Who are you?

​”I think, therefore I am” 
 Desecrates

“Who am I?” There comes a point in one’s life, this age old question spores, be it in the briefest of thought or in a metaphysical pondering. Whether we got answers or left with a bigger floating question mark on top of our heads, we to say the least,crave for the deep reality of said answer.

We indeed NEED to know the answer to this, one of life’s fascinating questions.
The day you were born, you began a learning process that will continue for the rest of your entire life. You were from the beginning moulded by your surroundings. Be it parents, relatives, friends, teachers, the people in your area. You absorbed all the general attitudes, ideas and beliefs-the good, bad and ugly. 

You came in contact with each new year of life added to your past, changing the way you view every new day, influencing how you reacted to everything from the simple to the complex. Events touching you and your experience in the world we live in

Bertrand Russell says “as a child, there is nothing unattainable, good things and desires with a whole force of a passionate will can be obtained and yet impossible to them is not credible.” 
We subconsciously carry and express certain manners and attitudes we had as kids as we grow.

As you grow older, you interact with people from far and wide with different backgrounds and ideas about life. Like most people, you probably belong to that vast river of mankind, which lives each moment in the easiest and some-what pleasant way possible.

Believe it or not, most of us are voluntary prisoners of our minds, unwilling to question who we are and get definite answers and we are happy to just simply roll along through life. 

Most of us will live from birth to death in a world, we fashioned from our past to suit our present. Few of people ever stand free from present and daily lives to ask, to wonder, to think and to explore.

Each of us is born, we live various lives and then we will die. We should remember that we have a separate nature which is our own and which sets us apart from every other person who lives or who has lived. We share similar characteristics but, each of us is unique.

You are YOU. Russian born author Ayn Rad formed the concept of “the sense of life” .She described how the sum of all your thoughts, experiences, ideas and emotions about our life form the sum of the state of who we are.

 Our sense of life and your perceptions as individuals are based on previous experiences and how they are integrated in our personality to evoke our emotions, thoughts and values. 

A person’s sense of life isn’t some programme by a single evaluation, it is an integration of countless evaluations over the course of one’s life, a person’s integrated emotions and value judgments related to all aspects of living.

It dictates the internal dialogue, the ongoing conversation you have with yourself about the world and people in it. It is the basis of your self-esteem, if your sense is controlled by external forces, then your self-esteem will suffer and you will feel that you lack control over your life.

Increasing our awareness is a never ending process. Taking control of your “sense of life”, influencing it with reason and steering it in a positive constructive direction is the most important thing you can do to arrive of being human.

Humans have an instinctive feelings of self-preservation and satisfaction as you can choose. 

That also makes you unique, our choices seem to be based not only on what you believe will happen if you make a certain choice but, also on what you want to happen. You can choose the opposite of what your instincts or personality tell you. You call the shots.

Your decision is your decision. Your decision is a product of your singular existence and being. Being able to engage in rational thought and to choose freely among various courses of action based on those thoughts, you are in a very real sense what you choose to be.

“Remembering the past as it gives thought to the future which is important, but only to the extent that it helps one deal with the present”.
To that I say you are who you are and like Nietzsche said “we must become who we really are.” You are the sum of your decisions.

“We are born originals and die as copies” 
Kierkegaard
 

On An Attitude of Gratitude

​All you need are these: certainty of judgment in the present moment; action for the common good in the present moment; and an attitude of gratitude in the present moment for anything that comes your way. Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 9.6

From the onset, the ideas of gratitude comes from a place of appreciation and gladness in the everyday endeavour from the big to the small acts of goodness toward us. Gratitude being itself not an emotion but value and virtue is more important in daily living then most may think. 

From the rituals of religion to the labs of academic thought, to be grateful isnt only pragmatic but, is an underlining root of human mature and mental serenity. Cicero believed that gratitude is a precursor for all of the other virtues, including happiness, kindness, reason and courage. Wealth, possessions, and good fortune are not necessary for happiness

Gratitude in its linguistic sense comes from the idea of being thankful, pleased and agreeable, but at its core has more to offer than just useful social, psychological and physical benefits. You hear a lot of talk about gratitude, but most of the time. Its hard to do and most seem adamant, but gratitude is at its essence is an active process of constant practice, willful attitude and purposeful self-reminder.

To have an attitude of gratitude comes from a place of revolt, maturity and appreciation toward life’s goodness as opposite to its ever present bad state. A stoic attitude of kindness, humility and proper response to a good state of affairs be it by divine, chance or probability of the reality of things.

It is a call to the human heart to affirm the goodness of others and a reminder that we are beyond ourselves. It is an unescapable fact,we are dependent on each other. 
To be grateful is dynamic, realistic, its a loving endeavour, the bridge to common courtesy, kind recognition and mutual kinship benefit to the solace of our minds and the people around us.

The attitude of gratitude stems from 2 stances, one must ask themselves, what it means to be a giver and what does it mean to be a receiver?. It goes without saying but pillar to these two positions is knowledge and clarity on the elements of what constitutes a grateful response is critical for developing an accurate account of what gratitude actually is.

