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System Overload

How many times you’ve started something “without thinking”? How many times you just dived in, thinking that “things will arrange somehow”? How often you embarked on new projects just by passion or enthusiasm, without any type of assessment? I know I did it a lot of times. So often that I was on the verge of completely ditching my assessing and deciding capabilities. I was just doing stuff, imagining that I was carried by “the flow”.

Truth is I was not on the flow. I was completely out of sync. Trying to do so much, but with so little care for my real needs. Just going forward without assessing any of my moves. I remember that every time after a “full” period in my life, something extremely violent happened, usually to my detriment. Every time I was doing “so much” a restraining event came, quite often violently, and drastically restrained my options.

Took me a while to understand this dance of doing too much and then doing too little. But it finally came true: it was just a system overloading situation. The limiting events were in fact there to balance my exaggerated implication in too many projects at once. Some inner positive guardian was activating some switches, telling me: “I’m going to cut the power, Dragos, otherwise, you’re going to blow”.

Overloading Your Life

Whenever you engage in something new you’re overloading your system. Before you’re actually doing something you’ve already put to stress your system: you’re first assessing, and then decide what’s to be done and only after that you really start doing it. That’s the normal sequence. In practice, you’re mainly “doing”, or at least this is what you’re perceiving. Because you put your Assess and Decide stages on auto pilot. And that’s bad.

Even worse, if you’re doing more than it’s useful for you, if you’re taking on your plate more than you can realistically do, you’re going to get some crashes every now and then. It’s like a computer giving you the blue screen of death. Only it will be in the form of a psychological depression, physical illness, or some sort of addiction. Anything that will balance a little the stress you’re putting on your system.

Spontaneity

Just diving in, without too much “thinking”, it’s fantastic from a “spontaneity” perspective. It’s easier to get tricked by this viewpoint and find an excuse for not thinking your moves just for the sake of spontaneity. Although both words are starting with the letter “S” there is a big difference between spontaneity and stupidity. For me, spontaneity means “going with the flow”, stupidity means “going with their flow”.

In other words, spontaneity is a way of reacting to events by following your intuition (which is part of your assessment tools) and engaging in an action which resonates with your values, without giving it the benefit of rational doubt. Sometimes it’s great to go based on a hunch, on an intuition, without thinking too much.

But there’s a little bit of a subtle difference between not thinking and not assessing. You can assess without thinking, by using just your intuition. In this case, intuition is just another tool you use. Sometimes thinking will bring you the best results, sometimes intuition or other types of assessment. But the bottom line is if you’re really spontaneous you’re still assessing your actions, by using your intuition. If you’re just “going with the flow”,  without any type of assessment, mimicking intuition for the sake of being in somebody else’s flow, with all due respect, but you’re stupid.

Adaptation

So much for the spontaneity and stupidity, let’s get back to our overflow paradigm. Every time you’re putting something new on your plate, you’re overloading your system. That something could be anything: learning something new, changing career, entering a new relationship, whatever. Every new activity is a system overloader, it adds something to your current state. Usually, it adds something stressful.

Even if the change is beneficial to you, the stress will be there. In fact, every change is stressful, in the sense that it requires an adaptation period. You can’t really skip this. You may try to avoid it, you may try different escaping techniques, but it can’t be tricked.

Adaptation is a way of adjusting your internal vibration to match the vibrations of your external context. Unless you’re having a similar frequency, you’re not in sync. You can’t pretend you’re playing a sonata, while the Universe is playing a fugue. It just won’t match.

Adaptation is usually the biggest energy consumer in every change you’re involved. And if you’re constantly putting to much on your schedule, if you’re constantly trying to change your environment , your adaptation period will eventually run out of energy.  And a violent event will enter the scene in order to re-balance everything. You’re going to experiment another “system “overloaded” message.

Reboot Every Now And Then

Back when I had my online publishing business I was using Linux powered servers to host my sites. I was so proud when I looked at the log and see something like: “this system up and running for 234 days, 18 hours and 3 minutes”. To keep a server without a restart or reboot so long is usually a good sign. Uninterrupted functionality is critical for an online business.

Somehow, I started to mimic this behavior. Keeping an uninterrupted functionality flow for months, or even years was perceived like something good, the same way a server was doing. I was taking pride in it. I haven’t had a single holiday during my first 3 years of entrepreneurship and I even bragged about it. Unless I was not a computer. And every now and then I had to face some crash.

We’re an incredibly delicate and powerful energy manipulation machine. We’re so much better and infinitely complicated than a computer, which does a single job tremendously well: it stays up and serve sites. We’re doing so much more. We’re not supposed to stay up and serve clients uninterruptedly. This is why we invented computers in the first way, to do that for us.

