Changing Course

Changing course is sometimes a requirement, sometimes a habit, and sometimes a break to building up. In dire situations, we need to reevaluate our circumstances. If we habitually change course, perhaps we are seeking to find a proper fit for our personality. And if we build up momentum and a want for change, we may one day reach a point of break. At this point, it will be inevitable that we form change. Changing course demands some vigorous restructuring of our own daily lives. It also demands an alternation in mindset, which is the driving force for opposing forces like stagnation and settling.

When we change course, we make decisions. They are not necessarily explicit, but we engage in non-attachment. We seem to think non-attachment will throw us into the ether, unable to grasp at an solid foundation of who we may be. But non-attachment does the opposite. It instills in us a more balanced and more stable glance at the potent real self. It’s to ask: who are we once we thrust ourselves out of our comfort zones? If we are only a self inside of an organization, a hobby, a relationship, a victim state, then we are rendered as a non-active individual. This is seen in people who are so intricately wound up within their micro-community that their realities become skewed.

Mountains photo by Rohit Tandon

The feeling of comfort may coincide with the feeling that though some things in the micro-community will change, there will always be base foundational components to which the individuals cling. All humans may have experienced this intrenchment to varying degrees. Some are engrossed by the preaching of a financial god, some deeply glorify an abusive person in their life, and others neglect to truly identify their active roll in a micro-community – relinquishing all accountability for their actions during the period of time that they are deeply within an organization.

Impossible

Improbable

Inevitable

The act of changing course, whether it was brought upon one or the individual sought it out,  seems like nothing other than fate guiding the narrative. It may seem inevitable that a decision was to be made, where the idea itself was once an impossibility. In changing course and being non-attached, the individual draws himself as a fluid participant. He is acting; and in fact, change course takes a form of certainty in the uncertain that many people who never truly live will call mad. Others will see desperation and some may even vocalize trepidation. In doing so, they reveal their own insecurities. For anyone trying to dissuade an individual from achieving a solid goal that he has set his mind on is only calling forth his inability to listen and follow through on his own goals.

Changing course marks a heightening of self-awareness when the individual is cognizant that the change will reconfigure his life. This change is done in uncertainty of results, and certainty only in the amount of effort that he will put into the endeavor. He will parcel out successes not on the validations of others, but on the merit of his actions. He will identify stamina as the life force forging talk into action, and action into change.


Know Me

“I know you” is a very recurrent phrase that I have heard throughout much of my adult life. It was typically used in the sense of trying to predict my next step and my decision in the face of a choice I was to make.  I used to find it endearing and maybe even comforting, but in reality, it’s a warning. To claim to know somebody’s next step is massively diminishing of their power of free will, and in many cases, it has served for the other person to feel like they had dominion over my actions and peg me down into a pattern.

You are not an abstract variable of recurrent patterns.

Let your company lift you, not drag you. As George Washington said, “it is better to be alone than in bad company.” If your company serves to diminish you and make you smaller than you actually are, recognize the fact that you are more than the things they say you are, even if you were exactly what they defined you as at some point. The right people want you to succeed and are rooting for you, even if you haven’t met them yet. In the meantime, books make great company, for they will not serve to minimize you.

If you do not know yourself, others will define you to their benefit. This has less to do with things like your life purpose, and more with your sense of what’s right and what’s wrong. I’ve always had an impeccable guide for right and wrong (as I believe all of us do deep down); the thing is, I let people outside of myself tell me I was wrong about my internal compass. I would listen to them for a while, before realizing that they were convincing me that I was wrong because it served to their advantage.

You are allowed to change your mind. For years, I was told that I change my mind a lot. Now, all I can think of is, of course I change my mind! I am constantly learning new information, so to neglect to accommodate for the new information would be foolish. Changing my mind is what propels me forward, I’m always learning, re-evaluating, and re-inventing. In this case, I think of scientific discovery. If nobody ever changed their minds, we’d still believe the world is flat.

At the end of the day, the person who knows you best is yourself.  You have a good idea of what’s best for you in a given moment. You know deep down how your actions are creating your life, even if subconsciously. Your purpose in life is you, and you are here to know yourself, not for others to tell you who you are. Your potential lies not outside of yourself, but inside.


Worth Beyond Descriptors

In an age where time is spoken of frequently and very often in terms of being fleeting, we can become accustomed to living with our heads down. And by that, I mean that we can get so entangled and ensnared in definitive markers of a human’s worth, especially when we find that the categorizations of worthiness are in our favor. All of the categorizations that we hear cannot function to our advantage if we do not recognize them for their purpose, to create distinctions, and thereby, barriers between a person’s culturally inundated self and their true self, which is worthy and untethered by this age’s menial and unimaginative descriptors.

Your worth as a human is not dependent. It’s not reliant on arbitrary measures like how much money you made last year, whether or not you’re currently working 40 hours per week, the social cache of your hobbies and interests, the estimated perception of your business network, or the title you put on your LinkedIn account. Your worth is beyond criteria, beyond rudimentary constraint, beyond definition.

