Categories
Life & Philosophy

Identity unknown

To get in line with who we are, not who we wish to be—frazzled but unfazed, going toward a calling that meets our attention with true honesty.

Age crystallizes identity as if each living day leads us down the path to greater self-awareness.

Being awake does it for us, and as we do, we proceed and ask for forgiveness afterward. Humans are imperfect judges of the present, but learning produces mistakes. And the correct answer is a mere accumulation of errors.

We maintain voluntary attention and keep going–now. Self-control is everything.

The cure for restlessness is aliveness, and along with being open-minded and curious, pinches luck our way.

We need no label, just a pulse, to avoid being pigeonholed and balkanized by society’s conformist ambitions. With clenched fists, we punch through categories and wander toward our dreams.

Categories
Life & Philosophy

Humans contain attitude

Humans contain attitude. We can turn a positive or negative attitude off and on like a faucet. But more often than not, we get stuck on one outlook more than the other.

And both postures backfire.

Tell someone to think positive, and the ‘try’ yields a negative outcome. In fact, the harder we try to inculcate a system of upbeat attitudes based on motivational hardiness, the more it becomes a vapid motivational platitude.

Tell someone to think negatively, and they’re more likely to concoct a more darkly artful perception.

The tension between the two opposing life forces is at the heart of who we are.

The hyper-aware neurotic struggles with the think positive-negative dialectic as a first-alarm system; the genius accepts the role paradoxes play in the broader lookout of personal and world complexity. Instead of letting the mind tug the awareness, they put one foot in front of the other and get on with it.

The focus on external reality keeps the philosopher grounded. Humans need more than theory to wander freely; they need instruments to cope with the real and serious possibility of a failed imagination.

Life never happens how we wish to see it. That would be too easy. If the daily experience weren’t such a mess, we’d get lulled into the abyss of complacency. And nothing exciting nor challenging would ever happen.

A type of neutrality is needed to insulate both the positive and negative thinker from the ravages of anxiety.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Poetry Psychology

The reeducation of emotion

At peace with the thinking, not always with the thought. The lizard brain generates emotions that are not immediately subject to reason.

Emotion-action often leads to undesirable behavior, independently of our control and without our understanding.

Therefore, it’s of the highest importance to recognize the issue at hand.

Intelligence restrains the worst of our emotions and potential wrong actions. We aim for a reserved response.

Stoic in our appeal, we successfully pause. We even set aside time or reflection. Listening closely with an intense examination, we stem the tide of self-destruction.

Quick on our feet, even quicker in perspective. Don’t meet rudeness with rudeness — there are many failed attempts along the way.

Emotional intelligence is a skill that fortifies holistic thinking and tames collisions of thought.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Psychology

Brain on fire

Like putty, we can reshape the brain. The mind is elastic, not stagnant. We can birth new neurons until the day we die. 

Yet, we live on with the assumption of slow decay, where aging is a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

While most of what happens in the world is a consequence of natural, universal laws, there’s no stopping the expectation for improvement. We have to demand progress in all realms of life (biological, personal, relational, etc.) even if it means we have to fake it.

There is, of course, no reason to brainwash ourselves with motivational quotes and self-help books that try to shut our eyes to reality.  

Lest we dump problems on tomorrow, we can change today. Experience teaches us to move on with new knowledge. 

Positive psychology demands a different mode of experience. Happiness shall not be forced, but knowing it’s up to us to foster satisfaction compels us to act with just a bit more hope.

Categories
Creativity Life & Philosophy

Less is best

We achieve breakthroughs because of restraints, not because of endless options.

There’s a reason we feel satisfied when someone removes the cashews at a party; it eliminates the temptation to snack on them.

Our willpower is generally weak. And a surfeit of choice further aggravates self-control problems. Even worse, we transmit vices to others.

When we have a limited offer or altogether remove what we can use, eat, etc., we’re more cautious in our entire approach.

Constriction is a life-enhancing passport to better decision making, a challenge of a challenge that forces us to cope with what we already have.

Less is best, and more. Everything else appears as a nice-to-have pleasant surprise.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

Quieter times

The covid crisis reminds us that time is precious. It untethers us from the plague of 24/7 always-on work culture and permits more pockets of free time to do whatever we want: make dinner, spend more time with family, explore a side interest. 

The pandemic gives us our time back. Working from home saves us from the extra hours put into commuting and face-to-face meetings. It also increases our productivity, as we can shape our surroundings and get comfortable in ways that enable intense focus and absorption. 