We’re supposed to enjoy, to give, to receive, to love, to experience, to invent.

And we really can’t do that if we don’t reinvent ourselves every once in a while.

Make yourself a service and reboot your system every now and then.



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.

Running For My Life -from zero to ultramarathoner

This Post Has 16 Comments
  1. This a great article. I like the thought of rebooting our life.
    Spontaneity is good at times – when you have worked 6 days a weeks for several weeks to decide to take the day off and do something else adds to the adventure.
    .-= Bunnygotblog´s last blog ..Five Blogs – Four Women – One Apple & Me =-.

    1. Exactly, spontaneity comes when you have stressed your rational side too much, and let your intuition run the show. 🙂

  2. Dragos, this is so important.

    “Even worse, if you’re doing more than it’s useful for you, if you’re taking on your plate more than you can realistically do, you’re going to get some crashes every now and then. It’s like a computer giving you the blue screen of death. Only it will be in the form of a psychological depression, physical illness, or some sort of addiction.”

    I’ve gone through this myself. Sometimes the crash is hard and you have got to be careful you don’t completely destroy the computer.
    .-= Stephen – Rat Race Trap´s last blog ..More About Living in the Now =-.

    1. Although it’s pretty unlikely you’ll break your “computer”, this is always possible. Never been there (obviously, otherwise, I wouldn’t write here now) but I know people who unfortunately did.

  3. Hey Dragos, what a well balanced approach to this subject. I seem to be wired with a built in governor. It’s like a little warning light that says “you are doing quite enough, don’t add to it, take a break instead.” I know this self-preservation program has saved me from many crashes.
    .-= Jonathan – Advanced Life Skills´s last blog ..Learning to Celebrate Life! =-.

    1. I can see that you have a very balanced approach and maybe this built in governor is your secret 🙂 Share some thoughts on how he rules your world!

  4. I found meditation to be a good way to reboot my mind, that’s why I use to meditate every once in a while. It may be difficult at first but the rewards are worth trying in my opinion.
    .-= Oscar – freestyle mind´s last blog ..Knowing what to improve in your life =-.

    1. Definitely agree with that. Meditation is such an easy and powerful tool, unfortunately, so overlooked…

  5. Hi Dragos,

    Oh do I relate to this one — brilliant post. 🙂 I was Mrs. Perfectionist overloading myself and putting everyone first until my body would have it no more and I got dis-ease after dis-ease. I understand the excitement of learning and wanting to add “just one more thing” to the over-crowded plate because you love what you do. BUT it is so important to reboot and to treat your inner self and your body with kindness. This was one of my hardest lessons to learn and THE most important. Seems the kinder I am to myself – the easier ALL of my life flows; family, work, friends….
    Beautiful post – thanks Dragos!
    Love, Jenny
    .-= Jenny Mannion´s last blog ..Setting Big Goals to Heal and Feel Empowered =-.

    1. Seems like we’ve been part of the same team in the past, it sounds so familiar 🙂 Getting over these “one more thing” approaches is one of the most important lessons for people who are so eager to do “more”…

  6. I like the Linux analogy,
    My Windows Vista crashes into a forced reboot every 3-4 days. Running in paralel on several computers helps sharing and suporting the “over-load”,,,, 🙂
    .-= Doru´s last blog ..Against Faith – Part 1 =-.

    1. Parallel computing in order to save CPU power, that is something I can use myself 🙂 P.S. I like your blog 😉

  7. Hi! Just found your site by way of Someday Syndrome – what a fantastic guest post today. Something I needed! Love your blog and will need to spend some time going through all of the fantastic content! I’d like to add it to the blogroll on my site – I keep a semi-tight list of “blogs that are changing the world of words.” Have a great weekend and so glad I came across your site!
    .-= Laura Cococcia´s last blog ..’What Would You Do if You Ran the World?’ Laura Interviews Author Shelly Rachanow =-.

  8. I really like this. It is very timely for me as I’ve had to keep going hard lately getting my book ready for for publishers. And then I realized I needed to reboot here at some point. So I am now doing it in little ways throughout the day, bigger ways throughout the week and even BIGGER ways through the month of year and it is so so crucial. After too many crashes I now stop and refuel. If we don’t refuel we crash. Then realize (a little too late) that the time we spend recovering from the the crash could have been spent doing something fun and rewarding. Only makes sense. Thank you my friend for such good insights. robin
    .-= Robin Easton´s last blog ..Is Nature Real? =-.

  9. Wonderful post! You have pointed out very well that we often overload our life and get carried over, later realizing that we are chewing more than we can digest. This thing has often occurred in my life. Now, I do give much thought before I dive into any new venture and make sure that the time I am going to be devoting to it does not come at the expense of other previously scheduled activities that are pending and equally important.

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