Accepting Life’s Ambiguity.

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“Arcane” Banks Peninsula, New Zealand: Source: http://www.facebook.com/paulwilsonimages

 

That’s a difficult thing to do. Mainly because we like to know what’s up ahead.  Humans like to predict what is going to happen in the future in order to prepare for any mishaps or unfortunate events. It’s probably one of the reasons we developed a relatively large brain compared to other animals.

The problem with constantly trying to predict the future is that you start to live there. Not only that, you will obsessively and compulsively revisit your prediction in order to take into account new information.  Sometimes (maybe most of the time…) you don’t even have new information to take into account. Yet, you’ll still try to revisit your idea about what might happen in the future. Just in case you missed something the first thousand times you went through all the possible scenarios. This is of course completely futile.

The world is mostly an unpredictable place. Luck plays a large role in how things will turn out, and in most cases you will have no control over the outcome. That is not to say that you’re completely powerless. It’s just that whatever power you do have is spent pretty quickly. The rest of the time you’re simply carrying out the pointless exercise of trying to come up with all the possible combinations of events that may or may not be realized.

Is it possible to look at your life situation, assess it carefully a few times, take the required action (s) and simply let it go? I don’t know. I can’t do it. I’m not sure many people can. The question then is how can we live fulfilling lives when ambiguity about our future seems to always linger in the background?

Maybe the answer comes with age. It could be that “wisdom” is the ability to simply accept our limitations and move on without much regard to the future. Not in the sense that we stop caring about what happens, but accepting that whatever does happen will inevitably happen.

This is a hard pill to swallow when you’re young. It seems like accepting the future, whatever it may be is an act of treason to your future self. It looks like treason because the act of acceptance looks similar to that of surrender to the world. As though you’ve decided to stop fighting for a better future.

Or, it could be that accepting the future will grant you the right to simply be happy with the present. Acceptance of the ambiguous future could enable you to become less fearful. More connected with life and its constant flux of events. It’s a cliché, but letting go might actually give you the power to see the future more clearly. When you let go of trying to predict reality, you might give yourself a chance to see reality.

I think letting go of the future and accepting life’s ambiguity is difficult because it requires courage. And courage is something that elusive. It’s not easy to cultivate something that is so rare. I feel like being courageous requires some sort of confidence. Not the kind where the person can be sure of what is going to happen, but rather the kind that goes deep inside a person’s being. A confidence about who you are and what you are here for. If you know who you are and what your life calling is, then externalities will not affect you. Whatever the future may hold is then not really relevant to you.

The outcome of events do not bother you because you have already discovered who you are and accepted yourself fully. Once you reach this level of self-understanding then life becomes simply a fascinating journey. You’re not worried about the future because whatever it might be, it will simply be interesting to you. Failing at becoming successful in the world seizes to be a problem because you have nothing to prove. You already know you’re “good enough”.

The future in some sense becomes a non-existent concept. You simply live to see what life is all about. Life to you becomes an adventure to be enjoyed, with many challenges, twists and turns. And while you’re enjoying the ride, you know it’ll end. And you’re fine with that.

Because after all, it’s just a ride.

 

 

 

Becoming Unapologetic.

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Massive Stars in NGC 6357 Source nasa.gov, Johanness Schedler

It’s a very attractive feature of a person. Them doing something, or behaving in such a way without caring about others perceptions of them. Without hesitation or confusion. Complete confidence in the direction they are going. That’s what I look for. That’s what I find attractive.

Even people that we might disagree with become attractive due to their unapologetic nature. Most leaders we look up to have this characteristic. It seems to seep out of them. They know who they are, and where they are going. I think we all look up to that. We spend so much of our time making sure that we’re not ‘showing off’, that we act in a way which makes us appear weak or lost. Society tells us that if we have anything, if we are accomplished, or in the process of being accomplished, then we must not display the fruits of our labor. That body you’re sculpting, or that business deal you just closed should not be shown to the public.

“You must be humble and have empathy with people who have less than you. Don’t say this and don’t say that. Relate to others and keep them comfortable. No, of course you can’t say that you had sex with a beautiful woman, or that you are winning in life. It’s rude to say how things are. How they really are. Are you taking a picture of your body? Oh you’re so vain!”

These are the thoughts that we have day-to-day. We don’t want to reveal our true thoughts and intentions as people might not like them. To really speak our mind and be free will undoubtedly have serious consequences.  You’re taking a risk when you speak your mind, when you show off where you are at. People like to see the destruction of those that are successful. We like to both build up and tear down others.

Most people in mainstream society are voyeurs. They like to watch and comment from the sidelines. But when you’re a voyeur, you’re not engaging in life.  You’re not actually taking life very seriously. Life is an opportunity, and what you do with it is up to you. Those that are unapologetic seem to view the world in a different way. They accept themselves and live without regret. They speak with full conviction. They are not apologizing for being alive. For fucking up. For being human.

When someone asks “What did you do last weekend?” they will just say what they actually did. “I spent my time sitting at home, masturbating and crying myself to sleep”. Or they could say “I went for a hike, then went out to the club, did some coke and ended up having a threesome”. Whatever the answer, it is always refreshing to hear someone say what they actually did, without hesitation or some form of self-censorship. It’s OK if your life is uninteresting. It’s still your life, and you can live it whatever way you want. But don’t expect others to conform to your way of living.

Most people think of themselves as open minded. They think they are truly OK with letting others be themselves. You know, the whole “Live and Let live” mentality. However, we all know this is bullshit. Why is it that we still have to be “professional” at work? Why can’t we just talk about things as they actually are? I don’t mean that you have to say every single thing that happened. But to simply answer questions truthfully and have conversations that are not a mutual exchange of pseudo-truth, sprinkled with trivialities. No. have conversations with that contain substance.

They don’t have to be all “deep” either. You can just say silly, stupid things and laugh about it all. Being someone who is unapologetic appeals to me because it’s someone’s true expression. It takes very little work to figure someone out when they are unapologetic. You don’t have to dig around, wait a few months and slowly find out what they are actually like. No. With someone who is unapologetic you find out very quickly what they are like. And chances are, you’ll like them. Most people in the world are great. They are considerate, kind and simply wonderful.

Maybe if they just stopped apologizing for being themselves, then they would connect more with others and others would connect more with them. Yeah, I think I’m going to be unapologetically me. I hope you will too.