THE GIVER 

No one is  truly obligated to give anything really. To give is just a gesture of goodwill. To give as McConnett states mostly deals with ideas of cost, sacrifice, risk and liability. So why give at all? Why go the distance with if in most cases, no real benefit at all?

We are givers if we do it out of love, love by heart but accompanied by attitude and deed. To be mature is to give more than you take out of life. We celebrate the present. We give because it is a good thing to do.

Gratitude is the truest approach to life. We did not create or fashion ourselves. We did not birth ourselves. Life is about giving, receiving, and repaying. We are receptive beings, dependent on the help of others, on their gifts and their kindness.

William Arthur Ward states that “Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”We need to know how, who and when to give. The mature giver learns not to give for giving sake. But from an uncommon place of kinship with a right heart, motive and mind set.

It’s often thought that a reservation in giving is an attitude of selfishness but thats untrue. Unmindful giving is just as destructive as untamed egoism. To give well comes from the pillars of healthy self-Awareness with undying empathy.

Be a grateful giver is having in mind you are doing this because it is what you want to do, or because it is the right and or sound thing, responses of the receiver becomes unimportant. Accept that some people simply expect people to continue to just do things for them with no reciprocation or acknowledgement. 

Some people don’t know or are unable to show almost any emotion or emotionally stunted and I doubt if most intend to convey what they conveying,that is to show no gratitude. But then again, we don’t know people perfectly and its unhelpful to assume malice as a norm to said individuals.

You will meet people who may be completely self-absorbed to the point that they don’t even understand that other people are just as human as themselves. If you have it in your mind you are doing something because it is what you want to do, or because it is the right thing, their reactions become unimportant.

Be polite and respectful. No surprise, this can be hard to do, though. You have to constantly recheck your reactions and thoughts, Being the giver is as Seneca part of “living with the lot’ of life, living with the occasional resentment and not be possessed by it. Living above the pity thoughts, one needs to find a way to still be kind and gracious without building resentment and never giving out of some moral superiority.

It means we have to strip down our egos and be aware of this unhealthy sense of false entitlement or indebtedness because of our very act of goodwill. We can’t change people and should not be in our interest to forcedly teach anyone to show gratitude.  We should draw respectful intellectual and emotional lines.

Joseph B. Wirthlin put it like this, Gratitude is a mark of a noble soul and a refined character.” We like to be around those who are grateful, Being a mature giver ultimately means you are motivated by an appreciation of people, possessions, the present moment, rituals, feeling of awe, social comparisons, existential concerns, and believing that behavior which expresses gratitude is good for us all, a badge of love and resilience.

THE RECEIVER

We all begin life dependent on others, and most of us end life dependent on others. The human condition is such that throughout life, not just at the beginning and end, we are profoundly dependent on other people. Bring a grateful receiver means not falling prey to Forgetfulness, apathy, pride and laziness  towards the acts of others. 

In truth, we will never  really have enough of what we want to pursue, only if we dare to relax our guard long enough to draw pleasure from what we have, an embrace of our gifts  and ultimately our mortality.

Dr. Robert Emmon and others heralds of gratitude advise us to taking time to count our blessings, displaying positive character traits, appreciate the quiet moments of nature and by keeping a daily gratitude journal where we express joy for all of the good things that happened to us.

As such they also suggest that we are wired to take things for granted. The garden variety of daily dissatisfaction, fears of life and complacency can make gratitude arbitrary. All these sadly cemented by unfair, unrealistic conscious or subconscious comparisons of our peers and the world around us.

Novelty and gratitude wear off quickly. To be more grateful or its practice stands in deep conflict with a central drive in human nature: ambition and desire, the pillars of the human ego. Human beings are not just beguiled by the occasional reminder to be or see no reason at all to be grateful. 

We use what makes us happy as the default, the baseline from which things are judged. We start to feel entitled to have things the way they are, instead of in most cases due to luck or the efforts of others. So practicing gratefulness is a great art and we would be less likely to take life for granted.

 Our lives get transformed, Seneca stressed that time is a fleeting and slippery possession. Every moment of every day we die. This is completely outside of our control. It makes sense to value our time and use it well. This lies at the heart of what it means to be a good receiver.

As such, the receiver is at most content with how things already are. The attitude may sound like a kind act of pretension but with a world full of constant indifference and usurp, to be grateful is a humble acknowledgement and one of life’s noble insurrections.

We may not get all that we want or be eternally happy and fulfilled. Bad stuff may be the talk of the day but, we don’t need to become slaves to our lot and fear- big or small, we fight light with darkness. 

We need to remedy ourselves with the reality that more often than we should that we dont yet recognize the dissatisfaction that arises is our unrealistic frequency of attraction to things, this only is perpetual to the cycle of dissatisfaction, hatred and ungratefulness.

A mature receiver isn’t a stance to pull us away from our real ambitions, or to not be absorbed by the lights and glamour of the world, it just means that it doesnt let it get in the way of a better life. 