Electronic communication’s invisibility cloak allows people more time to think in silence rather than countdown the clock in useless meetings and brainstorm sessions. Being outside the office disconnects us from the suasion of group-think and overall herd mentality. 

Never underestimate the power of pause and the power of independent, reflective thought. Thinking alone is not just an idea producer; it’s also an intrinsic motivator. When we find meaning in our work and enforce our own decision rights, we become richer workers. 

The ‘black swan’ Covid-19 catastrophe — entirely unpredictable and damaging (2.69M deaths as of March 19, 2021) — offers the chance to eliminate the inefficiencies (e.g., going to an office five days/week) driving us all insane. For better or worse, we connect through wires

Time is invaluable, in some ways more important than money. We have to work now, live life now, and do our best for ourselves and others. In such quieter yet anxious moments, we realize that there’s no need for dumping problems on tomorrow.  

Categories
Culture Life & Philosophy

The number of combinations

To make anything is to change perception, as every viewer arrives at an interpretation based on the accumulation of experience.

Even twins see things differently.

People are lean, mean, interpreting machines. Even more, they recreate themselves as they go along. There is no blueprint — perspective is elastic.

We create as one, we view as another. There is no formula for invention when there’s a prebuilt audience of understanding. The act of pioneering is a shrewd guess, for what comes back are numerous and diverse combinations of ideas.

There are outliers among the creators, curators, and consumers. Should one narrow down their perception to appease the other, culture would implode.

The chaos of miscellany, as in any nature, is what keeps art organic.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

Aging with energy

We are constantly searching for a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Why are we even here — to suck the land dry? 

We force meaning into the world with the hope that an outer stimulus ricochets back to accentuate the pulse. 

We risk everything to feel something, encouraged by the mechanisms of error. 

Life is an experiment. First, we act, then we deduce, making sense of the world by categorizing our reactions to it. The never-ending to-do list forces humans into overdrive. 

Evolution is more than about survival. It’s also about the resistance to boredom. “All man’s miseries derive from not being able to sit quietly in a room alone,” wrote Blaise Pascal

We push ourselves to stay interested and excited. We pay the costs for playing it too safe and overthinking. What a pity it is when we leave it too late!  

We deploy attention to the endless opportunities and challenges ahead — and then we wonder why we’re exhausted. How does one keep going? 

The race between our need to mature while remaining child-like explorers is an extant struggle. The mind hears what it wants while the body takes it personally. 

The flow becomes more effortful with age, yet the knowledge comes easier. With the extra push, we go far further than we could imagine. 

Categories
Culture Life & Philosophy Psychology

No preferences

Presets are active, combatant, and not easily contained. The true believer builds their own alleyways that offer no escape. Who are they to play God?

Thus we must loosen our grip on preferences and explore neutrality, never clinging to any belief with absolute conviction.

Parochialism is a blind spot. Shrouded by significance, we deplete the energy to see out other options.

Yet, neutrals see bridges where others see voids. The open remain unstuck, privy to ideas and new knowledge.

The enclosure is already so tight, browbeaten by popular messages. But thinking about the possibility of being neither right nor wrong shifts attention toward a beautiful constraint. Strong opinions loosely held can go a long way to fortify a premium tension. We seek confidence, not a certainty.

As we toggle between abstract and the specific, what we seek is more practical. Rightness already floats around in the head as we compel ourselves to embrace the unconscious.

Openness offers a rare opportunity to climb out of the box, to go one way, then the other. It understands that that’s how some things happen in the world, standing at the edge of possibility.

Categories
Life & Philosophy

The all-important gaze

Stuck in a default state of distractedness, we look away for the next magnetic clue.

As the gaze proceeds, a sense of familiarity comes to our aid to help us navigate our way in the world.

But most of what we perceive is just noise, impeding both our short-term goals and long-term moon shots.

We often fall victim to the fickleness of attention, especially in a virtual reality environment. The screen dominates our lives. 

However, we can remain sensitive to context while continuing to stare at the world and our model.

Most middle-aged people freak out about their mortality when they realize that they’re entertaining themselves into inanition. The brain falsely justifies how we spend our time.

Meanwhile, the cosmic forces in the universe are awaiting our participation. Don’t give up. Turned on, we can see opportunities and realize them. 

Wake up and look outside the immediate window of attention. Our spatial memory is ready for action, awaiting the soul’s evolution.