A Thought

I had this idea. When you really like someone, you have chances of subtly increasing your expectations. Or in other words, you might dream up different outcomes and strongly identify with them. I’m talking about relationships here because I believe that love is a powerful agent of change. You can meet people who remain stoic, but when they involve themselves in a member of the opposite sex you can see some basic human traits coming back to life. If you get rejected it stings a bit because of all those powerful visualizations that fooled you into thinking of the outcome becoming a reality.

In hindsight, it is good to feel rejected. It makes you understand how others feel when they live in that position. Will it change your behavior? Maybe not.

Then there’s the other side. You meet someone who is deeply interested in you, but you either don’t find them attractive or aren’t seeing them as potential mating partners. You let them go naturally without a hint of empathy.

I still think we all fabricate our own reality and it is in our power to accept or decline how others feel and hence how we feel about them. It sounds selfish and heartless, but I don’t think this definition means you can’t feel for someone else. It just means that you feel for them, knowing full-well that it is their reality. The only way we can really feel for someone is to map their situation back to a situation that happened to us. So again, we are back to expressing their pain in our personal reality.

I’ve had discussions about this with many people. It gets sensitive with long-term relationships, deaths and other personal artefact's that people keep close to their heart. Because they think I mean that there is no time to mourn, but that is not true.

There is a time to cry and there is a time to stop and get moving. At the end of the day, change is one of life’s most powerful constants.

Self-Improvement

One of the first books I ever bought in the self-improvement category was Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I was having a rough time at school, spent my weekends working minimum wage with no sense of purpose and “needed” entertainment at night to forget my daily existence. All of those shows that portrayed a better life seemed very real to me.

It’s foolish to think that you will find the remedy to your misery in a book. I was that fool, but I had heart and I was willing to try. In reality, the key is within us, it’s right there waiting for us. I do think that your personal journey has a lot to do with what you think that key can open and how fast you can pick it up though. Some people won’t pick it up, they will die before it happens.

In the beginning, I read those type of books thinking “There’s something wrong with me.” I was automatically separating myself with a better image of what I wanted to be. This gab between my current reality and the projected image caused a lot of pain and wasted a load of energy on my part. I took a long time to question why I would feel sick, about my place in society and in my way of handling my perceptions. I could never wish to sleep just to sleep. Sleep just became a place where a load of thoughts would swarm me until the early hours of the morning. And then I had a funny thought. If you can spend your whole life neglecting your health and staying depressed, you can certainly live this whole life feeling great and demonstrating indomitable assurance instead.

That was back in 2012. Four years have passed, a lot of changes went on and life is much better. It ended up taking me many trials and errors to find my key. Sometimes I lose it, if I feel too proud or if I hit an unlucky streak I am far too tempted to swear at the universe.

My position today is simply a big change in perspective and a few life-style tweaks. I keep reading books, but now I do it out of curiosity and because I find it almost addictive now. There’s so much to know about the world and so little time to do it. I still have bad days, but I do not feel like the sole victim anymore, it has nothing to do with me anymore.

You know, to start off, it’s practically necessary to come from a bad place. It respects the principle of duality. Most of us are seeking answers to our ill-being and automatically accept that we are inadequate. So don’t feel too bad if today’s the first day on your long journey to personal change and that you think your mindset is wrong. If that isn’t the case, then I invite you to make sure you aren’t rationalizing your behavior.

Surfing in Montreal

It’s been on my list for a long time. To check out the surfing possibilities in Montreal. There are two spots, I went to the one named Habitat 67. Which is named after a unique building complex where every house is built as a block:

Habitat 67

It was surprisingly close to the city. The spot is about a 5-minute drive from the cities Old Port district which coasts the LaChine Canal and is next to the downtown area of Montreal.

Someone who owns a bicycle surf-rack would have no problem getting there with a bike, but from what I saw that day, most people drove by car. There are loads of free parking zones next to the surf point entrance.

As far as getting to the spot, it is straightforward. There’s a tennis court next to the blocky building. And there lies a narrow path which coasts the St-Laurent river:

Habitat 67 Surfing entrance

It takes about one minute to reach the end of the narrow path. There, a small rocky staircase goes down the river. Obviously, were talking river surfing here. The wave created is atypical in the sense that it is created by the flowing current and the rock formations underneath which, combined, favorably generate a surf-able wave.

