I cringe and stumble over to the lights.
Flip them on.
What time is i--shit.
It's early afternoon. Think.
Lots of caffeine while working on the new cabal project, all wired up, worked all night, slept morning, and now it's the afternoon and I haven't even slept that much.
My head hurts. I'm probably dehydrated.
Kind of in a fog, moving slowly. Open my laptop up.
Gahh, I can't think. I need some food and water in me. And do some easy work. Easy, that's the ticket.
When's the last time I ate food? It's been a while.
And thus began my morning... err, afternoon. I awoke in one of those hazy fogs where you treat yourself badly the day before, and you wake up tired, dehydrated, on a screwed up sleep schedule, and having not eaten in a long time, with no clear urgent deliverables or meetings to hone focus.
So I kind of stumble around, brush my teeth, and am trying to plan my day through the fog. I need food and easy work. I think, I wonder if any movies are worth seeing at Bobby Brewer's, I'll watch a movie and eat and catch up on my email.
I check the movie schedule, and it looks like an excellent movie is starting... right now.
And suddenly, the fog is gone and I'm in somewhat frantic action. Stretching, clothing, pack, and I'm out the door, feeling awake and alive, all the fog shaken off.
I arrive at Bobby Brewer's... and, oh. Wrong movie. It said "Sacrifice" on the schedule, I thought it was the 2010 Chinese movie about the Yuan Dynasty. Instead it's some lame tacky psychological thriller. Dang it. I watch five minutes and then skip out, going downstairs to order some eggs, vegetables, bread, and coffee.
And I start thinking.
Huh. That frantic action to get here was pretty cool. I did a reasonably good job at everything that needed to be done immediately, completed things quickly, moved with haste here, and was awake and alive when arriving.
It was kind of unpleasant in the hazy fog, but without the frantic action it probably would have taken me 20-40 minutes to come out of it, maybe longer. Instead, the ticking clock meant a whirlwind of haste, and feeling awake and alive.
So I start thinking. When do people take frantic action?
Because this is cool, this is good. I wouldn't want to constantly be in frantic action, but it beats the hell out of lazy hazy confused foggy mode.
Would it be possible to approach the next section of a creative project with frantic action, even if not required?
It seems to me that most people don't take frantic action unless two things are present -
1. It's absolutely necessary or some external factors go bad. (Deadlines, urgency, changing conditions, etc)
2. The task either seems like it'd be possible, or it's the only option.
If you'll think on your life for a moment, the times you took frantic action... I'm going to bet most of the the time there was some outside conditions that made it necessary, and the task seemed doable (or you had no other choice).
It reminds me of Parkinson's Law, which I'm a huge believer in -
"Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion."
By not having time to do it slowly, you do it more quickly.
This suggests that you could intentionally schedule things so they require frantic action to complete.
This seems like it'd produce results.
Or, as written in Hagakure, perhaps it's possible to cultivate this desperate frantic action into your personality and craft -
Lord Naoshige said, “The Way of the Samurai is in desperateness. Ten men or more cannot kill such a man. Common sense will not accomplish great things. Simply become insane and desperate.’
“In the Way of the Samurai, if one uses discrimination, he will fall behind. One needs neither loyalty nor devotion, but simply to become desperate in the Way. Loyalty and devotion are of themselves within desperation.”
1. I think external deadline + achievable task (or no other option) is naturally conducive to frantic action.
2. While there's probably downsides to it, periods of frantic action seem like they lead to immense production.
3. You could probably manufacture this by intentionally setting your schedule to require frantic action.
4. This is where I'm not sure - can you take frantic, desperate action even when it's not urgent to do so? Warrior spirit type stuff?
This is fascinating to me. Your thoughts and experiences very much appreciated here... weigh in in the comments about your experiences with frantic action, doing a lot, and cultivating it within yourself. Let's explore this.
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