Camenisch (1981), suggest that just as forgiveness, the receiver may not feel a sincere need to say and express thanks but the act prompts developing grateful beliefs, feelings and other dispositions that they may not have at the time of thanking and in turn signals the giver to commitment to ridding negative thoughts and feelings that are bad if it had not been said. Which is a healthy characteristic of human relationships, sounds obvious but is extremely pivotal.

In the beginning, exerting an effort and attitude of gratitude in many cases need not be inconsistent with being grateful, just as exerting an effort of will to help a friend under similar circumstances would not make one a bad friend. Hence what’s truly at the center of gratitude isn’t feelings or acts but an attitude prompting them that makes its essence.

The very act of expressing the words “thank you” is the least yet best thing one may do and the giving of thank-you gifts or the doing of return-favors isnt and shouldnt be due to indebtness and in truth, must be done when possible as is a cardinal foundation of good and healthy relations.

The very act of expressing the words thank you despite, the depth of a relationships stands as a statue and a frequent reminder of humility and as an oasis to the monotonous hot ego expectations of the everyday giver.

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” Albert Schweitzer. The mature receiver exercising their perceptions and by reaching out to friends by celebrating their progress as we would our own and this requires that we first get over ourselves.

The attitude of gratitude as such means we recognize and accept  that there are already at this moment very good reasons ,even if its  minimal to be a little more satisfied with who we are, what we have become and what we have.

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow…Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”

Melody Beattie

Love Thine Self

​”A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”

 Mark Twain

Margo Anand writing on the art of self-love says Loving yourselfdoes not mean being self-absorbed or narcissistic, or disregarding others. Rather it means welcoming yourself as the most honored guest in your own heart, a guest worthy of respect, a lovable companion. 
The most important decision of your life, the one that will affect every other decision you make, is the commitment to loving and acceptance of yourself. It directly affects the quality of your relationships, your work, your free time, your future and most of all your general well-being.
Having a love affair with yourself and letting go of the layer of false admiration of self through honest reflection and a mindful shift is a must venture in human life. Independently, wholly and plainly letting go of the veil of self-imposed doubt and self-neglect. Being the best you, you can be involves Loving thine self.
 

5 STEPS TO KEEP IN MIND IN “THE ART OF SELF LOVE”

1. Knowing and finding your core values.
You should love yourself unconditionally.
Loving yourself no matter what, through success or failure and no matter what other people think and realize that just by being a human being, being alive you are lovable. You don’t need to do anything. Your very existence is essence and that is enough. Knowing yourself isn’t arrogance, In fact, arrogance is often the foundation of low self-esteem and insecurity. Learning to embrace who you are, both strengths and weaknesses is intimate and a very important fact as you begin the art of self-love.

2. Speak to yourself positively and Stop surrounding yourself with toxic people, words and actions.

Do you pursue your dreams and goals because youre excited about the possibilities and the discoveries, because you want to serve others and honor your life’s work? Or do you do it because you want to prove to yourself and others that you are worthy of love, adoration and respect?
There is no greater path than to fulfil one’s own way, no one will truly ever understand you, yourself included and people will talk about you whether you do bad or good, so finding a healthy balance between being selfless and selfish is important. 
If you stop and look in the mirror to notice that you stopped thinking negatively and letting these negative thoughts about yourself, negative words people say about you consume you, its a good sign that you learning to accept yourself.
Establishing positive affirmation with yourself as you is important. The use of your words toward yourself with utmost strength, care and consideration. This is among the most powerful and self-effective ways in refining your words to keep your thoughts and action in perspective. This can be done by keeping a journal as you keep your thoughts, goals and plans in permanent form as this is key to the art of self-love.

3. Take care of your mind and body.

Don’t fill your mind and body with stuff that is detrimental to your health. Love your body, your looks and appearance, learn to be confident with who you are, because no one truly will but, you. 
By eating right, exercising and various other good lifestyle related choices, one lives, learns and loves that unique being that makes the essence that is you.

4. Find the ways in which you can live Life enjoyably.

No one loves a boring, unproductive or dry life. Take time and effort to put your life and mindset in the most realistic and comfortable way possible, be it in all aspects of your life.
 So the art of self-love means making something of Life. Finding that unique voice that only you can hear and following it wholeheartedly. Committing to your plans and goals, learning to have fun with it all. Treasure it, its your life after all.

5. Make good decisions.

Take time to think about what you will do and the choices you make. Don’t make hasty decisions. They say “a man is a sum of the choices he makes”, so do take wise and fulfilling steps toward your life. If your decisions are more thoughtful and deliberate than you have less regrets and will be less depressed even when stuff goes wrong.
Feeling worthy requires you to see yourself with fresh eyes of self-awareness and love. Acceptance and love must come from within and from you. You dont have to be different or special to be worthy.
 Your worth is in your true nature, a core of love and inner self acceptance and mastery. You are a being. Who are you? You are who you are. We cant bury ourselves and its impossible to neglect self completely. 

