Choices

Choices

A lot of us are risk averse, some more than others. Most logical people would weigh up the costs and benefits before doing something and some people are just indecisive. But how do we compare that to miracles and going after what we want? It is commonly known that there are more people who regret not doing things rather than doing things. What stops us from taking the plunge with any life decision?

I have read many motivational quotes and stories on how someone managed to achieve what they wanted. But even after all that, I still find myself questioning ‘but what if this happens’ etc. I find that this stops me from doing a lot of things. The fear of the unknown and the fear of failure. I read somewhere that now the fear of failure ranks higher than fear of dying. After all it is a fight against ourselves. No matter what people advise us or tell us, it doesn’t have a full resonating effect until we realise it ourselves. For example when we’re young, we’re always told to cherish our school years, as they are the easiest years we’ll have. But as children we just brush it off until they’re gone. When we learn lessons ourselves, we feel empowered and more confident. I wish that I could say that this feeling lasts a long time but as we all know, there are ups and downs and soon we will face another difficult battle.

Something that has helped me, is thinking in the extreme. I think to myself at 80 years old, at the brink of death and whether or not I’d regret not doing this. I think something to remember when we’re at crossroads, is to adopt the philosophy of no regrets. When you make a decision, commit to it and give it your all. If you fail, you will have still gained something, whether that may be thicker skin or a lesson learnt. There are no true failures, there is always something to be learnt and at the least you can take comfort in the fact that you stood back up. Even when you think back in life, to that time you made a decision, there should be no regrets because you at that time believed that it was the right choice, there was no wrong choice, no right ‘path’ and you made it with confidence.

These are the few things that has helped me gain confidence and make decisions. Whilst I write this, I am also reminding myself to do the same. I know that a lot of times, you become comfortable with where you are and what you have now but what if there was something better out there? We need this hope to continue to grow and challenge ourselves. I hope that it is of some use to you.

Till our next meeting,

Anon Online.

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Sexual Harassment

How many of us men and women can truly say that they have never been sexually harassed or assaulted? That thought occurred to me back when the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke out. Everyone was shocked with the all types of media talking about it. But I honestly don’t understand why everyone was so surprised… If anything, I was more shocked in the following actions that followed such as dismissal from boards and the backlash. This is such a common occurrence, are we really so shocked that this happened in Hollywood (not known for its moral compass), where it is a centre of power, beauty, drugs and alcohol?! Especially when harassment is part of people’s daily lives in work and even walking down the street.

Let’s all be honest with ourselves… Everybody knew. Whether that be people working directly in Hollywood or the industry, if you were to ask me to make a bet whether such incidents happened, I would have been rich. Hollywood is a ‘community’ where pretty much everybody knows everybody, especially those at the top-tier. Rumours are always abound but if you’re powerful enough, you can try to control them. There’s no doubt about it that someone would have always warned someone they cared about and so it then becomes a widespread secret. Even those who worked at the companies as assistants, administrators would have known something about it. It’s only the power that came with numbers that allowed people to start speaking out without being reproached.

However, I do commend the fact that actions were taken so swiftly against the accused but I couldn’t help think that it only happened because of the huge backlash the person received. After all, nobody wants to be associated with someone with such bad press… they all have businesses to run right? Also, those who released statements, although it is a first step, let’s hope that you stick to what you said and take a stronger stance against these things from happening. Otherwise it would have just been a PR stunt so that you’re not caught in the backlash.

I was discussing this with a few friends of mine and it honestly shocked me how completely unaware they were that this kind of thing happened everywhere. A lot of them told me they thought that the few cases they had heard about were just isolated incidents… wrong place wrong time kind of thing. It was interesting to the see the absolute opposites in the way males and females viewed the world. Most women talked about going about their daily lives with constant vigilance depending on the situation, whether that be in the workplace, in a bar etc. More specifically, walking with your head down when walking past a group of youths in the dark or day, basically trying not to attract attention to yourself in any way. It is something that is taught to females from a very young age and is then embedded into their everyday lives. It was only when this scandal started discussions that those who were willing to listen, became more educated. I think that talking about experiences, big or small is important, so that people are able to learn and be more aware of it. After all this, there’s no excuse to stand by.

I realise that this post is a bit late to jump onto the scandal bandwagon but that was not my intention. It still stands 🙂

Till our next meeting,

Anon Online.

Insignificance

Insignificance

‘We’re all unique like snowflakes’.. Really? I’ve recently had the feeling of insignificance amongst the billions of people in the world. We’re always told that we’re special and we each have a purpose, but in actuality, the differences between us are very small. You could say someone is unique even if they only have only differing quality from you. Then genetically we are told how similar we are to each other (99.5%) even if no one has identical gene sequences, apart from twins. I wonder how twins must feel. Also the fact that apparently we have six looks a likes in the world. We also see how similar we are to other objects such as bananas and this feeling of being special starts to decrease. Now that’s just the science. What about our characteristics? Of course we could generalize and state the most basic things that we all have in common such as all having a motivation in life.