Your worth as a human is not conditional. You are a ball of energy; in more concrete terms, you are an amalgamation of potentials. Your past does not negate your energy or render you minuscule. You do not lose or gain worth as you go through life, you either align more clearly with your inner self or go away from it. However, you always have the self-made opportunity to re-align and re-configure your life to manifest your true self.

Your worth as a human is unique and captivating. With an unrelenting creative spirit and will to live day to day, we are all our own in our unrivaled potentials. There is room for the creativity of everyone, especially considering that we are all impassioned with a barrage of differences and beautiful contradictions. Some of us write, some imagine great infrastructure, some think of creating the more efficient and long-lasting tool that will enable laborers time to create rather than toil, some are spiritual leaders, and much more.

As we move through this new era remarkably shifted and accommodating of human potential, we must move beyond descriptors of our human worth. We must recognize that our worth is not dependent and not conditional. It moves beyond outer misattributions and comes from recognizing personal truths and personal potential.


Why I’ll Succeed

“Edit your life frequently and ruthlessly. It’s your masterpiece after all.” – Unknown

Life is more than continuous gain. It’s also loss, and loss is good. It means that I’m probably doing something right by refining my life, trimming those things I don’t need, and really only adding what I feel is vital to my wellbeing. If something’s not adding to my life in a positive way, it’s gone.

Here are some things I do differently that enable me to push myself towards success:

I expect a lot from myself. I reflect daily on my behavior and my day’s work. Many times, I recognize that I’ve not always been on my best terms with the world, so I note it as a discord with myself. I take observation too of environmental factors that cause reactions in me and ask myself if I can change my attitude towards the factor, or if I cannot. If I cannot, I find it very important for me to ask myself why, and oftentimes, I come to the conclusion that something isn’t working because it’s repelling me, and it’s just not quite where I should be. That’s when I need to take action and make a change.

I do not mourn rejection. I used to be upset with rejection until I realized that I was only adapting the feeling of rejection as a learned societal response. In fact, and on a very candid level, there is no such thing as rejection. If something is not meant for you; you cannot possibly get rejection, since there was no chance for you to acquire approval. Rejection is simply another way for the universe to notify you that the thing you “seek” is not seeking you.

Further, on a deeper level, you cannot earnestly have sought the thing you were rejected from. Think about it, fundamentally, happiness could never come from something that is not meant for you or that you would have to attain through overly-assertive means. Life is not as difficult as pounding your head again a brick wall to get things. If there is difficultly, it is only because the wrong things are being sought. The saying goes “The things you are seeking, are seeking you.”

I’m not afraid of being alone. This is probably the most important component and the one I worked for the most. I am not afraid to simply sit with myself in silence, and think and write and dream. It’s very common in our culture for people to have a consistent stream of distractions from being wholly with oneself. The issue with that is that it’s not really possible to tell if one is satisfied with herself without having the opportunity to be alone.

I’ll succeed through expecting a lot of myself, understand what rejection truly means, and being unafraid to continue to get to know myself. Continuously and unrelenting, I’ll intentionally minimizing those things in my life that don’t help me to move forward. I’ll continue to seek out success, just as it seeks me.


Security and Mediocrity

“No amount of security is worth the suffering of a mediocre life chained to a routine that has killed your dreams.” – Maya Mendoza

I love routine; I don’t love routine that feels confining. There are forms of routine that are liberating, it’s essentially those that are self-created. I believe that those people who want to set their own standards of work and play time and believe in their self-directive enough, will be able to achieve this state of routine creation. I started to notice some tangible indications that I was not meant for an enclosed, outside-directed routine on the following clues:

Feeling sick at work and from work. And yes, I mean I was feeling physically ill at work, from my temperature rising (literally), to chronic headaches and feeling flushed, to being unable to eat for long stretches of time. I think these are things that come with being type A and somewhat socially awkward in an office setting.

Feeling bigger than your place. Places are meant to be filled, and I would find myself completing my work tasks well and on time, all the while thinking of new story ideas and elaborate other thoughts. At work, with the continuous repetition, I would feel trapped and isolated, unable to truly feel like I could emerge from my drone state.

Perpetually feeling the outcast. With being around people, you start to learn their motivations and aspirations for the future. My dreams are wild and sometimes outlandish, so staying them out loud can make me seem silly, but that’s just how I like my aspirations, bold and untempered. I’ve found myself stating my goal out loud and getting laughing and critical reactions, and that’s one way I know those people aren’t open to me as an individual.

When mediocrity is at play, and you begin to feel that sinking feeling of being trapped every day, you have some options, including: continue on, and get out and make your own routine.


When to Quit

No, I’m not about to say never. Throughout the beginning of my adulthood, I felt an urgency to make things happen, to get things going, and to start living. But the issue was, I wasn’t doing any of those things. I was thinking about how I couldn’t do those things, how I was going to be doomed to living until something happened that let me do those things.  After years of internalizing my stagnation and taking my lack of progress to heart, I realized I needed to try something different.

