Expanding Our Circle Of Important

In our lives, the question of what is important and who is important – naturally, to a certain extent matters greatly. It affects us in the form of resulting beliefs we tend to carry around with us – the one’s we may be in denial of, or the one’s we recognize is there –  in the back of our minds but can’t literally describe. These collection of beliefs, which I think is manufactured from the default & mindless programmed machines in our brains, forms the circle of what and who is important. Which then, sadly, goes on to affect our decisions and our sense of self worth. 

Don’t you feel this small innate childlike sense of wanting to feel important, and also, maybe this pressing need to be part of what’s important, of being in close collegial terms with those who are important? There is three parts to that question, and our answers might vary. I will answer it personally; for the first part; I certainly do! Meaning that I don’t want to feel like I am less important but at the same time – like my friends and people who I am drawn to – not really taking myself too seriously, simply because it’s not fun being serious and being with one. The second and third part; acquainting myself with what is so called important, and those who are considered important, has a slight danger of pretension around it, of having to conform to ideals and acting in ways that are not truthful to who I am.

Obviously, the truth is that indeed we are all important. To think that we as all common and equal human beings – one is more important than another, is ridiculous. But sadly, that is actually the way things often are. For some of us, especially we the young people, who haven’t had our minds really expanded – maybe for lack of travel or the lack of information – this circle of importance can be very small, with a boundary that is very thick and defined. It becomes a sort of barrier, a wall or a trap that we have set for ourselves. 

I struggled with this recently. Drudging blindly around the circle and it was excruciating, even scarring. Honestly, I still feel repulsion at the thought of some faces and names. I would be lying if I said that I have forgiven and forgotten people and experiences, that I am all free and filled with pure compassion. I am working at it, because I feel that unless I release them and have no more hard feelings towards them – I will still be tethered to them, and in a way, still in that circle of importance. 

Back then – amazingly just few months ago, without having coined a phrase to personally describe that state of mind, or even having been aware of this restrictive problem in the first place – my life was unconsciously governed by that small circle of what and who was important. This circle was very narrow and was unconsciously influenced by that immediate vacuous environment I was in and informed by the energy and ideas of dominant narrow minded beings. I talked about it briefly, in a post that was posted just around the time when this struggle was most real.

I was around people who were feeding me with their self serving, self propelling and self illuminating ideals of what was important. They regarded themselves as important and anyone less then their standard was unimportant. They had this communal way of praising and ridiculing people. Also, to them, my colorful aspirations was deemed not important, making me feel inferior. As I read my way out of that circle (through books, blogs and podcasts), I have seen them for what they are, I realize that there are other things which are more important in life. 

Sometimes we do things that we feel is thoughtful, a form of good, necessary, redeeming service but then it ends up being a big disservice to ourselves. We can not entirely change people. I reckon that it’s mostly an illusion what happens in the movies, where someone walks in and straight after the great rumble in the difficult climax, the hero goes onto change things for the better, in the end walking into the sunset happily with beautiful slow music rolling in the credits. It’s more complicated then that, we propably end up being hurt badly and scarred in the process. In real life, sometimes the way to affect change is to avoid walking into negative situations in the first place, to protect ourselves and trust our gut instinct – if it doesn’t feel right, just don’t do it or don’t go back there.  

Luckily while moving around those dark times, I made the bestest decision ever of quiting. Of quiting negativity and ugliness. Quiting pessimism and cynicism. Quiting mediocre. Quiting that small circle with it’s people and their ideals and finally giving myself a chance to breathe and dream bigger. I stumbled upon a door and opened it to find an airy room, spacious and well lit. A room which I can furnish as I please and I am selective about what I bring in. All I want to bring in is something that fills me up with joy, goodness and helps me in beautifying my inner landscape. 

We are continuously evolving people. Let’s yield ouselves to change whenever it is necessary. If we are not happy, that’s the sign that we need to change somethin. Go out and breathe some new, fresh and revitalising air. Discover something new, oh that’s exciting. The many sunsets of our lives should be exciting and where get to be optimisitic and excited about the new sunrise. 

Now, I am so relieved that I have seen through that circle, expanding it wider, making it encompass the entire universe. I feel better, I think better and even talk better. Also, I feel a bit more liberated and loving too. Always see through that misleading little circle that life often puts us in. Know that there are other things that can be more important in life.

There is this quote by Nobel Prize winner in Economics, Behavioural Economist – Daniel Khaneman – that I love so much from an OnBeing.org Podcast, which I am going to end this post with it, because it just accurately sums everything up in just one beautiful sentence. 

