What Matters More: The Journey Or The Result?

When you sit back and think about your life, what has been driving you forward? Is it something you have chosen? Is it society’s system? And do you wish it was any different?

Recently I had a discussion with a friend about the impact of the education system and a world where results and achievements are considered the “be all and end all”. We live in a society, particularly as we are growing up, where we are constantly taught to think about the end result – the grade, the next school and the move to college, university or work. We are looking ahead because we are told that’s how we make a life for ourselves. But what about our life in the present moment?

In my opinion, the education system never placed enough emphasis on learning for learning’s sake. It felt like every piece of content thrown our way was there to simply learn and regurgitate. And yes, many of us did enjoy certain aspects of school, perhaps because we found our own way to find meaning in what was given to us. However, why not teach children how to find that meaning? Instead of driving end results that tear down those who haven’t yet found their passion, why not teach them how to enjoy the ride?

The problem with focusing too much on the end result, such as achieving a grade or securing a job, is that the moment is fleeting. The emotions associated with success and fulfillment don’t last forever, because if we tie our self-worth to one single end goal, what will we then be without it? As much as an end result or goal may motivate us to get up in the morning and do what we need to do to succeed, it teaches us that there is nothing else out there for us if we can’t do it – or even if we can. Why work solely towards something that is impermanent – an end result simply for achievements sake? Why not appreciate a journey that is filled with permanent meaning, regardless of the outcome?

I think it’s interesting to ask others what they believe is more important: The journey or the result. It’s interesting because I think most people would say journey, but whether this reflects in their lives is a whole different matter. Do we really appreciate the journey if we let failure destroy our sense of self? Do we really appreciate the journey if we are getting impatient towards our goals? It is easy to forget that the present moment is often valuable in itself. As much as the future holds meaning and value for many of us, it doesn’t exist yet. It is only what we do now, in the present, that even makes it an eventual reality.

So, next time you find yourself working towards an end result, take a step back and reflect on your emotions. Are you placing too much of your sense of self in the outcome, or do you know you are valuable, regardless? Are you getting agitated at the steps you need to reach a goal, or are you feeling gratitude towards what you are learning along the way?

We all get wrapped up in results – it’s inevitable. In many ways, results is what keeps the world moving. But we must remember to detach our self-worth from it. We are more than what we have to show.

What matters more to you: the journey or the result?

I would love to hear your perspective on this topic in the comments.


Why Do We Feel Emotions For Fictional Characters When They Don’t Exist?

Don’t you just love that feeling when you dive straight into the world of a book, becoming almost like a secondary character to the story that unfolds, feeling the character’s emotions as if they’re your own?

It’s only when we think more about the process of reading a novel that we realise the emotions that arise are for non-beings. We are feeling a story that doesn’t exist in the real, physical world and yet it feels as real as anything. Why is this? How is this? How is the brain capable of translating a fictional text into a real world inside our own minds? And why do we believe in it?

I don’t think there is an answer to any of these questions – not definitively – but I do think it’s interesting to reflect upon. I find that when I’m reading a book, I often lose track of time. It really is like entering a new world. But I also know that I become the world. Not just in my mind, but my emotions are intertwined with that of the characters.

I think perhaps this is down to humans being, at heart, social beings. Whether a character is real or not, we relate to them in some way. After all, the characters are written by real humans and often those real human authors slide parts of themselves into their characters. It is almost like a lens in which we see the author through the character, yet in our minds it is still the character, but it allows us to relate to another life wholly different to our own.

Perhaps we feel the emotions of a character as our own because we read to feel something – I know, on some level, I do. We read to find something to latch onto – something relatable, something meaningful, something real. We read to understand the human condition better – whether we realise it or not – or we read to see a different perspective. Essentially, we must read for the same reason we read a film or watch a TV show – they are almost one and the same.

The Theory of Mind says that reading improves empathy and I agree; reading a book is like meeting a lot of different people at a party except they are in their natural habitat and their thoughts are sometimes expressed and they’re unique and not real but could easily be real, if they were fathomed into existence.

