The myth of catching up

Since the past few years whenever people are meeting, just after the hi how are you –you will always hear: I’m good but I’m busy.

Busy?

It first gave the impression that they were complaining about their heavy schedule, but after a close look I’ve notice that they were more like bragging about how busy they were.

  • So where this paradox does comes from?
  • Are we really busier than ever before?
  • Or do we just feel busy?
  • Or maybe our relationship with time did change?

We still have 24 hours per day like we used to in the past; and on top of that with economic progress and technological advances, working hours and chores have already been greatly reduced .For example washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners or even employing cleaners have taken our place for household chores. Moreover now we have laws where working hours should not exceed a certain threshold based on a weekly or monthly basis.

Then why is everyone pressed for time? For the past 2 weeks I’ve been going around hinting at possible explanation from people. And I’ve come up with 3 fundamental concepts where most people will found them into.

They are so focused on their goal that everything around them became dull, and I don`t blame them, I mean it`s really important to pursue something, like adding importance (meaning) to be alive, living. But the way they are doing it is completely wrong. It’s like peeking through a small hole in a ship`s hull, focusing only on the small island lying in front, instead of standing tall enjoying the whole journey admiring the scene ,bonding with people you value most.

You know life is really short (let`s say average 70-80 yrs. old) .and if you are planning to drop everything for your only goal; it’s like buying a movie only to watch the end without knowing the whole story/plot. Life is meant to be experimented and goals serves a guide to help us to choose our way, but the journey is yet to be experimented and that`s the joy of being alive.

They are just going with the flow: Taking back from my previous post on recognition, Nowadays people don`t think for themselves ,like what they value most in life , they have just taken a liking into following that is shown or referred to as being ideal in society.

Translating into busyness itself becoming a sort of trendy status; implying being busy certainly means that you are being productive and efficient.

But

Are we really?

The way I see productivity is completely opposite:

Having many “ important’’ things to do is only going to stretch you thin; it will be mostly like progressing mediocrely in all directions ; without excelling in what you are most passionate ; eventually missing that feeling of accomplishment for satisfaction. You will be more like it could have been better since you did not gave your 100% ,which will for sure bring down your morale ,weighing heavily on your happiness gauge.

Trading time for ‘mental rewards’.   I`ll be having an in depth analysis for the mental reward system ; for now let`s just say it’s the things or action that your mind forces you to have or do in order to soi-disant have that fell good factor.

As time passed by, we all developed a materialistic mindset. Like the more we have, the better we feel – And the biggest part of modern necessities is technology:

Be it in terms of tv`s, pc`s, smartphones, smart houses, multipurpose sofas, adjustable beds…etc. The latter’s are really upgrading our life but at the same time trading for our time.

You will either be busy working relentlessly for having the required funds to buy them, or you will be self-absorbed in using it – wasting a lot of time to that modern drug. It’s so addictive that for the long run technology will be switching places and start using us.

Some socialise so much that they don’t` have time to be in their own company.

Type 1: The desperate

  • This person crave for attention ;like really willing to give up their little time left on their day at the expense of being given attention.

Type 2: The troubled

  • This one uses busyness as escapism. It does not only apply to interacting with people, but extends to activities or things to do. It’s mostly like they try to avoid the conflicting truth of inner self; making busyness a comfort pill.

My experience with being busy: I used to have a long list of all things that should be done each week.The list was so filled up that on reaching Sunday afternoon;there was still half of the list not done; so I would squeeze it onto the following week list; along with the new things to be done.

With the list was getting longer and longer each week,I started to have that rushing illusion :a trick that our brain plays on us making us feel like rushing is the only way to remedy the situation.

Eventually it did got worse to a point where I was now putting extra physical and mental effort to get things done and that`s when I understood that I need to rethink the whole process of catching up.

To sum up:    

Well catching up seems to be a myth after all .The main problem is busyness itself. If we assess ourselves tactfully using the aforementioned concepts, there will be for sure no need for catching up. Update: I still have my list, but the activities/goals on it don`t have deadlines. It’s just in priority order. That way I can take all my time to focus on the things that’s really important to me , where with time the bottom list gets dumped as my excitement fades for those on the list.(yes we are easily motivated /interested by new things and concepts ,but only a few will remain in our interests for the long run. And this list helps me a lot to keep up.)

Our Brain :An entertaining cognitive scientist.

Since its appearance the earth has been one of the busiest planets of the galaxy. Created some 4.54 billion years ago the blue planet has been witnessing the emergence and evolution of 8.7 million living species, a number that will still continue to change as time passes by. Among those already discovered species, we humans have been categorised as one of the most dangerous living things on earth, be it in terms of ruling, dominating or defying flora and fauna.

