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Old 01-05-18, 05:10 AM
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So you want to be an Astronaut?

I wrote this, for anyone that is trying to figure out how they can know what to aim for in life and whether or not they are aiming for too little or too much.

I think that most people, don't know what they can do.


Most people are terrified of reaching for too much in life.

How do you know if you are reaching for too much though?

Or that you're going about it in the most sensible way.

There is a thought that there is only one way to do anything.

Most people will tell you, that it doesn't matter what you know, all that matters is who you know.

But I have found that the opposite is true.

In fact, I would say, that what you know, is far more important than who you know.

That is to say, that you never really know the people around you. I mean you think you do, but not really.

In fact, you're more likely to be wrong about the people in your life that you thought you knew the most.

It takes approximately 40 seconds to form an impression of someone, and that 40 seconds will often define what you learn about them and how you see them for as long as you know them.

When someone around you makes a mistake, your first instinct is to see that mistake as relating to a character deficit and not situation dependent.

Ironically we see ourselves in the opposite way.

This is one main reason that the longer you know someone, the less you know them.

But what does that say about you?

Most people strive for self awareness, which means nothing really. If you look for feedback from others, they'll tell you to fit in that 40 second box they pegged you into.

If you stick to doing only what you are good at, then you may crumble when someone or something does it better.

More than that, there is no guarantee that you can make a living off of what you are good at.

So how do you avoid reaching for too much, or avoid being unrealistic about life?

The truth is, that you can't.

No one knows what you can do, or who you are. Does that mean you can do anything?

Before you ever answer that, ask yourself "is that is even the right question?"

A better question is "What is the cost?"


To do anything that you want, there is a cost of time and emotional strain.

I believe that the more you take stock of those two finite resources, you start to gain a clear picture of what it is that you can or can not do.

If you don't make time for your goals, then they won't happen.

Your emotional resiliency is just as important as time because all of our decisions are made using our emotions.

Individuals that were unable to process their emotions due to a traumatic brain injury, were unable to make any choices or decisions.

Their cognitive function was there, but it seems emotions are what motivate most all of us.

Because of this, failure is not the best way to determine what you are capable of accomplishing. Failure can burn you out very quickly.

What all of this means is that you have to fit your life to your feelings. You can fail and still succeed, but you need small successes or some kind of emotional refueling/stamina that keeps you going.

I believe that if you live within your personal constraints, than it does not matter who you know, and what you know will come from planning by constraints.

I've come to find that your constraints determine your potential. You can plan smarter by depending on your constraints because they are more reliable. Your strengths, may not always be there. You may be able to hyper focus some of the time, but can you take the time to turn it into a habit?

I've met ADHD Doctors and Engineers that used constraint planning to accomplish their goals in life. I just thought I would share it.

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Old 01-05-18, 06:43 AM
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Re: So you want to be an Astronaut?

Great post invitro. Totally agree with all of it. I've also heard in a psychology lecture that we tend to see other people's mistakes as character flaws but our own as just situational errors.

For me the biggest constraint at the moment is time. There is so much I want to do but because I procrastinate other mundane tasks so much there is very little time left for the things I want to do.
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Old 01-05-18, 09:35 AM
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Re: So you want to be an Astronaut?

I feel like I see things in the complete opposite way a lot of the time. I have a very difficult time forgiving myself for any mistakes I make, but am often much too forgiving of others. I have had to consciously learn to judge people harsher and set better boundaries in order to protect myself from abuse. I am also working on being more accepting of myself when I do make mistakes.

Also depending on where you apply it, "it's not what you know, but who you know" is actually very true. It all depends on how you personally view success. If your idea of success is climbing up the corporate ladder, then nothing is more true than that. With the right connections you can get promotions easily with much less skill than someone else, while skill alone will not get you very far if you're not good at playing the corporate game. It's all about politics and social skills in that environment.

On the other hand, if your goal in life is to truly become good at something for your own benefit, then it doesn't really matter who you know, of course. Personally this is what success means to me, but I think most people are much more career-oriented than I am.

I do agree though that you shouldn't measure your ability to succeed by the number of failures you have had. Like the famous Edison quote about his experience inventing the light bulb, it sometimes takes a lot of attempts before you achieve what you have set out to. Resilience is a good skill to have, something I need to work more on myself.

I hope this post doesn't come off as confrontational, I just feel like I have had the exact opposite experience to this in my life. I also tend to get excited about some idea and unrealistically reach too far without thinking it through, as opposed to being afraid that I won't succeed. I just can't stick with it before I get excited about the next thing. It's not that I'm afraid to try, it's that I am too eager to do it.
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Old 01-05-18, 11:54 AM
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Re: So you want to be an Astronaut?