A surfer going towards the current

Figuring out how to ride the wave is straightforward. I met a bunch of surfers and just like that you meet new people. Super friendly and akin to answering any questions you might have.

Briefly, you swim against the current and drop into a shallower portion. Once you reach the sweet spot, it’s standard surfing. You can spend an infinite amount of time in the wave. So it’s great to practice turning and carving, but won’t be of much use if you can’t stand up on your board. Finally, you finish off by either turning right to exit the wave or let yourself get pushed behind. There is another path close to the entrance which lets you get back on the path. Rinse-repeat.

Habitat 67 river wave

I was there in the afternoon, so I can’t say how the wave behaves early in the morning. I raise this point because there were about 9 surfers, but there is only one wave. You end up waiting in line, which might be a drawback for some people. It’s potentially wiser to go early in the morning.

At the end of the day, this is an awesome opportunity for city dwellers who want to practice their surfing in-between vacation while skipping the 6-hour drive to Main in the states.

Insincere

I have noticed a trait in my persona lately that doesn’t please me one bit. The need to avoid confrontations and the need not to be rude. To manage this trait and improve my living, I usually describe the situation, propose a solution and start acting. So here goes.

Description: Sometimes you know you need to do something that doesn’t please you, but you put it off knowing that it will be troublesome. I’m doing that when I need to cancel my plans or when I have bad news for someone.

Solution: I visualize myself successfully doing it. Then I do it; promptly. It feels like removing junk from your backpack. It stops being on your consciousness and you can start tackling other matters.

Description: Sometimes I face situations or people that have a negative impact on my development. I may start feeling resentment, or scenarios where I play out repeatedly the occurrence and it zaps me of my energy.

Solution: Formulate a decent answer, make sure it doesn’t come from a place of emotion and build some compassion before acting. If it is a situation I find myself in, then enumerate possible outcomes and choose the one that is appropriate. There are no problems, just situations that need catering. There is no need to be upset, but a healthy dose of urgency can kick your ass into action to avoid rationalizing reasons as to stay in a shitty situation.

Description: Sometimes I lie to people as not to hurt their feelings.

Solution: Answer back with conviction and assertiveness. It doesn’t have to be insulting, it is in their best interest. Imagine a scenario where they take it well and are glad you gave them true feedback. Understand that you would also prefer knowing the truth instead of thinking that what you do makes sense. If they take it badly, well shit, you shouldn’t be over-sensitive to other peoples reality.

Bottom line: All of the descriptions display a common evil. The fear of losing face, of being hurt by others for acting, for showing your individuality. And what do all of the solutions display? Being prompt, logical with a sense of duty that has nothing to do with prolonged guilt and culpability. I have been working on eliminating this trait with every challenge that came my way. Thanks to repetition, my mental pathways are forged upon good decisions and are making it easier and easier to deal with these situations.

Thinking About Karma

“It is not fair.”

Man. I have conflicted views on karma. Some people talk about it being dictated by your past lives, others talk about doing good to build up some “good karma” and finally you have people who tell you to act well to have the best shot at a good future life.

As far as it goes, acting to harness good karma feels like giving someone a 20$ bill that he dropped during a stroll to avoid the guilt of having bad stuff happen to you in the future.

Isn’t it greedy to act upon a situation to get the goodies? Why not act out of your values and principles. When you decide to help someone why not do it because you know it sucks to be in a pinch.

There was a story about a Mexican family who stopped over to help an American who’s car had stalled on the highway. After helping the driver, the Latino husband said : “Today you, tomorrow me”. That’s all it took. He put himself in the driver’s place and knew it was a stressful situation to be in. Sure it wasn’t 100% altruistic, but that day, he took some of his own time to help a man with no reward whatsoever in mind.

Bad things happen to good people. That Mexican family might have gotten a flat tire a few miles farther down the road and were forced to pay for a tow truck.

Which is to say, life is blind, luck is complex, shit happens and all that you really have control over is your attitude which impacts your relationship with other human beings. Those human beings are not life, they have the power to care, the power to support your endeavor and also the power to change themselves after seeing your deeds.