The 2K11 24/7 CCCIX: Destroying Disappointment

Being disappointed in ourselves is an utter waste of time. We get discouraged when things don’t go quite right, while the very act of doing so only reduces the chances of us being successful past that point! It’s a vicious circle that only feeds into our own negativity and worsens who we are.
The next time you’re about to mercilessly beat yourself up over a failure, here’re some questions you need to ask yourself first:
  • can I salvage this failure?
  • can I turn this failure into something else that’s just as good?
  • how bad is this failure really?
  • is there a lesson that I can learn from this experience?
Unfortunate as it is, the lesson many of us take from society is that if we’re not #1, then we’ve lost entirely. You’re either a winner or a loser — nothing else is acceptable save being on top.
Can anyone else see how ridiculous that is? You can’t possibly be the best at everything! I’m not about to stop you from trying, but we are not all created equally. For the most part, we share the same DNA — but for all other sakes and purposes, we are highly individual.
So how then do we expect the best expression of this individuality to be the attempt to be the best possible replica of someone else? How is being the next Steve Jobs, Michael Jordan, Björk, Penelope Cruz or Gandhi going to help you be a better you?
We need to do better at celebrating the things we can do and move from this belief that we should feel lesser because someone else is better at embracing their God-given gifts. If we can do that, then we’ll all be just fine.
But the world is far bigger than one person alone.

The 2K11 24/7 CCCVIII: Crabs in a Bucket

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The world is tearing itself apart at the seams. Greece is trying to figure how it will survive economically; people are waiting to see whether the world will still exist after 2012, and the Occupy movement is causing more of a stir and attention on economic matters than most people are used to.
On one side of the Occupy movement, you have the protesters aiming to bridge the gap between rich and poor, since:

  • the economy as we once knew it is in shambles
  • there are numerous tax loopholes that benefit the rich, allowing them to pay taxes at a lower percentage than many middle-class families
  • corporations are not generally held too accountable for their actions (see bailouts, lack of litigation of some pretty heinous corporate crimes)
  • corporations often have too much influence in electoral processes, due to the sheer size of their contributions

But their critics question whether the methods used by the Occupy movement are the right way to go about raising these points at all, since:

  • they’re seen as anti-capitalist (I’m not entirely convinced that this is a bad thing, looking at where capitalism has gotten us in recent years)
  • there’ve been a number of Occupy-related arrests in movements across the globe
  • they’re seen as more of a burden on the locations they’re in than they are peaceful protests, as the infrastructures aren’t meant to maintain such a large tent-based population in such concentrated numbers for so long
  • finally, they question whether the protests are at all productive, or whether they’re just a bunch of people doing nothing more than giving the news something to write about
Both sides of the debate have their merit, but there’s one little thing that I think everyone’s overlooking.
While it’s very true that much of the world suffers a huge divide between the rich and the poor, some of the real problems come from within those class segments — rich fighting the rich, poor fighting the poor, and all the middle classers trying to get rich so they don’t wind up poor!
It’s like being a bunch of crabs trapped in a bucket.

The 2K11 24/7 CCCVII: A Slave to Addiction

“Why everything that’s supposed to be bad make me feel so good?
Everything they told me not to is exactly what I would
Man I tried to stop man I tried the best I could
But (You make me smile)”
–Kanye West, “Addiction”
I’d say I have a bit of an obsessive personality at times — it operates in short spurts; I latch on to something for a little bit, thinking that it’s the best thing ever, but my short attention span will have me move on to the next thing as soon as I get bored of it. It’s probably part of the reason why I have bits and pieces of so many different kinds of projects scattered all over my office. I get so addicted to one thing at a time that I neglect all the other things that I could — or should — be looking after!
If there’s one thing that can vastly change who you are, how you act and think, and the things that drive you day in and day out, it’s an addiction. We throw the word “addiction” around so casually nowadays that it leaves one wondering if anyone knows what it really means. To quote from the Merriam-Webster dictionary, an addict is someone who will”devote or surrender to something habitually or obsessively”.If we break that down further to observe the definitions for obsessions and habits…

ob·ses·sion

noun äb-ˈse-shən, əb- 
Definition of OBSESSION
1: a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling; broadly : compelling motivation <an obsession with profits>

1hab·it

noun ˈha-bət  
Definition of HABIT
7a : a behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition or physiologic exposure that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance 
  7b : an acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary <got up early from force of habit> 
  7c : addiction <a drug habit>

So in looking at these, what can we learn about an addiction?