• Final thought

While you should always have the drive to improve yourself, its also important to care, accept and love yourself the way you are. Be patient, sincere and kind to yourself during your life. When you mess up, forgive yourself. When you fall, get back up. When you doubt, seek clarity. Most importantly, practice loving yourself as you move through life. Soon the art of self-love will become part of you. Loving ourselves isnt a onetime event or decision. Its an endless, ongoing process. It begins with you, ends with yourself in your own affection and appreciation.

“Until you value yourself, you wont value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.”

M. Scott Peck

A Good Book

​”Reading funishes the mind only with materials of knowledge;it is thinking that’s makes what we read ours.”

John Locke

From time to time, people have wondered why reading is important. There seem to be so many other things to do with one’s time, but reading not so much. Today it seems, a book worm is sadly a rarity. And of course, Reading is important for a variety of reasons.
It is important to realize that struggling with vital reading skills is not a sign of lower intelligence. And reading less doesn’t make you less intelligent, but reading less may make keep you blind to many ascetic realities and benefits of being an advent reader.
Reading, despite the way common culture suggests, isnt always for educational purposes. Reading should be viewed as not only educational but, as entertaining and self-building in every possible way. When your reading skills improve, youre listening, speaking and writing skills improve too.
In Truth, Literature is a central theme to mankind’s civilization.

But if men are human because they can talk they are civilized because they can read”
Good readers can understand the individual sentences and the organizational structure of a piece of writing. They can comprehend ideas, follow arguments, embrace the text and detect implications. 
They know most of the words in the text, the connect the chain of thought and as such they can also determine the meaning of many words of the context as they adopt to the text. This builds the mind and ultimately stimulates thought and intelligence.
To read is to enter great voyages of thought and exploration. To meet creativity and explosion. To live a million lifetime, transcending space and time with just pages and ink. To read is improve, to build, to grow, to transcend the here and now.
As far as being “well read” goes, I think the answer would have to be yes, reading books is still important and an essential skill, to not only intelligence but, loving and living the good life. 
Being knowledgeable and well pronounced all starts with the idea of learning and growing through a good book. Understanding and absorbing the concepts and making them part of your reality.
In his book, How to Read and Why, Harold Bloom says “that we should read slowly, with love, openness, and with our inner ear cocked.” He explains, that we should read to increase our wit and imagination, our sense of intimacyin short, our entire consciousnessand also to heal our pain.
In any given battle, the difference between victory and loss is knowledge. What’s the probability of drawing the ace of spades from a deck with no jokers? Normally it would be 1/50. But what if its a brand new deck? The position of cards in a new deck are typically identical, so that means if you take out the jokers and draw the card at the very bottom, it’s the ace of spades almost 100% of the time. The most knowledgeable of a party will be the inevitable victor. The victor is maybe indeed a book worm.
Until you become yourself, what benefit can you be to others? With the endless amount of perspectives and lives we can read about, books can give us an opportunity to have experiences that we havent had the opportunity to, and still allow us to learn the life skills they entail. Books are a fast track to creating yourself.
Ever wonder why you dont read more? Well, if you dont make a plan to read a book, you wont do it. There are two conspirators keeping you from reading. The first is that you dont have to do it, unless you are in school, no one is going to make you do it.

 

The second reason is that life is just too full of easier, more passive activities. Reading, even the most mindless fiction requires more work than watching television or surfing the web.
Making a reading plan is like a morning runner laying out their clothes the night before: because youve put the effort in beforehand, you are more likely to carry through when the time comes.
The world is changing. We live in a world of constant change. Reading is both the best way to understand it, and to transcend it. By reading regularly, you are more likely to stay on top of things. By reading classics and works outside your field, you think beyond the tyrannical urgencies and focus on whats timeless. A reading plan will help you gather the resources you need to do both of those.

“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”

Joseph Addison

The Authentic Self

“A person’s worth in this world is estimated according to the value they put on themselves”

Jean de la bruyere

​What does it mean to be authentic? Authenticity with one’s self is being genuine, being literally self-authored, endorsed, being congruent- living up to one’s word. There is an exact correspondence among what is, what should be and what can be
The general definition of Authenticity of self to identity is a mental and physical agreement or harmony. Now apply this to a life approach or one’s life, it means someone who lives with authentic acts in direct accordance with their goals, desires, beliefs, values and being.
Self is your physical and mental being with all its human unique characteristics and genes. Authentic self is your true you, aligned, focused toward the congruent self-image and self-philosophy. People who embrace the authentic self do not let the thoughts of others mainly affect their approach to the world. They take their own unique path paved by their understanding of themselves.
Authenticity leads to attraction and connection with ourselves, something we all look for. We may not care to admit it often but, no one really enjoys the company of people who can’t be themselves. 
No sound minded people love being fake, fake people or wants to lies to themselves. Authenticity leads to confidence in the unique person that is you, your energy and desire to live increases with each day as you consciously decide to be you and decide what you want for your life. In truth, both a scary yet wonderful thing.

