Let The Risks Begin.

It has been a year since I posted on this blog. The past year has been better than the previous year and although I may not be exactly where I want to be, the skills and lessons I have learnt will definitely bring me closer to turning my dreams into reality in 2014. 

Here are 3 things that I learnt through this year:

-Play with the cards you are dealt with and do it with a smile.

-The job or situation you hate will develop skills within you that will only help you. So keep going.

-Do not get comfortable with anything. Always seek to improve on your situation.

As I reflect on those 3 things, one thing that I have noticed with myself and the close and ambitious friends I have around me, is that we are on the edge at the moment. We can either go right or left. Right is the path where the rest of our generation is walking; it is comfortable, it has strict rules, it will keep you financially safe for life. Left is the path where few walk; it is dark, the only thing you can see are your next 2 steps, there is no comfort, there is only survival and the only light you have is the light you share with  the world.

The left path will be the underlying theme of this year. It is the path to walk on if you fear mediocrity. It is time to enjoy comfort in discomfort.

Have a risky new year!

Points I’m Taking Into 2013

I have tried to make resolutions before and have naturally failed to keep up with them after the New Year’s hype has died down. I was even cheeky enough to have the following resolution for a recent year:

“Do not make a resolution.”

That resolution ended before it began and I realised I was not good at keeping resolutions.

And that got me thinking.

How does a change in year change a person’s attitude? Why do people suddenly feel like they can create rules for themselves and believe that a new year will mean that they will stick to resolutions?

The fact is, people do not change between 31st December to 1st January, they change over a period of time. This is the reason why I have decided against making an abrupt resolution for this year; instead, have decided to reflect on the past year and ensure I keep moving forward with the positives that have come out of 2012.

Out With The Old; In With The New.

Out With The Old; In With The New.

What I have learnt from 2012:

-Confidence in yourself is important in this dog-eat-dog World.

-You cannot love another if you do not love yourself.

-Take a chance. Give people, places and things a chance. You’ll be surprised where it leads you.

-Indolence is not fun when it is a regular occurrence.

-Keep moving forward.

-Only you can make things happen.

-You can literally do anything you want to; all you need is a strong vision and firm actions.

-Learn new skills.

-Commit yourself to your tasks.

-Take each day as it comes. Clichéd but true.

The Truth Behind The End Of The World

Everyone has an opinion on what will happen at the end of this year. Personally, I do not think the entire World will end just yet and if it does then clearly I am no Mayan.

Anyways, here are some scientific facts (cough) I have learnt about the Mayan civilisation:

-They want the World to party at the same time on the same day. They were clearly a kind bunch.

Party Like A Mayan

Party Like A Mayan

-They were hungry for fame and wanted higher celebrity status than Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

-The Mayan civilisation were known for their practical jokes.

-The Mayans were made extinct before they could add more dates to their calendar.

-The Mayans loved getting drunk.

Having said that, Death generally puts Life into perspective and if there is one thing that we should learn from the idea that the World is going to end, it is this;

-Death is the fact of Life; whether you are Rich or Poor, all our ends will be the same. Therefore material things are useless in front of Death which means that we should endeavor to increase our kindness towards all other Beings over trying to step on people so we can have the most money, the best clothes and the fanciest of homes.

The Earth Song

No. Not the Michael Jackson cover.

“Cover? I thought it was his song!” I hear you cry. Well, it isn’t. Michael Jackson merely gave a human voice to the Earth Song but he did not pen it because the Earth Song has been written and sung long before civilisation itself.

Allow me to explain.

I came across a picture the other day; this one to be precise:

Some Tree Advice

And an idea which had been pushed to the back of my mind came to the forefront. This idea that I am about to talk about has been spoken of before so it isn’t new and well, going back to the beginning of this post, the Earth has been trying to drum it into us since forever so I won’t take credit for it.

But before I begin I would like to draw your attention to this video:

Bruce Lee and the image above have captured two verses of the real Earth Song. The image and video both highlight the benefits to our character from imitating nature but it does not stop there because the benefits reach out to all forms of human activity; from the seasonal colours, such as reds and browns for Autumn and yellows for Summer, used in the fashion industry, to engineering solutions used to make buildings withstand problems and to the food industry which uses seasonal ingredients in different dishes.

Trees

Trees highlight the importance of confidence by, as the image suggests, standing tall. Having said this, it also shows how standing tall, being stronger and heavier than most living things is not sufficient; rather, you must also keep your feet on the ground so that your strengths do not allow your character to turn into ego. Trees may be strong but they are humble enough to maintain life within them and provide for life around them.

Water

Bruce Lee touched upon a fantastic point; the ability to adapt yourself to fit into different surroundings. Whether you wear clothes to camouflage yourself from enemies whilst in the army or you need to fit into a new country by learning the language, adaptability is essential for survival. Even Darwin agreed with his evolution theory!

Mountains

The obvious characteristic of Mountains is their strength and height, but as we have already touched upon that when I spoke about trees, I thought it may be better to point out their steepness. The steepness arguably portrays two things; one, life is about the journey as opposed to the peaks and two, you better develop some thick skin along the way. Let’s take a 100m sprinter’s goals and training as a metaphoric mountain. The audience only sees the sprinter from the start to the finish where he is awarded with a gold medal. This is a medal that anyone could make artificially and is arguably just a piece of metal, but it is a medal that matters to the sprinter because of the journey he has taken to get there. The blood, sweat and tears that were felt during painful, intensive training sessions made the piece of metal feel important and ultimately, the sprinter will celebrate the medal win in the short-term, but in the long-term he will rejoice in developing thick skin from his struggles.

