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

The Road To Success

success

The road to success is paved with many an obstacle to strengthen our ability to excel. The definition of success, however, is fluid. The Corporates deems success as straight A’s and a high-paying job; the Philosophers and Psychologists define success as stable and continuous progress. Scientists view success as revolutionary breakthroughs and discoveries of new chemicals and cures, and politicians see success as the logical policies on paper, whether or not they can be carried out in society.

However, there are a few key factors which pertain to every scale, and they are simple to understand and do.

1. Compete against yourself, not anyone else. If you compete against others, you’re fighting a losing battle, unless you are the most intelligent and wealthiest person alive.

2. Do what you love and love what you do. With almost a decade of work experience, I’ve only worked six months in my life, because I love what I do.

3. Live by the advice you give others. Not only does this raise your credibility as a person, but the reason you give the advice in the first place is that you already believe it’s the “right thing to do”.

4. Get it right in your own life first. It’s easy for us to nitpick and criticize others’ flaws, but it’s a deflection hindering us from trying to get it right ourselves. If we can’t live up to our own expectations, demanding it from others is merely asking them to compensate for our own inadequacies. In doing #3, you will naturally get to #4.

5. Mistakes are experiences, but experiences are not mistakes. Don’t be too hard on yourself when you slip up and make mistakes – learn from them and remember the solution for the next time you encounter a similar problem. The scientific (natural as well as social science) world is all about experiments gone wrong – and finding solutions to fix problems they created.

6. Never mock a pain you haven’t endured. Your nightmare might be someone else’s reality; someone’s reality might only be your dream.

7. Only take criticism that works to your advantage. Humans are critical – it’s inevitable. But not all criticism is constructive, and if it’s destructive, brush it off and improve the parts you believe will help you.

8. Criticism should be constructive, not absolute. When criticising others, ensure that you use their strengths to build their weaknesses. Avoid focusing only on the weakness and telling them what to change. (See #9)

9. The right thing for you may be the wrong thing for someone else. Everything is about perspective. If you want to encourage change and progress, shift their perspective, don’t force their actions.

10. The process is just as important as the result. The results are only what can be seen on paper, but the process entails the actions and experiences. Experiential learning is the most lasting effect, and if the process is destructive, the results are only short-lived. (Click here to read Carl Rodgers’ theory of Experiential Learning.

11. Balance your life Every psychologist will tell you this: balance your life. Work out a schedule that gives you time for work, fun (creative outlet), friends, family, sports, and yourself (me-time). South China Morning Post published an article in 2013 stating that despite having long work hours, one should have at least four meals a night with the family, two nights a month spent with friends, five hours of exercise a week (even if it means taking a long walk during your lunch break), one evening a week of “me time”, and never bring work home. For a healthy mentality, when you clock-off, you clock-off:  work is  work, not life. (Unless you’re living by #2)

12. Be the person you know you are. All humans are flawed, but exert your strengths and use your virtues to positively influence others while secretly working on your weaknesses until you are satisfied. Then they will become strengths, and you will continuously shine.

Essentially, success is subjective – but subjective in the sense that you only need to compare your current self to where you were this time a year ago, five years ago, a decade ago, or more. Don’t fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others your age – we all have different backgrounds, different paradigms, different realities. We are all apples and pears, oranges and tangerines. We might be very similar to others, or very different – but we all have different experiences, therefore we have different perspectives.

So get it right in your own life, and because you can’t change 50% of the world without changing 50% of your perspective.

Mikavelli

Work Smart not Hard

 References: 1. Carl Rodger’s Theory of Experiential Learning 2. Sonya Derian – Stop Comparing Yourself To Others: An Alternative To Competing with People 3. Steve Jobs And The Seven Rules to Success 4. South China Morning Post – Parents Must Exercise Their Duty to Ensure A Balanced Life for Kids (2015) 5. Mikavelli – Do What You Love and Love What You Do

Becoming Human

The eye is to observe
The mind to reason
The heart to understand
The life to be experienced
And the Voice is to express and be heard
~Mikavelli~

The modern world has constructed a reality of so-called “normality”, but being a social construct, the definition of “normal” should be ever-changing. However, in this day of fear and conformity, of precaution and preventative measures, the definition of “normal” is unyielding. There are, on the other hand, non-conformists out there who choose to challenge the regimes and boundaries of limitations set by a world trying to maintain afloat in this dog-eat-dog world.

These are the radicals.

Yet to the detriment of dreamers, the word “radical” too, has been associated with great negativity in this era. “Radicals” are supposedly the ones representing intense religious movements; “radicals” are supposedly the ones who force their definition of morality on the people of their reality; “radicals”, in every sense of this generation’s definition, can only (sadly) be used with a pinch of salt.

It is to this that I attribute the greatest challenge to the modern regime – definitions. If normalcy is a social construct, and radicalism has been understood as social destruction, then anything which defies the edifice of modernity (or post-modernity) is thus deemed “abnormal”, “paranormal” or “supernatural”.

