Thank you LaWanna for your advice.
Despite reading all of KW’s books, knowing about integral for nearly 15 years, and trying to incorporate practice of ILP and mindfulness, I definitely needed to read up dozens more books on procrastination, willpower and personal motivation in order to find the HOW-TOs of overcoming procrastination. I agree that one of the essential strategy / or view is to realize that “emotion of motivation” is not necessary to work on important projects. Your purpose in life and fundamental values can enable you to “sit the ass down”, and work on the complex project even if the feeling of discomfort is present in the system. Like motivation(as a feeling), the feeling of lack of motivation is also temporary. Our purpose to do important work or to “self-actualize” however can be a source of energy to overcome resistance.
Thank you Lynn for your advice on external accountability. I tried that before many times, it hasn’t worked as well as I expected [perhaps a key reason is why because these people were just friends and family members who didn’t quite understand what I was trying to accomplish, so the shame that came from not meeting publicly announced deadline wasn’t quite compelling].
But after doing more deeper personal psychological analysis of why I procrastinate, I am trying accountability technique again with other people (via online) who share more of my values.
I agree that procrastination tends to be a symptom of some other psychological issue. I did think about it and self-analyzed for nearly 10 years, so I think for me, it is more my problem with internet addiction/over-use and my tendency to use the internet as coping mechanism for stress and mood-fixing. There are probably other psychological barriers such as the gap between aesthetic judgment and the quality of my output, and the emotional pain that results from that. It is always important to be reminded to adopt a growth mindset and break the habit of “fixed mindset”. I know everyone is different when it comes to the root psychological cause.
Thank you gnosisman, for your very powerful response to the topic. I definitely resonate with your perception that all this “integral theoretical talk” about maps of self-transformation lacks the “HOW-TO” components at a very fine and granular scale. I had to read dozens of books outside of the Integral theory in order to understand more deeply about procrastination, willpower, self-motivation, and persistence. Even when it comes to mindfulness, which is the moment-to-moment dissection of the urge to procrastinate and waste time, Integral Theory hasn’t quite discussed in detailed how to deal with it at an “industrial -strength level”. There definitely is a bit of too much “self-congratulations” about reaching the “2nd tier” talk, which can turn people not familiar with the integral jargons (like “green”, “turquoise”) off.
I was able to find a few frameworks outside of integral that I resonated with. Of course, these works lack the Map of Integral theory, which is very valuable to understanding the Big Picture. But when it comes to Detailed-Microscopic Picture, and actual step-by-step detailed execution, current Integral scene is indeed a little lacking. I would definitely love to see more materials published by writers in the integral circle on people’s conventional struggle with learning a skill like programming/machine-learning, learning high level science/math, starting/managing a challenging business, or finishing novels, books and complex art projects.
I definitely resonate with your writing about post-traumatic growth. I did experience a degree of trauma in my early teenage years. I think I am relatively integrated in that aspect—though there is always the possibility of fooling myself. I am grateful for the hardship I experienced early in life—after all, it was probably what drove me to read up on psychology, spirituality and philosophy and eventually Integral Theory.
For the most part, I am happy the vast majority of the time and I feel a life full of abundance, I am psychologically healthy, but I do have problem fulfilling my ambition—so in other words, self-actualize and truly grow to the next level.
Regarding dimensions of personal growth, I don’t know if it is really easier to wake up than grow up. There definitely are plenty of individuals who have “woken up” but are psychologically screwed up. (It just baffles my mind how somebody could spiritually “awakened” and struggle with alcohol problem—I would imagine with high level of mindfulness skill, addiction to alcohol should be relative easy to tackle. One of the thing that might have held back Integral a little from reaching more people in the general culture might have been some accusation against moral conduct of some of the teachers nominally associated with Integral). There are similarly individuals who have been able to complete challenging projects after projects, but do not seem to be concerned about exploring deeper level of awareness. [Elon Musk and Bill Gates come to mind]
Definitely once you reach a certain level, “waking up” and “growing up” are pretty hard. Another reason for those of us who have to live in urban life is because people around us are not really concerned about either, so this general apathy toward self-transformation due to the social environment is a kind of “social contagion” that gets unconsciously crept into our mind.
Regarding the shadow-integration, I do see 3-2-1 as a powerful technique. But there has to be more than that [I appreciate the possibility that my skill might not be yet high enough to maintain tackling of procrastination for an extended period]. I do feel that by going at our psychological “stuckness” from different angles through different techniques, no doubt, it will be a more tractable problem. I appreciate that Integral Life Practice does present lots of possibilities, I personally would like to see a very detailed follow up discussing and surveying nearly all the psycho-spiritual techniques in contemplative traditions and in the psychology book market—and how they connect.
After years of exploration, my procrastination habit has been chipped little by little over the years—though there is definitely still lots of work to do. Thank you all for the responses. It always feel wonderful to discuss with kindred- spirits. [I don’t know anybody personally who is aware of integral theory] I’d love to hear more from everyone on how you have tackled your procrastination on fulfilling your aspirations/ambitions. Or what techniques or books you have found helpful.