A carefully curated life

Social media shaped the way we view the world just like how the traditional media did to the generation before us.

As a result of social media, we’re starting to see the world as a neatly cared for feed. We are viewing the highlights of everyone’s life.

The question is whether we are able to separate our unconscious mind from the subtle influences of social media and make our own choices.

I don’t think that is possible.

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The Reality of Today

This video clearly explains the situation that we are in today. We are not in it for the experience but instead the portrayal of it.

We are currently living in a world where social media rules the world, literally. Look at politics where politicians bend to the will of the people when a movement goes viral. Look at Entertainment where the more fascinating and outrageous news is promoted by its virality is displayed everywhere. Even how we carry ourselves is predetermined by the social media following that we have.

The current generation tries to differentiate itself from the previous ones by not harping on materialism. That is why movements like Marie Kondo and minimalism is gaining traction. The idea of ‘I would rather pay for the experience than material goods’ is popular amongst millennials. However, with the rampant use of social media in our daily lives, we’re starting to see a shift in this paradigm. It has become less of ‘the experience’ but more of the ‘commodification’ of it. 

Therefore, we seek the awe of others whenever they scroll through our feed. We seek to be better than them in terms of the experiences that we have and the lives that we portray. Instagram and Facebook have become less of a platform to ‘share our experiences’ and more of a platform to ‘build our experiences’.

I strongly recommend everyone to watch the video because I feel that it sends a clear message as to our predicament this generation.

Who am I anymore?

I tend to run away from my own mistakes and the most important lesson that I have to start learning is to own my own mistakes.

I seem to have a tendency to run away from anything that troubles me and block them off of my radar but I think doing so is actually damaging to myself and the relationships that I have with other people.

By not owning my mistakes, I become an irresponsible person, not learning and also making the same mistakes over and over again. Over time, it will become a toxic trail that I’ll leave behind.

Therefore, I feel that I need to actually learn to accept the mistakes that I have committed and not hide them or cover them up with half-assed excuses. Be firm about it and admit it.

Sigh.

I’m sorry. I’m just sorry. I don’t know what to do. Who am I anymore?

What makes you happy?

What is your definition of success?

I didn’t realise until now that I do not really have a concrete definition of success. My life has always been revolving around hustling harder and finding a way to escape the 9-5. After listening to ‘The Ground Up Show’ by Matt D’aveila, I realised that I have yet to set a concrete idea on what is my definition of success.

The story of how Steve Wozniak rejected the chance and possibility of becoming one of the richest men really struck me. The podcast tells the story of how Steve was comfortable to become a normal working member of the company and not to be on the executive committee because he realised that that did not fulfil him. His definition of success is to build things and to have fun while doing it and when he was offered a high position, he simply rejected it because it does not fulfil any one of his definitions of success.

Therefore, the question now is, what is my definition of success?

I have always been excited about starting a family and wanting to call the shots as to when I can be home. I also never liked the idea of 9-5 where I am out there slaving for someone else’s dream. I always wanted to work for myself and be proud of my own work. I always wanted to be a creator, a person that brings actual benefit to those around him through the work that he does. I don’t want to live a mundane life. I don’t want finances to be an issue.

Maybe my definitions of success are/what makes me happy:

  1. Create art and design through my skills in the industry. (Be a Creative)
  2. Call the shots as to when and how I go about my day. (Be in control)
  3. Have fun while doing it.

I think those are my guiding light now and I think that as long as whatever I do meet them, I will go ahead with it.

Execution

It is already Week 5 and the semester is already coming to its midpoint.

Sometimes it feels as if a single day is no longer enough to do a single task. It might be due to procrastination and the many other minor tasks that pull me away from what is important.

But then again, what is important?

Prioritising our activities is very important. To know what should be done first followed by what is next will help us to put a sense of structure into our already chaotic lives.

So what do I need to do?

I need to cover a few lectures today along with slides for my presentation this Thursday. I have somewhat an idea of what to do and what’s left is the execution.

work

I think most of us will have a phase in our lives (phases that come and go) when we feel dumb. Well, today was one of those days.

In a room filled with intelligent colleagues, scientists that are seemingly always on the brink of their own ‘eureka’ moments, I felt dumb. Dumb because I think that I’m inexperienced and less passionate on the topic than they are.

It drives me insane to see how they are so passionate about these scientific discoveries and I’m very intrigued as to how they see the world. Being around them for almost a month now, I cannot seem to see what they see in long days in the lab. Maybe it is the passion for science or maybe it is them trusting that they are just one experiment away from an amazing discovery… who knows.

Regardless, it is just insane how fast they are able to read and digest a scientific paper. As a person who has both the experience of the arts and the science, it really is amazing as to how scientists run their lives, always on the edge of new scientific discoveries and going bonkers when they read a really well-designed experiment.

And that made me realise how incompetent and lazy I am.

As I was walking to school today, a thought struck me. One that really slaps the truth. I think I am always trying to find the easy way out even in the work that I do. I strive to always make do with the bare minimum giving excuses like, “I can get away with it…” and “I think it should be fine, it is my aesthetic anyway…”. I didn’t even bother to learn new techniques and strategies. This is true because looking back, I don’t remember the last time I learnt something about editing photographs nor a new lighting technique and such. Realising that, it might be what is stopping me from being a really good creator/photographer. I might have big dreams but I don’t seem to be willing to put in the work.

I’m unlike those scientists who would read every single paper and really digest every new research that comes their way. They seek expertise and control over the topics that they learnt and read. They seek the best techniques and documenting every single method and nuances in experiments. Unlike them, I fail to do such a thing even in my own interests. I guess I’m setting myself up for failure.

How then will I go forward from this? How then will I make myself into someone that does work and be an expert in it?

This made me question myself as to whether I am really capable to be a freelancer. To be a freelancer one has to have the discipline and the stamina to maintain a high level of rigour and intensity for a very long period of time. That thought in the few paragraphs above really made me wonder…

Sigh. To be honest, am I even cut out for anything? I don’t really know. This is weakness talking. I’m sorry. I think what I can do now is to truly put in the work.

Freelancing

Freelancing.

Freelancing is hard.

After watching this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8AKY3JdmGg, I realised that I need to have a plan for the ways I am planning to earn my money.

As a photographer that is new to this field, I feel that it is very important for me to have a solid plan. Here are the few ways which I might be jumping into:

  1. Client Work
    • This is definitely the main way as to how I am planning to earn my income. By reaching out to event organisers, wedding planners, and anyone interested in doing shoots. I hope to create a solid foundation for my career.
  2. Reselling
    • I have been reselling things as part of my fundraising efforts to fund my photography equipment. As of late, it has been a bit slow-moving and I’m thinking of reinvigorating it on Facebook through targeted campaigns.
    • I am also thinking of finding new items to resell.

In the future, I hope to fire up my Youtube channel by posting anything and everything related to photography and the new company idea that I have called, ‘sp_ced.out. I hope the idea continues to grow and develop into something that can be profitable in the long run.

For now, I need to hustle.