Saturday, November 19, 2016

Are we running towards something or away from something?

I believe human nature, no matter how neurotic one becomes, remains unchanged. Everything comes down to basic math. Whatever it is we do now, we believe that the opposite is worse. That is to say, we will only put ourselves through something if we believe we will be worse off if we do not do so.

If we put ourselves through happy, joyful and blissful activities that make us happy, it is because we believe that if we didn't do it, we won't be as happy - very logical. So too is the same when we choose to put ourselves through discomfort. We believe that if we did not suffer this discomfort, we will have to suffer an even greater discomfort.

This is where the concept of delayed gratification becomes exploited in everyone's life. Masked as something good instead of bad, it is rationalized as suffering today for a better tomorrow - the social mark for a mature individual. Yet what it really is, is the running away from a perceived worse-off tomorrow instead of a perceived better tomorrow.

I use the word perceive because we act based off what we think and not what is. Sometimes, these two are in line but sometimes, they're not. Because they are not in this case, people become neurotic. They are running, some even sprinting, away from something they perceive to be but does not exist. It's like trying to run away from ghosts. It doesn't exist but you constantly think its only an inch behind you so not only will you have to keep running, you better accelerate. Yet in reality, there is nothing behind you. (I'm working with the assumption ghost don't exist....)

This fear of a worse-off tomorrow if we don't work hard today, it is of no basis. Its legitimacy lies in a few key areas: everyone is doing it, you learnt it from young, you learnt it from people you trust or respect(parents, teachers, etc) but they are also neurotic, it is reinforced by authoritative/powerful figures (governments, capitalist, etc) because it serves their purpose. (ok really been learning too much sociology)

Yet, it is of no basis. Really. Now all the arguments otherwise can be convincing. In fact, this race that everyone is running have led to so many individuals accumulating a wealth of knowledge in language, debating and what not that many could easily whoop my ass in a debate.

So instead of debating with me, try this: today, you act as if this fear did not exist. So you will continue to behave in way that you believe if you did not do so, you will be worse off. Except now that might mean doing things you like or just doing nothing. I guarantee you enjoyed today better than your last few days. The only possible reason you did not is the neurotic mind of yours is eating up at you with anxiety, thinking you will be worse-off for not suffering now so you cannot actually enjoy you day. But lets pretend that's not a problem. Now you do this everyday and you stop only when you realize that your fear-of-no-basis comes true. That is to say you finally are really worse-off right now than if you were neurotically sprinting away from ghosts everyday. If you think about it, that day never really comes.

Now don't get me twisted. I am not a radical. I am simply seeing things for what they are. I'm not anti hard work or anti work. I'm not saying your life will be so amazing just by doing this. This is just simple logic. And if we follow the logic, all I am saying is much of our fear is imaginary - it has no basis. Now, certainly some fears are legitimate. The fear that if you don't do anything you will die, yes that's true. You need to eat and drink water and to do that a certain level of work is required. Then again, why fear death? But let's not go too far shall we.

Perhaps all I am suggesting is before we blindly run, we be conscious of why is it we are running. That maybe it'll serve us better if we walked and enjoy the view, take a nap if we're tired. Running from ghosts can be quite exhausting.

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