From that moment on, when I went to the library I didn’t just check out thriller novels or Spanish books. I went to another section: Self-help. Even going into this section at first was uncomfortable because it proved that I wasn’t perfect.
What I finally did was take accountability for my problems. In one book, an exercise told me to take an evaluation of my life, separating it into seven areas: Physical health, wealth, relationships, emotions, intelligence, self-growth, and spirituality. When I ranked myself from 1 to 10 in each area, I was disgusted by what I wrote down. Wealth? I was back living with my mom again and almost broke, so that definitely needed improvement. Emotions? I got angry too much, so I definitely needed to control that. Self-growth? I had no idea what that even meant. After the thorough evaluation, I realized that I had a lot of work to do.
On my free time, I read books about self-development. I read about emotional intelligence, controlling anger, and what it stemmed from. At one point I thought I needed a psychiatrist, but when I talked to one and she said it would cost $80 per session again, I thought, Okay Tyson, how about you get a few books about your problems and create your own solutions? Diagnose and treat yourself, bro.
I learned about meditation, motivation, habits, psychotherapy, and basically, why we do what we do. I tried to read two books a week on human development. At Elbo Room when it was slow, I’d read ebooks on my phone, learning everything I could about these topics.
One of the most interesting things I read was from Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence. He explained that in every situation, the experience goes through the emotional part of your brain (the amygdala) first, then it goes to the intellectual area (the neocortex). This is how our brains are wired. Thousands of years ago this saved our lives by giving us quicker reaction times, but today it often gets us into trouble. Coupling this with the dozens of other psychology books I read, life started to make more sense.
This was Figuring Out My Own Problems With Research and Learning.