There’s a Time and Place for Everything

It’s time to state the obvious: we’re all human.

Some people are loud. Some people are quiet. Some people are energetic, others need more time to recharge. Some are cognitive, some are emotional, and others are spiritual. Some come from patriarchic cultures, others from matriarchic ones; some from expressive languages, others from passives ones.

All in all, we’re in a globalized world of international nomads migrating like there’s no tomorrow, and many of us live like each day is our last, knowing that one day we’ll be right. If that’s the case, then why, pray tell, is there so much “justification” for being human?

Every personality type in life has pros and cons; there’s no “right way” to do anything. Each person has their own individual process tailored to their personal needs, and the only difference is the outcome. Some people prefer bouncing ideas off of others by generating live feedback and open discussion. Others may prefer to work independently and figure out the puzzles in silence, then come back with a final product. Whichever your personality type, no one can “tell” you who or what you are. Only you know that; the difference is, those in your life who care about you will advise or support you in the best ways they know how.

If you know that you benefit more from working alone, go do it, just get it done well. If you know that you’d prefer bouncing ideas off of people, find people who enjoy your conversations and can challenge your thinking.

It’s not about the “definition” of being “extroverted” or “introverted”, “ESTJ” “INFP”, “ADHD”; all of these words are medical terms coined by doctors to discuss treatment for patients. The fact that even I can casually drop these words into a blog having no accredited qualifications in this department (yet) only shows how easily our generation uses these words as adjectives to describe each other. We all think that we know more than we actually do, we are more entitled than we have earned, and many have become so self-centred instead of self-reflective.

Wake up, people, we’re all human here. There’s no “right” personality or “correct” trait. Everything is what it is, and everyone is who they think they are. What if we were to put all differences aside and get to the core of everything: do what you know from experience is best for you, and if you don’t have the experience to tell you, then go and make those experiences.

Quit sheltering yourself from everything that would make you stronger just because it’s “inconvenient” to have an experience at that given time. We’re always waiting for the “right time” to do things. The “right time” to organize a store room, or the “right time” to find love, or the “right time” to move house. Yes, timing is important when there are multiple factors, but most of the time, the “right time” is simply: what needs to be done and when?

There’s a time and place for everything. Stop making excuses for yourself. If you’re inspired, express it. If you’re tired, take a rest. If you’re excited, laugh and smile. If you’re sad, cry it out. If you’re angry, vent or rant. If you’re in love, show it. If you’re at peace, remember this feeling. From honest experience, just go with it. Don’t overthink it, don’t analyze it. Just go with it. The more we hold back, the more we regret the memories we never made.

There’s a time and place for everything.

Peace,
Mikavelli

Does Negligence Render Us Narcissistic?

…of what does our world truly consist?
~Mikavelli~

It’s safe to say that enough articles have come up in recent years about how our generation has become, by far, one of the most narcissistic generations in human history. Not only have we been spoiled by social media’s constant reminders of self in comparison to our worlds, but we have also become so moralistic and self-righteous in our deluded drive to “rectify humanity”. What if I told you, humanity was never broken, but that our perception of self in relation to our role in “our” and “The” world is warped?

Many of us have this unspoken and almost unrecognized superiority complex where we have to “save the world” — be it the actual physical world, be it a sociologically “incepted” concept such as race, gender, status and so forth, be it sorting out other people’s relationships, be it filling in the loopholes of our memories and experiences. It is an entitlement where we feel that humanity has failed, the world is broken, and 2016 caused us to lose all hope.

I call this “entitlement” because so often we complain, about anything and anyone, which springs from the standpoint that “the person did not fit my paradigm”. Or, in laymen terms, “he/she did not live up to my standards or expectations”. And there it is, the most entitled attitude that we project our desires and expectations onto a person, or an ideological concept, or a situation, or a monetary figure etc.

We are so focused on the details of what we perceive to be our world, our reality — but of what does our world truly consist? Even as I sit here typing this behind the screen, I’m shooting myself in the foot over the irony that my world actually consists of people. Humans. My world is what it is because of the people who choose to be a part of it, and yet a screen is how we are reminded of each other. It is how we make an effort for each other.

Showing appreciation should not feel like “effort”, but how often do we get so raveled up in our own priorities, our own passions, our own perceptions, that we neglect the PEOPLE who are our reality? 