Ultimately, our mind is capable of wild imagination. Reading a book is, at its core, simply reading words on a page, and yet we create this whole world in our minds – the way it looks, the way it feels – from these words. It is our capability to imagine that makes it so real. Without our mind transferring these words into a little film inside our head, perhaps we wouldn’t be so emotionally attached to the journey. Perhaps we wouldn’t really absorb any of it at all.

The truth is that reading is a truly unique experience. One book has millions of different versions inside the heads of every single person who reads it. And no one can enter that other experience. No one knows what it’s like to see those words through the lens of those eyes, because they only know their own. Reading becomes a personal experience. It has to be. We connect with it in the way that we want to connect with it, even if the link isn’t even really there. And I think we do that with a lot of things; we find ourselves in art because that’s how something becomes meaningful – when we can relate to it. It’s both self-indulgent and curious and sad and enlightening. It’s many things that can’t really be put into words.

And I think this post is mostly me typing out a load of my thoughts with no coherence to them whatsoever but, like reading, it’s just one single personal experience and to you it’s a whole other personal experience, but they all join to one point: the love of reading. And I think that’s pretty remarkable.

Why do you think we feel emotions for fictional characters?

I’d be interested to know what you think.

Let me know in the comments below!


Discovering the Purpose of Our Lives

Hello! This is Kiran from Pro Investivity. I am glad to share with you a guest post on this topic. I am a personal development and an investment blogger. I write explicitly in various ways and proven methods for personal growth and also help you with your investing journey.

I consider myself determined to learn more and engraved into development. As they say, every person is born with a purpose, we also need to discover it. Before starting out, I would like to personally thank Alice for providing this wonderful opportunity of letting me guest post in her amazing blog. 

 

Why Most People Can’t Find Their Purpose?

photo on goal
It is always easier to say that I have a stated goal. More often, we can hear from people that they want to be a millionaire, they want to have a big house and so on. I can’t see the ultimate purpose behind their statement. If you consider the statements like these as your purpose then, I have a big question for you,

What will you do after becoming a millionaire or having a big house?

In this fast pace of life, we are driven to fulfill our materialistic desire. By being in a job for long hours with a motive to earn more, we feel that we don’t have sufficient time to discover our real purpose in life. Waking up, going to school (or job), returning home. We continue the same cycle every day. Even though we make a daily routine to follow, we are deviating from it with the uncertainty of our own objectives. The wiser are getting wiser than earlier not because they are selfish but because they have found the purpose of their lives. 

I don’t have to find somewhere to find an example, as I would like to provide my own illustration. It was me stating my purpose of living as to just get a proper job to run my family. I thought this was all I had to do throughout my whole life. I would like to describe my real transformation in the following paragraphs.

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for a newer and richer experience.”

― Eleanor Roosevelt

 

How To Find The Reason For Your Life?

question mark

Well, if you are the kind of person who wants to utilize the best from your life (I know you want to), you don’t necessarily have to be an intelligent person. Even though you are in school, work, or hassling around, you can live your life with a true purpose. 

Giving sufficient time to know about yourself is the grand step you should take to discover your life’s purpose. If the problem is with time, you could think about this when you are commuting. You could go through your past and find out what you have achieved so far. 

You may raise a point here, it is easier said than done. At the time, I question you,

Does this mean we should be the slave of our false purpose?

Likewise, reading books can also assist you to find the purpose of your life, just like it did for me. Who knows if reading books would be a game-changer for your life? While reading Start With Why by Simon Sinek, I was shocked to know how foolishly I had been stating the purpose of my life. It was me dreaming of landing at a proper job and calling myself a purposeful engineer. It was a challenge for me as a millennial to get the path to my ultimate purpose. After much thinking afterward, I realized I wanted to work for the people who have been deprived of education and other basic amenities of life. Even if I could help 10 people enhance their lives, I would consider myself as a life well-lived.

