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Please excuse me while I get a bit nerdy. It will be over fairly quickly, then I shall proceed onto the psychological bit.
I have a MacBook Pro. On said MacBook, I run a Windows 8.1 Virtual Machine (VM) for whenever I need to use a native Windows environment for something or other. It happens occasionally; fortunately not too often.
I’ve taught an ASP.net module at the local university so, of course, it comes in useful for that. One needs Windows to be able to run Visual Studio. Still with me?
Anyway, where am I headed with this? Well, when I boot up the Windows VM, you can imagine that there is a certain impact on performance; I’m running two operating systems at the same time. The machine’s resources (RAM, CPU) are being shared, like a donkey that’s been loaded up with two sets of luggage. (Poor donkey.)
Now, I can choose how much RAM (memory) to allocate to that VM. My MacBook has 8GB RAM in total. Assigning 4GB to the VM may seem like a sensible option. Split the resources 50/50, right? Well, in actuality, this was a horrible configuration. The host operating system (OS X on my MacBook) slowed right down and the Windows VM ground to an effective halt as well.
Splitting the resources 75/25, weighted in favour of OS X, was much more beneficial. Why? Well, hey. This isn’t a computer science lesson.
More importantly, it struck me how this is analogous to our brains and how we operate as humans. We all know that if we spread ourselves too thin, we can burn out or implode (psychologically speaking). If we try to be too many things at once, assigning equal importance to each of those “personas”, it often causes problems. We can lose track of who we actually are.
But if we know who we are, and that always takes priority, then we can more easily adapt to the different situations we encounter and the different roles we have to play in everyday life without losing ourselves.
So have I got all this sorted in my own life? Of course not. I’d like to view myself as a writer first, and a web techie second. Most of the time, though, this doesn’t feel like it is the case. Being aware of the goal helps, though. Small steps in the right direction eventually add up.