If the answer is more often than you’d like, then I would recommend taking a moment to personally reflect on the issue of whether negligence renders us narcissistic.* (Clear distinction: narcissistic, an adjective describing those who are self-absorbed and self-centred. This is not to say that one is a narcissist, merely that one exhibits characteristics not unlike one.)

Before we project our repressed narcissistic behaviours onto narcissists who actually have a condition (painful as it may be), maybe we should reflect a little.

Or does all this reflection just generate more narcissism…The paradox is yours.

Have a good week!

Mikavelli

References
1. Millenials Admit to Being Narcissists, but Don’t You Dare Call Them That

2. Me! Me! Me! Are we living through a narcissism epidemic?

3. Me! Me! Me! The Rise of Narcissism in The Age of the Selfie

Stability and Solidity

You spend your twenties believing that you’re bulletproof. ~Moby~

The cycle of cognitive development can be a predictable one: as children, we are curious about the greater world, wanting to know a little bit about everything. We have little to no experience in life, and haven’t made enough mistakes to understand consequences. As teenagers, we strive for freedom and try to break free from all that constrains our perceived liberty. It is a phase in life when we feel entitled and complacent, a time when we can argue with a rationale warped to fit our desires, and a time when adults let our immaturity slide because they understand we have to experience it.

Then comes the start of independent living: your twenties. This is the phase when one realizes the immaturity of what was thought to be, as a teenager, the most brilliant or scintillating of ideas. When one looks back two years, four years, or even ten years, everything that was once believable as a teenager is suddenly impertinent to one’s physical (not perceived) reality. Everything you believed – every fantasy, every dream, every construction, every version of the future – is merely reflection of a modern fairy-tale.

The modern fairy-tale: that version of a life you spend a decade of your existence romanticizing – everything that you want to do after college – to work or to study, to experience or to define, to attempt or to decide. All these questions run through one’s mind simply because each day inspires new possibilities. It is in this phase of cognitive development where one is perfectly capable of differentiating between rationale and desire, yet may not have that worn-and-torn life experience called “cynicism” to deter an attempt at making a dream come true. This, however, differs subjectively based on the approach in which one uses to render this romanticized fantasy a reality, but ultimately, humans work with what is known: and where knowledge is lacking, experience is needed. Thus, being in one’s mid-twenties in the twenty-first century first world has offered vast opportunities and ways to actually live, and not merely exist.

Being in one’s twenties is supposedly the best time to gain experience, but this definition of “experience” merely pertains to the “experiences” that you choose, not the ones that are thrust upon you from your childhood. By this reasoning, “experience” is not limited to age: children and teenagers can easily go through just as much (if not more) than adults, and after one’s twenties, experience does not cease to be gained simply because one “grows” or (at times) matures. “Experience” does not simply mean “something that happens in life,” it refers to what is gained or lost from the “happening” or “occurrence.” Conversely, as experiences are subjective, one of the biggest mistakes many parents make when raising children is putting the child into a similar situation in hopes of determining the child’s experience. The experience is not a mistake – manipulating the variables in such a way is, because it is a common misconception that one can repeat or reconstruct a certain experience.

Experiences are meant to be had, not explained.

Gaining experience and living an “exciting” life depends on one’s personal definition of the words but also the approach one takes in reaching the optimized goal. To some, “excitement” and experience come from travelling the world, from exploring and understanding cultures and societies; to others, stimulation or excitement come from doing what one loves, and loving what one does. Furthermore, some regard experience as the amount of pain and suffering one has to endure in order to develop resilience. When one reaches their twenties, the two priorities in life suddenly become “stability” and “solidity,” and these can involve any category in life. Stability refers to career, finances and relationships; solidity to self, friendships and family. The common misconception is that living an exciting life doesn’t entail stability – again, this depends on one’s personal definition of “excitement.” There are times, however, when stability has to be sacrificed in order to gain solidity, and vice versa, but this is not an ultimatum. If sacrifices are inevitable, though, they are based on one’s personal definitions of “excitement” and “happiness,” combined with the goal one hopes to achieve.