I agree with you about the emotional constraints. Good point. Our goal is to be happy and you can't be happy if you are always working outside what you can emotionally handle.

I disagree with you about "its not who you know". Maybe if you are gifted well beyond the norm and even then, connections certainly help. I think it's dangerous for adhders to believe otherwise cause connections are often an area we lack in and very much need to acknowledge so we focus on improving in that area. Connections can make or break a career.

I think we should work within our emotional constraints AND on connections. Can't go wrong with that no matter if you are right or not.
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Old 01-05-18, 07:13 PM
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Re: So you want to be an Astronaut?

Thanks for your post. It's a cargo train of thought loaded with interesting observations, and it made me think :-)

I kind of split your post in two parts, the former refers to what is generally considered to be social success, and what it is to know someone. I agree with you that it probably only takes 40 secs to 'get to know someone', take a personality snapshot of them so to say. And that long after we still kind of struggle on to use that as a frame of reference, despite conflicting new information. That's why first impressions are important but also very deceiving. Lots of people go out of their way to make a great first impression, and it only can go down hill after that ;-)

I never really made my carreer about who i know. I kind of despise it, I have more respect for people who have a real skill or passion then for people who are mainly smooth talkers or who live to exchange business cards. (probably it shines through here that i'm an introvert who hates networking and having to sell himself :-)

The second portion of your post i would recap as "Personal Economics of Time and Emotional energy". It's an interesting thing to notice that i have always been driven by my at times boundless energy. Time however was merely a nuisance, an ever limiting factor, a reason to do this nasty thing called "planning ahead".

And perhaps there lies a perfectly good reason why i managed to run into a couple of burnouts along the way. I had the illusion that i only had a limited amount of time to invest, but an endless well of emotional energy.

I am a creative person, and it might be a bit harder for me to plan by constraints like an engineer would do. My project scope is also a lot more fluent often. But for the rest your post helped me complete a line of thinking where i intend to stop organising myself based on the ideal situations (eg. hyperfocus, thrill), and instead to forecast on the more constrainted baseline (eg. low mood, the cluttered brain). For me this will require less emotional energy and more time, and create a better balance.

One thing i find missing in your model, and that is the goal itself. or goals. I also have to learn to limit the scope of my goal(s). A simple thing like creating a conceptual presentation can simply branch off into a million side ideas and seeds for spin-off projects when i am in hyperfocus. It often frustrates me afterwards that i have to leave all these "unborn" babys behind after a creative session.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OyVeyKitty View Post
I feel like I see things in the complete opposite way a lot of the time. I have a very difficult time forgiving myself for any mistakes I make, but am often much too forgiving of others. I have had to consciously learn to judge people harsher and set better boundaries in order to protect myself from abuse. I am also working on being more accepting of myself when I do make mistakes.
I am/was the same. Could totally forgive other people, tell them not to be too hard on themselves, but in my own head there was a relentless critic who could never tolerate the same level of empathy for myself. And indeed this is the perfect breeding ground for mis/ab-use. faulty childhood programming that's currently being debugged :-)

Last edited by DeClutter; 01-05-18 at 07:24 PM..
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Old 01-12-18, 03:24 AM
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Re: So you want to be an Astronaut?

Quote:
Originally Posted by acdc01 View Post
I agree with you about the emotional constraints. Good point. Our goal is to be happy and you can't be happy if you are always working outside what you can emotionally handle.

I disagree with you about "its not who you know". Maybe if you are gifted well beyond the norm and even then, connections certainly help. I think it's dangerous for adhders to believe otherwise cause connections are often an area we lack in and very much need to acknowledge so we focus on improving in that area. Connections can make or break a career.

I think we should work within our emotional constraints AND on connections. Can't go wrong with that no matter if you are right or not.
This is just my experience,

1.Trying to do everything will burn you out

2.You'll be more respected for saying no than you will for saying yes.

3.What you know, determines who you will know.
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Old 03-02-18, 08:58 PM
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Re: So you want to be an Astronaut?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeClutter View Post
I am/was the same. Could totally forgive other people, tell them not to be too hard on themselves, but in my own head there was a relentless critic who could never tolerate the same level of empathy for myself. And indeed this is the perfect breeding ground for mis/ab-use. faulty childhood programming that's currently being debugged :-)
This is what I feel, too. To the point that some of my female coworkers called me out for not willing to stand up to bullies.
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Old 03-02-18, 09:57 PM
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Re: So you want to be an Astronaut?

