You’re part of an idea. So is every variety of human.
One idea is that democracy is the best form of government. But we can’t hide its flaws. It still allows for bombastic celebrities to take charge.
Humans are also part of nature. We are to climate change what the asteroid was to the dinosaur.
Society happens to progress, but if it gives up the ideal efforts it withers. The epidemic of distraction caused by pervasive connectivity only drives the insouciance.
gif via annasalmi
We discover our uniqueness through failed conformity. We’re not here to follow. We’re meant to bend standard practices in strange and wonderful directions.
Thinking different is the ultimate motivator. It carves us into individuals. We just have to remember that that’s who we are, purple cows instead of mindless little robots.
“Originality consists of trying to be like everybody else and failing.”Raymond Radiguet (view books)
When we wield the paintbrush, our imaginative grip never dies. It is then the masses want to steal chunks from us.
Theories are productive ways of thinking even if they’re proven wrong. They lead to other research.
Take the theory of evolution. The topic itself lends to all types of discussions around race, identity, brain and body development. Aren’t we all just pond scum who lucked out on terra firma?
This is not to say we should believe in half-truths. Textbook wisdom says that we know only what we know as of right now.
But there is still no substitute for thinking through new possibilities even if it’s separate from our own palette of experience.
art via giphy
Stock phrases, a detailed script, a prescription for exactitude. Imagine how boring life would be if you already knew its outcome.
It’s the routine that subverts our days into yesterday’s form, responding to emails in our head. Sameness destroys creativity.
How can we fight inertia?
We take risks, do the unpredictable, anything to keep the supposed simulation of world guessing.
En medias res, we ensure that we’re performing in the middle of becoming.
art via giphy
There’s always a mismatch, between the fresh coffee and the taste, between the selfie and the mirror, and between the practice and the work.
Our emotions and senses often dupe our realities. We expect to be satisfied up to the point of experience. But the war between expectation and matter simmers down to ambivalence.
The grey area always challenges the concept of a specific end. Moving aside the ideal equilibrium, knowing that we might be fulfilled is enough reason to follow through in the first place.
The mind sense-door awaits the next expectation. After all, the first taste is always with our eyes.
art via giphy
The environment that we live in intends to become a part of our mind. But there’s always a mismatch between who we know we are and what others expect us to be.
Human beings are intricate. No one individual is alike. Mimetic thinking makes us feel worse, not better in the long-run.
Conforming is like trying to stuff positive thinking down our throats — it just doesn’t work. Nor does medicating us out of our creative urges.
“It’s human nature to be weird, but also human to be lonely. This conflict between fitting in and standing out is at the core of who we are.” Seth Godin, We are all Weird (Amazon)
What does work is the freedom of expression and the celebration of uniqueness. Sure, we are binder by rules and law, but when it comes to taste, we should feel free to do whatever we want.
The internet proves that normal is boring. It is the so-called weird at the edges that are forming niches and making stuff happen.
PS. The ‘No one is normal’ tote bag comes courtesy of The School of Life gift shop. You can also snag more stuff on their Amazon page.
No one is in sole possession of the truth. We’re all just throwing darts at different concepts and opinions that with consistency, appear factual.
We pick up positive vibrations from way things go most of the time. Turn on some music or laugh out loud and thought disappears altogether.
The urge to verify is as loose as the gate to which it opens. Bulls-eye is an aggregation of guesses of which none are perfect.
Without knowledge, it’s hard to be curious. We need reference points to make connections and inspire deeper thinking.
Give a teenager a car and a detailed Google Map, but unless they’ve got some training, they are going to increase the likelihood of an accident.
Give a kid some crayons and some looseleaf paper, but without any guidance on how to draw, the results will be comically abysmal.
Experience puts the bones in the goose. It is only then can we teach ourselves to be safer and more creative.
The basis for life is all interpretation, an internal chatter that either zaps positive momentum or dwells on negativity and drains the well.
For starters, your attitude should weave together what optimizes you rather than than conflicts. For example, instead of looking at your day job as a means of necessary survival, try to find how it bends toward your expectations.
If you have something to look forward to, even if it’s an exaggerated goal, it’ll push you to find the right focus. Near and far are more attached than you think.
gif via @abjahanbin
You can’t dream about the world from below. It takes climbing a hill, mountain, or riding up to the Eiffel Tower to look out and see an entire world below in your grasp.
Writes Tomas Tranströmer in “Schubertiana”:
“Outside New York, a high place where with one glance you take in the houses where eight million human beings live.”
Where your attention goes, your energy flows. From above, the mind bleeds into the world below, overturning everything you believe in.
Feeling inspired, perhaps larger than life, the elevator takes us back down to normal intensity where such closeupness suppresses exploration.
You can still collect the world from the street, but up and above is really where you understand it.
Most people can’t stand to be left out the loop.
The urge to know is what keeps them on their feet, building a knowledge base of facts that usually amounts to gossip.
Ignorance is therefore a discipline.
Just as we can’t do everything, we can’t stay totally informed either. Ambient awareness already cultivates more information than we can handle.
Reasons why things happen will always outpace the reasoners. There is such thing in the perfection of anything, no reason to grapple with issues out of your control.
Embrace the gaping void.
Gif via akaidaia
Distraction takes you away from the stresses of everydayness. This is why we like to keep our phones nearby — screens help entertain our worries away.
But an excess of interference comes at a cost. When we fail to experience things with our senses, virtual and reality become one.
Pain and pleasures are healthy aspects of life. Without them, the lights switch off in our heads.
Stuck and predictable. We stop beating the heart to our own drum.
Instead of chasing our dreams, we ride the coattails of others.
We become a cog that seeks to please rather than to push.
How we align our attention, to the duty or to the clusters of individual freedom, is what determines our self-worth.
The story we tell ourselves works to combat the harsh reality of Monday mornings.
We buck the reassurance of controlled variables for the sake of a cloudy destiny.
Both attention and boredom are vital to creativity.
Attention works like a gate, opening and closing at the will of seeing. The photographer’s eye spots patterns the same way a poet finds beauty in the mundane.
Yet, boredom is a gateway to mind wandering. It’s a trigger for experiences, a calling for both imagination and novelty.
The mind zig-zags between concerted effort and pause in the attempt to pick up more knowledge. Emphasizing one over the other negates their impact.
Active control also requires a calm discipline.
What do you for a living? It’s either the first or last question you want to answer at a dinner party.
Any time you have to open up about a personal topic it burns the lips.
Comparisons are natural, contentedness is artificial. Everyone acts happy but they always want what they don’t have.
If you earn $50,000 a year, you want $100,000. If you’re stuck in a cubicle, you want to work from the beach. If you’re single, you want a partner.
The opposite is true: just switch the latter with the desire for more time, a stable job, and more privacy.
Life is a game riddled with paradoxes. This realization should elucidate what truly motivates you.
Your level of happiness depends on your ability to appreciate what you got multiplied by a personal projection of where you want to go.
Self-scrutiny is a therefore a type of theft.