Category Archives: Introspection

Failure and All His Friends

Some days I wake up in a cold sweat, praying to the ceiling fan above me that I don’t fail.

I’m a veteran in the field of Bad Decision Making (trust me on this), so I second guess everything I do, and look at myself with an eye that has seen the mistakes of my mind come to pass, and tries to learn from them so that I don’t make them again.
But sometimes, I wonder if I’m actually learning anything, or if I live in a world where learning from mistakes may not be too late.

Fail at what?

Everything. Everything in my life is a task I wish to accomplish successfully. From the things I have to achieve at work, to my relationship with my lover, to being a good father. I have to make decisions on these things every day and truthfully? I ask myself what makes me… sufficiently equipped to have a life.

Sometimes, I think I understand the concept of a slave/prisoner not wanting freedom after a while.

I mean, one thing about being in captivity is that your decisions are made for you. Where to go, what to do, when to eat or sleep… your life and the corresponding responsibilities are basically taken away from you, taking away the need to think for yourself and be responsible for your actions. I mean, sure you have to answer to your captors, but the burden of self-thinking (if I can call it that) is essentially lifted from you, and you’re more or less assured of food and shelter.

Or course, in the true sense of things, there’s also the satisfaction that comes with making the right decisions and seeing their results come to pass satisfactorily. Unfortunately, in the world of my mind, the good doesn’t always outweigh the bad because the truth is, the destructive capacity which the bad possesses is a tad more scary than the good.

I took a course on Creativity a few months ago (I didn’t finish it, but I sha took it), and one of the things which was taught is that failure is… good, given the right circumstances. But, isn’t the luxury of failure available only to those who have nothing to lose?

So… what if I fail? Fail as a man… as a lover… as a father… as… everything?

What happens then?

Ah well… time to listen to some Gnarlz Barkley.
A good day must be had.

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I Do Declare

So I’m taking a class on Coursera on Creativity, Innovation & Change, and we’ve come to a place which talks about finding one’s CENTER.

Yes, this is an odd way to start a post, but it’s my post so… deal with it.

Anyways, somewhere in one of the lessons, the lecturer talks about making certain statements as a way of establishing life goals or plans. For example, he says things like; “I am ____” and “I will be _____.”

So, I decided to take it seriously and make certain declarations about my life, and I decided to share it on here. I don’t know why I’m doing it, but I feel the need to write something (anything will do at this point), so here I am.

My Declarations of Life

  1. I’m a business development executive with ___ (sorry, can’t write company name here), and I will be the best that I can be, every single day that passes.
  2. I will take smart risks and responsibilities in order to be a(n extremely) capable professional and a provider for myself, my family and those who depend on me.
  3. I choose to be healthy; physically and mentally. To strengthen myself everyday and stay away (as best as I can) from those things that bring unbalance to my physical and mental health.
  4. I choose to be a good lover, partner and (future) husband.
  5. I choose to be a good father; to do my best for my daughter and future children. To teach them everything I can in order to help them be the best they can be as they get older and face challenges in life.
  6. I choose to cultivate compassion in my heart and soul. To find within myself, the ability to love and be kind to people, without considering inconveniences.
  7. I choose to be be disciplined; never losing sight of my goals and making whatever sacrifices necessary in order to achieve them.
  8. I choose to be a success in my chosen field(s) of endeavor.
  9. I will hold on to my pursuit of success and excellence; regardless of difficulties, regardless of negative opinions, regardless of the bumps in Life’s road.
  10. I will commit to living as well as I can manage; for myself, my family, and most importantly, for God.
  11. I will commit time to all I hold to be important. My family, my work, my health.
  12. I will commit time and effort to turn what I find to be hobbies and things I’m passionate about, into actual profitable endeavors.
  13. I will commit time to improving myself on all fronts; reading more, taking more responsibilities, becoming stronger and better.
  14. I will commit myself to being successful in all I put my hands to.
  15. My family is my life. They come before all else, and I will always treat them as such.

END

That’s it for now. I’m probably going to print this out and keep it where I can see it everyday, so I never lose sight. These are the things that’re important to me.

panda-


Geniuses: How Would The World Be If Everyone Was Different?

Answer By Lauchlin MacDonald

I originally answered this question anonymously, because I assumed people might interpret what I said as bragging if I attached my name to this. However, several people in the comments and a couple people privately asked me to go public, so here I am. Nobody special, like I said, and I hope that this does not affect how people read my answer.

