When Friends Turn Nutter
What do you do when friends of yours turn nutter on you, such as when they descend into conspiracy theories, Trumpism, etc? If they’ve otherwise been good friends, it can be distressing to watch them go down such a dark path. You may wonder if something happened to their brains, like a buildup of toxicity that made them turn. You may wonder if you could have done something to prevent their excursion into anti-truth. You may wonder how on earth they could be so ridiculously deluded. You may ponder how to frame this situation going forward. Did they just turn stupid? Turn into assholes? Get sucked down some racis...
Source: Steve Pavlina's Personal Development Blog - November 28, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Steve Pavlina Tags: Relationships Source Type: blogs

The Q Factor
As I mentioned in a previous post about NaNoWriMo, the Q factor is a semi-surprise element that the main character of a story can use to solve a problem or escape a trap, especially in the final act of the story. The term comes from James Bond movies where the character known as Q gives James some techie gifts early in the story, like a car that turns into a submarine, and then much later James uses those toys to his advantage. Even though these gifts were introduced earlier, the audience won’t likely consider them cheats because we knew James had them in his possession, but we probably forget about them by the ti...
Source: Steve Pavlina's Personal Development Blog - November 27, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Steve Pavlina Tags: Abundance Source Type: blogs

The Runway to a 30-Day Challenge
I often do diet experiments in the form of 30-day trials (or longer). I define a crisp plan to follow, and then I strictly adhere to those boundaries for the time of the experiment. Usually before I begin a clearly defined challenge, I first go through a period of whittling away temptations. This phase typically begins a few weeks before the start of the challenge. During this time, I’ll identify the most tempting foods and gradually eat them till they’re gone. I try not to overdo it by binging on them. I just naturally let them run out at whatever rate I was eating them before. I stop replenishing those foo...
Source: Steve Pavlina's Personal Development Blog - November 26, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Steve Pavlina Tags: Health Productivity Source Type: blogs

Set an Incompatible Goal
One way to shift your character – and your life – in a new direction is to set a goal that’s incompatible with the limitations of your current character. In other words, set a goal that you would would never set. Then work diligently to pursue and achieve that goal. Thinking you can’t do something because it’s out of character for you is still just a thought. You can change your thoughts, but sometimes it’s easier to change your actions and behaviors and let you thoughts play catch-up. Sometimes thoughts of who you are just get in your way and slow you down. When you try to change yours...
Source: Steve Pavlina's Personal Development Blog - November 25, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Steve Pavlina Tags: Abundance Creating Reality Lifestyle Source Type: blogs

NaNoWriMo – Days 20-23
My novel is at 41,347 words now. I’m averaging about 1800 words per day, on pace to hit 50K words on November 28. I recently decided to tackle the most challenging part, which was to figure out the Q factor and how I’m going to end the story in Act 3. I opted to just start writing to see what came through even though I didn’t have a good idea when I started. What is the Q factor? The Q factor is a reference to the Q character in James Bond. It’s when Bond is given some gadget early in the story that he can use to escape a difficult trap later on, like a pen that houses a laser beam that can cut through ba...
Source: Steve Pavlina's Personal Development Blog - November 24, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Steve Pavlina Tags: Lifestyle Source Type: blogs

Cancel Thanksgiving
The USA just reached 10 million reported COVID infections earlier this month. Now it’s beyond 12.5 million and is on track to hit 14 million by the end of the month. It’s been estimated that at least 3 million people are probably infectious right now, and many don’t know it because they’re asymptomatic. The real number could be a lot higher. A few days ago we hit another new high: 204K new cases in one day. This is after just recently breaking 100K for the first time. Deaths are still ticking up as well, now around 2K per day. I imagine that’s going to be a lot higher in December. In ...
Source: Steve Pavlina's Personal Development Blog - November 23, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Steve Pavlina Tags: Lifestyle Relationships Source Type: blogs

Receiving Big Love
In yesterday’s post I wrote about expressing and exploring Big Love. Now let’s consider the receiving side. Be receptive to other people’s expression of love, even when it’s not individually directed to you. Allow yourself to feel gratitude and appreciation for the gifts that other people share with the world, as if those gifts were meant for you personally. Can you allow yourself to receive the love expressed in these expressions? An actor’s performanceA song that moves youProducts you useAn employee who serves youFarmers who grow your foodCreators of the content you consumeFictional...
Source: Steve Pavlina's Personal Development Blog - November 22, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Steve Pavlina Tags: Abundance Emotions Values Source Type: blogs

Big Love
Loving another person is one form of love, but you can also love a grand purpose or vision that doesn’t directly involve loving a specific person. By expressing love at the individual level, you may make another person happier. But by channeling love into an expression of purpose, you may delight or inspire a great many people, even well beyond your lifetime. Consider the creation of Star Wars, a grand labor of love for George Lucas. Or consider the love energy that Walt Disney poured into Disneyland. These creations go far beyond one-on-one expressions of love and affection; they provided value to millions of people...
Source: Steve Pavlina's Personal Development Blog - November 21, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Steve Pavlina Tags: Emotions Values Source Type: blogs