What I dont know matters enormously, and what I can’t see matters enormously. 

It is an essential reminder in life – the way to live and think. Thanks for reading. Stay joyful. 

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We the ​Young People: Develop our Own Vision and Consider Earning our Own Money 

I believe that money is important, as a matter of fact I will shamelessly say that it is the most important. Its all about the money! If we have no money, we dont get to eat and we are unable to pay our dues to those who matter and attain the essential things that matter. We also loose social significance – screw social significance and standards anyways – a dumb superficial thing that gives us a distorted perception of life, twisting us to contorted shapes thats aesthetically pleasing but unfulfilling.

Okay. Yes. Everybody knows that – ‘Money is the root of all evil.’ For this concern, a constant monitoring of our intention should be in place. Our life should never be governed by superficial things or the quest for it. Thats the evil part. If we are instead driven by a personal vision for the greater good we shall avoid falling into the wayside where arrogant fools fall in that selfish pursuit for money. 

A purpose driven life is important. What is your vision? What do we see lacking in the world around us? How can we improve things for this generation and the ones to come? Lets focus on that. Through all of our travails on the flimsy path towards success and happiness, that vision shall be our light that guides us and through constant effort we make it brighter and brighter and its reach eventually, wider and wider. But first we got to equip ourselves, accumulate the pieces of embers to light up that small fire within us and keep it alight. 

Money matters. Lets earn our money and spend it wisely as a mean of safety, support and growth. Get some money – clean money, hard and honestly earned money. Often its those with money who are telling us the young ones without money to stave off the need for it and instead devote our time in pursuit of a common good or a common goal for another entity that doesnt always have our best interest at heart. Its where we are made to devote our lives running around, stressed, dissatisfied, going with the flow, compromising and settling.

Through all of this, a towering cloud of confussion follows us as we make sense of our place in all of this noise. We are living just another meaningless, predetermined life, unexcited of waking up in the morning and taking for granted the greatest gift that is life. After enduring and the clouds depart, we find ourselves a part of their grander plan that is not ours – our life has been designed. But we are born free and always have the power and freedom to design it ourselves, to our own liking. 

At the outset we young people should think of how to earn money, doing not only what we are good at, but also doing what we love as a strategic and sustainable mean of getting money. I would prefer that I am engaged in something that brings me return on my time, bringing me joy and also – very importantly – getting me closer to my vision rather than fulfilling someone else’s vision.

Again I will reiterate, and I feel the great need to, that social standards and expectations are not real, yes they govern certain aspects of our lives but they are nothing more than just a common set of imagined rules with an insignificant outcome. They are simply there to stifle a persons progression and also that of society as a whole. It prevents an individual from fully expressing themselves and pursuing a life to their fullest representation. Having young people become guilt tripped and morally dictated to pursue someone elses idea of a sustainable world is unsustainable if the young one doesnt share the same vision or even have a vision for themself, without any sense of awareness of what future they are aspiring for. 

Stop pursuing a vision for others, create one for yourself and pursue that. Lets not allow ourselves to propped up as a token or be used in any other way. The most productive use of our time as young people is looking for that personal vision which we can confidently work relentlessly hard towards. 

If you see a world where flying cars is the main mode of transportation, by all means stubbornly pursue that. If you believe that your beloved hometown in the middle of nowhere will become the next Silicone valley of opportunities – for the love of your people make it happen!! If you feel you have a solution to erradicate poverty and homelessness around the world – look forward and run your own race towards that vision. We can do whatever we want, practical or impractical, new or old, rational or irrational, possible or impossible – as long as it is trully our own. So lets find our own cause and pursue that. Let us not be distracted or be fooled. Lets rise up, make ourselves some money, while confidently paving our own path in life. 

‘Wild’ by Cheryl Strayed

Earlier this year I read the book ‘Wild’ by Cheryl Strayed and it made me be more appreciative of my journey through life and embracing of all that is wild about it. Prior to reading the book I had watched the movie several times over, it’s a great movie, and Reese Witherspoon gave an amazing performance. Seeing the book in the shelf of our local shop that sells used books – and its the only shop that sells books in this town – I just had to grab it. 

In the book Cheryl is so generous in giving details about her life, she bared it all. She shares great details of her childhood (the broken parts and the beautiful parts), her relationships, the process of grieving for her mother, separating from her loving husband, becoming a promiscuous drug addict, loosing grip on her whole life and her journey to finding herself hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) . 

