Sensory Stimulated to Feel Alive in the Rat Race

Current culture is about consumption.

Consumerism.

What is consumerism about? Instant gratification. And what is it that we wanted to be instantly gratified…? Sensory stimulation.

But why sensory stimulation? Perhaps it is about our need to FEEL alive (feeling happy and excited is another way of expressing it), as if we are not alive already. Now has gotten to the point where we are constantly stimulated, as if we need to always live in an OMG(oh-my-god) state of mind, be it good or bad.

All current trends that people so desperate seek after these days resolve to the same end — sensory stimulation. Fashion, TV, video games, social networking, extravagent food, traveling, drugs, sex, whatever new “technology” we try to create, and even activisms to “save the world” inevitably have more to do to drive/cater/create need to be sensory stimulated than anything else. I am not condemning them and please read on.

Again, it has to do with us wanting to feel alive… when we are already alive. But when we over do a process that is natural of itself, we bring chaos and more troubles than necessary.

Try too hard to do something, mark my word, you will fail.
Try too hard to shoot a basketball, you will miss.
Try too hard to play the piano, you will sound like shit.

That is why if you know yourself, you know you are alive at this moment. You can simply live. You can embrace all your desires that will never become excessive and thus no need to repress them… desires that companies’ marketers and advertisiers so desperately want to instigate, with the sole intention to cause us to consume more.

The idea is not to be able to feel awe and wonder in the presence of extraordinary things. The idea is to be able to feel awe and wonder in the simplest things in life.

Perhaps to make a broad general statement.
It is not about living an extraordinary life
It is not about living a simple life
It is about living a simple life extraordinarily.

Then if you occasionally seek after more stimulating experience (and perhaps even over do it a bit), it’s absolutely alright and acceptable, and you definitely will not be addicted. You will not NEED to consume more and more, and thus spend so much money, and thus trade your time for more money… and consequently and inevitably be forever in the so-called rat race.

In the end, it still goes back to knowing yourself, which lead to a simple life. Be mindful it is not the other way… forcing yourself to have a simple life will never work, nor does repressing desires.

Originally posted 2010-11-30 15:56:12. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Living Simply

A simple idea in itself.
Keeping life simple in all aspects.
At least that should be the first step before you move on to more complicated things.

Like when you are young, you instinctly learn all the basic abilities for everyday life until death.
Like when you want to learn martial arts, dancing, or fencing, you want to drill the footwork into your body.
Like when you get your financial situation under control, you start by looking at your income and expense.
Like when you want to get healthy, you start by looking at what you feed and how you are using your body.
Like when you solve any problem, you want to find the one fundamental aspect of yourself that is the root of the problem in order to stay focus.

Yet, humans often overlook these simple things before moving on to complicated ones.
It’s like running without first learning how to walk.
People want the result in one quick step.
Shortcuts usually lead to more troubles.
That is what create majority of turmoils in our lives.

Oh simple things…

Originally posted 2008-10-07 00:09:27. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Love – The Ability

I had an urge to write this entry much earlier, but between hectic schedule and laziness… I’ve been putting off writing it. I’ve also thought, “dude, maybe I’m too young to write about this, but hey, what the heck, I’ll go for it”. Perhaps you’ll see why I said that. Here goes.

It’s actually a good thing I delayed as I came across this reading from “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey:

…My wife and I just don’t have the same feelings for each other we used to have. I guess I just don’t love her anymore and she doesn’t love me. What can I do?”
“The feeling isn’t there anymore?” I asked.
“That’s right,” he reaffirmed. “And we have three children we’re really concerned about. What do you suggest?”
“Love her,” I replied.
“I told you, the feeling just isn’t there anymore.”
“Love her.”
“You don’t understand. The feeling of love just isn’t there.”
“Then love her. If the feeling isn’t there, that’s a good reason to love her.”
“But how do you love when you don’t love?”
“My friend, love is a verb. Love — the feeling — is a fruit of love the verb. So love her. Sacrifice.
Listen to her. Empathize. Appreciate. Affirm her. Are you willing to do that?”

As such, love becomes a word with two meanings depending on the context we speak in, IMHO. A verb and a noun. Currently, pretty much in everyday-scenario when we use or run across the word “love,” it’s being used as a noun. When people say “love”, it is referred to as a feeling. We’re told everyday on TV and Hollywood movies that such is so. That, when we love, it is this feeling within us about a special person, and that we are driving by this feeling. Because we say that we are “driven,” we are implying that there is no decision/responsibility involved. “My feeling is making me do so~~~ Love is telling me to do so~~~ I love this person so~~~” In other words, we shed the burden of “making decision” when it comes to love, but in a way, we allow ourselves to become puppets of our feelings.

