Inconvenient truths

We live in a world where self-checkout is more painful than regular checkout, where Instagrammers risk their lives for the perfect pic, and where people hide behind their avatars to become trolls.

Sure, a quick google yields all the answers. But the price for the latest convention is reduced comprehension.

As soon as we hide, reduce contact, and take shortcuts on our pocket computers, we forget what it’s like to push through the experience.

The individual’s playground is convenient but more often insensitive, ignorant, and messy.

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The art of delay

You can’t make Bitcoin go up just as you can’t coax a train out of a tunnel.

If you never get tired of waiting and keep the patience — even relax your tight face a bit — things tend to pan out.

Try your best to delay gratification. If you have to move, do something else to occupy your time instead. Procrastinate on purpose.

It’s a beautiful endeavor to hold back and observe, think and unthink, but almost no one can do it.

You wield the paintbrush

The easiest way to get the failure out of your system is to bomb a few times so there’s less emotional baggage in the next endeavor. #gif

The easiest way to get the failure out of your system is to bomb a few times so there’s less emotional baggage in the next endeavor.

If your struggles persists and you can’t successfully mock the channels of other people, make your own. There’s a long-tail out there for everybody.

Keep in mind that you wield the paintbrush. Building your own path is the antidote to fixedness of conformity.

“He drills his soul, as it were, in right principles, that when the time comes, it may be guided by them. To wait until the emergency is to be too late.” Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (Amazon)

The important stuff is the ordinary stuff

The important stuff is often the ordinary stuff. It’s the small daily actions — like holding the door open for a random stranger or calling your family or friends to catch up — that have a profound impact on your well-being.

Everyone wants to progress. But advancement can be selfish. It gets in the way of the thinking that was already good.

More and more, the cycle of jealousy gets reinforced by outside forces. You always want what you don’t have, the aim of which blinds the pursuit of happiness. 

Do the small things — be kind, maybe a bit selfless — and everything takes care of itself.

Hardly looking

Like a bar of soap, it gets smaller the more you play with it.

Whether you’re investing in stocks or the portfolio of a better life, you have to leave some things alone.

You can’t force the future. It comes to you to meet you halfway.

So free fill to take your foot off the gas. The last thing you want to do is trip over your own shoelaces.

art by Emanuele Kabu

Hopium

Hope is not a strategy.

Hope is also a selfish emotion — we look it to bolster our well-being.

Hope is convenient. It’s the nearest dopamine hit in a crowd of external placebos. #gif #amwriting #blogger

Hope is not a strategy.

Hope is also a selfish emotion — we look it to bolster our well-being.

Hope is convenient. It’s the nearest dopamine hit in a crowd of external placebos.

But hope is sometimes all we got. It never capitulates. Good things take time and a lot of practice.

Just don’t expect hope to be as comfortable as the suburbs nor as empty as a fresh calendar.

Soon enough hope will fill up with a little bit of luck.

gif via Shane Beam

The checklist of normal

“Everything is the way it is because it got that way,” said the British biologist D’Arcy Thompson in 1917. Cells and clustered neurons, people bloomed from individuals into the collective and back to weirdos again. #amwriting #gif

“Everything is the way it is because it got that way,” said the British biologist D’Arcy Thompson in 1917. Cells and clustered neurons, people bloomed from individuals into the collective and back to weirdos again.

The route to self-identity rolls like a sine wave, an inherent mimetic desire clashing against the laws of conformity. We are our own small army as well as part a tribe.

Physically, mentally, emotionally, the tug of war between the two selves cements all knowledge into an injection of boldness.

Now is where the heart is.

gif via rafaeldearaujo

Live to work and work to live

We love to feel embattled because we like to think we labored for it. If we haven’t struggled, we haven’t yet lived.

The urge to grind away at the remarkable supersedes trepidation. So we feel the fear and do it anyway.

“I’ll tell you what freedom is to me: No fear. I mean, really – no fear.”

Nina Simone

The work exists long before there are workers. It’s up to bees to embrace the challenge in making honey that calls their name.

Effort declares our indivisible essence.

The mental software powering the brain in the game of goal-setting can't afford to be fixed. 

gif by ivychen

Regression in time

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./ Regression in time

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

Textbook wisdom

Theories are productive ways of thinking even if they’re proven wrong. They lead to other research.

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

No one is normal

No one is normal

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.

seth godin we are all weird book cover

“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.  

Fuel for thought

Fuel for thought // #gif #truth

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.

via giphy

Collecting references

Without knowledge, it's hard to be curious. We need reference points to make connections and inspire deeper thinking.

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. 

Near and far

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 #philosophy #life

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

Cold water courage

The quickest way to get used to cold water is to dive right in. The slowest and more painful way to get used to cold water is to go in gradually, dipping in each body part until it warms up.

Most people take the gradual approach because they’re scared. As a result, they’re most likely to pull out of the water because it’s just too cold.

But the slower we go, the more likely we're to quit

It takes a lot of courage to go all in with a big bang. The first few seconds can be numbing. But the Marines have a saying: “Pain is weakness leaving the body.” The shivers can only last so long. 

It's our job as humans to make leaps if we ever want to learn what it takes to push ahead. Start before we're ready, they say, and figure it all out afterward.

We’re all born naked, fish out of water. But it takes bravery to go back in and discover what it's all about.