A lot of people have written answers to this question that I agree with the broad strokes of, but the problem with most of them is accepting that there is a meaningful category called “genius.” I have a ridiculously high IQ. Taking different tests at different times in my life, there’s been about a 15 point spread, but the highest was in the low 180s. I took the LSAT on a whim a few months ago, and with no preparation scored in the 96th percentile. People were calling me a genius all through school, until I switched from studying Physics to another discipline where people aren’t always looking for geniuses.

There is no such thing as “a genius.” I’m not one, and I’m not special. Virtually everyone I’ve ever met, aside from people with brain damage or intellectual disabilities, is as smart as I am. The only thing that makes me different is that I am extremely good at logic puzzles, and I’m better than average at math, and I am firmly convinced that those are not inborn aptitudes, but things that I learned.

So, what am I doing in my life? Am I a venture capitalist, or an entrepreneur, or an award-winning novelist? Nope. I’m just now getting somewhere in my career that I’m pretty pleased with, but I spent most of my 20s blundering around. I made a lot of emotional decisions, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, and I made several aborted attempts at different professions. I moved a bunch of times, and I delayed my own plans for romantic relationships. Nearly all of my peers who were also called geniuses did similar things. The one thing that unites most people we call geniuses is intellectual restlessness and the speed with which they get bored (not positive qualities, on their own). My peers and I were lucky kids, with supportive families and lots of opportunity, and almost none of us could get our careers together before we were pushing 30. Clearly “genius” is not what gets things done.

Nearly everyone is as smart as I am. I’ve never met a cognitively normal person who didn’t have as much capacity for learning and understanding as I have. There might be Good Will Hunting people out there somewhere, but I’ve never met one of them either. So you want to know what a world where everyone was a genius would look like? You’re living it.

Our culture is extremely invested in the concept of geniuses, special people who rise above the rest of us to accomplish great things. I think this concept is a symptom of something sick in our society. Some of us like the concept because we like to think of ourselves as geniuses, and we think this somehow makes us better than the ignorant masses. Many of us also feel the need to elevate those who achieve greatness to a special intellectual category, to justify why the rest of us aren’t doing as well. We say, “Oh, she’s a genius, of course she’s a success.” We do this to trivialize the extreme hard work and absurd good fortune that is necessary to succeed in any field in this system we’ve created. Steve Jobs wasn’t a genius; he was a megalomaniacal businessman with some good product ideas who was in the right place at the right time. Change his life’s circumstances a bit, and he could have ended up as a manager at McDonald’s instead of getting rich selling us shiny pieces of metal and plastic.

Some of the other answers have said how society wouldn’t function if we were all geniuses because there would be nobody to do unskilled work. If you don’t think that there are millions of Einsteins toiling in thankless, unskilled jobs, you are fooling yourself. Some flip burgers or dig ditches or drive delivery trucks or work on fishing boats for a while, and then find a way out to something better, or work their way up to management. Some never do, and keep flipping those burgers for their entire lives. They have the aptitude and the interest that would have let them study physics, or compose a symphony, or start a successful company, but they were never encouraged to think they had the capacity, or they had no opportunity to study, or any number of other things that prevent people from doing all they’re capable of.

So what would the world look like if everyone were a genius? A few really successful people, lots of people bumbling around trying to find their way, and an enormous mass of frustrated, bored people, flipping burgers every day so you and I can afford to pontificate about geniuses on Quora.

I read this on Quora a few minutes ago, and it blew my mind. Just thought to share it with you guys.

Here’s the original post
I hope you’re having a great Sunday.


Pineapples Are The Most Delicious Munchies Food When You’re High…

And I’m not just saying that… Have you ever tasted a piece of pineapple sliced open on a warm Sunday afternoon  in the middle of March when you were higher than the temperature would have been in Maiduguri with the appetite of a mutant with the power of the sun imploding within him?

Me either, but I’ve been told it’s completely awesome.

It’s like an explosion of flavor going off in the back of your throat (any silly comments about this and your dog gets it), or like a sudden change that has you seeing music and hearing color…


Of Good Intentions & Failed Tasks

What do you do when your feet are held down by the weight of your own shortcomings, and each step you take is steeped in sadness, your pace slowed by the realization that you’re not half the person you wish you could be.

If the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, then name one in my honor. But leave the streetlights without bulbs, so those that walk it see that I’m blind; blind to reality, blind to the things I should see, blind to the man I’m needed to be.

