, is difficult and is demanding. In order to do something new you have to get out of your comfort zone and this is the difficult part, moment where you invent and create thousands of things to do and excuses because the Resistance you feel won over you.
I’m reading “The War Of Art” by Steven Pressfield which talks about the Resistance you feel when you have to do some work and you create and distract yourself in lots of ways rather than actually sit down, commit the work and win over the Resistance.
This is a very interesting book that is making me realize many things.
When I have to study I check if the gas switch is off, if the windows are closed, if there’s something to tidy up, if the desk is aligned with the wall..
Now that I read these pages I understood that if I’m alone in my house and the gas switch was off 15 minutes ago, 10 minutes ago and 5 minutes ago perhaps it’s off even now and I don’t really need to check it, maybe it’s time to align the desk with the wall.
What can you do to avoid Mental Masturbation? You have to realize that regardless the result of your work will be at the end of the day, regardless how you feel today, you sit down on the chair and for time you set to spend on that task you actually work at 100% of your capabilities, no matter if you tend to think about memes, about the ass of the hot girl in your school or to check if it’s happened something special in your social media account.
For example: now it’s 11:32 of Sunday Morning, I wanted to finish other things the past days so I thought that I would have written the article or Saturday afternoon if I would have finished them in time or Sunday morning. This morning I would have appreciated to do something else because the idea of sitting down and work for an hour or two without knowing if this article is going to be read by someone else is actually discouraging, but you know what? When I start to write and take the momentum then it’s easy.
The hard part is actually start and put your mind on the task, part that you can overcome by thinking in terms of “I’m not going to let Resistance win over me, I sit down and for the time I have or I biologically can maintain the attention I work giving my best. No matter what the results will be because all I can do is start to work and do my best”.
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