If you came here thinking: “finally, there is one self-improvement technique that will allow me to sleep more and be great”, well, I hate to disappoint you. Because it’s not going to be about sleeping more.
But it’s not going to be about sleeping less, either.
Now you’re curious. I can feel it. Good. Curious is good. So let’s get on with it.
What Is Sleep
I’ve been fascinated with sleep from the moment I was able to realize I am sleeping. As a child, I had a this fear of going to bed. My parents thought it was fear of the dark, but it wasn’t. I was literally afraid to dive into that sea of unconsciousness, because sometimes I thought I won’t be able to wake up again.
And if you really take the time think a little, there’s no guarantee that you will wake up when you go to sleep. Absolutely none. Except for your memory. So, as I grew up, my fear of going to sleep was slowly fading away, because each morning added a little bit of trust. It’s ok, I woke up again. And, from what I can see, I am the same person as I was yesterday. My memory started to form an image about myself that was easy to recognize each morning. So, sleeping must be ok.
But what happens if you lose your short term memory? What if you wake up every morning without knowing who you are? What if sleep would erase everything you think you knew about yourself, forcing you to reevaluate your place in this Universe every morning?
Now it’s time to watch the trailer below. It’s from a movie with Adam Sandler. And, as in every Adam Sandler movie, there is this bitter sweet mix of funny and tragic which makes me enjoy them so much.
Ok, so just in case you skipped the trailer: Adam, a doctor on an exotic island, who was some sort of a Dun Juan, meets a girl. He conquer her in just one day, but the next morning he’ll have the shock of his life: the girl will beat the hell out of him, right after she opens her eyes. She can’t remember who the guy in her bed really is. Adam learns that the girl lost her short term memory in a car accident. Each morning she actually reboots her short term memory. During the day she’s ok, but after she wakes up, she’s back in time to the moment of the accident. Everything in between erases.
A quest for bringing back her memory and make her his woman starts. Of course, the love for this woman changes Adam a lot, and, in the end, he finds a brilliant solution. He makes a video tape of her recent life and makes her watch the video tape every morning. So, each day she wakes up, she’s actually impregnating her short term memory with her recent past. Everything takes 2 minutes. After those 2 minutes, she is back on her track, having a normal life. She knows who she is. She knows what her life is all about. Her identity, after sleeping, is rebuilt.
Who You Really Are
Now comes the most important part of this post. And that is: who you are is a function of… well, who you are telling yourself you are. Imagine how it is to have your own video tape to watch every morning, and impregnate yourself with that. As a matter of fact, you do have this video tape. It’s called memory. And your memory can be modeled.
We function by comparison. We function by identifying ourselves with some familiar images. About the world, about ourselves, about the others. And those images are much more fragile than we think. They can be changed. They can be modified in a split ofÂ second. And with them our entire reality will change.
Maybe your memory thinks you’re a lousy dancer. Just put some scenes in this video tape with you being a great dancer. Or maybe your memory tells you that you don’t have enough money to live by. Insert some scenes with you having enough money. Little by little, your life will adjust to this video tape you’re playing to yourself every day.
What Others Think You Are
But there’s something more about this. In the movie, the one who makes the tape is Adam. He makes the tape for somebody else, not for him. He had been trusted enough to make that tape. Now imagine the consequences if he would have put in that tape some bad scenes. He was in love with the girl, but if he really wanted to hurt her, he could have craft a completely different version of the video tape.
If you have friends or close persons who are constantly telling you you’re no good, well, they’re playing a dirty trick with your video tape. They’re using your trust in a bad way. They’re trying to control you, or take advantage of you somehow. They’re screwing with your short memory trying to make you somebody you’re not. It happens more often than you’re ready to accept.
So it’s important that you choose your close circle of friends carefully. At some point, you will let them play your morning video tape on you. You will look for acceptance form them, for validation, for support. You will invest them with trust. And by that, you will allow them to play a version of your own life in front of you. Be sure to choose wisely.
Don’t Believe Me
I know this whole sleep based self-improvement technique, as simple as it is, may look strange. As a matter of fact, I’m quite aware that it may sounds completely wacky. It may sound like a mumbo-jumbo new age gibberish. Or even worse, like a bad joke. So, don’t believe me. Do your own research. Play with your own memory. Experiment.
Tell yourself every morning who you really are. Or, even better, tell yourself who you want to be. Try to play with your memory like a child plays with his play-doh.
Make your own morning video tape.
Running For My Life - from zero to ultramarathoner
The spooky thing about depression is that it sneaks in. There aren’t really trumpets and loud voices announcing: “Hail, hail, this is depression entering the room, all rise!” Nope. It’s slow, silent, creepy. It doesn’t even look like depression. It starts with small isolation thoughts like: “Maybe I shouldn’t get out today, I just don’t feel like going out”. And then it does the same next day. And then the day after that and so on. And then it starts to whisper louder and louder in your ears: “Why would you go outside, you loser? Didn’t have enough yet? Want more people to make fun of how much of a big, fat loser you are?”
And then you start to breath in guilt and shame, instead of air. Every breathe you take is putting more dark thoughts into your body.
Until you get stuck. You can’t move anymore. At all.
If you want to know how I got out of this space, eventually, check out my latest book on Amazon and Kindle.