To those who deem “excitement” as world travel, stability is not necessarily a component, but solidity is – solidity in finding one’s self, in cherishing and building solid friendships, and for many, establishing a firm basis with family now that one is old enough to communicate without being patronized. To those who deem their everyday life as excitement may entail, at times, losing a sense of self to complement the chosen path, only to find one’s way back to solidity. To those who intentionally take the toughest route in hopes of growing back stronger, who absuse “pain” as a method of gaining experience, may work for some but not all. This methodology may work for those who trust that their support network is strong enough when they need to recover from the “battle,” but if the support network was that strong to begin with, then why take the route of masochism in the first place?

Every mistake is an experience, but no experience is a mistake.

Nonetheless, each individual takes a different approach towards achieving their perceived definition of happiness in starting a journey of a “life of fulfilment.” Whatever the definition, priority or goal, the ultimate enrichment, experience and enlightenment comes from one’s own chosen path – mistakes and failures, accomplishments and achievements – thus, stability comes from routine, practice and habit. It is a lifestyle which can only be achieved with a certain amount of sacrifice along the way – that sacrifice being the risk of occasional boredom, lack of stimulation or simple mundanity which constrains one’s inspiration; conversely, this small sacrifice in the beginning leads to equanimity in the long-run. Boredom and apathy are fleeting states of mind, but stability is the concrete foundation which only paves way for taller and stronger skyscrapers. Solidity, on the other hand, refers to the strength, integrity and self-assurance it takes to exist as an individual entity without the co-dependent need for a crutch. Although the paradox is that humans are reflections of other humans, the actual human experience – existence, living and being – are had by oneself. Hence, solidity comes from the ability to be, and to live comfortably in one’s own shoes.

It takes true strength to admit weakness and wisdom to admit folly.

 

Mistakes

Social Expectation

Rushed relationships often fail when defined not because of the common conception of reverse psychology, but rather because of a sudden sense of social expectation. That “public declaration” labelling the person as a “significant other” immediately gives peers the sense of entitlement to determine and define the “socially acceptable behaviour” for such a situation, and as our behaviour and choices are judged by our social group (our society), if certain ailments don’t align with our social paradigm, at least one variable will fall out of place. Determining “acceptable behaviour” is usually done by relating the given situation to similar experiences one has seen or had, consequently our approach to a relationship is then governed by the definitions of our chosen society. However, one’s own experience level also factors into how much of peers’ advice is taken, because humans seek advice from those perceived to have more experience in those pertinent aspects of life.

This occurrence is a result of social construction and the human demand for recognition and acceptance. “Solidarity” we may ideally romanticise, but fact of the matter is that in this day and age, one can never avoid other humans and still live a sane life. Psychologists and neuro-biologists have proved the need to coexist, even among animals, and with the human society being even more complex, one cannot survive in complete isolation. Our social society imposes the generally understood concept of what behaviours or conversations are acceptable, hence rushed relationships commonly fail because the liberty of how much of your core self is revealed is compromised from the start. “Socially appropriate relationship behaviour” is spread by media – movies, TV shows, magazines, celebrity relationships, music and popular fiction, encompassing the common “unspoken determinants of relationships.” Those are firstly, what is acceptable to talk about in a relationship ? Secondly, why is it unacceptable to talk to your partner about certain topics (not related to him/her) if you would easily talk to a friend about? And thirdly, why do we elevate the people we love to the point where we lose the ability to talk to them as we would our friends?

Given that humans elevate those they care about, it stands to reason that those who care about you will, too, elevate you. The human ego which (unconsciously) seeks recognition and approval instinctively tries to live up to a standard, which often entails extensive moderation of speech and behaviour so to complement the paradigmatic principles set by our peers. In their review Brain Basis of Social Human Interaction, Hari and Kujala argue that humans are mere mirror images of other human beings – our social behaviour, including speech, thought, reaction, motor skills and neurological synopsis – on the basis that our neurological cognition is trained behaviour. If pain, anxiety and fear can be physically felt (increased heart rate, sweating, constricted breathing and chest pains), then so can happiness, excitement and passion. These physical symptoms are neurological and biological, but the emotional response, Hari and Kujala argue, are no different. Psychology evidently and largely factors in, but the argument that psychology is also the study of the mind and brain leaves the theory undisputed.

