Do you know your programming?

This phrasing comes from a video I saw a few weeks ago. But this thought has been loosely swirling in my head for much longer than that.

By programming, I am alluding to computer programmes or just electronic devices in general. All this technology comes with a manual - press this button to power on, this one to increase volume, and this to set the temperature. Everything from washing machines to the computer (and the app) that you’re reading this on has such programming.

But do you know what your programming is?

What stimulus powers you on? What changes your channels? What makes you rage quit? What lightens the load on your shoulders? What intensity and frequency of stimulus can break you down?

I won’t get into the whole “what is my purpose?” question here. We should leave that to Rick and Morty.

Whatever you deem to be your purpose, do you know how to best get there? Think of it this way. If your purpose is to go from point A to B, how will you work the machine that is your mind and body to get there? Even if you think purposeless existence is your purpose, how do you plan to utilise your mind and body for it?

Here’s the big reveal – humans are complex and thus everyone’s programming is different. Yes, very obvious, I know.

And yes, there are similarities but it’s not quite the same thing, is it? I mean, microwaves and Spotify both have “Heat Waves” but you won’t call them the same thing, would you?

Here’s something that I know about my programming.

For as long as I can trace it, I have had mood swings. The frequency and intensity has varied over the years but the pattern is largely the same. In fact, here’s a snippet from the about page to my private blog –

Note: As far as I know, Jesse Lashley is a dead name. They go by Ava now.

Relatable? I am guessing it is. I have seen tons of memes about it in the last couple of years.

As evidence suggests, I have engaged in such personal reflection for a long time. Practically my entire adult life and a bit more. I wrote that snippet above in 2013. And I have learned a few things about myself over this time – thing that make me tick, things/people that make me happy, spaces that give me comfort. And things like that.

But only recently do I feel like that I have got a handle on my programming.

What do I mean by ‘getting a handle’ on it?

Well, unfortunately, or rather expected-ly so, my programming hasn’t often aligned with my desires and objectives. Things that make me happy often find themselves at odds with each other. Here’s an example –

  1. I LOVE sleeping. Nothing gives me more joy than getting a nice 10-hour snoozle-doo.
  2. I also LOVE working. I feel the most alive when I am possessed by a project.

See how they don’t go together? Here’s another one, just to drive the point home –

  1. I really enjoy learning new skills. Since 2020, I have learnt web app development, skateboarding, and juggling! But I never spend enough time on anything to get good at it. I have an approximate knowledge of many things.
  2. I also realise theoretically and empirically, that I only get good at things if I work on them consistently. But how can I stick to one thing when there’s another shiny new thing to learn?!

It’s hard to reconcile these facets of my programming.

But lately I seem to have figured out how. It’s not a dramatic shift but it is fairly significant. And I am very pleased about it. There are dozens of variables to it and I won’t ever be able to write it all down and lay it out for an audience.

And so, I don’t have advice. I am sure you’ve got similar experiences as well. And if you’re in an ungood space right now, I hope you’re able to find your way out of it. Let me know if I can help.

Here’s some wisdom from 2013 Gurjot –

Side note: I am incredibly proud of my younger self. He was an absolute dunce in most matters but he sure had a knack for the odd insight.

Oh and, the Pete Davidson video was a clip from a podcast interview. You can read this article about it or watch it here. This is the quote –

“I’m always depressed, all the time. I have to constantly bring myself out of it. … I wake up depressed, but now I know my steps. I have to go outside and be in sun for a little bit, or go for a walk. It’s all just programming yourself to trick your brain.”

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Cheers! See you soon.

Last modified: Jan 14, 2022