You feel at peace that you are going about life with intention and you will not be scared or give apologies for your well thought out actions. Decisions become easy to make rather than being moved by the wind, false emotions and irrational thoughts. Things start to fall into place because, let’s face it, real peace is made and owned.
Once you keep knowing what you want, who you are and what you believe in, you start to show it more through your words and actions, this will begin to happen in both a conscious and often subconscious manner, you begin to be more and more self-transformed. Authenticity, by its core means living on purpose, but you first must know your purpose.
As Humans we are naturally driven to want to act in a way that is consistent with our beliefs, goals, personality and experiences as Robert Cialdini says:
“The difficulty is we often dont know our true beliefs and values. Many of us have not spent the proper time sharpening the saw because we were in such a hurry to cut the tree down.”
Before you know it, many of us are busy cutting with the wrong tools and even chopping the wrong tree altogether. In order to feel genuinely fulfilled, it is important to embrace the you that is your true self, you must live authentically, think authentically and be authentic.
Know yourself as to what you can change and what you can’t. Your own personality traits, learned behaviors, beliefs, goals and motives that interact and integrate into one’s personal form of human interaction toward everything and everyone in the universe.
Begin to analyze and Embrace yourself, the events, choices and people who have contributed to self throughout your life. Understand what guides you, makes you what you are, different from anyone else. Look for something of self-defined sense and that which is true to you.
This in time means being yourself, Discovering your signature strength and basis of your true stature and applying it all to your authentic goals and philosophy. Have the courage to acknowledge your limitations and embrace the best you, you can be. Embracing the best version of yourself.

“It is easy to live for others, everybody does. I call on you to live for yourself.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Listen to your heart


“Your Mother or Your Country: Choose?” Jean Paul Sartre illustrates this with a story about a young who came to him for advice as he was at an impasse.
 The young man’s mother absolutely lived for him; she had no one else. The son didn’t want to betray and abandon his mother, but he also felt a responsibility to his countrymen to fight the Nazis in WW2, 
And felt he could best do this by traveling to Britain to join the French air force based there while France was occupied. The young man couldn’t decide what to do.
If he chooses to stay and be with his mother, who she was all he had, he would make a big difference in her life, just one life but, leaving his mother may mean not seeing her again 
And if he was to choose to fight for his country he would make a difference, a small contribution to a big cause which affects many lives. He felt to both a sense of duty to his mother and his country. He wanted to serve both but had to decide and pick one.
A common piece of advice would be to “listen to your heart”, right? as valid or romantic as that normally sounds, whatever doctrine, advice, or other external influence we may point to, in the end, we’re always the ones making a number of choices,
Whether it’s what action to take, which advice or doctrine to listen to, or how to interpret them. In this case, the man’s chose to go to Sartre for advice as opposed to someone else, and he got the advice he chose to get. Sartre’s response? “You are free. Choose.”
Any ethical system can give only vague rules that you have to interpret and apply. Sartre wants us to see that whether we acknowledge it or not, we’re always involving ourselves in our decisions. “So his choice – No matter what it was – was the only true choice, provided that he made it authentically, because it was determined by the values he chose to accept.”

 

As Nietzsche once put it, “Man first implanted values into things to maintain himself — he created the meaning of things. A human meaning! Therefore he calls himself ‘man’, that is, the evaluator!”
People are driven to make sense of what simply can’t be made sense of. It’s just who we are. You’re driven to unify things, to place meaning relating it to the world, to bring things together in ways that attempt to make more and more sense of what’s around you.
The world isn’t an orderly place at all. Instead, the world is fundamentally irrational. It has no necessary structure, no intrinsic meaning, no innate significance, and no internal purpose whatsoever on its own as the existentialists do state.
Even the idea of structure is a concept to which we assign meaning. The world is an irrational place, of course I don’t mean you can’t explain why particular things happen or what may a better answer out of various answers.
The irrationality of the world isn’t an easy one to swallow. Think about it. When you see order, purpose or meaning in the world, it allows you — on a very fundamental level — to feel at home in that world.
You can feel most comfortable with yourself and with your actions when they fit into some larger scheme outside you, when things go right and life flows for the betterment of you. 
This external framework can, in a way, be comforting because it gives you assurance that a kind of glue is holding everything together and that you can fit into the framework and a little bad can be health to teach and appreciate the good once in a while. 
The senseless death of a small child, no matter how horrible you may think it is, doesn’t fit into any larger, pre-established plan or logic. It just is. It just happens. It is senseless in the big picture, because well, there is no big picture at all! There are no facts, only interpretations, but let’s face it, some interpretations offered have no absolute resolve.
The only successful way to deal with the absurdity of life is through living authentically or in layman terms one aspect involves “listening to your heart”. Become what you already are, 
It means representing yourself in a way that can be considered genuine, which means embracing the fact that you must confront the world in your own individual way, whether good or bad happens to you. Making decides and doing what you chose represents you.
It in my view, stresses the fact that being true to yourself means reflecting in your ways of living the kind of being that you are. In other words, you’re living in the world in a way that reflects the fact that your eyes are wide open to your nature as an absurd being.
You’re living in a way that acknowledges the fact that whatever life path you pick to follow, you’ll never receive any external justification for why that path was the right one for you to take. 
Listening to your heart means making a choice you know and want to live with and this doesn’t necessarily have to be good or bad or the best but, this decision embodies you.
It means representing yourself in a way that can be considered genuine, which means embracing the fact that you must confront the world in your own individual way as opposed to the norm or general conformity.
Sartre insists that, in some respects the consequences don’t really matter, but of course, not to say that consequences are unnecessary. You’re free to make choices that create who you are. You can’t control the conditions in which you make those choices, and you can’t control the outcome.
What you can control is the between, as such the situation you find yourself in and the effects of your actions have on the world after you make your choices are not within your desired absolute control. If you make good choices, if you choose to live honestly and courageously, you’ve made of yourself an honest and courageous person. That’s all you can do and all you can hope to do, if one does so. So don’t live with regret and listen to you heart.

