Pleasure != Happiness
I learned something recently, and I'm not happy about it.
The premiss I've come to understand involves pleasure and happiness, or rather the lack of similarity between the two.
A few weeks ago I had 12 days of no contract work. I love not having anywhere to be or anything to do. When I have no work to do, I spend the whole time doing work - but work I want to do.
So I worked non-stop, in my bi-polar aspect, to crank out some updates to my apps. I made some vast improvements to my RoRemote app, including the addition of 9 other languages. I've desired to create an app in multiple languages, but, in my 4 years of making iPhone apps, no one's ever wanted their apps translated - so I did it to one of my own.
Paying for 9 professional translations for an app that's free probably wasn't the best business move, but the whole point of creating my own apps is the ability to do what I want. So I did what I want.
I'm getting off topic already. I had a lot of pleasure in staying home, watching TWiT.tv netcasts, and coding. Staying up late. Maintaining no consistent schedule whatsoever. I love it. Plus, I got a lot of work done, so it's okay.
I feel terrible. No contact with the outside world, except the cashier at Duane Reade or the seamless.com delivery person. I love making my own schedule, but I'm no good at it.
I always have glamorized the artist withdrawn from society in order to finish their book/movie/song/code. Cranking away and not emerging until the work is finished and glorious. But I'm believing the fantasy is false - at least for me.
A common paradigm in computer coding: 90% of the project takes 10% of the time, and the last 10% takes the remaining 90% of the time. It's hard to explain why, but it's the way it is. I'm sure this is common to other disciplines as well.
In my week and a half coding binge, I got the first 90% done. Not very productive pursuant to my formula above - despite my trust.
Providing further evidence, RoRemote still isn't in the AppStore.℠ It's taken a few weeks of tweaking minor bugs and flaws resulting from longer text in the translated languages. The remaining 10%.
The lesson received: Just because something's pleasurable doesn't mean doing a lot of it will bring me happiness. I like to believe I'm in control, but this revelation smashes that reality model.
I've learned this once with alcohol, but the notion is more universal. I hate learning a lesson only to find I've learned the lesson before, but failed to recognize the similarities.
A friend of mine is a successful playwright who also has the pleasure of working from home. He gave me some tips which I hate.
- Wake up at 9:00am every day.
- Make my bed.
- Spend a few minutes relaxing - perhaps meditation.
- Eat breakfast - not a few chocolate chip cookies, which happens to be my favorite.
- Read a short piece of literature; a spiritual day starter or motivational favorite.
- Sit down at my desk and begin work. No TV. Turn off my phone.
- Do not be logged in to Facebook or any other kind of noise.
- Work for 3 hours.
- Eat lunch. Ideally, leave the apartment and eat elsewhere. Otherwise, eat in my kitchen (which is only three feet, 0.9144 meters, from my desk - I live in NY).
- Turn on my phone. Return any missed calls, if necessary. Turn off my phone.
- Work for 4 hours.
- Turn on my phone. Return any missed calls.
- Eat dinner.
- Spend the evening socializing - meet up with friends, go on a date, go to a movie... or play (again, I live in NY).
- Go to bed by midnight or 1am at latest.
Oddly enough, not all of the items above were courtesy of my friend. I added some while typing the list. This seems to certify my awareness of maintaining a healthy integration with society. I just need discipline.
Geez, I do not adore anything I'm writing here.
It's been two weeks since I learned the technique above, and I'm anxious to try it out. I'll update you when that happens.
Edit: I updated this post on June 19th, 2014 to correct my mis-spelling of maintaining, which I spelled maintaing.