She is one of those people who pick themselves up, collect their shi## together and do something radical to find themselves. She ventured out alone – slightly unprepared and seeming a bit naive – into the great expanse of the wilderness, enduring great challenges yet pushing forward till the sweet end. I like people who do radical things to change their life; those who put themselves in a ‘challenging-have to go through it- situation’ just to see how better off they come out of it at the end of the tunnel. It can be as huge as what Cheryl did – going out hiking several thousand miles alone or just something simple like living without a phone for a few months. 

What draws me to her story and all the other stories like it; is people listening to their gut instinct and just going for it. Life throws us a puzzle set to solve, obviously a unique set for each one of us and the pieces of clues can come from random situations like seeing an image, reading a slogan, a tweet, an instagram post or from reading a book like this. What’s important is acknowledging and taking action on those little sparks of light, to follow our curiosity, take chances and daring to live to the extreme fullest. 

I am going to be re-reading the book again, it definitely deserves a re-read. I love the book and I salute all the people out there who are taking radical constructive steps to improve their life. 

Competence and Cooking

Nigella Lawson is a Food Author and a TV personality  who I adore immensely. Very often I watch her You Tube videos, whether it be her Cooking Videos where her commentary on food adds another layer of deliciousness to what shes cooking complimented by her graceful and effortless cooking skills, or her Interviews where her hands are flailing in the air during explanations and dominating the interview with her striking beauty, enthusiasms and honest explanations of her perspectives on many things in life. 

On one such interview I stumbled upon this notion which seized my attention and continued to be repeated over and over again in my head for days. Chosen as ABC’s ‘Person of the week’, Nigella talks about the importance of competence as a virtue and how it is often an undervalued one. 

Sitting poised on a stool, with a straight elegant posture and in a figure hugging purple dress Nigella talks about the importance of competence in life when asked by the interviewer of her take on self-confidence.

” … unless you are very competent, any confidence is false. It’s the notion that I can provide for my own existence and I think that arms you.” 

When she puts it that way, it makes a lot of sense and its motivational to an incompetent to become competent. Often we are so fixated on being confident people that we tend to overlook or forego having to do the necessary ground work to strengthen the foundation for that confidence. Competence is the necessary ground work that needs to be done in order to feel trully confident and sustain that level of confidence. For instance at work; it’s only when we are very competent at it that we can become confident in it. Competence is the key ingredient for confidence. 

That’s what I try to be these days – to be a competent person, to be able to do things very well or improve on key areas of my life I feel lacking. Whether that be cleanliness, neatness, time management or learning new essential skills such as cooking. With all that I do I keep that phrase – competence – in my mind. It’s sort of my theme of the moment, I try to wake up to the word every morning – my goal of the day is to be competent. 

In a day I try to get a lot of things done before I go off to bed early at around 10pm at night. For one, I do this so that I have no excuse to do anything before bedtime, keeping myself from that dreaful insomniac trap that I often walk into. Also I feel that being alive and having the energy and ability to do things, one should not take it for granted. It is a huge privilidge to be alive so with that in mind we must be enthusiastic everyday. Competence comes by easily and effortlessly when we are feeling really excited about the day and just throwing all our energy into it. 

I have just gotten into cooking lately – I have never known how to cook prior to this, I was reluctant for 2 possible reasons; fear of giving people food poisoning or just plain incompetent laziness. Just recently I decided that I am going to cook more often – I am going to become a domestic goddess like Nigella (I know, lofty glittery goals often works for me otherwise I’d just be bored). 

Challenges are there in cooking but I find that when we throw ourselves into tasks like cooking – where there is a dealine in the form of burnt food or overcooked meals – we can forget about any other external urgency but just be immersed into the activity, seized into the moment and become enthusiastic about having to produce an end result that we can be proud of. I forget that I am hungry when I start cooking but so far the end results have been at times commendable for someone who never knew how to cook before but other times the kitchen is a crime scene, investigators point at the contents in the pot and ask “What is that?”. Okay no, I am exagerating, it’s not that bad.

Cooking for me is one of my competency indicators, by cooking a lot I believe I will in time become better at it and eventually become confident in cooking. By feeding people I become a better person to those who I feed and that gives me confidence that should arm me into becoming the bestest person I envision myself to be. 

Wandering Alone 

​I have developed this special fondness and yearning for wandering out alone more by myself without the company of someone else. To just have a day off and quietly be by myself, going to places on my own and sitting alone amongst random unfamiliar people.To find the greatest pleasure and meaning from being on my own, wandering through the world observantly with an open heart and an open mind. To just mind my own business and be immersed in doing my own thing.

