Rage Against the Foreseeable Future

I railed. I railed against inevitability, against reality as only a human can rail.

I fought the future. And I could not tell if the future is all in my head or because it is all in my head, so shall it be.

Perhaps after all the optimism I project onto people, the one person I could not do the same to is myself.

Would someone please tell me that things would be better? That I would have the rest I so desire? That all this time of abusing my body will yield at least the rest that I want?

Would someone please help me?

…Please?

Burning the Candle on Both Ends

Perhaps some of us work in a startup with a small team. And you find that it’s everything that you dreamt of, right down to the awesome colleagues, tight deadlines, and meaningful contributions.

Perhaps, some of you might also find that your skill (like mine) is not where you want it to be to create the giant slaying product or service that you envisioned (or perhaps you don’t know what you don’t know). And so you have two choices: learn it up, or fuck off.

The very nature of deadlines and cashflow goes against the need for a learning curve and since we know that time isn’t fungible by default, you would have to find a way to make it so. In my case, I turned to the less legal form of ritalin.

What followed was a 30 hour spree of extreme focus and unshakable faith in my own abilities to comprehend new methods. Not only that, because my focus was on learning and improvement, even when I received perceived destructive criticism (You see, criticism is criticism, and what is constructive to one person is destructive to another), I could focus on the feedback and ignore how I feel about it.

In short, it was 30 hours of nothing but super-man productivity.

But at what cost? You ask. Well, apart from the direct physical effects of amphetamines which is its own ballgame altogether, the indirect effect of dopamine flooding and interrupted sleep cycles and extreme usage of brain-food (glucose) lead directly to, you guessed it, burn out.

Ostensibly, the plan was to start the spree on Thursday and have Friday evening and the rest of the weekend off to recover. What I realised is that two and a half days is only enough to work the rest of the stuff out of my system, and now I am dealing with the emo-ness that comes from suddenly having less dopamine than I am now used to.

It is not sustainable, even in the short term. And given that I have easy access to it (It’s cheaper than you think), I type these words largely for myself.

And yet, given the path that I have chosen, the temptation to make use of God mode will be strong indeed.

Deserve What You Want

Futher along the lines of deserving, I also discovered that ironically, the “nicer” we are, the less we deserve the things that we want. Simply because “reality” loves it some homeostasis and when you exert some power over it, it will do what it can to stay in its current state.

What this means is that if what you want encompasses people, they will get upset because you are now attempting to change their world. And if you are “nice”, you will do anything to not feel like you are responsible for upsetting them. Of course, this is pretty low level thinking because there are books and people whose very message is about getting what you want without making people upset.

Herein lies the problem: People being what they are, there will be people who will get upset regardless of how much benefit you are going to give them and if niceness is the overriding directive, then you are in for a fucking bad time.

Perhaps this is all bad logic and I am merely uncranking some crank I have been working up these past few months. Perhaps the only world I need to change is my own and I am a little too attached to its current state.

On the Nature of Getting Things

So there’s a prevalent theory about deservedness when it comes to actually getting stuff that you want. Everyone, as it turns out, gets exactly what they deserve in the end.

But who gets to decide what you deserve? That is the question, isn’t it?

For most of us in privileged Gen Y (There’s also underprivileged Gen Y as well), it would seem that our parents are the ultimate decider, like yours truly. Since we grew up in the good graces and providence of our parents, we only get what they allow us to get and God forbid when we rebel and attempt to get what we want but they disapprove.

And then there are those of us who didn’t have a central provider for our nice things in life. I have met some of you, and you seem to be able to just “get” your blessings under your own power, much to my envy, even as you envied the seemingly easy life of the privileged.

For years, I grew up feeling that I did not deserve the things I got simply because they were handed to me and all I had to do was to enjoy them. Except that I didn’t really, or rather, I didn’t want to, because I didn’t have to work as hard as the rest did, see?

And so I always came across as some sort of ingrate because I never valued my blessings, because I never worked hard for them, etcetera.

But I suppose vertical social mobility being what it is (Extremely hard, no matter where you are), all we could do is be grateful for our lot in life, yes?

Honour Your Truth

Mortality keeps popping up in my life recently. Both symbolic and literal death. And whenever death is mentioned, there’s just one theme that matters:

Regret

Did you do all the things you wanted to do?
Did you love?

And the list goes on. I think there’s a whole lot of truth when people exhort putting 100% of yourself into your “work” or “life” every day. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you exert a lot of physical or mental effort into your life.

What it does mean, however, is:
Did you pay all your attention to what you truly love?
Did you take concrete steps to that end?

I can’t say that I do all that all the time. But when I did, it feels good. As though you know that at the end, you’d be accountable to your most authentic self, whatever label you may want to put on it.

And when you’ve done everything, at least you could say to yourself: “Well, at least I tried.”

And you can then move on.

Making Sense of Emotions

Every once in a while comes some material that fills in all the gaps and solves all the problems at the same time. This time, it’s two videos:

Esther Perel: The Secret to Desire in a Long-term relationship

Simon Sinek: Why Leaders Eat Last

Esther talks about two opposing emotions in relationships: Love and Eroticism  and how they interact with each other. Explains very logically every single tactic you may have read in PUA and attraction theory.

Simon talks about how emotions are completely controlled by chemicals sloshing about in our brain and why being stressed out all the time is extremely bad for long term health.

You might not have emotional problems now, but don’t you think you should have some information to navigate through them in the future?

These two here dispelled the funk I was in for the past two days. And God is in his heaven again.