Besides, learn from experienced people from different fields. They might have unfolded the secret of their growth which in turn can benefit you. I have met so many people who were dedicated to achieving the goal they believed in their life’s sole purpose. Only later did they discover it as the incorrect path and then had to change their life’s direction. 

 

“The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.”

― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

 

Take your time and don’t forget to enjoy the process of finding your purpose. Live your life gracefully, with determination. I would like to sum up with the quote that has inspired me immensely, and I’m sure you would feel the same way.

 

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

―  Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Once again, I would like to thank Alice for giving me this opportunity to feature my article in her marvellous blog. 

If you like to soak yourself into your personal growth and unfold the steps to overcome challenges, you may also love to visit:

Challenges for Millennials In Personal Development

My Morning Routine During this CoronaVirus Pandemic

Secrets To Personal Development As Per Your Age

“Real art has the capacity to make us nervous”

A while ago, I came across the quote “Real art has the capacity to make us nervous.” It has stuck with me for a long time, reappearing every now and again when I contemplate the vulnerabilities and sensitivities behind a piece of artwork.

When speaking of art, I think this can relate not only to images, paintings or sketches, but also writing and blogging. They all involve creative sharing. So what makes them real enough to make us nervous, and why do they make us nervous?

Arguably, all art is real. It exists, therefore it’s real, right? However, in the context of this quote, real is perhaps referring to a depth of emotion. It is real because it originates from real feelings and experiences. It is real because it is the artist’s soul on a page.

I think real art makes us nervous because it acknowledges pain that we haven’t yet acknowledged in ourselves. It may be seen as a weakness or a shocking revelation, but if it is seen in this way, perhaps it is only because the onlooker hasn’t yet acknowledged their own struggles. Real art reveals the repressed. It challenges your thoughts in order to find ways you can relate to it. And if not relatable to yourself, to someone in your life.

Real art can be scary. It throws emotions at your face that, ironically, you don’t want to face. It embodies the kind of bravery and confidence we all wish we had. And I think this is what makes real art so beautiful. It doesn’t make me nervous, but it makes me happy – to see someone else accept and embrace themselves regardless of judgements.

How do you feel about real art? Does it make you nervous?

Do you Spend 90% of Your Time Indoors?

A couple of days ago my friend Dyspraxia Diaries 101 send me a video of a TV Ad (link below) and I was so inspired by it that I could not help but come here to express how amazing it is.

To give a brief overview, it is about “The Indoor Generation” and how, as we’ve grown older, the outdoors has been replaced more and more by the indoors. Apparently, we spend 90% of our time indoors, which is completely insane. Why do we not appreciate the outdoors as much as we used to?

It’s fairly obvious that the increase in technology is a huge factor in this. Because kids are given phones and iPads at such a young age, they replace going outside with gaming apps or watching TV. Even I am guilty of watching Netflix on a sunny day instead of going outside.

Watching the Ad made me feel sad, particularly for children, that their lives don’t involve the kind of outdoor fun and games I used to enjoy as a child. It’s hindering their use of imagination and the ability to appreciate what is already in front of us in nature – something that doesn’t involve money or hard work to achieve, something that just is.

My favourite line from the advertisement was this:

“We try our best to replicate nature everywhere because it somehow makes us feel better.

But it’s not the same.”

This is so damn powerful. We build fake grass indoors and watch nature programmes and convince ourselves that we don’t need to see the real thing. But we do. We really do. There is nothing more rewarding than just walking amongst nature and actually having time to breathe, and to really listen to the world around us.

Should you spend more time outdoors?

Do You Let the World Make an Impression on You?

Today, I was reading an interview with the author Claire-Louise Bennett about her book Pond and this line really stood out to me: ‘In solitude you don’t need to make an impression on the world, so the world has some opportunity to make an impression on you.’ 

