Aleksander Antoszek

@antoszek

Student, artist, writer & tutor. Sharing my thoughts about life, productivity, education & more. Contact me: blog [at] [my last name].eu

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The Breaking Point

It was terribly hot. Even though it was just early May, temperatures were reaching I'm kinda meltin' levels. Doing anything, heck, thinking, was hard. Nonetheless I had work to do. A lot of work, and I mean a lot

May is the second to last working month for high school students in Poland. In all honesty, it is the working month for most students. 

The problem with me that year was that I wasn't working for most of the working months. Ok, maybe I was working, but not on the things I was supposed to be working on.

Ideas flowed through my head like crazy. I deliberated life a lot. I don't consider that time necessarily wasted, but I now definitely know that it could be used in a better way. All those ideas never got written down, processed, managed. They just stayed in my head, and after some time I forgot them. So, maybe that time was essentially wasted? I don't know.

Snap

After some time, I snapped. I couldn't handle it anymore. The sheer amount of work that I was supposed to do, the anxiety it induced, was just unbearable. So, I asked the question:

Is there a better way?

I didn't want to loose my creativity, nor did I want to become the perfect student. But I had to change something. I knew, that if something doesn't change in the near future, I will crash. In all honesty, that possibility of crashing, that very tactile projection of ruining my life terrified me even more than radical change. 

So I broke. Snapped. Flipped. I found my ultimate Breaking Point. The place where radical change is the only solution.

Gradual vs. sudden change

After learning a lot about change, both through changing myself, and observing change in others, I see no type of change is better than the other. 

Gradual

It may as well be called "lighter" change. Not in it's effect, but in the amount of work it requires at once. It's spread out through time. It takes more time to see and understand the results. Gradual change can either happen completely without us noticing it, or be planned, desired. 

Let's look at two examples:

  • Unnoticed - eating habits. They shift & change depending on our environment, the food we can eat. We usually don't question or notice that. 
  • Planned - loosing weight. We desire a certain outcome, plan concrete steps (exercise), supplement the process with extra tools (workout gear, gym memberships).

Gradual change in it's essence is more safe, less risk involved, but at the same time the results will be delayed in time.

Sudden

Sudden change on the other hand happens very often in the thinking mind. When there's no requirement for environmental change, and there's a lot of pressure, sudden mindset changes are prone to happen.

There are certain benefits of sudden change such as; almost immediate results, the possibility of a Change-wave (see here)[link], and incredible amounts of further motivation.

Of course, such sudden change has also it's downsides; it's results may have a bigger chance of being undesired, it may really annoy and distress others around you, and of course, huge amounts of sudden change are simply unhealthy, they kill balance

Reaching The Breaking Point

I reached it. I changed. 

I was relieved, happy, and optimistic. I finally got rid of the notdoing bug from my head. My mental & physical health improved. The people around me liked me more. I found a purpose in life.

That very sudden change had clearly all the right results for me. Also, it did create a whole Change-wave that I'm still riding on.

So, my question is:

Do you have to reach The Breaking Point to change in the best way possible?

Or is it possible to change in the best way possible gradually?

I haven't found an answer yet, but this next school year may hold an answer.


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