In every aspect of life all living things are trying to adapt, improve and even survive in this ever so competitive world where the strongest and the wisest overwhelms the weakest, and we humans are best at this game. The brain which makes up about 2% of the human’s body weight is the greatest weapon ever existed .Relying heavily on cognition, the brain is like a vast library with no ending.

Most people think that they are conscious and therefore have complete control over their thoughts, beliefs, and actions. What they fail to notice is that the mind is like a program running in the background constantly “Experimenting “on us through our emotions and feelings. 

You can think of it like an AI; which aims at improving itself based on its interactions and surroundings. And to be honest if you make some research you will find that we are all running on a principle called cognition.

Here’s a summary of the basics of the concept.

It’s the same concept that we are using on the modern so called self-learning electronics with the only difference residing in the fact that the latter do not have the psychological part .

Everything seems to be well sequenced with no interference. Then what`s the point of me explaining all this?

What I really want to point out is that we do not consciously participate in the cognition part of the brain anymore. We nowadays don`t take time to think and structure our own mind, our own life. Eventually the mind and our intellect (conscious) part of us stop working in sync.

We have our own priorities of focusing on the surrounding that we no longer value ourselves. To illustrate the above paragraph with what I just said, here`s an example:

When we are physically exhausted and there is still “many things” to do we   rely on boosters like energy drinks or coffee just to keep pushing .By proceeding like this we are actually modifying our cognitive skills and our brain no longer understands the basic processes already established .When the body is tired the brain informs us that we need to recover, we completely ignore him.  Then after a while we will be irritated, agitated complaining that we don`t know why we are feeling like this!

Following the same trend over years brought the mind to start working differently inhibiting many of our cognitive skills replacing them with dumb affirmations like mottoes burdening our lifestyle. Some of the daily most heard motto’s:

  1. I`m so exhausted!
  2. I don’t have time.
  3. I wish I can ……
  4. I really don’t know why…….
  5. I would really love to ……

We no longer take time to study, observe assess reflect and then take wise decisions benefiting our mental and physical health. We are always on a hassle eventually failing to understand our own emotion or state of mind.

In the forthcoming articles I’ll be elaborating on each of those “dumb affirmations” and hopefully people will start to see the real meaning of living behind that smokescreen of lies.

Affirmation 1 : The myth of catching up.

Religion : the modern era bully or therapy?

First and foremost, I’m not going to target any specific religion. All faiths resemble one other .They only differ in their process of doing things.

What they all have in common is that ability to bring fear to people, forcing commitment to the organisation like an instilled message they got from the first day they stepped into it. But absolutely no one will say that they were forced , they will all confirm that they are willing to do it.

One of the main factors that contribute to that willingness is the mind itself.

I’ve myself attended many different religious sessions and the main thing that I’ve notice is that they use their holy book like a sort of reference, where every situation and their consequences are already listed .They are so affirmative when reading and explaining it, making it more difficult for us to doubt it. Sure they are going to talk about many realistic topics like loyalty, lies, theft, murder, deception….etc., but they are also going to discuss about many senseless things.(not going to list them, I can for sure say that they are limited in their head itself ,and many of those beings look down on us as some kind of ignorant human being that need to be saved, really funny!)

What we don’t realise is that those teachings are just lessons of life, and we all know them by heart. It’s just that we are not willing abide by them. Main reason for this comes from the fact that we are abiding to already set rules by the government. Nowadays when we think about theft, rape, frauds we don’t think about god punishing us .what comes to our mind is the fear of being imprisoned or paying hefty fines.

Now let’s get to the good part of religion. Through prayers,  people are narrating to god all their problems ,suffering, ignorance of many concepts of life like love , hatred , jealousy …etc. and are asking him to help, and they are totally sure that he is going to help aka faith.

Think for a minute, what is the single word describing the above scenario? : Therapy.

It’s the same thing as going to see a psychologist .In this case god is replaced by a human which eventually changes the whole equation. People don’t really put their faith in the doctor or does even apply everything that he is going to say.

Then why does it feel so good and positive when talking to god instead of the doctor? Why is it that most things work out when we pray to him and we start to see concrete results?

For me it’s described as the placebo effect, and it’s so effective on simple minds, that I deems it intriguing ,yet it gets us to work and apply another concept to our daily life: The art of positive thinking.