Story of my Life

​ Of whom and of what indeed can I say: I know that! This heart within me I can feel, and I judge that it exists. This world I can touch, and I likewise judge that it exists. There ends all my knowledge, and the rest is construction. For if I try to seize this self of which I feel sure, if I try to define and to summarize it, it is nothing but water slipping through my fingers.

Forever I shall be a stranger to myself. In psychology as in logic, there are truths but no truth. Socrates Know thyself has as much value as the Be virtuous of our confessionals. They reveal a nostalgia at the same time as an ignorance. They are sterile exercises on great subjects. They are legitimate only in precisely so far as they are approximate.

Albert Camus                                     

Everyone has their story to write. This is one of lifes undeniable facts. Whoever you are, wherever you are and whenever you are. We write our stories yet, we are never truly our own author neither do we gracefully hold the pen nor foresee the chapters or page numbers to come. We just read history behind and mystery ahead, we see lessons learnt, battles won and lost. 
History shows us who we once were, the present shows us what we have, what we can be and the dark future is but, a sea of ink that desires to bring its words to life. This story has a lot to offer and ponder. It has its fair share of cuts and bruises, cuts to warn us, bruises to make the warming clear. In this story, we have scars, telling us that there is no going back, this is who we are and this is what has flown out of what we do and have experienced.
This story is full of roads and avenues, signposts and directions, many a deceptive way with less a graceful street. It is not he who has no weaknesses in this story that is the strongest, but it is he who rises above them and to achieve this requires great effort, patience, goodness and humility.
In this story, foolishness comes from within oneself. The only true battle is with ones self. To search for justification in others is a dead end. In this story, a soul is always in doubt yet, it holds its own salvation. The first and only enemy is within, as to hate and love ones self is true humility, for the desire to be strong is not the same as striving for strength.
In the words of William Makepeace Thackeray: “There are a thousand thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up a pen to write.” I see the practice of writing as a slow cumulative and introspective way of accepting my life as valid, of accepting myself over the lifetime I have, of realizing that my life is important, just by virtue of being me. And it is. And it’s all I have – My body and mind are all I ever have for sure.
I find that whether I’m writing essays, poems, books, and articles or reflecting on the pages of my journal, that I gain increased clarity about who I am, what I value, how I know and see the world. 
I tap a deeper thread of meaning in my life that helps me make sense of everything I have ever done and everything that has ever happened to me. It helps me put things in perspective and opens me up to new insights.
The practice of learning and writing gives me access to an expanded way of knowing and acquiring a deeper wisdom. This is a chosen tool of my self-mastery and I embrace it. 
It gives me access to the powerhouse of my subconscious and unconscious thought. It is to me, a great way to get answers to the questions of my heart and mind. It gives me clarity to what I need to know right now and what I can do to better my life and the people around me.
Its a dismissal of personal responsibility to say, There are things I cannot change or that I can’t do right by myself. In reality, there is almost nothing that we cant change. You may not prevail, but just sitting down isnt an option either. Just moving forward, even this act changes the situation, I do this when I write and learn.
What am I going to be before I die, is not a list of fears and questions but, a collection of real experience. One of the keys to truthfully and authentically being myself is recognizing that I am a dynamic process  not a fixed entity.
I write to live and I live to write. Life all starts with me deciding to live, I choose to live and learn, enjoy the experience as it takes me and never be broken by myself or the world. I self-actualize. I am me. I am who I am.

We only have today. 

That is all we are ever promised.

And today, we must write

The real writer within you is waiting.

Jeff Goins

On The Purpose & Meaning of Life

​The idea of meaning is important, the idea of purpose of life and existence is equally as enriching and whether we wrestle with the idea of absolute or relative truth with regard to the purpose and meaning of human life, as human beings knowing its answer I believe, is the centre of  whether one has a useful and pragmatic life.

 In our day and in ages past, often in time of problems, within varieties of unhappiness, great thought or observation. The idea or ideas of life having no meaning comes up, which in fact and essence is a common and yet underrated thought.

Once upon a time the idea of a deity or deities gave meaning and purpose through a book, or messenger or by other supernatural means. We are no strangers to religion and religion isn’t either.

Religion is notoriously hard (not impossible) to measure as is it is not fixed and is more or less cultural. Religions suggest ideas that man’s purpose and meaning in life is to worship god(s).

