Categories
Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work Psychology

Avoiding the losses

Every story needs a villain that disobeys the rules. Bereft of the drama, we lose interest in the hero’s tale.

Every single event that occurs in one’s life prepares them for a moment yet to come. Life begs for a beautiful struggle, where an exaggerated sense of faith begets a David versus Goliath triumph. 

When we overcompensate for our vulnerabilities, we harden our determination. “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how,” wrote Nietzsche in the Twilight of the Idols.

The last scene may culminate in success, but the movie goes beyond the screen into new chapters. Even the victor with impressive persistence rarely goes undefeated. Every hero meets their maker, accepting risk as to the possibility of a loss. 

The protagonist expects the ebb and flow of living. All the scars reinforce a type of fundamental competition. A confident attitude brings us closer to the winner’s circle than surrender does. 

Knowing we’ve got nothing to lose avoids all the losses.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Psychology

The becoming

“To be or not to be. That’s not really a question,” quipped film director Jean-Luc Godard back at Shakespeare’s most famous line.

To be is rather a false start. Not to be precludes trying. Becoming is more like it.

We think that success happens, but it’s the mistakes along the way that build up our future. 

Struggle makes us human. Similarly, the impairments that deem to weaken us end up making us stronger. 

As we overcompensate for our flaws, we excel in creating unique survival methods that are almost impossible to replicate.

Humans thrive in a slow march, detached from the cult of action and the tyranny of business and competition. Progress embraces the tortoise’s quiet and extensive route, inching forward and sometimes backward, gaining perspective bit by bit.

Said Malcolm Gladwell: “A lot of what is beautiful and powerful in the world arises out of adversity. We benefit from those kind of things,” but “we wouldn’t wish them on each other.”

We are all underdogs in something, a compromise that gets us out of bed in the morning and back to work.

We become the person we are, over time, wading into discomfort by building confidence out of effort and bouncing off our handicaps. To be or not to be, the real question is if we can keep going.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Psychology Science Tech

Information is the sum of parts

The brain is just a collection of tangled wires with neuron connectivity levels. We call its output ‘information’ because we need some way of describing chemical synchronicity.

The computer works the same way.

On the inside, it’s a collection of chips and wires with various voltage levels. What we see on screen is what we label as information.

Information is the same name we give to brain chemicals and computer voltage to describe organized chaos. While negative beliefs and rusty chips impair memory, the function of the thinking mind or active motherboard set rules for action. 

Furthermore, the conflict and synchronization between man and the machine (i.e., science fiction) continue to be the mother of invention.  

Information is the sum of parts, and it allows us to go beyond the robot. 

Categories
Life & Philosophy Psychology

How to doubt your fears

Fears are the mind-killer. They will eat the soul if you let them have their way. 

But fear is unavoidable — it’s in your DNA to fight or flight. There are no limits to what the lizard brain can fabricate. The imagination toggles with ‘what if’ scenarios, enduring anxiety before ever experiencing an event.  

Yet the head is also psychologically safe, physiologically sound. You own the decision rights to the brain domain, driven by the string of your heart.  

Fears are, in their very nature, abstract. Wade into them in their stark simplicity and irreality, and they lose potency.

Easier said than done, of course. It takes bravery to examine the validity of your negative thoughts to gain a more realistic perspective on them. 

Categories
Life & Philosophy Psychology

How to stem the fright

The actor slips over their words; the violinist freezes mid-song; the shortstop misses an easy grounder.

Mistakes happen, no matter the expert. But how many errors are due to overthinking?

We worry as a preventative, living through hyperbole in our heads before experiencing any such horror in real life.

Dizziness of anxiety indicates a lack of preparation. Deliberate daily practice not only improves our skills but also quells our fears.

We work better when we unthink. Doing the work reconciles with the monkey mind.

We may be unable to think ourselves better, inculcating a hardened thought as a placebo. But we can strengthen habit, cementing positive action through bicep curls for the mind.

Uncertainty tries to shipwreck lives. Doubt likes to spread and replicate like a virus, preempting all our efforts and encouraging us to play it safe.

All the energy comes from beheading the internal resistance and replacing it with hard work. We must permit ourselves to attack life and refuse to negotiate with the dialectic and its ”what ifs.”

Thankfully, we starve for expression. Our craft is a serious matter.

Discipline is freedom. It’s the only thing we can fire up to help control rising self-doubt.

