Recently, I had a dream where I was being chased. However, there was a twist: I was in someone else's body. 🧐
Upon reflection, I realized the meaning of the dream: it was an unconscious warning about the consequences of living other people's lives.
In the recent past, these people would include your family, friends, colleagues, or celebrities.
Nowadays, it is more social media advertising and recommender systems, suggesting what you should feel, think, and do with your life.
And I understand that: it's much more easier to live by someone else's philosophy and lifestyle rather than creating your own.
At the end of the day, the list of choices may seem limited. But limiting are also the costs of not consciously creating yourself.
For some, the cost is constantly feeling like a fraud, while for others, it's experiencing a lack of purpose and meaning.
However, for must of us, the major cost is actually living in automode without consciously realizing it. 🧠
Dolores, an artificial human being from the TV series "Westworld", once said: "Free will does exist... It's just fucking hard."
Although I am not sure if free will exists, creating yourself and seeking authenticity is definitely not easy. But it is worth trying.👌
What about you? Do you also occasionally feel chased by the world? How would you rate your life in terms of authenticity?
There was a period in my life when I was seriously considering suicide as a reasonable option.
The reasoning was as follows:
↪️ Suffering reduces our health and wellbeing
↪️ Everyone suffers for one reason or another
↪️ I produce more suffering when I am alive
↪️ I want to reduce the suffering in the world
↪️ Therefore, I would rather not live
At the time, I was not a "happy" person (to be honest, I am not sure if I am right now), so it is likely that my thinking was constrained by negative emotions and cognitive biases.
After around 5 or more therapy sessions, I started questioning the idea that suffering was necessarily bad (huge thanks to my therapist who pushed back on my ideas and never gave up on me 🙏).
I realized that suffering is what actually makes life interesting by forcing us to re-evaluate our goals and move forward.
Although I still believe that we could do better, especially in places torn by war and hunger, I do not treat suffering as an illness anymore.
This is what I learnt from the period: if you are in pain, don't go only for the pleasurable (too short-term) or the meaningful (too long-term).
Go rather for the interesting!
Being a little bit more curious about yourself, others, and the world does not require you to have a lot of money, many friends, or even go outside.
Here is a list of interesting activities you can do to increase your curiosity:
➡️ Explore new music, cinema, or literature
➡️ Express more gratitude to strangers
➡️ Message/call an old friend or colleague
➡️ Rearrange the furniture in your room
➡️ Take a free course on a weird topic
➡️ Try a new physical exercise every day
➡️ Share your knowledge for free
➡️ Start writing humorous short stories
➡️ Visit the parts of the city you've never been to
➡️ Write an autobiography
Also, remember that
(1) your suffering won't last forever,
(2) you are not alone, and
(3) asking for help can be also interesting.
So, take care of yourself and stay curious. 💛
Why do I feel that Slack (the software) is not good for your productivity and wellbeing? 🤔
Fortunately, I don't have to use it very often, but many do e v e r y s i n g l e d a y, and I am not sure what to make of it...
Any smart alternatives or ways to go about the drawbacks of Slack and similar software???
How can you take up a new activity (e.g. start exercising) when you are not in the mood?
There are at least two techniques:
🔵 I imagine the activity (I imagine myself going to the gym, lifting weights, enjoying the process)
🔵 I think of the benefits (I feel better in my body, look better, and experience more positive emotions)
In your opinion, which is more effective? According to studies, both work well, but the second works better.
When we are feeling down, our bodies are also down, that is, we smile less, we move less, and we look up less. ☁️
If that is the case, our thoughts also become "down", which makes it harder to think of any benefits.
Therefore, a much more effective technique is thinking about the benefits of the activity. You can do that by consciously asking your "Future Self" several questions:
➡️ How does regular exercise affect your wellbeing?
➡️ How does regular exercise make you feel?
➡️ How do your new habbits contribute to others?
➡️ How would you feel if you weren't exercising?
If you sincerely answer similar questions, it is much easier to see more benefits and feel more motivated to take up the activity. 👌