The increase in modernisation and free thought has seen religion slowly declining (with some exceptions) as viewed through contextual polls, statistics and as viewed through the history of thousands upon thousands of extinct gods and goddesses .Nietzsche’s words may indeed stand true as “god is dead” and with that the meaning (s)he once guaranteed.

Science is no stranger and in fact, not blameless in regards to life’s meaning/purpose as science says “life is but a chain, reactions of matter, molecules and atoms”. 

In essence, as the world id advancing and being more sound and rational, life seems to have no ultimate purpose or meaning as life exists to adapt and our lives are but, a process of furthering one’s genetic material which makes many a person feel rather blink and simple, it sounds true and yet comes with feelings of pointlessness .To put it plain, you are now born, the stuff in between and then death.
In answers to questions like these many the proverbial words of “who are you to say that” or thats untrue. Whether you find something true or not, in the end, it really is up to you.

There are bad and good arguments within both science, religion and others and one must never force one’s view or declare a view as absolute truth but, one must make sound arguments, move with logic and reason.

We persuade people with wisdom and knowledge. Some good old fashioned peace, love and charm, these type of engagements are what helps solve discourse not by being dogmatic and shutting each other out.

Personally, what I have gathered, life does have practical meaning, and there steps we can all take to ensure life is in fact more meaningful and meaning can in most case be found inside ourselves as a species not through a holy book, stars, visions, fate, destiny or DNA, no objective and no ultimate meaning.
The “theory of meaning within our species” involve three things, according to Allan de Button;

Communication,

Understanding

Service.


1. COMMUNICATION

By nature, no man is an island. Since no two human beings are totally alike as we are all unique and all humans question their existence individually, people learn to function in the world by communicating, by relating with other people and the world around. 
Communication involves formulating meaningful questions and listening in order to formulate answers and building on them, learning to embrace reasoned change, taking practical steps to make not only ourselves better but others and the world as a whole.
Heidegger believes that language has a part in giving meaning to life. Humans are created by language, we use language to give something meaning, use it to tell meaning and give understanding since humans are defined by consciousness. 
Consciousness and language are nature embraced. Speech and language produce story, skill, poetry, dance, love and music, which are the foundation for culture within human society.

2. UNDERSTANDING

Loosely it can be said to be the pleasure we feel when we correct ourselves, solve an issue, and move forward, whether in major or minor things. The idea of moving past a hurdle growing as a person not being satisfied with the unknown, not having tunnel vision, making progress at best to understand the world and the people in it.
Being the bigger person truly is a satisfying feeling. I don’t know about you but, when I know something new, I didn’t know about the world, I feel bliss. I feel better, I wish not only to know but, make the best out of it.
In such moments, all is pointless but, that moment of higher learning and consciousness. I choose to raise above my weaknesses and mistakes through understanding and meaning to the best I can as I embrace and love knowledge and wisdom. If the world was more practical, more read oriented, we would be going somewhere.

3. SERVICES

One of the most meaningful things we can ever do, is being in service to others and no surprise, its a common practice in religion. To have empathy is far better than being selfish. To think about others before yourself isn’t a chore, it should be a standard and a tool, we should use to add meaning and love to our lives.
“Doing to others what you would love to be done to you” as the ancient saying goes. To improve people’s lives through reduction of pain or creating pleasure in relation to the well-being of humanity as a whole. 
From all activities, jobs, thought and events. One of life’s meaningful moments is when we move above our self-centred nature. For our service to be meaningful, it must be in line with our native sincere interests. It means knowing ourselves and finding our particular path to service. 
We may not have meaningful lives yet but, through communication, understanding and service our views and roles can be defined and in essence we can make our lives and other peoples lives meaningful and indeed have purpose.
 

“I used to think that the world was doing to me.
And that the world owed me something.
And that either the Conservatives or the Socialists
Or the Fascists or the Communists or the Christians
Or the Jews or the Fascists were doing something to me.
I don’t think that anymore cause I found out it doesn’t fucking work.
Most assholes just accept what it is anyway and get on with it, right?
So for the few of us who did question what was going on,
I have found out personally not for the whole world, that there’s no separation. We’re all one”
John Lennon

Literature & Life

​“if a man empties his purse into his head no one can take it away from him, An investment in knowledge always pays in the best interest.” 

Benjamin Franklin 

Robert Huntington Fletcher says “All literature is necessarily based on the ordinary facts of life, which we may call by the more general name of Reality.” Without a doubt, the most important and essential invention in human history is human literature.

 Literature obviously provides a relatively permanent record of information, opinions, beliefs, feelings, arguments, theories and everything in-between. As such, Literature acts as this connection or host of communication, permitting people from many a timeline to speak to anyone willing to listen.
But what’s the point? Of course, modernity has not been particularly promising toward the greater sense of literary, which is evident in the speech and actions of many.  This medium still holds true despite all this. Am not one to tell you to read more but I do feel people should. 
Mahatma Gandhi had observed that of all the acts that a man tries and learns to cultivate perhaps the most difficult art of accomplishment is the art of living.
Literature no doubt is one main source useful to learning the art of living. Literature of any kind is used to convey a message, to equip and to express an individual’s or groups’ point of view, diverse it may be. 
Leo Tolstoy argues that all literature revolves around two central issues:

Who are we?