Nonetheless, what if these “abnormal” traits and abilities that people have are no more than back-to-basics – of conforming to human nature rather than social construct? Of living rather than merely existing? Of being rather than performing? Those who are in touch with themselves and have life experience to carry forth into the real world are often faced with the challenge of knowing when to conform, and when to defy. The sad truth, however, is that the elements in which humans were naturally born with – the ability to swim as a baby, having an intuition, trusting vibes and gut feelings, sensing others’ presence – all of these innate human abilities have been eradicated by definitions, rationale and logic. Yet, the irony is that these definitions and so-called “logic” are all but rational.

“Logic” cannot be an absolute truth unless both ends of the spectrum are taken into account and analysed – but the attributes of human nature are often destroyed or underestimated by the human definition of logic and reason. But logic can be interpreted and deduced: true logic lies in knowing that not everything is black or white, and that not everything in life is a “model answer.” This is much like what Aristotle had said that “The law is reason free from passion.”

By interpretation, Aristotle argues that in order to rule mankind, one must thus eliminate any form of passion – any form of emotion, feeling, or “abstracts” in one’s mind. This is evidenced in any capitalist society, and being the capitalist era we live in, money is the universal language everyone understands, which then determines success as financial power; accordingly, the “cause” behind all success is the ability to shut off human emotion, defy human nature, and live a passionless and meaningless life.

This, according to modern society, is the most secure survival method, and to revert to human nature and defy those who walk away from it is called “breaking the law” and “becoming radical”.

The paradoxes and harshness of reality leave most at a standstill: at any given point in life, absolutely anyone can have a certain amount of power to make a difference – but standing alone and fighting for what you believe is draining and tedious. Very few withstand the shrapnel and shards of broken glass that conformists swing at them while trying to shape and mould a “model citizen”, but the ones who do (and can) are ultimately the non-conformists. The radicals.

The ones who change the world.

The ones who society calls “antisocial”, “delusional”, “crazy”, “emotionally unstable”, and so forth.

The ones with a power so intense that conformists who recognize it try their hardest to suppress and fight; to water-down and abridge.

We are the radicals. We bear the responsibility of the rest of the world simply on the premise that we are able. But the world is not ready, and brilliant ideas always take the longest time to manifest into reality for they are waiting for the world to be ready.

To be radical, use:

Voice JPG

Perspective

        We like the idea of possibilities, exaggerating our own capacity and live like we’ll live forever. The common colloquial term “you only live once” has been adopted as a commonly known slang in today’s generation, and though we are well aware that none of us will live forever, we perpetually choose to live in the moment and make impulsive decisions for the sake of momentary happiness. Our ego renders a superiority complex, believing that our strengths are above others’ weakness, and then idealise others to compensate for our own shortcomings. We feel an unjustifiable amount of disappointment when they can’t meet our unreasonable expectations, and rather than questioning our judgement, we nitpick and pinpoint flaws which reflect our weaknesses.

        Optimists dwell on positivity, even when the positivity is irrational and goes against any evidence refuting this rationalisation. Idealists dwell on possibility, telling themselves a lie and disregarding every truth contradicting it. Realists dwell on strategy , working around every paradox within the idea. Pessimists dwell on the negative, diminishing any hope that an idea can be executed. Cynics dwell on the harshness of every flaw, critiquing every concept which idealists believe will revolutionise society.

        Perspective plays a large role in how we relate to the volatility of a changing world, and yet once you’ve gotten a firm grasp of reality, you learn to work your way up on the chain of reaching your own potential. You aim high, and even if you fall, you find a different ladder and move in a different direction to achieve a goal. Accounting for variable change makes a difference to how we respond to change and progress, and thus accepting every challenge which comes our way only motivates and strengthens us to excel. Some of us don’t always know what we want; the rest of us are simply never satisfied, simply because our world is buoyantly intensifying.

        Having a firm grasp on reality doesn’t necessarily mean figuring out then and there what we want: it means accepting what was, what is and what can be, and moulding our journey from there. Perhaps it begins from within, perhaps it begins with an external push, catapulting us into moving and growing. Basic development is nothing more than accepting and adapting to change, knowing that we can’t live forever, and believing in what we do. If you can wake up in the morning and know that what you plan to do that day satisfies your desire deep down, then you’re living out the meaning you’ve romanticised; if you can go to sleep at night, knowing that you’ve had an impact – however great – on someone’s life, you’ve satisfied a destiny you may not even believe in. But it’s there, and it’s real.

        We are what we are not by definition, but by the choices we make.

        The key to success, is to love what you do, and ultimately love yourself for doing it.

~Mikaela Gordan~

“One has never said better how much “humanism”, “normality”, “quality of life” were nothing but the vicissitudes of profitability.” ~Jean Baudrillard~