I ask to be taught, but seem to never learn. Maybe I ask for rewards that I seem to never earn. Erring on the side of the needful. Unseeing when it stands in front of me. Claiming to love but not showing what love gives. Desperately wanting to be right but not recognizing what wrong is. Failing the tests because I sat in class but never really paid attention. Getting an F because I failed to prepare. Give me that F because when it came down to it, I wasn’t there. Give me that F because feelings are f**k-all without some fiber of action. Give me that F because fathers aren’t made of flimsy excuses. Give me that F because at the end of the day… I’m just as F’d up as I said I wasn’t.

*chuckle*
Fuck this.

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Runaway Words: Overcoming Nature

So we’ve got a dog in my flat, her name’s Ella (it just occurred to me that I should’ve taken a picture of her before I started writing this, but ah well).

She’s a nine month old samoyed, and as with most of her kind, she sheds a lot and feels the need to mess up the flat to the best of her ability. So, tired of having the house stinking of dog pee all the time, my flatmate (her owner) got her a cage. The rational behind this? Dogs won’t mess up in the place they sleep, and so she’d hold herself while she’s in the cage and then we’d take her out in the morning to pee.

Sounds like a plan, yes?

Well, it worked for a couple of weeks. She wouldn’t pee until we’d let her out of the cage, and would whine and cry till we let her out. And for a little while, there was peace.

Soon though, we started to notice that she wouldn’t complain when we left her in the cage for long periods of time. She’d just lie down like there was nothing happening.

And then we smelled it. Dog pee, strong. All over the corridor. We were confused at first. It didn’t make sense; was she peeing in her cage? By dog instincts, that wasn’t even possible. But, the smell continued.

And then after a while, we realized what was happening; this dog would go to the end of her cage, angle herself, and pee right out of the cage. So she’d relieve herself, but not go against her nature of never peeing where she sleeps.

Which got me thinking; as human beings, we attribute a lot of actions to “nature”. We say people do somethings instinctively, and say shit like “I/he/she couldn’t help it” or “it’s my nature”. There’s a favourite scene from one of the Pirates of the Caribbeans movies I’ve got that’s based on that.

But is it actually impossible to do things that come to us as “unnatural”? Is it impossible to change, because we realize we need to change? Is this whole hiding behind “nature” thing nothing more than a Big excuse used by people too lazy and unremorseful to change? I’ve seen people fix their behavioural patterns, and turn their lives around because they wanted to.

On my quest for weight loss and healthy living, Luminus (my coach) always said (& still says) “you can find a way, or you can find an excuse”.

Saying things like “it’s too hard”, “I can’t do it”, “it’s (not) in my nature” et al, are simply ways to limit yourself and stay within your comfort zone. But the thing about comfort zones is, there’s no progress to be made in them. You’ll simply live as the person you’ve always been, wishing you could be better, but never actually taking steps to be better.

But what do I know? I’m just a flatmate that gets irritated when he steps out of his bedroom and is assaulted by the smell of dog piss.

Well played, Ella.

Have a great week, y’all.

-Panda-

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Runaway Words: Shadows Cast

It’s funny how you think you understand how a person feels when you do something, but never truly understand until it’s done to you.

It’s a very painful thing to have a person doubt you when that person is meant to be the one that has your back in difficult situations.

//Pause
I use a Sony Xperia S… homeboy just sat beside me on the bus waving an Xperia Z… I feel like punching him and trading phones. -_-

And what exactly is the big deal with this Suits show? My flatmates have been on about it for years… Twitter seems to be crazy about it, now this chic on the bus is watching it on her phone. Ah well…
Unpause//

And sometimes, we don’t do it on purpose. We find ourselves looking patterns from the past, and extrapolating to what would most likely happen. Sometimes it’s just easier to point out what’s wrong with the person’s plan than to actually ask “Ok, how do you plan to make this work? Let’s figure it out.”

But the truth is, anybody can cast shadows and doubts. Anybody can poke holes in plans or tell him/her what exactly is wrong with what (s)he wants to do or how (s)he did the wrong thing. But with one person? Sometimes all that’s needed is support. Unflinching support. The simple knowledge that however this turns out, (s)he’s going to be right there with you, trying to figure it out.

(S)He could be anyone; your friends, parents, significant other… whoever…

I don’t know… I guess it took one offhand “yeah right”, to make me truly understand this morning.

Y’all have a good day.

-Panda-