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Author Topic: The shiny object syndrome and difficulties trying to control my habits.  (Read 216 times)
Icelogist
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« on: November 19, 2022, 07:32:02 am »

The shiny object syndrome is a condition where a person picks up a new idea and then throws it away for a newer idea, similar to when a toddler picks up a shiny object from the ground before immediately losing interest and picking up a new shiny object, hence the name "shiny object syndrome".

For a while now I have been suffering from this same condition, hopping from Linux Distro after Distro (I am currently trying to stick to one, switching back from Ubuntu Unity to Pop!_OS again), Programming language after Programming language, Project after Project, Goal after goal, and not really accomplishing anything.
Which I find absolutely frustrating as I want to do things that I have been wanting to do for a long time (like making a long-term video game project) and accomplish some portion of my dreams but never doing it because I keep getting distracted.

I think it's also important to note that I still have a YouTube addiction despite attempts of trying to control that with extensions like unhooked.

Point is that there are a lot of ideas on the table and every time I try to pick-up one and do something with it, progress ends up stopping after some period of time.
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Melooon
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« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2022, 02:24:58 pm »

Im a real believer in the idea that true passion is never a chore. If you really love a hobby or a task you've set for yourself, it should be easy (lots of work sure, but it should be work that you find yourself wanting to do).

So its possible that you simply need to take some time to think about what you really want and why; maybe you've not found your true passion yet; maybe its not Linux distros? (maybe its not even computer related) I watch a lot of YouTube too, and I know that I do it to avoid things I don't want to deal with; only you know why you do it though!

I also don't believe in the idea of goals or that things need to be accomplished; often just making/doing something because you want to do it, with no goal in mind is the best way to move forwards; it takes away the pressure of success and failure, and makes it just about enjoying the task.

You are not a problem or a syndrome  :P It sounds like you just need to get outside your comfort zone and explore new things.  :4u:
« Last Edit: November 22, 2022, 10:28:55 pm by Melooon » Logged


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« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2022, 06:11:52 pm »

For a while now I have been suffering from this same condition, hopping from Linux Distro after Distro (I am currently trying to stick to one, switching back from Ubuntu Unity to Pop!_OS again), Programming language after Programming language, Project after Project, Goal after goal, and not really accomplishing anything.
Which I find absolutely frustrating as I want to do things that I have been wanting to do for a long time (like making a long-term video game project) and accomplish some portion of my dreams but never doing it because I keep getting distracted.

When I first got into Linux, I did the same thing. I tried out a whole bunch of distros one after the other and then didn't really do anything with it after. Just the experience of getting it running and trying it out was the fun part.

In your case, that dopamine hit for something you can relatively easily accomplish might be what's getting in the way of tackling the harder goals that don't come so easily. Your brain knows the thrill of trying a new language is right there. Trying anything new comes with those early novice successes, but then you hit a wall where you run out of those early successes and need to work toward bigger goals. It's the novice-intermediate-master hump that so many people get caught on. You make a lot of progress early on, then things get harder and harder until you're not seeing those fast results. A lot of people give up there, but pushing through it and reaching the mastery level makes even those difficult tasks quick and thrilling, and the challenge comes from combining techniques in novel ways to accomplish what you want.

When people think of their long-term goals, they can think of the success as being at the end and it seems daunting, so they prefer the short quick wins they can get elsewhere. One approach might be to break the long-term goal into smaller tasks so that you can get that satisfaction early in small doses. Think of a small module that would go into your game, or a piece of artwork like a single sprite animation. Something that you can achieve early on. Make each little piece your next "shiny object". You can build the project from the ground up from these small chunks and see where it reaches, rather than trying to have a master plan in place and then working to fill it with all the necessary pieces before you'll be satisfied with anything you've made.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2022, 01:34:22 am by MamboGator » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2022, 10:24:09 am »

Im a real believer in the idea that true passion is never a chore. If you really love a hobby or a task you've set for yourself, it should be easy (lots of work sure, but it should be work that you find yourself wanting to do).

So its possible that you simply need to take some time to think about what you really want and why; maybe you've not found your true passion yet; maybe its not Linux distros? (maybe its not even computer related) I watch a lot of YouTube too, and I know that I do it to avoid things I don't want to deal with; only you know why you do it though!

I also don't believe in the idea of goals or that things need to be accomplished; often just making/doing something because you want to do it, with no goal in mind is the best way to move forwards; it takes away the pressure success of failure and makes it just about enjoying the task.

You are not a problem or a syndrome  :P It sounds like you just need to get outside your comfort zone and explore new things.  :4u:


Definitely agree with this, I've spent a lot of my life on a computer and wondering what I wanted to, it wasn't until I went to university and was one day in a wood workshop randomly that I found out that I really like working with tangible, physical objects. Here's me obsessing over trying to find the perfect hobby online, be it code or web design. I would echo what Melon is saying and just go out and try new things.
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« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2022, 06:32:09 am »

Disclaimer that I am definitely not trying to play armchair psychologist here, but for me, I had this problem extensively growing up and it was all '''magically''' fixed when I got diagnosed with ADHD and got prescribed medication for it. Now I am able to wholeheartedly put my heart into the things I enjoy and learn how to do the things I want without getting as easily distracted and then completely forgetting about them.

But besides that, I do agree with Melon and that's a mindset I've been trying to take into account too: that I should be able to have fun with my passions. Now I try to avoid anything that truly doesn't make me happy. I do what I can when I can and I try to do it to the best of my ability. Remember that beating yourself up never helps, no matter how 'lazy' or 'unproductive' you feel - always reward yourself for what you DID accomplish rather than lamenting what you didn't  :transport:
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