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Not Being a Robot

On Tynan

One of my overarching goals in how I present myself is to be consistent. Although the relationships I have with my family, friends, acquaintances, and random people on the internet is always going to be different, I try to be the same person with all of those groups. I think authenticity is important, and this consistency is a sign of authenticity.

Try as I might, though, people who read my stuff online and then meet me in person are consistently surprised that I'm actually a happy guy who jokes around a lot and is more human than robot. I see why people expect me to be different, though. My writing tends to be serious and I'm always talking about habits or rules or working hard.

Although all of this rigidity is a big part of my life, it's also just the foundation. From the rigid parts of my life I'm able to get a tremendous amount of work done, keep myself healthy, and move towards my goals. But there's also a lot that it can't do. Rigidity doesn't build relationships or spark creativity, two important parts of life.

I think you learn a lot about someone when you see what he does when there's nothing he has to do. And I think by changing what you do when you have nothing to do, you can change what sort of person you are. I design my life to have as few as possible externally-dictated things that I absolutely have to do, and I create systems to fill that void. Every day I have sixteen hours ahead of me, and no one to tell me what to do in that time except myself.

In Praise of Hopelessness

On Reflections

I took this picture in Kochi a long time back but I think the traffic sign saying GO SLOW has a deeper meaning - we are sprinting towards a hoped for future; slow down and take stock for a change. NO MOBILE IN DRIVING - focus on what you are doing right now!

Hope is a wonderful thing. Its great to have hopes and to be hopeful. Hope is like an ointment or a pain relieving gel, isn't it? It reduces the pain you are experiencing now, reduces the intensity of the difficulties you are in at the moment as you hope for a better tomorrow. But that is all it does though, unfortunately. It makes us yearn for a future but doesn't help us with the present. While hope is a real catalyst for our future by giving us a picture to look at, in reality hope doesn't get you that future; it cant. You need to be alive, first of all, and you need to resolve your present woes before you get anywhere else. How do you get out of the present mess? And, how do you ensure you don't find yourself here again? Well, merely hoping is kind of hopeless!

We need to act now. We need to do something now. Whatever that might be. Too much hoping takes you away from the present. All your achievements and your dreams can only be played out in the present. Your hard work towards it, your perseverance, can only be played out now.

Our way of life puts way too much emphasis on the future and little on the present. Of course we get by but rather unconsciously. Our eyes are gazing out into the future or we get muddled by something from the past. This is how we live. And in the present, we just go on doing things without knowing why exactly nor without understanding if some of the causes of our problems stem from these things.

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