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iApprove: The Dude.

May 25, 2009

All of my recent success, I credit to The Dude.

I will elaborate: I have never been a motivated person.  When it comes to between what I want to do and what I need to do, I almost always take the easy route and do what I want (unless it would get me into trouble).  Consequentially, I procrastinate.  Studies get postponed, sometimes for days.  Housework gets stalled.  Even personal projects get put off.  I end up wasting a lot of time.

For this reason, I created The Dude.

To be honest, The Dude (“Dude”) to his face isn’t really a dude at all.  In fact, he (she?) isn’t even a proper split personality.  Instead he/she is… well, I suppose you could refer to him/her as a homunculus – a piece of my personality taken human(ish) shape.  Completely imaginary, but nonetheless influential.

See, it was like this: I can prioritize.  I know I can.  I can even focus on my priorities, if properly motivated.  But thanks to an unfortunate mental trait of mine – the tendency to believe everything my mother tells me, enforced through years of religious upbringing – I didn’t think I could do it on my own.  So I never learned how.

Finally, though, I struck upon a possible solution.  Rather than try to completely rearrange my personality – quite a feat for anyone – I decided to compartmentalize it.  The dominant portion, the one that only did what I had to as a last resort, became the “female” personality.  The other portion, who knew what I had to do and was willing to do it, became the “male” personality, whom I christened The Dude.  Rather than making the female personality get motivated – which is something like pushing a wheelbarrow with a hippopotamus in it – when I needed to do something important, I would call on The Dude.  I’d get his advice – which was, to clarify, merely me thinking about what I needed to do and deciding to do it – and force the female personality to get off her lazy butt and actually do something.

This worked pretty well for the first few days.  Every time I wanted to go loaf around, I’d ask The Dude, and he’d tell me about something of greater priority that I hadn’t done yet.  (Once I’d filled my priority quotient, it was all right to goof off.)  I ended up getting stuff done – putting in the garden, studying for my GED, going outside and exercising.

After awhile, though, something bizarre happened.  It didn’t fail – I am still prioritizing with surprising ease.  But what I realized is that, after a few days, The Dude had just… disappeared.  I no longer needed him to coerce me into doing what I needed to do.  The female personality had sort of absorbed him, and was now capable of making decisions by herself.

WIN.

Now, the whole point of this lengthy, lengthy blog post is this: if you have problems bringing out certain aspects of your personality, you might consider The Dude method.  It doesn’t have to be a dude – you can choose any figure, real or imaginary, whom you respect but are not too intimidated by.

(The Dude was somewhere between me-as-a-guy and Zac Efron.  Your mileage may vary, but don’t use anyone you know.)

Whenever you enter a situation where you’d like to change your reaction, consult your personal Dude.  He/she will tell you what to need to do; do it.  Get into the habit of listening to him/her every time.  Don’t cut yourself any slack, but be realistic: don’t call on The Dude 24/7.  Give yourself plenty of times when you don’t need his/her help.

And finally, remember: The Dude is completely imaginary. He/she does not have his/her own personality (though it may feel like it at first).  Essentially, he/she is just a face that you are using to tell yourself what to do.  If you have a history of mental illness, particularly multiple-personality disorder or schizophrenia, it is not advised that you attempt The Dude technique.  If you choose to attempt The Dude, you will agree to hold gerimorgan innocent of any detrimental effects.

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