A *New Day*

by on January 1, 2009 at 10:03 am in Education | Permalink

Sometime in the next week – January 1st if you have that available,
or maybe January 3rd or 4th if the weekend is more convenient – I
suggest you hold a New Day, where you don’t do anything old.

Don’t
read any book you’ve read before.  Don’t read any author you’ve read
before.  Don’t visit any website you’ve visited before.  Don’t play any
game you’ve played before.  Don’t listen to familiar music that you
already know you’ll like.  If you go on a walk, walk along a new path
even if you have to drive to a different part of the city for your
walk.  Don’t go to any restaurant you’ve been to before, order a dish
that you haven’t had before.  Talk to new people (even if you have to
find them in an IRC channel) about something you don’t spend much time
discussing.

And most of all, if you become aware of yourself
musing on any thought you’ve thunk before, then muse on something
else.  Rehearse no old grievances, replay no old fantasies.

That is Eliezer.  He concludes:

If it works, you could make it a holiday tradition, and do it every New Year.

Robert C January 1, 2009 at 11:17 am

A great one TC! Probably a good policy at least once a month or even every wek.
Solid!

Hanan Levin January 1, 2009 at 11:39 am

But if you repeat it every year, and make a make it a holiday tradition, ahem… wouldn’t it become old?

l January 1, 2009 at 12:57 pm

Problem is, categories expand infinitely. How about spend a day on a new planet? If you read a new author, 99% of the experience is old hat anyway. It’s a book. It’s in a language you know. The pages are paper. You’re sitting in a chair. Etc.

babar January 1, 2009 at 4:03 pm

a related thought exercise is to restrict yourself from doing various things once in a while.

for instance, long ago i decided not to use money on wednesdays, and i did this for several months.

the initial idea was to slice up the sabbath seven ways and restrict myself in something different each day of the week. i think that was a good idea, but i didn’t do it.

Charles Young January 2, 2009 at 3:55 am

I’m finding it hard to know how to put the idea over to the wife I married 35 years ago.

Jens Fiederer January 2, 2009 at 10:44 am

As Charles Young points out, there CAN be spousal reluctance to approve this sort of thing. Also, unlike a college professor, most of us just don’t HAVE a supply of eager grad students of the opposite sex available.

Shantanu January 3, 2009 at 2:26 am

Amusingly, Holly Golightly suggests doing much the same thing, starting with champagne before breakfast.

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