When we begin to realise this, we may start to spiral out and think about other things such as purpose of life etc.. it’s a slippery slope into an existential crisis. However I feel like we should be talking about this, maybe we’ll have some sort of peace. It’s all put into perspective when you look at the larger picture, at the size of the universe, the amount of people on earth and just the fact that you’re on earth for a tiny fraction of time. Obviously there are two sides to everything and you can be positive and try and do as much with life as possible or you could be negative and think – what’s the point? Clearly for a healthy mind, the positive side is the best.

I’m going to delve into the negative side just for discussion but if you’re already a cynical thinker, you probably shouldn’t read on. Here’s the thing about snowflakes, when they say that every snowflake is unique, do they mean every snowflake that has ever existed? Or just the ones that are falling before they melt? Also how insignificant are snowflakes if all they do is fall towards the ground and melt into nothingness..? These are apparently the important questions in my head. Anyway, back to humans (sorry for my tangent), we’re all trying to distinguish ourselves today, we see the competition in everything; jobs etc. We all seem to be vying for the same things and in order to be seen, we try our hardest to do everything and anything to stand out. Even with today’s society encouraging individualism, is it all fake? What I mean by that is, is that society trying to cover up the fact that really, everyone is just the same and telling ourselves we’re all unique just to feel better?

Of course we all have different strengths and weaknesses but I’m pretty sure that someone in the world has similar traits to me, so much so that we’d say we’re one and the same. I think in the end, we shouldn’t focus on these things and instead just strive towards what makes us happy because this line of thought most definitely does not gives us anything but more questions.

Anyway, just some badly arranged thoughts for you. Maybe you could add to it?

Till our next meeting,

Anon Online.

At What Point – Simplicity

At What Point – Simplicity

We may have had that thought – ‘when did life get so complicated?’ Even before becoming adults life became increasingly complicated and we long to go back to those days in our childhood where our biggest worry was gathering sticks in the garden or something (before the days where technology took over). This may be unrelated but think back to your childhood memories and you think of the happy days, where there were no worries and you can’t actually remember what you were thinking at that time.

Things begin to get complicated when you enter nursery/kindergarten, this may be because of a different environment, being without your parents and having to interact with the ‘real world’. You meet new children and adults and your world becomes slightly bigger than just your home. At that age your biggest worry may be that other child who won’t play with you or that toy you couldn’t have. These problems at the time would have seemed like the world was falling apart at that time but we’re resilient and forget about it an hour later until the next ‘apocalypse’. I suppose at that young age we have so little to worry about because we know so little, and the fact that we have our parents to rely on.

Now throughout our teenage years we begin to be a little more dramatic, where exams, friends and the opposite sex (or same) are our biggest worries. It’s understandable seeing that we spend most of our time at school. We probably interact with the people at school more than our family. Even at this point we will think back and long for those simpler times. Little do we know that as adults, we would be thinking back to this stage and wishing we were back there.. Back to the days before bills and jobs and social networking. Back to when people didn’t expect anything off you or expect you to be a ‘grown up’. It would seem as if all of a sudden all the responsibilities and all the things you should do come crashing down on you as soon as you turn 18 or 21.

As adults we get caught up in this kind of vortex, where we’re so busy and our lives are so complicated. We just have to take a breath and realise that we’re the ones that make our lives more complicated than it should be. We need to go back to our aim in life and not concentrate on our mini goals that overtake our lives such as getting the next promotion etc. I think that many of our aims in life would just to be happy in life. By having an end life goal, we can work back and see the steps we need to take in order to achieve it. We don’t want to be rushing about and suddenly thinking – why am I even doing this? As with everything, we need to take breaks and re-evaluate our lives and make sure it’s on track to achieving what we want.

We have to simplify things in order to achieve more clarity. Something that helps me simplify my life is to have less. Less of everything. If I stop craving for more things, I won’t feel like I have to sell and arm and a leg to get it, I won’t be stressing over it and I will also have a less cluttered home. This might seem obvious but by having less at home, there’ll be more space and you’ll feel freer? I don’t know if that makes sense but you’ll feel more relaxed instead of suffocated. Either way, there’ll be a lot of different ways on how people can simplify their lives. You can start with little things and you’ll see the difference.. Or if you’re happy with your life as it is… just take this as some light reading.

Till our next meeting,

Anon Online.

Language Apps

Language Apps

There are a few free apps that I have found to be very helpful and I use them almost on a daily basis.

  • Duolingo – This is designed to help you learn a language but it is best used as a practice alongside your studies. The notes they give are very short and are almost just reminders. It gives you a lot of vocab to learn which is separated into sections. Just be aware that their notes/lessons only show on a laptop or computer, not on Ipad/mobile phone. If you are using it as a practice app, the notes won’t matter as much seeing that you would have already covered the topic before.

 

  • Cram – This is a virtual app for flashcards. Instead of having to buy numerous flashcards, you can type your words in the app and you can have separate sets of cards. If you’re not fussy about the presentation and just want the use of flashcards, this is good for you. Bear in mind that you will have to type every word and its translation out, but take that as more practice.

