Sunday, 29 May 2011

Making It Memorable

"Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT'S relativity." ~Albert Einstein

How do you slow down time?  That is, the perception of it.  I speak not of time dilation...at the time being.

I declared this past New Year's (or was it the one before...) that my attempt at slowing down time would involve making it memorable.  How best to hold onto a moment than by making it impossible for forget?

This has basically involved saying 'yes' and being open to new adventures, and saying 'no' to anything less.

What's curious is the reception of this new attitude of mine: since adopting it, I've developed something of a following...

I don't think life was meant to be spent unhappily.  I don't think that my new outlook should be rare.  ...but so few people ever even consider what makes them happy, and of those that do, significantly fewer actually do something about it.

This life is a short one.  Don't waste it.  Go after your dreams with everything you've got!

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Plans, Hopes, and Dreams

Since my dad passed away, everything's changed.  He was a big part of my "why": why I work, why I study, why I manage my life the way I do.  We talked about life - plans, hopes and dreams - every time we got the chance, which was usually during a drive.  He would drive me from home to UTM to study because it was one of my favourite places to study.

When I was a child, I felt as if he spoke to me as if I were an adult.  He would ask for my thoughts, and valued my opinions.  He let me reason out my own decisions, and taught me to be strong and live with all of the consequences, whether good or bad.

As a teenager, when things got busy and all we had was breakfast, then breakfast was what we did together every single morning.  He'd share a story from his youth, or talk about current affairs, and I would dribble on about my plans, hopes, and dreams.  I talked to him about what I wanted out of life, and how I planned to get there.  I talked to him about any obstacles I was facing and how I planned to overcome them.  I told him about my principles and how I'd never betray them.  I talked about my shortcomings and how I planned to address them.

I loved my father, and every day that he's gone is a reminder that I need to carve out my own path without him.  A lot of things became startlingly clear following his death, but none more so than the fact that I built a lot of my plans, hopes, and dreams around his being here to share them with me.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Maybe

In my first salaried job, whenever I got tired, there were two coordinators who always told me that sleep was for the weak.  "You can sleep when you die!" they preached, and when I thought of the thousands of participants who counted on our efforts, I would buckle down and power through.

*

In my second salaried job, everything was about balance.  Family - work - self.  Balance.  Workshops, courses, mantras were all centred on finding the right balance, and how balance was the key to achieving our dreams.   Life is a marathon, and you have to learn to pace yourself.

**

In a short stint in a miserable environment, there were no motivational words.  Neither words to keep me going when I was tired, nor words to slow me down to keep me from burning out.

Each day was neither busy, nor slow; neither interesting nor boring.  I stopped learning, and growing.  I stopped thinking, and feeling.  I stopped being passionate.  I stopped being me.   The position was neither fulfilling nor worthwhile.  Monetary gains could not make up for the personal losses.

***

I was in DC this past weekend, and I had dinner with a friend that I had made on my trip there the weekend prior.  I told him that after two weekends in the DC area, I didn't ever want to leave.  I admitted that the only reason that I may have felt this way was because I was running from everything back home.

My friend told me that it's running when it's irresponsible.  Maybe you're running to something, he said.  Maybe.  Maybe you found something you've been looking for, something you've needed but never knew you did.

Maybe, just maybe, he was right.
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