What If Money Was No Object

When I finished graduate school I had just finished a whooping eight years of ‘superior’ education. I got my paper, I felt proud for five minutes. I then asked myself, now what?

The common path was obvious. Get a full-time job in a big corporation, earn better than average wages, have stability and start thinking about what was going to be the first purchase, a car, a condo, or something else I’ve always wanted like a 3000$ dollar mountain bike.

It did not sound appealing to me. And for the first time in my life I felt like I had lost my identity. I knew the day I would no longer be a student would eventually come my way(Student in the academic sense).

I did not get advice from my peers, and when I asked for some, I was told I was out of my mind for rejecting good offers and to say no to join the common herd. It’s true that making it on your own has historically returned a low probability for success, but that’s when I am reminded of something that Alan Watt’s said : “What if money was no object?”.

I have a vision and I believe that for as long as I enjoy what I do, things will go just fine. And for those who say that this advice isn’t easy to follow, well I am doing it and it hasn’t killed me.

If You Are Feeling the Rush

Today was one of those days where circumstances were not favorable. And that’s just fine. Bad days happen and there isn’t too much thought that is put into events that are beyond our control. Some of those circumstances could have been avoided had I noticed I was starting to feel the rush to get things done and get results quick though.

Bottom Bracket Parts

A good example is my dad’s bike. My roommate had a friend that previously owned the bike, but he returned to his home country and so he gave it to me. I thought that fixing it up and giving it to my dad as a present would be a neat idea(He had asked for one some time ago).

The bike in question was old though. The crank set was fucked when I received the bike so it was the first thing I tried to fix. It ended up taking 5 hours of grueling work to get out both wedges from the crank arms. After finally removing the set my experienced friend recommended I change the spindle to something more modern, but I was convinced that re-building the original set was a decent idea. I proceeded with my idea, after finishing I noticed the set was a little wobbly, but after 7 hours of work in the bike shop all I could think about was about getting rid of the darned thing. And so I left with a bike that still needed some love. My dad got the bike.

A few days later he calls me complaining about the crank set being unstable when he puts pressure on the pedals. Since a few days had gone by I felt like I could give this bike another shot. So I spent another day trying to fix the pedals. Their were complications, I found a torn bearing crown inside the crank shaft and the wedges were simply not easy to work with. I tore it all down and when for my friends advice. It was frustrating, but at least now I had a plan. I installed a more modern crank set from salvaged parts with vigor, but also a mind full of anger that was ready to blow.

The bike is still not fully functional, but mark my words, taking the time to do things right, even if it is the first time, as well as to ask the valuable feedback of more experienced folk is what I will do next time. I still can’t believe I thought it was reasonable to half-ass a job instead of calling it a day after having had enough.

Lesson learned.

Fear, Hatred and Love

I was talking to my room mate about relationships. He told me a girl he knows said that fear was the opposite of love. I didn’t know at the time, but the commonly accepted idea is that indifference is the opposite of love. Still. that thought was worth thinking about more profoundly and so we kept talking back and forth.

Somehow, we went brought up that hatred might be the actual the opposite of love. We couldn’t really figure this one out.

If I simply base myself on intuition, I would say that fear is the opposite of love. Not hatred. Not because I know for sure, but I did read a few times in different literature how fear is the parent of all other negative values. Why hatred would be a candidate instead of fear wasn’t obvious. And so again as we finished our conversation, I went back to my room to think about this.

I started off with a basic question : Why would you feel hatred towards someone? Because you let them hurt you. You took the stimulus, validated it and out of that came a response, which is came to be : What you said is making me angry.

If we accept someones behavior or verbal language we probably value them. And that’s how hatred starts manifesting itself. You hate someone because you have an emotional investment in them and that you accepted what they did to you.

Once we have validated their act, we can turn to hatred as a defense mechanism. And how is that linked with fear? Well, in order to limit the amount of hurt coming towards us, we hate to stop any other amount of hurt coming in, which is based out of a fear for further pain.

There we have it. Hate is just another fear-based emotion. Mind you, it’s easy to observe and talk about past events rationally, but it takes tremendous force to evaluate our response to reverse the hate we may have in a given situation. To realize that the hate is not helping us that it is simply fuel for more arguments. Which is okay, we are usually better at picking up valuable lessons from bad things than good things. So let’s not be too per-occupied if we go down a negative path, because in the right mindset, it is an opportunity for exponential growth. Let’s just try not to repeat patterns that make our lives miserable.

Reminds me of The Bhagavad Gita: The Path of Consecrated Action.

Reminds me of The Bhagavad Gita: The Path of Consecrated Action. Although I must object when it comes to visions of greatness. As long as we know they are simply visualizations, they are good reminders of why we do things these “little actions” and procure a sense of direction. As they say, focus on the leaf and you forget about the tree, focus on the tree and you forget about the forest…

Value over Attitude and Behavior

Say you are on a boat. It’s a living hell outside. The weather became unpredictably bad, the boat started rocking and all you could think of is “Were doomed!”.

An experienced sailor may look at signs or make preparations that lend him a better chance to survive the storm. Once he has done his best, he would find something stable to hold unto. In common cases, unexperienced folks on a boat will immediately seek shelter and stability.

What does this tell us about life? That we seek stability. Even in a crisis, unless we have convincing signs that can help us avoid a dramatic event that may cause us pain, our best bet is to hold on and ride out the waves rushing towards us.

Now it is obvious, in the boat scenario you will hold unto the mast or the solid structures that are immediately close to you. In our heads things are a little different.

Because of poor intuition, a narrow view or hasty judgment, we seem to try and hold unto what is immediately obvious. These are our attitudes and behaviors. It is easy to recognize a reactive or frantic individual. It is also easy to recognize our bad moves and our good moves; right now or twenty years ago. We would like to shift our perspective and bring some kind of consistency into our system.

When we talk about consistency we mean carrying our own social weather. We act diligently in good or bad weather. We are value-driven.

We can all enumerate a list of values, but their are over 300 of them. It’s overwhelming to think of all of them. It would be a better idea to figure out principles that back us up instead. Then the values will flow out naturally without our need to constantly supervise every move. No one likes interactions with a control-freak. Especially when this freak is our own mind.

One of those principles, which in our opinion is fundamental is something that Viktor Frankl[*] came up with. It is called the last human freedom. Which exposes that between what happens to us and our answer to what happens to us; man has the freedom to make a choice.

Other important principles exist, but this article is concerned with bringing awareness to the prerequisites; which can help us become more stable and naturally make us more dependable within our relationships and other areas of life.

[*] Man’s Search for Meaning, Frankl, Viktor E.