Now that being said, does not really justify why those “organisation” should place that much constraints .While many may not realise it ,there are times where they  unconsciously monopolies our own time .I mean when you are free, it can be distracting, but when you have important commitments or you are physically and sometimes mentally exhausted ,you just really want to ease off instead of attending a conference on history or on how to live your life. Eventually when you miss out the session, you will start feeling guilty for not attending it, again taxing your mind negatively. Funny case scenario: you miss three to four session .And if you are really committed to your healthy positive lifestyle , nothing would really change or worsen , you may even find yourself having more time for more peaceful activities like meditation .

Digging more deeply into the question .Why is that we should devote time to religion. Simply put, it`s mainly because of those afterlife theories .From what I’ve noticed, people do live with many regrets, ambitions, things that they wanted to do but did no due to social fear or rejection .So they try to hold onto the fact that they will be better off in the next life (reincarnation), or in heaven where they say there is no suffering only happiness exists. But I can say with certitude that no one, absolutely no one or even no sign proves that those afterlife concepts exists ,it’s just something that you believes or not.

And if you ask me, I’ll simply reply. You know we all have around 80 years to live here. So why prepare for another one , one that we completely don’t know whether it’s real or not, and on top of that not being able to at least live this one freely.

I`ll rather focus on this one ,which is totally true and realistic , because man i really really hope from deep inside my heart that your beliefs on those stories do really exists, else imagine you have just spend most of your life preparing for a journey that does not even has a starting point .And through living this one peacefully in the real sense you should , I don’t see how god wouldn’t be pleased in your way of living, compared to  hypocrites faking faith just to the eyes of people.

Fake self -The latest social Paradox

We have come a long way from slow primitive lifestyle to a rapid occurring world. But what did really change from our early occupations? ; Nothing. It’s just that we are doing the same things but on a simply different level. Take food, water and clothing .Long ago we did all the process from hunting, cooking and even manufacturing our own clothes. Even the useful furniture and utensils were homemade.

So did we stop eating, drinking, wearing clothes? Nowadays we all just have to acquire that special thing called money and all your needs are fulfilled. Through constant progress of technology new “necessities” were added to the basic list…and why not! Everyone will agree that it makes life more enjoyable and easy, and so we started labelling every possession as a necessity, which eventually turned into a disease of wanting more and more even to a point where we are making our life miserable. Wait! What??  Miserable?

I’m sure everyone will start pounding on me and say that they know many people who own many things, have money and they don’t seem to be miserable or sad at all.

That’s where the concept of fake self comes into play. Modern society is full of ideals and influences that it started to develop a mindset where people think of them as some sort of reference point and that they should work to reach that point in order to be happy, to feel good. Take all those famous actors , singers, sportsman and even politicians for example .People tend to take the lifestyles of these celebrities as the reference point and with the fast development of advertisement and media it’s really easy for people to get trapped into it.

The problem is that this “point” is always moving and is 100% unreachable .I know it’s really important to have goals, desires and ambitions. But what most people are doing now is just imitating life of others not living their own.

 Then there is this big question: why do they act like that? Or why do they feel the need to do it?

I sat down for weeks pondering on how to solve that mystery. Then one day boom! I finally realised i was just blending into the crowd and what i really had to do was to stand apart in a clear cut edge and then observe the whole crowd.

And then all started to make sense .what we all have is a   fear of being rejected or not be recognised by people around us; society itself. We all have taken a liking into being praised by people, looking down to some just because they own less.

With all those rushing of possessing more each individual in the crowd has become some sort of empty vessel. They started to suppress their emotion just to keep going, Saying to themselves they are nearly there. Then suddenly all crashes ,sure they have money , possessions and even people around them but there is still that feeling of emptiness , their mind is still rushing still in doubts…then few week later they seek another “point” and they start again!

What we really need is to take a moment breath. Calm our mind .Then think about this

1. Why am I going for this “point?”

2. Why did I go through all those storms through the past? Was it the only choice?

3. Am I really at peace?

4. What can I really say about experiencing or living my life to the fullest?

5. Am I enjoying it?

This list can go inexhaustible. In short we are kind of making a self-assessment.

And I’m sure this assessment will make you reevaluate yourself as an individual.

So let’s answer the whole article above from the very first line.

We don’t need to live such complicated life. Being stressed everyday takes us away from really appreciating the way our life is .Ease your routine and you will be less stressed, more energetic to tackle the few problems left head on.

It’s okay not having things that others have. As long as there it has no use for you ,don’t own it. Think of possessions as tools you need and not as an identity tag.

Free your own time. You don’t need to always say yes to people, know your priorities because otherwise you will just end up with a heavy schedule having no time for yourself.

Start living with a more deliberate mindset.

Hopefully when you reach your last stage of life you will be able to look back with no regrets having a feeling of accomplishment.