I’ve thought a lot about solitude before and how it helps me face my raw emotions and the way I feel about things, as well as tackling them face on rather than distracting myself. I’ve never thought if it in terms of the world itself though.

As natural people-pleasers, humans have a tendency to make impressions on the world all the time because we are constantly trying to please or fit in with others. You can be the most confident person in your own skin and yet there’s still times when you conform to society or hold back your opinion for whatever reason. In solitude, it is true that the world can now make an impression on you because you’ve finally given it space. You’ve finally stopped trying to impress everyone else and you’ve finally become aware of yourself, your surroundings and what’s going on around you. This is the moment when you start noticing the way the bird chirps in a kind of excited but monotonous way, or the low buzzing of the laptop as it lies on standby. This is when you suddenly notice everything you’ve always seen but in an unfamiliar way – perhaps a more rational way.

Here’s a list of things that I think are great ways to let the world make an impression on you:

  1. Meditation – it gives you space to breathe in your environment and release your emotions and thoughts.
  2. Going for a walk (alone) – Although this causes my mind to run wild with thoughts, it also helps me notice how beautiful nature is.
  3. Listening to music – It diverts your attention away from everything else, into a new world with new sounds and new voices and new words.
  4. Sleep – Although you’re unaware of your surroundings whilst you sleep, when you wake up you feel refreshed and the world has a new chance at making an impression on you, almost like a blank slate of a day.

 

What do you think? How do you let the world make an impression on you?

It’s Impossible to Imagine a New Colour – Or Is It?

I’ve been holding onto this idea for a while, waiting for the right moment to share my thoughts on it and to hear all of yours too.

It’s so weird that we have all these colours in our life. We think about colour a lot: when we answer the question ‘what is your favourite colour?’ or pick out our outfit for the day or notice the sunset in the evening. We think about colour and yet do we really think about colour at all?

I remember a while back in secondary school, we talked about how colour could be subjective. I have a particular vision of what red is, but red might look completely different to someone else, yet we have both come to know it as red since this is what we are taught. My friend could point at yellow and say this is yellow, but her version of yellow might look like my version of purple. How would I even know?

To take this even further, I find it intriguing how colour seems infinite (since you can mix multiple colours together to make new colours) and yet all those new colours are still colours that exist. It isn’t possible to create a colour that doesn’t exist – or is it?

This is something I’m not sure I have the answer to – does anyone? But I would love to know what you all think so please leave your thoughts in the comments!

‘Why Am I Like This?’ by Orla Gartland [Music Review]

“Maybe I’m an old soul trapped in a young body
Maybe you don’t really want me there at your birthday party
I’ll be there in the corner, thinking right over
Every single word of the conversation we just had

So why am I like this?”

As I’ve mentioned before in my post here, I am a huge fan of the singer Orla Gartland. I’ve been into her music for at least 5 years now, but I’ve never loved her music as much as I do right now. Similar to her song ‘Overthinking’, ‘Why Am I Like This?’ also tackles the subject of anxiety and I think that’s part of the reason why I feel so connected to it; the lyrics really speak to me.

Whilst it’s nice to have upbeat songs, I really admire artists who write, produce and perform music in such a raw state – with just them and an instrument. All the power and emotion remains in the voice and it’s often when you can tell how much music really means to someone – you can hear it in their tone and see it in their expression. Orla is someone who has such a great vibe when singing live – I haven’t actually seen her in concert (one day I will!) but her YouTube videos alone prove that she doesn’t need a mass of production and auto tune to be a great singer. She has an honest and humble talent that’s rare to see and that’s why I will forever give her shout outs on this blog because I really think she deserves it.

You can listen to either the stripped back acoustic version below, the produced version underneath it, or the original YouTube video underneath that!

 

 

How False is your Facebook Profile?

If I was told to imagine myself on a page, I would not imagine my Facebook profile. I would not imagine specifically chosen photos and an endless list of ‘friends’. I wouldn’t imagine birthday messages from fake people or tagged posts of empty happiness. I wouldn’t imagine any of that because, in reality, it doesn’t sum up me.