This yearning of mine to wander out alone more is rooted from my resolution to make this year be an Eat.Pray.Love sort of year for me. I had visions of having smaller – yet still romantic adventures – like Liz Gilbert did and I wrote down that desire to do so. It stuck there till now few months later where out of the blue I started acting according to that desire whose seed was sowed months ago.

Also at the begining of this year I found myself a bit too dependent on my friends for my happiness. I discovered that the times when they didn’t turn up or had other plans I would feel unhappy and alone. I was restless and I craved constant interaction with other lovely people whose company I enjoyed so much. All the while I would be neglecting my family when I was enthusiastically making plans and hanging out with friends. 

Just when I thought I was having the time of my life being very comfortable and being myself around great people that I realized I was missing out on something important; the beauty of being all by myself. It took some hard lessons for me to realize that the affection, joy and comfort is in greater proportion available within me. My happiness doesn’t depend on other people and I can be very happy wandering through the world on my own.

Going on small adventures on our own has this upside of being fuss free and not requiring much planning, scheduling or rain checking. We act and do as we please; when the need arises. Oh and the fact that we dont have to speak except maybe to the waiter, the attendant, sales person or the receptionist. And I feel that not having to speak after a long week of being surrounded by people is regenerative – somehow. 

Its how we perceive things, some people would see it as a weird, pitiable and lonely for someone to be doing things on their own without companions however on the contrary I actually find it very romantic and sexy. It is a mark of confidence, independence and sophistication.

Wandering out alone into the world, away from the noise and familiar faces in our life is freedom. To walk through the crowd without being noticed for who you are and where you are from, to walk around slowly, comfortably without a care in the world is such an elegant experince. And we never know who or what we may come across. We may have the best and most stimulating conversation with some lovely stranger or we may discover something interesting and inspirational. 

Hopefully next time I go out Ill be more braver to read a book or pull out the laptop and start typing away some interesting story. It’s just not a usual sight locally and it’s going to be a bit of a scene that draws onlookers which I don’t want in my reclusive days where I seek to be invisible and free. I also feel good about the great stories that could come out of it. 

Having reclusive weekends is also important for me as a writer. I need to move out of my comfort familiar zone and move out into areas that sparks my curiousity and interest that I hope  would reinvigorate my writing. Importantly where there is the least distraction. However I am greatful for the majority of the other days where I am surrounded by people who bring so much warmth, happiness, great memories and laughter into my life.

Summoning Joyfulness: Right here, Right Now. 

We are conscious of the need to be joyful, we can play vivid images of it in our mind however we quickly stub the idea out believing it is an unaffordable luxury now. In search for joy, we tend to search far and wide, try very hard, and mostly ending up looking in all the wrong places. However I believe that the state of joyfulness is easily obtainable & very affordable because it is a state of mind. If we can think it, we can summon it into our life. First we need to stop having high expectation, setting high standards or hard to achieve ideals for ourselves, just be casual and relaxed, ready to receive the goodness from life.

For me, a couple of factors played behind this conscious and active search for joy. First there was my love for watching Nigella Lawson cooking videos where repeatedly, over and over again she talks about joy and comfort that it becomes ingrained in my subconscious. 

So when I hit a bit of rough phase recently I fought back, saying that I deserve to have joy back in my life once again and I shall summon it once and for all for it to come forth in my life. After all I am the master of my fate and everything that happens to me is through my seal of approval. So I disallowed any sense of sadness, self pitty and feelings of inferiority. 

I did some sort of research, actually its not so much as research rather than being drawn to information and materials that I yearned. If we constantly think about anything we just naturally become drawn to it. 

All of these colourful inspirational information pointed to joyfulness being automatic. It is a state of mind and this we can always tune ourselves to become joyful. We have to allow it to come forth out of the rut, wherever it is hidden and ooze into every cell of our body. I could almost see it as a glow, like magical sparkles slowly travelling through the veins of our internals. Joyfulness is something effortless, like everything that trully is meant for us, we just have to summon it. 

Take pleasure from the little things in life. We are happy with or without it. We are an ever changing person and adjustable to all external factors of life. Again its about being relaxed and ready to receive. 

Lastly and most importantly before I go off to bed – be fully present in the moment. Life is happening now, so open your eyes and senses to it. Be in awe of the sights, derive the highest pleasure from food and oh open your ears to the beautiful sounds and music around you. 

We are alive and blessed to be alive. 

Okay, goodnite I am going off to sleep now. 

I am not even supposed to be writing at this very hour at night – some of the restrictions I placed on myself as an insominiac prone young person. 

I need to sleep well so I can be a fully functional and confidently glowing in the morning. 

Till the next post, bye & stay joyful !