That’s when I quit. I quit the things that were no longer serving to help me advance as a human being, emotionally, physically, spiritually, and monetarily. It meant saying goodbye to my job, an organization I’d been actively involved in, people who simply were a struggle to keep in contact with, and my notions about where I should be in life at that moment. I considered life just as it was, and went with the “no Fs given” approach, and then all of the sudden, amazing things began happening. I found a book that got me to think positively once and for all, I started writing my own, and I started tolerating and then liking myself.

I started giving the things in my life the Maya Angelou test:

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

I’m no longer allowing myself to complain without action. That means, when I find myself complaining, and it happens, I tell myself I either need to change my attitude or I need to change my situation. All else is wasteful.

So yes, I’m a quitter. I’m a quitter of things that give me a bad feeling, things that I find unethical and immoral, things that harm myself and others, things that bring me little sense of fulfillment. In that sense I’m a quitter, but quitting those things brings me and has brought me more than I’ve imagined.


The Well-Cared for Pet

I’m a self-proclaimed cat lady, a “cat mom.” I also work as a Feline Adoption Counselor and Feline Behavior Evaluator at my local animal shelter. Living with my pet is very fulfilling and I am very thankful everyday for the love and presence offered by my cat. I see a wide variety of attitudes towards cats from visitors to the shelter and from people in my day-to-day life, not all of it being positive towards the species. Cats, and generally, animals, have tremendous power to alter their human companion’s thought patterns, moods, and even beliefs. Living with a well cared-for animal has the following attachments:

  1. Animals don’t see your flaws. Since animals see a perfect being that feeds them, brushes and cleans them, and gives them a warm place to sleep, they easily overlook lesser human traits. We have a wonderful saying at the shelter: “Be the person your pet thinks you are.”
  2. They remind you to take care of yourself. Sometimes I remember to drink water, or realize that I haven’t had any water on a given day, only because I check my cat’s water supply each day. Simple things I do for her help me to notice my primary needs.
  3. Animals can temper your mood and make you more aware. On a similar line of remembrance, animals can bring you into a more meditative and observatory mood. Animals have a variety of activity states, but watching a sleepy cat seems to tone some of those uneasy feelings you pick up during the day.
  4. They tune into a different energy spectrum. They notice and feel things differently than humans do. Animals live in a different mode than humans, more in tune with the earth’s cycles, like the moon shifts, the changing of the seasons, and even natural occurrences like storms. Noticing an animal’s different behaviors can help humans identify natural changes and also be more in tune with nature themselves.

Being attentive of your animal companion bring about a tremendous joy in your life as an imperfect human, a remarkable reminder at the simple primal things, an attentiveness to moods, and a tuning into the natural world.


Power of Accountability

There’s an honest power in accountability that goes beyond having to admit wrong, and goes beyond putting yourself in a box of failure or shame. Accountability is a wonderful thing that all humans can harness in times when they have not been on their best behavior. Unless you do everything alone, everyone is bound to slip up and act out negative behaviors and use negative words. After this has occurred though, we all get the tremendous opportunity to accept accountability for our actions and words.

Invoking accountability onto an action or set of words can produce some of the following results:

  1. You get to move on. Once accountability is accepted, there emerges almost a segmentation of the actions and words from oneself. While those actions and words have still existed in the past, accountability offers the doer a chance to acknowledge the wrongdoing, and to freely accept the consequences of the actions or words, thereby encouraging a progression, as opposed to a repetition of the behavior or verbal emission.
  2. You get to learn a lesson. After one accepts accountability and the consequences of one’s actions, a lesson can sometimes be understood from the actions, words, and also from the consequences. Learning lessons in life is very fulfilling, and is not limited to a precious few with harder lives than the rest. Anyone can learn a lesson from taking accountability.
  3. You get to own the mistake rather than someone else owning it. This is where pride kicks in, if you admit a wrongdoing after recognizing an action, you’re the one who owns that wrongdoing. If you wait too long, or never admit a wrongdoing, someone else can swoop in and call out the wrongdoing. In this way, taking ownership means respecting your timing and your pride in your sense of autonomy and control over behaviors.
  4. You get to be around better people. This is probably the best part of it, once you start taking accountability, you may have the chance to develop a rapport as an individual who accepts accountability. Thereby, you signify to those right people that you’re a error-making human and that on top of that, you accept when you do wrong. Some will say it’s more fulfilling to be around people who accept their darker side and work to modify manifestations of it.

Accountability is not something handed to someone. Of course there are consequences to everything that we do. But beyond that, accepting and coming to terms with the actions and words drives us into a more advanced plane of human existed. Life can be causal, or it can be causal and autonomous simultaneously. The latter power comes with accepting personal responsibility, and enforces a more fulfilling lifetime.