Ergo, lack of social interaction essentially causes a risk of brain deterioration, and yet, our existence is then arguably a manifestation of other human beings; we are a fragment of the entire human race, no more, no less. The journey of mankind rests in doing whatever it takes between birth and death to ensure the human race doesn’t cease to exist – regardless of if we create new children – because our sheer existence is the reason other humans exist. Our paradigm is someone else’s journey; our journey is just a paradigm of expectations which we have been taught to believe are the most optimal of standards.

Life.

I don’t care, go on and tear me apart

I don’t care if you do, ooh

‘Cause in a sky, ’cause in a sky full of stars

I think I see you.

~Chris Martin~

People Don’t Change

It’s not about what you’ve done
It’s about what you’re doing
It’s all about where you’re going
No matter where you’ve been.
~Calvin Harris~

Relationships fail because people pretend to be the person they think the other one expects. People don’t change – not in ways that actually matter anyway.

Blaming others means giving up the potential to become a better person – though people don’t change, behaviour does, and one can always change the circumstances that bring out certain aspects of ourselves.

Change might be inevitable, but that’s because society changes, not the person. Society evolves, and changes one’s mentality, but does not change one’s core.

It changes values, it changes expectations, and it drives different goals. But fundamentally, we are who we are, and we are all the same.

Humans are anarchic by nature, competitive by creation, and self-conscious because of evolution. Human evolution is a result of the creation of society, and society is a result of the competitiveness resulting from anarchy. To be truly anarchic, one will believe in no more than survival – there will be no self-monitoring, no expectation, and no desire. Only survival.

But it’s not always about getting ahead: sometimes it’s about getting better. About achieving. About reaching oneself. Initially, the only competition worth competing against is oneself, but when one exceeds expectations, finding someone you aspire to and competing with that drives direction, motivation and obsession.

Obsession is more commonly used in a negative sense, but if it weren’t for obsession, there would be no success. And in a fast-spinning First World society, success is the driving force for survival. Which renders the argument redundant – we are conformists merely to satisfy our anarchic instincts.

We believe in survival, thus we create capitalism. We believe in success, thus we create competition. We believe that competition motivates success. Ultimately, we procure. We are procurers by nature.

Amidst evolution, we are merely regressing: wearing a mask of twenty-first century materialism.

Thus, people don’t change.

If they say why, why
Tell em that it’s human nature.
~Michael Jackson~

C’est La Vie

Can’t you see what you do to me
Our love was meant to be
And you were made for me…
~AG Silver~

Relationships
So you get those who yearn for it, yet stay single most of their lives.. and those who are single who spend their lives searching… Going around in circles, looking in all the wrong places. Giving ourselves excuses as to why we should “experiment” and be reckless – ruining other’s potential relationships only because ours failed. All along, the one person who wants to be with you, who you could be with, is right in front of you. But you’re giving yourself reason to “move on,” to “get over” things, and he / she is just waiting for you to “grow up.” What more can we ask for, when we already have everything we could possibly ask for – and we selfishly want more, because we’re so used to getting what we want?

Work
Work seems to be progressing – as hours and salary increase, balancing everything out seems ever more effortless now. Cutting out hours of socialising, replaced with quality time with quality relationships, gym and work – wallet is heavier, weight is lighter; all in all, being productive and not destructive.

Studies
And Day 1 officially begins on Monday, Oct 10th, as text books and study materials have arrived this week. Learning accelerates as ones studies broaden from purely academic to “interest courses” such as learning French and what-not. Funding is also from one’s own pocket, thus the most and best has to be made of this “education.”

Social
Becoming more particular and fastidious regarding socialising and friendships – with a notable amount of failures and pointless relationships, one might feel this fussiness justifiable and thus continuously lives in this manner. Boredom has not hit – surprisingly enough – and loneliness a figment of the past. No abstractions which were previously expected seem to have hindered or intervened in this manner of lifestyle, causing one to become rather suspicious and weary of the past. Perhaps this lifestyle was possible all along, but in choosing to learn the hard way – by befriending the wrong people and softening up to those who took vulnerability for granted – it’s curious that one can swing to the other extreme of not making an effort or simply “avoiding” any social scenarios whatsoever.

Curious. Indeed curious.

To sum up everything, well there really isn’t much to say, really. We move on, life goes on.

C’est La Vie.

Sometimes she wonders if they’re gonna live
Up to who they could be;
The real world is heading for them
Like a high speed train
And she’s not ready…
~Tammin Sursok~