I find it so weird when I look at my Facebook profile. I want to say it is me but it isn’t, not really. I’ve chosen photos I genuinely love to feature on my page, and yet it still doesn’t feel real. That’s because everything on Facebook is shared due to a chosen decision. The user decides to share it and that’s why it pops up on our newsfeed. It makes sense that we want to share the happy moments. We want to remember the good times so we can look back on it and smile. But, ironically, we look at others and frown.

Social media is something I have a love-hate relationship with. There are days when I have to switch it off. There are days when I can feel the lives of other’s creeping into my head and those are the days I have to stop myself from endlessly scrolling. You’d think my profile is a more confident version of me – I think for a lot of people it is. But a lot of the time I feel like it is a weak version of me. It is the type of me who isn’t completely myself. It is the type of me who is aware of all these people and feels scared to confront them all at the same time. Equally, I feel like I don’t owe it to them. Most of my friends on Facebook I’m not that close with, so why should they see the real me? How would I even go about presenting the real me on Facebook without posting all the time? And if I did post all the time, wouldn’t that just be an act of justification, as if I have to prove to others that this is how I am? It’s all just an elaborate game and there’s no way to win.

Social media would be a lot different if we shared our lows. It would actually be a real portrayal of life. However, imagine scrolling through your newsfeed to look at a bunch of crying faces or depressed statuses. Wouldn’t that make us just as sad, if not more sad, than seeing other’s happy when we ourselves are depressed? It seems there’s no way to avoid negativity when it comes to social media. We are either saddened by other people’s tragedies, or we are saddened by the fact that we can’t be as happy as others.

I’m really glad I started blogging because, although WordPress is a community similar to social media, it is a place where I share the real me – both the highs and lows. It is a place where I don’t feel afraid to say that I’m feeling down. It is a place where if I see another blogger’s post and it saddens me, I don’t scroll but I actively involve myself in trying to help. It’s the kind of interaction that you just don’t get on Facebook – at least, not with those you’re not close to. On WordPress, it’s as if everyone is a friend – a real friend – whether you know them or not. And that’s what I love about it. It’s the kind of social media we never had.

If you’re reading this post and you think your Facebook profile does sum up you, look again. Look harder. Because an online profile can never live up to your life as a person, as much as you try. It can never replicate the pure joy of laughing until you cry; endless conversations into early hours of the morning; silent car journeys that are more meaningful than talk. It can never replicate the most important parts of being human. It can never replicate the unique personality that is you.

Do you ever meet someone and find them intriguing, for no reason?

Do you ever meet someone and just think they’re really interesting? Not in the way that they seem like a cool person or that you want to be friends but you feel drawn to them in some way?

It’s hard to explain, but I get this feeling sometimes. I’m a very observant person and I like to analyse people – not in a weird way, but in a way where I like to figure out who they are as a person. I look deeper into their mannerisms or the way they talk and I think about what they could be hiding. I’ll never know for sure by just looking, but a lot of the time I’m very good at sensing a person.

For this reason, I sometimes meet someone – or even just see them from a distance – and I just feel really intrigued by them, as if I know them in some way. It sounds really odd because it’s not a “wow I’m drawn to you because you’re attractive” feeling, but it’s also not a “you seem really nice let’s be friends” feeling either. It’s like some weird soul connection that doesn’t even involve any talking. And I probably sound insane but it’s something that just happens to me.

I think about this sometimes and wonder why or how it happens. It’s kind of similar to when I read a book and I feel like the writer knows me because they think in the same way as me. It may be because that person has been through similar experiences or they have a similar personality. But it’s very weird that I manage to pick this up from someone without even knowing or speaking to them. I’ve always been an empath and very susceptible to feeling other’s emotions so maybe that is part of it. Either way, I’ve made some strange connections out there, and the other person probably doesn’t even realise! I’ll always wonder if they feel it too.