Quote:
Originally Posted by InvitroCanibal View Post
I wrote this, for anyone that is trying to figure out how they can know what to aim for in life and whether or not they are aiming for too little or too much.

I think that most people, don't know what they can do.


Most people are terrified of reaching for too much in life.

How do you know if you are reaching for too much though?

Or that you're going about it in the most sensible way.

There is a thought that there is only one way to do anything.

Most people will tell you, that it doesn't matter what you know, all that matters is who you know.
I disagree with most of this.
I know what I can do, just havent figured out how to share this with others.
I am not terrified of reaching for too much but I am terrified of failure. I never go about things sensibly but oddly the less sensible I am the better the results.There is always more than one way to doing things. It just depends on whether others accept your quirky way of getting to the same end.
A lot of things matter when it comes to who you know. And it always matters what you know.

Quote:
In fact, I would say, that what you know, is far more important than who you know.
Not more important but in many cases equally important.


Quote:
That is to say, that you never really know the people around you. I mean you think you do, but not really.

In fact, you're more likely to be wrong about the people in your life that you thought you knew the most.
I do not see how this could be true.

Quote:
It takes approximately 40 seconds to form an impression of someone, and that 40 seconds will often define what you learn about them and how you see them for as long as you know them.
I am famous for summing people up in quick judgments. Ironically I am right more often than not. Maybe its must good intuition.

Quote:
When someone around you makes a mistake, your first instinct is to see that mistake as relating to a character deficit and not situation dependent.
I look at mistakes as learning curves. Learn from them and they are not mistakes.

Quote:

This is one main reason that the longer you know someone, the less you know them.
Again, I disagree.


Quote:
But what does that say about you?

Most people strive for self awareness, which means nothing really. If you look for feedback from others, they'll tell you to fit in that 40 second box they pegged you into.
I dont give a sh*t about feedback from others- especially when its unwanted.
Quote:
If you stick to doing only what you are good at, then you may crumble when someone or something does it better.
How cynical. As long as it gets done who cares how well it was done?

Quote:
More than that, there is no guarantee that you can make a living off of what you are good at.
This is dead on true. But do you really need to make a living off of what you are good at>? Cant it just be that its a hobby?

Quote:
So how do you avoid reaching for too much, or avoid being unrealistic about life?
Reaching for too much is the key to just enough.

Quote:

Your emotional resiliency is just as important as time because all of our decisions are made using our emotions.

Individuals that were unable to process their emotions due to a traumatic brain injury, were unable to make any choices or decisions.

Their cognitive function was there, but it seems emotions are what motivate most all of us.
Very very true.

Quote:
Because of this, failure is not the best way to determine what you are capable of accomplishing. Failure can burn you out very quickly.
Failure is the BEST way of determining what you can accomplish.

Quote:
What all of this means is that you have to fit your life to your feelings. You can fail and still succeed, but you need small successes or some kind of emotional refueling/stamina that keeps you going.
But who says what a success is?
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Old 03-03-18, 03:27 PM
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Re: So you want to be an Astronaut?

Very thoughtful and provocative post. Thanks for sharing it! You wrote what almost seems as a deep poem, or a kinda Zen poem.

The initial 40-second impression ... I dunno. I in some ways am a slow social learner. But even I am aware that I have met plenty of people in my life that initially I liked or disliked and then over time I formed a dramatically different view of them.

I have a close friend now that when I was first introduced to her--I wanted to ignore her ... I tried to ignore her. But she was persistent in wanting to talk to me. Well, we started talking. These days, I see her as one of the deepest and smartest people I know. And I so look forward to talking to her.

Frankly, I no longer trust my 40-second impression--even if it's a strong one. I don't think I'm alone in this. Sometimes I do pay careful attention to my first impressions--when I sense that someone is alarming or dangerous. I definitely pay attention to that feeling.

Some of us are lucky in that we make "good" first impressions. Some of us are unlucky that way.

What impresses the heck outta me now is seeing a number of people who don't get demoralized by the fact that they make "bad" first impressions. These folks keep going and doing their thing, and over time ... their seriousness or creativity or power ... whatever you wanna call it ... comes through ... and others update their impressions.

One reason these resilient people are able to push forward so impressively is that they don't interpret initial coldness or dismissal from others as "final" or "a failure." In fact, some these folks seem to know that they make weak or poor first impressions. So they realize that to make friends or contacts or whatever, they have to keep connecting with others. And somehow they do this without resentment about how people initially reacted to them.

These folks blow me the @XX% away. These see options following "failure," that I often miss.

Just a few random thoughts ... Probably doesn't contradict what you think ... I just got into a few of the weeds.

Tone
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