  • One is ruled by an addiction
  • One does not act when they are addicted, instead they carry out actions as governed by their addiction

How do you battle an addiction When you simply can’t help yourself — when your actions feel less and less like they’re your own and more like an unseen force is guiding you to do things — even though you might get less and less enjoyment from them as time passes — what can you do to regain control of your life?

The 2K11 24/7 CCCVI: The Wallet Part II — The Evil That Men Do

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So following from yesterday’s post, this past weekend, I lost my wallet. I didn’t know where it was. I panicked, I looked all over, and in the end, someone had found it and called me at my work number listed on my business cards in the wallet. So all’s well that ends well! Except…

The 2K11 24/7 CCCIII: 3 Ways to Reclaim Your Time

What good is a schedule if you’re not going to use it?

That’s what I found myself asking aloud Sunday morning as an 8:12 bus never showed, only to be suspiciously followed by two buses at 8:21.
But as I grow older, it becomes increasingly evident to me that we are indeed slaved to time. If it doesn’t show up in my Google Calendar, it’s probably not happening. We take shorter lunches, work longer hours and get less sleep to be better than the next guy.
Oh yes indeed — time has a firm grasp on us!
So how do we get time back on our side? What can we do to stop watching the clock and get us back to the point where we look forward to each day rather than dread going over our overbooked calendars?

The 2K11 24/7 CCXCVIII: Caveat Lender!

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I’ve often spoken about the perils of having too many material possessions and how too often we can let ourselves be ruled by stuff. It sucks. It keeps a hold on you and fills you with unnecessary worry and anxiety.

  • “Oh, but what’ll happen to my car?”
  • “I lost my phone — what am I gonna do?!”
  • “ARGH! This is why I never lend things things to people — look at the spine of this book!”

But I think we’ve got to a point in the year where we can have a good conversation without being too preachy, right?

The 2K11 24/7 CCXCIV: Redirecting Your Energies

“Don’t get mad, get even.”

Revenge. It’s a dirty word looked down upon by our society — we look to turn the other cheek, let bygones be bygones and to give people the benefit of the doubt. An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind and many moralistic lessons have been given to let us know that those who claim revenge feel nothing after they’ve done so.
But this isn’t a movie. It’s not TV, literature or the comics. It’s real life. And things work a little differently here.

The 2K11 24/7 CCXCII: Planning to Fail

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Those who fail to plan plan to fail. How true it is. Planning isn't something that comes naturally to me at all. I rather do things flying by the seat of my pants, forever improvising and adjusting my path to achieve success. It's worked pretty well so far — I'm not incapable of thinking ahead, I just don't like to do it. But you sure do learn a lot through the planning that you failed to do.

The 2K11 24/7 has been quite the journey so far — in a little over a week from now, we'll be looking at the 300th post of the year (and what a post it'll be)! But because I decided to do daily posts this year, because I chose to delve deeper into the world of blogging than I ever had in the past, there's a number of lessons I've learned through the entire experience…

The 2K11 24/7 CCXCI: Calling it Quits

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Calling it quits is easy. Why commit to something you really don’t want to do? Does it benefit you? Is there anything you’ll gain from being stuck in a situation you don’t want to be in?

That’s a question I face more often than I’d like to admit.

The 2K11 24/7 CCXC:

After watching a TED Talk from Graham Hill espousing that <=> — that is, less is more, it really hit home. Not simply because it was something I was already trying to do as much as possible with my stuff. Not simply because he’s a pretty compelling speaker. The thing that really hit home for me is that he showed it could be done. It’s very much possible to achieve happiness, if not become happier, if we have less stuff in our lives.
He rolled up so much of what’s been in my mind into one chat:
  • carefully considering the things we want to buy before we actually buy them;
  • making better life choices that don’t entrap us or lessen our quality of life, but instead liberate us to live the lives we actually want to live; and
  • being able to unlock the secret to happiness and identify when our behaviours actually lead us in the opposite direction (and this happens way too often)

We overcomplicate our lives by convincing ourselves that everything isn’t simply part of one greater whole.