How shall we live?

Which are both true and well thought questions in view of literature. Literature is said to be like a mirror, we use to hold up and learn something about ourselves and allows us to learn about another world.
 Literatures fosters a higher order thinking and essential skills to life. I know am stating the obvious or maybe it’s the growing writer in me but, we are literature and literature is us. There is power in a good read. 
The conception of philosophy as it has grown in the past was seen to embrace all departments of human knowledge and is still evident as it has not wholly passed away even in our day. Philosophy has a way of letting living and literature met and come to life. 
“Knowledge of the lowest kind,” says Herbert Spencer, “is un-unified knowledge; Science is partially-unified knowledge; Philosophy is completely-unified knowledge.” As Literature is the mother of all unified knowledge. She is this epic adventure of mystery, wonder and expands the realms of all willingly to hear.
Any people who is intellectually high minded won’t mind appreciating and loving the things of literature and philosophy. As literature is to life, so is philosophy to the love of life. So why not get invested and mindful into a good book, not just for literature sake but for your sake.

“Read in order to live” 

Gustave Flaubent

Facticity

“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.”

William Shakespeare

A good look at the world, past, present or future shows how not only diverse we are as societies, cultures and groups but, how unique we are as individuals and how we respond to the world around us as our reality is constructed.

According to Jean Paul Sartre, one is thrown into the world as being put in a particular ethnicity, religion, nationality, social economic system and etc. Without any say in the matter, this he says is our facticity. It can be said to be the individual part, we are all born with, the quality or state of being who we are.

Facticity as a concept defined in his book “Being and Nothingness” he states, “one cannot choose their facticity, but can choose how to relate to the world around them.

This freedom is part of the human condition. We define our existence in life by determining our purpose in life. We make life our particular project and things have value in the firm of the project we, ourselves create.”

To say that one is only one’s past would be to ignore a significant and specific part of one’s reality (the present and the future), while saying that one’s past is only what one was, would entirely disassociate it from oneself .

A denial of one’s own concrete, perceived past and a realization to do something with one’s present and future constitutes an inauthentic lifestyle, one of smoke and mirror and the same goes for all other kinds of ones facticity.

Facticity also puts across the point that,one must not apologize for what they didn’t choose, can’t change in view of their facticity and others shouldn’t use facticity as a tool of oppression, hence issues like slavery, racism are truly inhumane and primitive.

In his book, Sartre gives an example of a man in prison, he says a prisoner has a choice. He can try to escape or  change his life according to the situation or commit suicide.

The fact that his locked up doesn’t restrict his freedom, rather his choice to believe, given his situation that he or she is Unfree, because the prisoner’s goals reside outside the prison ,its not the physical bars that torment him but, his unwillingness to meet his current goal with his current situation.

Freedom only truly exists in the context of one’s own project, your own ends and understanding of the world. “In fact I am nothing but a project of myself beyond a determined situation, and this project pre-outlines me in term of the concrete situation as in addition it illumines the situation in terms of my choice”, You are really what you feed yourself, rather than what you eat.

Each person is their own project, has their own situation. If one has more resources than another, that doesn’t make one more free. Both are free to create and construct their ends as such there is no superior or inferior life situation as there is no absolute to say who has the best meaning in life.

As such, there is no way to determine who has the most objective life, as it goes into the age old game of semantics. We are all radically free to create meaning and that’s all that matters to Sartre.

A central influence of facticity is existentialism, which purports that existence precedes essence, which means that the most important consideration for individuals is that they are individuals, sentient, conscious beings, rather than what labels, roles, stereotypes, definitions, or other preconceived box you want to put anyone in. One is their facticity but isn’t solely their facticity.

The actual life of the individuals is what constitutes what could be called their “true essence” instead of there being an arbitrarily popular label. Thus, human beings, through their own consciousness, create their own values and determine a meaning to their life.

The notion that “bad things don’t happen to good people”; there is no such thing as a good person or a bad person; shit happens, and it may just as well happen to a “good” person as to a “bad” person.

A person can choose to act in a different way as respect to who they are and their facticity. Here we see that since humans can choose to be either cruel or good, they are, in fact, neither of these things essentially.

The idea of facticity gives us a healthy perspective of who we are, helps us understand and appreciate ourselves and others. Facticity shows us that as much as we don’t have the power to do everything or change everything, we do have the power to choice what influences, builds, hurts us and others, and how we related to the world and other people in it.

Embracing one’s facticity means taking pride in ourselves, being confidence in enough to accept the “beautiful mess” we all are. Accepting one’s lot and building the courage to face one’s reality and project.

Facticity as such it makes us have an unbiased and unprejudiced mindset that are directed to people not of our own and helps us understanding our past as it aids us to value and respect self and aids us to makes the best out of what the future and present throws at us.

“Anatomy is destiny.”

Sigmund Freud.