Frequently when we claim that we are in love, I think we have somehow confused ourselves. That we may just be “in love” with the strong, passionate feeling itself. We enjoy the feeling that is stimulated by a particular person. The feeling clouds our visions, giving us this imagination/ideal image of the person that causes us to overlook reality… as time goes on, reality starts to catch up and lucky would be a result that this special person isn’t too far off from our imagination but otherwise, unfortunate it would be.

Whether that is true or not, I believe that there comes a time when you have to make a decision in relationship. The decision to love. This is an action, succeeding the initial feeling. The action to love, where love becomes a verb. This is where we will choose to perform the act of love or walk away because either situations do not allow or we deem not worth it.

Well, any action we take in life requires certain abilities. Then love, involves some of our abilities… and what abilities are we talking about? This is something we all have to think about. In my mind, they include… ability to be independent, ability to make the decision and commit, ability to sacrifice, ability to share, ability to observe, ability to appreciate, ability to think clearly, ability to change/improve ourselves (even in the most drastic ways), ability to respect, ability to be patient, ability to endure loneliness, ability to support each other even though the most dire time… Basically, love is such an important action that it entails so much and the list goes on and on.

In conclusion, I would say that love is more than the feeling of liking, of passion. We have to materialize it through our actions, an action that involves all our abilities. As such, love is easy to say, but can we really do it?

So next time when we use the word, why don’t we give it some thought? Can we really go one step above the feeling, to accomplish the act of love? I think that when we’re ready, when we can do it… happiness won’t be too far away. It is not love, the feeling, but love, the action, that once we hone our abilities for the act of love… at that point, we may just have the answer to all the problems to everything.

Originally posted 2006-10-28 01:46:51. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Courage through Wisdom

I love the lyrics from Sixx A.M.’s song – Life is Beautiful

You can’t quit until you try
You can’t live until you die
You can’t learn to tell the truth
Until you learn to lie

You can’t breathe until you choke
You gotta laugh when you’re the joke
There’s nothing like a funeral to make you feel alive…

Despite all the talk about class warfare between poor and rich these days, I do not find that we can really use poor and rich to be real dividing categories for people.

Really, the amount of money that each of us make in life is a lot more dependent on luck and chance than we’d like to think. Yeah, I know that this is blasphemy for people who argue their success all due to their hard work and blah blah blah but this is a topic for another day.

Truly, if I must use one thing to “measure” someone, I look to how wise they are.

And such thing as wisdom, though abstract, is something that is only accumulated by someone who use their heart (not just with a thinking mind). Someone with wisdom does not simply repeat others say-so, do not simply rehash made-up concepts that sound so right but are fundamentally flawed.

Doesn’t seem like it’s easy to tell. Here’s the real differences.

A wise person seems to gain without overexerting. They seem comfortable, confident without an overbearing alpha attitude. They are genuinely happy. They laugh relatively more.

A less wise person hoard money yet don’t seem to know how much he has. He’s insatiable and is unable to cherish things and people. They find drama and always seem anxious.

Here’s the truth. I want to be a wise person and I had done a lot to become one over the years. I am and want to say as someone who everyone wants to converse and discuss many topics in life with even as I get old.

I will show that I care without reciting motivational slogan and self-improvement concepts with you. I will analyze without making the decision for you.

I may even let go of you if I must. So that only when you’ve completely fallen, when you are fully capable of listening to new advice, I can share with you wisdom and other life lessons.

As the lyrics at the beginning shows, we cannot understand the other side without the contrast of worst. (If you thoroughly understand this sentence, you share the wisdom I want to say…) Without ever feeling suffocated, we cannot understand the preciousness of air.

Without wisdom, we will always stumble. In a world that is overwhelmed by the voice of the unwise, inevitably we stumble and will continue to do so unless something changes. As wisdom is lacking, so does courage.

Courage is understanding thoroughly.
Courage is making the choice that others may not.
Courage is letting yourself and others make mistakes.

Courage is completely dependent upon wisdom.

That’s why I find it essential to have time to be still and put our heart and mind back together daily, let myself read, and learn, and digest, let myself integrate not just information but feelings… to grow my wisdom daily.

That is how I have courage… an imperturbable courage to face each moment that is to come.

Originally posted 2012-04-04 23:35:28. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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