Archives For Life

“Remember: you will never earn the same rewards as others without employing the same methods and investment of time as they do. It is unreasonable to think we can earn rewards without being willing to pay their true price. The person who “wins” at something has no real advantage over you because they had to pay the price for the reward.”

— Epictetus, A Manual for Living

There are times we can feel the overwhelming power of jealous and the great sense of failure when we size ourselves up with others who are deemed “successful.” Normally, I’m on my best guard when I let my own thoughts react to these situations but it was a special combination of “highly specialized individual” and the “undying thirst for knowledge.”

Then again, a good verbal barrage and the art of hijacking the conversation so you are the center of all things are usually what sells it home, especially giving it a few days to think about. To be honest, it started off as a friendly sharing of knowledge of literature and the love of books. I deeply wanted to get into the concepts and ideas of how stories are so great. It was on the topic of Russian literature (outside of popular culture, I knew little first hand) and French literature.

When it got to French literature, my brain connected towards to a recent purchase of The Count of Monte Cristo and how I wanted to see if this other person had read it and had an opinion of what the interwebs were saying about the new translation from Penguin Books was recommended as the best to read. I had only gotten the Modern Library version so… I wanted an answer if it was still worth it.

I never got that answer.

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To put it simply: it’s time to cut coffee out of my diet.

Don’t get me wrong or anything… I’ve been an average user of the stuff. At height of it all, I would consume up to four cups a day. There would be times I would substitute energy drinks to get the required fix (which also included its own set of problems).

Here is my personal take, in regards to the pros and the cons…

  • thinking on the fly becomes a daring act — I believe I think faster. I know I talk faster. I can get ideas and I can suddenly spew out a thousand words a second.
  • thinking faster results in less of self-criticism, especially in high tension situation that can result in a mild anxiety episode
  • caffeine naps; something I haven’t truly mastered but felt the benefits when done right… go away for a few minutes and come back rocking and rolling.

As for the cons…

  • the after effects of caffeine is fueling my existing traces of anxiety and leaving me in an antsy state of mind — which results in losing focus.
  • it can be an expensive habit if you’re drinking outside your home
  • dependency — let’s face it, it’s a drug and when I don’t get my fix I get the tension headaches and I get into a negative, grouchy mood… because of that…
  • influencing/affecting my behavior: if I drink it, I’m happy… if I don’t… then I get into a foul mood and leads to me acting negatively to those around me.

 

So, yeah. It’s time to quit coffee to avoid the caffeine. I know there’s decaf and there are things like “Kaffree” for people who want to retain the taste of the good stuff without feeling those ill effects of caffeine. For me, I know in the end, it won’t be perfect. I’ll probably get a milk tea fix now and then… but it’s specifically that smell and texture and the kick you get in the face that coffee gives me that I need to stop.

I can’t take a chance. And so this is my plan and my grand farewell to the good stuff that I had loved for so many years.

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SELF-SLAPPERY

December 18, 2017 — Leave a comment

Supposedly, it takes an average of 66 days to make or break a habit. Nope, it’s not 21 days apparently as we once thought before so… more days, more fun! Don’t worry, it’s just numbers being thrown around, so it shouldn’t really matter at all because we should focus on that aspect too long. It’s good for a visual so you can see what the heck is going on (like having a physical calendar to cross each day off whenever your successful so you can have that gratification in completing something).

The days can be daunting but if you don’t get one down, you’ll never get to day two or day 66 or even… day 500. It’s all about routine and so… maybe it’s just wise for you to stop now and just open up that word document you have been putting off and just write out 500 words… no wait, make it just even 250 words. Yeah, that’s better… just do it.

It’s taking a long hard fight to realize that excuses are the enemy. That and blaming. While all that energy is being put into that pile of useless thought, we could be finishing that screenplay, doing push-ups, or finishing that book you left two months ago.

B-b-but, I’m just suffering from a block! I can’t get into the FLOW! It’s just a struggle! So, it’s okay for me to complain about the pain so I can deal with it… Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight?
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Skipping all the background baggage of how we came to be, I think it’s safe to assume that humans have the greatest skill of thinking about ourselves. We think about what we are going to do. We think about our past. And we think about our possibilities or what-ifs. But the one that tends to be a popular one is our future and our fate.

Or, particular, our fortune.

How does it all end? What will become of us and our goals?

Will be successful? Or will be complete utter failures?

Thinking about questions and ideas will drive a person mad to find out the truth. And offering a sensible solution like a chance to peek into the future… who wouldn’t be tempted to use such a service? But the problem with these services is that they’re usually all scams and trying to cash in on your own desires and dreams and hopes.

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Everyone has their moments. The divide between professionalism and your emotions is a fine line between order and chaos. I’m sure that even the best will have their bad moments.

We have our intelligence.

We have our primal instinct.

The two are total opposites and always trying to gain the upper hand. And with this, it makes sense when the stressors of our lives pile on and on and on… until we break. Not everyone can handle the pressure and that’s when we see the difference between those we deem “professionals” or “cool under pressure.”

In the mythos of Buddhism philosophy, we can encounter three types of poisons — delusion, greed, and, what is referred to as, “aversion, ill will.

Basically, anger.

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It’s strange coming back to a former life, especially when the transition is seamless.

I found myself waking up and letting my muscles walk me through the memory lane of how I used to spend my time living in District 7 of HCMC.

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WATCHFUL

November 14, 2017 — Leave a comment

World religions have always fascinated me and in grade 11, I had the fortunate chance to study the major religions and more by a teacher whom I will consider my Socrates.

Although I wouldn’t assume, he would serve as the Socrates to my Plato. For a young introverted kid whose own identity in society is conflicted, here was a teacher who was unabashed and bold and deeply empathetic.

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