Thursday, 7 October 2010

Our insufficient abilities

Feeling short on ideas, I decided to ask my friend for an inspiration of what I should write about. He merely replied, "I don't know, I'm bad at these things." Whether he meant coming up with ideas for others or things to write about, I do not know. However, his response made me think: Why is it we hear people say that they're not good at something so often?

One possibility is that they do not wish to take part in the matter at hand and come up with a quick explanation of their inadequacy relating to the matter, effectively making the other person dismiss him. I find myself unwilling to believe this, since it would effectively mean that the person is understating his abilities just to get away from something that is probably highly meaningless to him anyways. Perhaps if the person has a low self-esteem or doesn't really care what the other person thinks about him, presenting one's abilities in this way would be understandable. Still, that's only a minor part of people.

The second, most obvious reason would be that the person simply isn't good with whatever it is you asked him. But is that a reason to refrain from trying? Normally, no. While it is perfectly understandable for a person to work his way out of a situation where actual losses are possible by stating his limited ability as something could be permanently damaged, this is rarely the the case. Oftentimes the only loss anyone could suffer is the person's self-esteem as the response he'd give would not satisfy the questioner, and even in these cases any actual loss is highly questionable, as by escaping a matter by saying "I'm not that good with it." would just lead to the same loss. Is the false protection of one's self-esteem truly a reason enough not to take the chance of producing something that'd be useful? For me, it's a reason but not a good one.

This submissive way of performing tells to us that people are so instinctively afraid of failure that when presented with a low-gain situation where they think they can lose something, they refuse to take part it. One can easily see where this approach leads when applied to other decision-maked processes, and through that see the how it's inherently flawed. Next time you face a similar situation, think "What can I really lose by trying?" In most cases it's nothing, so go ahead and give what you can even though you may not think it's sufficient.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

To live a happy life

A man is a creature dictated by his emotions. The emotions often lead to other emotions, forming loops and sequences which lead to different things depending on the type of external stimuli received. The emotions experienced by the man often have an impact on the kind of stimuli he receives, though certain randomness persists. For example, a man that hates another can beat him up and experience regret later on, which in turn would lead to sadness. With this being the case, how does one live so that his emotions lead to more good emotions and actions?

There's two ways to go about the subject. First would be to learn absolute control over your feelings, forcing yourself not to act over what you feel like doing but rather what you know will make you feel good afterwards. The massive amount of self-control this requires should be apparent to just about anyone, but the reward of a primarily happy life could just be worth it. Of course, one could argue that the person would be constantly lying to himself and others by keeping on the illusion of him acting as wanted, when in reality he only seeks goodness, probably in form of personal satisfaction, to come out of all it. Another could respond by saying that once he'd get in the loop of happiness he wouldn't be lying to himself no more.

The second way would be to get yourself in the good mood and block all possible interference immeadiately afterwards. This way one could experience a forced loop where no outside interference was present to break the fragile structure built by the individual. The only problem would be the person's mind as the seclusion might cause emotions of loneliness or not feeling complete. This would require for him to head out to gain the good mood again, which he would then return to savor as long as it'd last. Would he, too, be lying to himself? Probably not, as he'd intend to be fully conscious of his procedure, for it'd be essential for it to work.

From this it can be concluded that when a person is feeling down, he should seek external stimuli to help break his emotional loop and set it on a new sequence which, in turn, could possibly lead to happiness. If it doesn't, he could just go find another way to shock himself out of the loop and see where that leads. If all still fails, which should be probabilistically impossible, at least the person gained a lot new experience. Nothing to lose here, really.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Changes in the environment

As you may have noted, this blog has undergone some changes. Most important of these changes would be the removal of the users' ability to comment, and I find it dramatic enough to warrant an explanation. See the thing is, I've done some extensive promoting of this site, and while I would not like to go to details, let's just say that the traffic has multiplied quite a few times - that means quite a few times more than is actually possible. This of course has brought in some problems in form of undesired attention aka spam. Even though I find the ability to leave comments to be both valuable and constructive when used correctly, these problems have forced me to simply disable it until I'm not targeted anymore.

Other, more positive changes, are the addition of labels to the posts which should help you better find the subjects you enjoy.

With this being said, I can only hope you are able to cope with these changes for the time being, for I see no better way.

Meaning of our existence

Yesterday, late at night, I had a discussion with a stranger about the meaning of life. It was an interesting one in the way it bore more fruit than I had expected, and made me think about what kind of a life would be a life without meaning. Eventually I arrived at the conclusion that no person can think their lives as meaningless as long as they wish to achieve something.

When a person presents himself the question "Does my life have a meaning?", he comes up with something to use as the comparison unit, using which he measures wether or not his life is meaningful. This all is highly paradoxal however, since the unit is what the person values and would like to have or achieve - Or in other words, at least a partial meaning of his life.

There is of course the possibility that a person doesn't know what to value and thereby finds himself incapable of defining his comparison unit. Now this would defy the above, but since a person like this wouldn't even ask himself wether or not his life is meaningful as he'd be in a state of not caring about matters such as that, this really presents no problem. And even in the event of outside intervention in form of someone asking him to think if his life has a meaning he would either dismiss the question as absurd or be shocked out of his state of having no values.

As I conviniently put it in the discussion I had, "If you can dream, your life has a meaning." So, can you dream?