Sunlight

Phew. The last paragraph was long wasn’t it? I’ll try keeping this one short. It is no secret that the Sun shares its light with the Moon and it does it without expecting anything back. When people help others out they rarely do things for the sake of helping and always expect some sort of favour back, but that mentality can turn negative quickly, especially because not receiving help after you have expected it in return, will hurt and can make people seek “revenge”. Moral? Illuminate freely.

Smiling Sun

So there you have it. I have put up some free advice from Nature to guide humanity and I am sure you could think of at least one other example of a message the Earth is singing to us.

For the humans who do not understand the language of the Earth, in Michael Jackson’s human voice,

“Did you ever stop to notice the crying Earth, the weeping shores?”

It’s the end of my post so if you haven’t stopped reading and started thinking of examples already, then your time to begin is…coming up in…

-3-

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Now!

The Rites Of Reading

Have you ever felt so engrossed into a book that it becomes family?

I have.

Every single time I read a book I find myself captured by the world the Author has created and after every book is completed, I feel empty. As if someone I know is going away from me and all I have left are the memories.

It all begins with picking the book. All together now:

PICK ONE

You search through genres and titles until one book stands out to you. Then you find a place to sit. I say “sit” but in actual fact you need a place where you can lay down and toss around side to side, because let’s face it; How many people ever read a book in this position:

Weird Reading Position

No one.

Well, maybe the person in the image reads like that…Actually, come to think of it, I am sure that image has been photoshopped. Seriously, who sits like that throughout a whole book?

This is the normal way:

Normal Reading Position

I see that you are all nodding your heads frantically and applauding in agreement…and if you aren’t, that was a subtle cue to do so.

Anyways, back to reading. So we’ve found a book and a place to read, now to read the book.

The reading journey starts off with the weight of the pages on your right hand. Until half way through the book, your right arm will be more muscular than your left but as the pages switch sides, the left arm will begin to play catch up. So you know – you’re symmetrical.

As this journey takes place, memories are created, experiences are felt, friendships are made as the characters come to life, the book falls on your face and starts to bruise your nose and cheeks and then the story picks up (making you drop the book on your face a few more times), the story reaches the climax, you find out what happens and then…it comes to  an end. Just. Like. That.

At this point we’ve reached the fourth rite: end.

This is possibly the most difficult out of all the rites of passage. Your characters leave you, a sense of loss takes over your entire body, you feel confused, you cry, you throw tantrums, you forget there is reality around you but luckily, there is hope:

Finally, after you have mourned, it dawns upon you that it is time to pick up another book and go through the Rites of Reading again.

That’s a hint to read this article again.

Mental Backflips And Star Jumps

The economic depression can empty pockets and cause people to lose their jobs, however, one aspect of the economic depression the media tends to overlook is its impacts on mental depression.

It is no secret that the Mind, like other muscles in the body, needs to be exercised frequently for it to work at its best, but when unemployment hits, there can be a tendency to allow your brain to switch off and become nothing short of a lazy slob that feeds off carbohydrates. In the world of the Mind, carbohydrates include lack of thought and lots of uninspiring conversations which do not utilise the brain to its full capacity.

Boring conversations and lack of ideas can take its toll on the Mind; they clog up your mental arteries and allow the Mind to drip with slow, lethargic ideas that waste space and time with their limited value. Much of this impacts a person in the same way lack of physical exercise would impact a person.

You begin to dislike yourself. You cannot see any good in you. You practically hate yourself.

And all this will only lead you to sink lower and lower until you stop applying for jobs and end up feeling like you are useless.

Depression. Darkness.

That’s no good. If you are unemployed then the only way to gain employment is through action, so we must stay away from inaction, right?

But how?

Keep exercising your brain. Do mental cartwheels every minute of the day. This gives people ideas and once Minds go into overdrive with the creation of ideas, solutions are only a couple of steps away.

And the best form of exercise?

Self-Learning. It’s free!

With the age of the Internet upon us, our Minds are a click away from learning. Aside from keeping the Mind active, learning something new during periods of unemployment is a great way to develop skills and make yourself stand out from the crowd.

Active Mind

Some subjects I feel are best to learn in this day and age include: Coding – Codecademy, Mathematics – ExamSolutions; MathsRevision, Languages, Music and there are plenty more to suit different interests! Feel free to comment below and share subjects/websites which are great to develop new skills from.

~Keep the mind employed at times of unemployment~

The Unknown – Part ii

The previous post focused on the fear of valuing ourselves and although that is a legitimate issue, the underlying problem within most problems is fear.

Mostly fear of the unknown.

People fear death, moving to new schools, aliens…you name it. I’ve realised that most of these “fears” are inadequate because fear does not actually exist. We fear things because we are unsure of how it will affect us, but seriously, what is the worse that can happen? Nothing. Because whatever happens, good or bad, you will learn and grow and become better in the process.

At this point, many people (have and) will reply “Death is the worse that can happen”; is it really? How do you know? Death is inevitable so how can that even be a fear? Come to think of it, why do we fear it if it isn’t even unknown?

Without the fear of the unknown and a steady mindset which seeks to only learn, people have conquered new challenges and this summer something special happened.

Felix Baumgartner jumped off the edge of Space, span around in mid-air at terrifying revolutions and reached the speed of sound.

This guy could have died. One little mistake and he was gone.

But he chose to do it. He furthered the knowledge of mankind and in a couple of minutes summarised how life needs to be lived.

Without fear.