Improving the Self

What is life without the drive to continuously improve yourself?

I’ve always been afraid of one thing, being stagnant. Last week was a good example of that fear in real life. It was in class when half-way through the lesson, I realised that I did not know anything about the topic and what the lecturer was talking about. That was when I panicked and became frustrated with my inability to understand and prepare beforehand. It was not really because I couldn’t understand the topic but instead, the underlying fear of stagnation, of wasting time in the lecture when I could’ve done something productive.

That fear has always been with me, sometimes, even paralysing my ability to rest properly and let go of work.

Though I may sound like a workaholic, I’m not. I just like to do things that are productive and continue to make whatever I do a +1.

Well, like many of my other blog posts, there really isn’t any conclusion to this story, just an entry that I would like to share with all of you.

Maybe, if there’s a lesson to learn from here, it shall be this. To always improve yourself but have time to rest, for with rest, you’ll come back stronger.

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Back to the Grind

Well, tomorrow is the start of a new semester.

I’m having mixed feelings of excitement and fear.

I’m excited because a new semester means new opportunities, new people to meet and things to do. However, I’m fearful because of the failures that will come with all of that.

I’m truly afraid of one thing however, I’m afraid of being swallowed up by busyness and neglect my studies and my creative work.

I’ve learnt a lot from the past semester and I hope to deploy those lessons this time. I honestly don’t want my past mistakes to happen; the almost burnt out, the constant fatigue and the stress. I want to at least have a clear mind at the end of every day.

Well, I guess all I can do now is to try my best.

Back to the grind.

 

Good Bye 2016, What’s Next?

I don’t know.

To be honest, that was what 2016 was like, full of I-Don’t-Knows.

2016 was wonderful and it was a year where I had learnt so much, made so many wonderful friendships and learnt truly a lot about myself and I guess, attained self-awareness.

2016 was the year I ORD-ed from serving the nation in the Singapore Civil Defence Force,
2016 was the year I became a student of the National University of Singapore,
2016 was the year that I’ve forged unexpected friendships (how I entered Silat without much consideration),
2016 was the year I opened myself up to many new things (joining two ad-hocs without much consideration),
2016 was the year I lived my dream of being a college student,
2016 was the year I started to put more focus into my writing,
2016 was the year I became obsessed with Casey Neistat and his art of vlogging,
2016 was the year I truly strived to be a better person,
2016 was the year that I squatted heavy (52.5KG per side),
Most importantly, 2016 was the year I hustled.

There are many things I’ve failed to achieve in 2016 but there are also many things that I achieved. There were also many detours and unexpected things that happened that made my 2016 so much more beautiful.

I’ll be posting up my goals and resolutions for 2017 and also a reflection on how my resolutions for 2016 had turned out to be.

P.S. However, in my opinion, 2016 had been bloody and brutal for the outside world, but 2016 was needed for the world to wake up.

Even though there might be things that we had hoped could have been better in 2016, let’s refresh ourselves and move forward to 2017 with renewed hope and vitality.

True Intentions

Be it good or bad, everyone has their intentions when they are doing or about to do something.

We just don’t know what they are.

Maybe, they might not even be conscious of what their true intentions are, themselves.

To be conscious of your intentions when doing something is truly important. One example is the intention to do charity. If your intention to do charity is to help others and make the life of others better, then, that is good. However, there are some whose intentions are to build their own image in the eyes of the public, to make themselves look philanthropic when in actual fact, they aren’t.

True intentions lie deep within oneself and only if one asks himself the question of their intentions can it be revealed.

Sometimes, intentions are hidden deep beneath piles of lies and deceits and thus, we are not conscious of what is driving our actions. Maybe, they are hidden under the lies we tell ourselves of what we want to be instead of who we truly are. We want so much to be how we envisioned ourselves to be that we would rather lie to ourselves than work hard to achieve it.

This is a problem that many face every single day, even me. However, it can be eradicated, only with an increase in self-awareness; understanding who we are and who we aren’t.

 

Year-End Anxiety

As the year slowly comes to an end, there seemed to be a rush to cherish every single moment of 2016, a rush to ensure that every moment is spent wisely.

For me, ironically, it seemed to be a rush to ensure that I have rested adequately before the new year begins.

I mean, it totally is something expected, seeing that this holiday I was (and still am) busy with projects and whatnot thus, not really getting real, true slacking time.

I mean, I just have this urge to ensure that I am energised and ready to go for the new year but obviously, this anxiety just prevents me from doing just that.

I’m just afraid that when the new year rolls around, I will still be my tired, exhausted 2016 self. That is something I desperately want to avoid. I want my 2017 self to be fresher, more clear-headed, and motivated.

I have several things left to do before 2017, but I’m going to make sure that whatever is left of 2016 is not wasted and that I can start the new year fresh.

There’s something missing

To be honest, I feel as if I have something missing from my life. Something that I had once before but somehow, I’ve lost it along the way.

I realised this when my days are no longer structured, I spent most of my time procrastinating and feeling really lazy and unmotivated. I also became less creative. Today was such a day.

I realised that I’ve somehow lost that drive that I used to have.

Is it because I lacked purpose or is it because I lacked external inputs of hustle and creativity?

I honestly don’t know.

However, what I can say is this. The abundance of time that I have every single day is not helping at all. My mind is in a constant battle of either to do something productive or to laze around and procrastinate.

The latter will usually win.

A possible cause might be that I currently lacked deep human interaction. If you do not know yet, I thrive on having deep conversations with people, talking about life, dreaming and playing thought experiments. The holidays isn’t helping. Even though I do interact with people, they are usually one-dimensional conversations that are on the surface and never deeper. Usually, it is about meetings or something superficial. It doesn’t feed my need to have intense philosophical conversations.

Well, I don’t know. Now, I’m watching previously watched videos by Chase Jarvis, ’30 Days of Genius’. Maybe, it will help give me some insight to what I’ve lost and maybe, help to feed the motivation that I sorely needed.

Our Decisions

Our decisions and our actions are predicated based on an underlying motivation, whether we know it or not.

Most of the things that we do, we do it for our own self-interest, such as whether to procrastinate or do work, whether to exercise or eat fast-food. However, there are some decisions that we make that are influenced by the environment, for example, advertisements.

Thus, I think that it is important to be aware of such motivations that influence our decisions. Doing so will allow us to recognise the bad motivations from the good and override them when needed.

It prevents us from carrying out decisions that may not really be for our own self-interests or decisions that will be harmful to other people.