The most significant gains in confidence come from executing the production process itself.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Psychology

Gagging on the dizziness of freedom

Devoid of context, an abstraction so genuine it steers clear the badge of authenticity.

We, meaning-seeking creatures are lost in the dizziness of freedom. We follow an inner narrative only to see it conflict with the ideal stories we tell ourselves.

Dreams are saturated with misleading formulas that destabilize our consciousness. The truth lies between the lines, soaking in the gray space.

We may drink it black or flatten it with white, knowing all along that the coffee is the mere vehicle for imbibing caffeine’s truth serum.

Awake, finally embracing the certainty of being forever lost. We gag on two sips of Americano and spit anxiety back out again.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Nature Psychology

How the mind designs itself

We are always making predictions about our future. When we infer, we ignite consciousness.

Within the complex system of our neurocognitive wiring comes transparency we can’t explain. The external world processes through a symphony of brain loops.

Thinking is on a mission to remain consistent, predictable, while wildly variable. To err is to make strides.

The mind’s chaos is why it works, just as New York City operates a clear system amid bustling streets.

Minds are a byproduct of evolution, structurally optimized to clean themselves out of their internal wiring kinks.

“Evolution depends on the existence of high-fidelity copying but not perfect copying, since mutations (copying errors) are the ultimate source of all novelty.”

Daniel Dennett

Design is simultaneously intelligent and unintelligent, devised to keep pace with our internal weather.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Poetry Psychology

How to mirror the beat of our heart

It seems that in preparing to live up to our best selves, we often fail to follow the very advice we give others.

Dizziness caused by the freedom of indecision goes at odds against reality. So we jump at the quickest cognitive register — whichever requires the least effort.

Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.

The ALchemist

We control our expectations which shape how we experience our actions and their outcomes.

At the wheel, we lay our own foundation and build a world from those bricks. The difference lies in the rigidity of our inner-narrative.

Those who believe in their own potential, jump into hurdles with enthusiasm, go further, even if they exaggerate their faculties.

Since the lights are always on and the imagination on tap — even when we fall asleep — it behooves us to preprogram the subconscious with positive mental vitamins.

In the age of diminishing expectations, the story we tell ourselves is everything. We drive our own voice, intimately, and directly.

Surrounded by mirrors, the real “self” is the aggregation of different angles that aim to ride out the beat of our hearts.

Categories
Culture Life & Philosophy Postaday Psychology

From your mouth

Words signify a consciousness, of which a newborn or pet can only hear. The baby goes on to break a word up into its individual sounds, eventually coalescing into a communicative language of memes while your dog relies on its own form of internal narrative.

There is some form of mental awareness in all creatures. A body without a brain contains zero working neurons and a dead narrative.

Words are tokens, pictures drawn with letters

Words are a different animal than pictures, perhaps the most effective at harvesting attention; humans use words to propagandize, market, deceive and spread evil. Said Nikola Tesla on the potency of language: “If hate could be turned into electricity, it would light up the whole world.”

Words are sensory stimulants, made of information to which you supply order. They carve out emotions for which both the bad and good stuff sticks. The more you use a word, the more you’ll be charged for it. “Talk, talk, talk: the utter and heartbreaking stupidity of words,” wrote William Faulkner in his 1927 novel, Mosquitos.

We invent words, best exemplified in lists, because we don’t want to die. Words cue action, form, and follow-through. Yet they also slip the leash — it is their existence that also poses the most threat to our everyday consciousness.

To make meaning and deeper complexity, we need better mental processors.

Categories
Culture Life & Philosophy Politics & Society Psychology

The script, the story

How many of us are just acting our way through life, adapting to different settings like chameleons?

Situational elasticity lends its hand to the collaborative truth, that people inject each other with signaling serum. The slightest twang, the tinkle of dimples, the cleanest tucked-in shirt, belt, and Prada shoes – we try to demonstrate to others ‘this is who I am and this what I do.’

All life is a stage

All life is a stage, epitomized through the internet and curated social profiles, with many people reaping the psychological benefits of expectation. We become what we collect, mirror images of our Pinterest boards.

Don’t get it twisted. We should follow the route that builds up the most confidence. We just can’t expect all these visual cues to convert to reality. By nature, we are fickle beings magnetically tugged to our natural impulsiveness.

Most people lead lives of poor self-maintenance: laziness, negativity, and force of habit. Authenticity requires self-control. The edited self is known to burn out, slip, and go off-script.

To act is life. Like a veil being lifted from our eyes, we choose to narrate beyond the avatars of attention.