NaNoWriMo – Days 18-19
My novel is up to 33,835 words now. The daily writing has become pretty habitual, so it feels like smooth sailing till the end. Mapping the Field As I write scene after scene, I feel like I’m mapping out a field of possibilities, not just for my story but also for what I can do with fiction writing. This includes learning how to write different kinds of scenes and aspects of scenes, such as: Dialogue between two charactersDialogue with more than two charactersFast action scenesSlow action scenesAction interspersed with dialogueIndoor scenesOutdoor scenesPracticing “show me; don’t tell me”...
Source: Steve Pavlina's Personal Development Blog - November 20, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Steve Pavlina Tags: Lifestyle Productivity Source Type: blogs

Meta-Lists
While you may have plenty of experience of making lists, such as for your to-dos and goals, have you ever thought of making a meta-list? A meta-list is a list of lists. Which lists do you think it would be worthwhile to create? Here’s an example of a meta-list: Places to visitGoals to achieveSkills to developExperiences to share with a relationship partnerProgramming languages to learnTechnologies to studyPotential purchases to researchExercises or types of workouts to tryExercise equipment to acquire for a home gymFears to face and overcomeKitchen items to replace or upgradeHome maintenance tasks to doHome ...
Source: Steve Pavlina's Personal Development Blog - November 19, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Steve Pavlina Tags: Lifestyle Productivity Source Type: blogs

Pleasure Is Not Addictive
Here’s an interesting frame for thinking about the connection between pleasure and addiction. It’s not the only frame you can use, but I think it’s a useful perspective to avoid some confusion. The Experience of Pleasure Pleasure is a frequency of experience. By itself it is not harmful or addictive, just as water isn’t addictive per se. Pleasure can be a worthy pursuit when approached with some degree of respect, sacredness, or reverence. You can the delicious beauty of pleasure without getting into trouble. Please do not pleasure as anything naughty or perverse. It is absolutely fine to explo...
Source: Steve Pavlina's Personal Development Blog - November 18, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Steve Pavlina Tags: Abundance Health Lifestyle Source Type: blogs

NaNoWriMo Days 16-17
The morning I hit a nice milestone for my novel-in-progress, getting it just beyond 30K words, so I’m still ahead of schedule for reaching 50K words by November 30th. The daily target of 1667 words continues to work well. Yesterday I added 2050 words, which I think is the first time I’ve gone over 2K words in a day. I got into the flow of an emotionally juicy scene and didn’t want to stop till I got to the end of it. I got caught up in the characters’ feelings as I channeled their dialogue, and the words flowed as fast as I could type. This was the first time I cried while writing this story. If this...
Source: Steve Pavlina's Personal Development Blog - November 18, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Steve Pavlina Tags: Emotions Lifestyle Source Type: blogs

NaNoWriMo – Days 13-15
We’re halfway through NaNoWriMo 2020, and my novel is now at 26,344 words. Since this is the halfway point – with 50K words in 30 days being the goal – I should be at 25K words now, so I’m 1344 words ahead. I think it was a wise decision to get ahead of the 1667 words per day pacing and then to pad that lead by a small amount each day, so I always feel like I’m ahead of schedule. Many people get behind on their desired pacing and end up having to write 10-20K words in the last few days to catch up (or even on the final day). While I don’t think it’s such a big deal to do a maratho...
Source: Steve Pavlina's Personal Development Blog - November 16, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Steve Pavlina Tags: Lifestyle Values Source Type: blogs

Desperation Loyalty
Desperation loyalty is remaining loyal to a group or identity based on neediness or clinginess, often in violation more important values. It is a place of stuckness that elevates loyalty to others above the commitment to grow. It’s relatively easy to spot this in other people. It’s harder to spot this in ourselves. If you pursue a strong and centered path of personal growth for many years, you will outgrow many friends and social groups along the way. That’s a normal part of a life of growth and change. But at some point in your journey, especially early on, you may have doubts about taking the n...
Source: Steve Pavlina's Personal Development Blog - November 15, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Steve Pavlina Tags: Relationships Values Source Type: blogs

Inspiration Doesn ’ t Run Out
Recently I saw a NaNoWriMo participant complaining of running out of inspiration. Their writing had hit a wall, and the lack of inspiration was to blame. That strikes me as an odd and hugely misleading way to think about inspiration, like it’s a resource that can run dry. Truthfully it never runs dry. Saying you’ve run out of inspiration is like saying you’ve run out of sights or sounds. You could become blind or deaf, but the sights and sounds are still present. There are visuals to look at and sounds to be heard, and they don’t run out – or at least they won’t run out during your lif...
Source: Steve Pavlina's Personal Development Blog - November 14, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Steve Pavlina Tags: Abundance Health Lifestyle Productivity Source Type: blogs