 

  • Google Translate – This is very useful, it has a wide range of languages and the translations are being constantly improved. However as with all translation apps, sometimes it comes up with a literal translation rather than something that would be more commonly used/said.

 

  • Babbel – This is another app like Duolingo where it hopes to teach you a language through itself alone. Personally I don’t use this as much, but if you’re studying a language that needs a lot of work phonetically, this has a lot of phrases that can be practiced orally.

 

  • Memrise – I find that this has better pronunciations than Duolingo but it is just a side app to help you learn some phrases. It also helps with repetition and memorizing new words.

Just a little note:  when looking for source of study for your new language, keep in mind that there will be different accents in that language. It’s best if you pick a particular accent you want to imitate and stick with it.

Also there will be specific apps for your chosen language so do a little research and find what suits you.

This is the end of the Languages series, I hope you enjoyed it and found something useful. Although it is very language centric, you can also use some of these tips for learning other skills or just to apply it to your everyday life.

Till our next meeting,

Anon Online.

 

Food for Travel

Food for Travel

Summer’s here, the time when we go on holiday. We’re all excited for the sun, the sea, the city.. but how about the travelling itself? A lot of people have motion sickness and this can be the annoying part of the holiday for them. You may lose your appetite on the plane and as a result eat less and feel drained of your energy. Here are some food tips for your plane journey.

The goal of bringing these foods is to stay hydrated, feel satiated and to have energy. Please note that I am only posting the little that I do know and you should try out different things yourself.

There are some common foods that people tend to avoid if they don’t do well on planes. For example coffee, alcohol, salty, greasy foods (crisps). These foods will dehydrate you, as if being on the plane itself isn’t dehydrating enough! Diary is another food group to avoid if you feel nauseas. I’m not quite sure as to why, but I assume because it’s a rich and heavy food.

To keep yourself satisfied and energised you should eat more light and ‘clean’ foods for example fruits and vegetables. A lot of them have high water content (cucumbers, celeries) and will help hydrate you. They also have a fresh taste that will be unlikely to make you feel sick. Coconut water is also very good for hydration. It also hydrates your body faster, but if you don’t like the taste, go for juices or just stick to water.

You might still feel hungry as fruits and vegs aren’t very substantial assuming you don’t bring a whole orchard with you. You can bring some potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, things that will make you feel full but are quite bland in taste. This will bring help you eat more carbs and keep you full for longer.

You can also bring things such as protein/snack bars/ nut mixes. These are very easy to transport and light. They can help you fill up on protein that you might usually get from other sources (it probably won’t be as much). They don’t take a long time to eat and is just something sweet for you. However the amount of protein you get will obviously depend on what you eat.

These are just some simple suggestions for portable, mostly dry foods for your PLANE journey. Keep in mind that it should be followed for a short amount of time, eg – long haul flights and not to be followed as some sort of dietary plan as it won’t be enough to sustain you over a long time.

I hope this gives you some ideas, happy travels!

Till our next meeting,

Anon Online.

Moving On

Moving On

It’s amazing how resilient we as humans are. One moment we could be feeling deep emotions at our very core and the next, we have moved on to something else. This helps us to carry on with our daily lives but it also can be seen as how fickle we really are.

I remember attending a funeral of someone who I had never met and yet I still felt very upset and began contemplating. Although I was relatively young, I began thinking about how sad it was for this man’s family to have lost him. I felt something I had never felt before, it was a sad heavy atmosphere with adults crying around me. I remember asking myself why I was so sad even though I didn’t know the man. As I grew older, when I thought back to that event, I was amazed at how I felt so sad and yet I got over quickly soon after it was over.

Certain events such as illnesses and funerals manage to shake us up out of our daily life reveries and make us look at our own lives and how we are living it. It almost gives us an electric shock. Yes this sounds incredibly selfish but this is how we as humans are. We begin to examine our own goals and what we have done so far. We begin to think whether we’d have any regrets, whether we’d be remembered, whether we’d be satisfied with ourselves. However for some reason, this serious moment of contemplation only lasts for a short while. We let ourselves get caught up in our own little worlds again. This may be deliberate, as we want to forget the unpleasantness or unanswerable questions in life. Many of us throw ourselves into our jobs or stress relieving methods (alcohol, partying etc). Although it may be selfish, it is a useful way to re-align or change your life and do something more positive.

In light of recent tragedies, I’m sure a lot of people have been thinking about their own lives, reminding themselves to treat their friends and family better as we never know what will happen. I find that those who weren’t directly affected move on relatively quickly. Of course it will always be remembered as something sad and horrible that had happened but after the initial shock and comprehension of what happened, we seem to be able to move on with our lives within a week or so. People carry on talking about how that bag they can’t afford or how their significant others are annoying them. These ‘problems’ quickly fade away when compared to human loss of life. Don’t get me wrong, I am not criticizing people as this is a way of survival and helps us through it. This is just a thought that occurred to me. There is no set period of mourning or rules about how to act. We all react and cope differently and in our own ways. It shows how strong we can be, how we can overcome the biggest setbacks in our lives. All we can hope for is to live our lives for the better and help each other in any way we can.

Till our next meeting,

Anon Online.