Tag Archives: higher being

Glass half full

I was reading a book the other day, “Brain Rules”, you might have heard of it. It’s a great read by John Medina and while I highly recommend it, it’s not what I want to write about today.

There was a short introduction on the concept of “learned helplessness”, where the subject is conditioned to stay in an inescapable situation and have no hope or control over the situation. The subject then resigns itself to its “fate” in a sense, and even though an escape is made available, does not go in search of it. Reading it made me quite upset and made me think of various things – depression, religion, hope, faith, fate, destiny and life in general.

I realized this could relate to many situations in our lives when we feel a lack of control, an inability to change things and a depressing realization that things will never change. I know of people close to me who stay in their jobs even though they hated it because they feel they have no other alternative; of people who consistently found it hard to do well at school and believe that they are less well-endowed intellectually while the issue may just be the methods they have been employing to study or the teaching methods used in the current system.

In those situations, I’m less confident in the effectiveness of an external encouragement compared to the power of internal motivation and awareness. In those situations, the person has to come to their own realization to snap out of that learned helplessness yet it is somewhat a chicken and egg relationship. Yet, like most addictions, I believe it can be overcome.

  1. Awareness is the first step we can take to bring ourselves out of that low
  2. Making a choice – do we want to stay in it or get out of it? Sometimes not making a decision is a decision in itself, which doesn’t make things better. If we want to stay in it, make the most of it and ensure we’re not being miserable staying in it.
  3. Knowing which are the areas we have control over – the world, no; my room, yes; other people’s opinions, no; my own thoughts and behavior, yes
  4. Taking small steps to make changes in those areas we have control over
  5. Optimism and a glass half full psyche – this is where I think faith and hope crosses paths just because while some people garner hope from things around them, others look towards religion and faith and somehow perhaps realizing that someone out there, whoever it is, is looking over us, adds a little booster to the hope meter.
  6. Recognizing the changes and its impact, however small – this is where external encouragement starts to make a difference.

So, hopefully if I ever find myself in a state of “learned helplessness”, I am able to recognize it and take action. Otherwise, maybe a little nudge from the Universe to perhaps allow me to stumble upon my own post or a similar post would point me in the right direction.

Thanks Universe, in advance.

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It’s Winter!

It has been cold and wintry the last few weeks, in the Southern Hemisphere, but little did I realize the official start of Winter crept up on us just 2 days ago!

It truly hit me when the lady over the counter said, “Winter’s just started!” in response to friendly chatter about the weather.

It is as if the Seasons were God’s way of saying, time waits for no one.
(As if we don’t know that well enough!)

That realization infused me with a sudden surge of appreciation for life, not the future or the past, but really to embrace the present. So I whipped out my camera, stepped out into the refreshingly cold wintry breeze and took a picture of the low clouds covering Telstra tower.

Nothing sexy, I didn’t edit it via any app or software.
Yet, it brings me back to my fantasies as a child of living in the clouds; heck, even just touching them.

Happy Winter All!

Telstra Tower in Winter

Telstra Tower, 2nd June

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Mind the Gap

I really like waiting for trains.
I just realized this as I was typing it.

Yeah it’s pretty fun just standing there, or sitting if I’m tired, with my headphones in, listening to my favorite tunes on my 32MB mp3 player. My argument: Quality is more important than Quantity. I still stand by that today.

Maybe it’s the people waiting with me.
Every wait gives the possibility of new interactions with people I’ve never met before! At the same time my eyes scan the crowd for familiar faces of possible train buddies. 🙂

Maybe it’s the ability to be completely anti-social and get away with not being called “anti-social”. Because when you get to the office, they might just think you’re being moody or arrogant or something.

Or maybe it’s just the mind-numbing routine.
I don’t know, there’s something ethereal about it when you know this is a mind-numbing routing so you’re both there and not there at the same time. It’s also a good time to read, and re-read the signs and notices on the floor and walls, and fully enjoy being IN this situation of waiting.

Because once you get to your destination, you’re expected to do something more than wait.

Sometimes I stare at the tracks and imagine a crazy adventure of falling down and trying to climb onto the platform before the train arrives. Which makes me think I lack the basic instinct for self-preservation in all living things, like in the movie “The Happening“.

Oh and once I’m on the train, it’s a whole different adventure.

p/s: An interesting side effect of the 32MB player was that my subconscious mind knew what song was next and it felt like I had the power to see the future! In a very minute, insignificant way…

(I was going to post my little story up, about crocodiles and family, but it’s late afternoon and if you could hear my brain, you would hear a monotonous buzzzing. So somehow, this came out.)

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Ending the Bad Day “Curse”

I’m working on a little story right now but it’s taking a little longer than expected to finish. So in the meantime, something came to mind.

I’m sure you’ve felt, at least once, like the whole world hates you, including the birds and the cute little dog next door; and it must have happened enough for there to be so many sayings about it! E.g.:

  1. Waking up on the wrong side of the bed
  2. Murphy’s Law – if something can go wrong, it will
  3. Someone saying “at least it couldn’t get any worse”, and it does
  4. Someone saying “don’t worry I’m sure things will get better soon”, and it doesn’t
  5. When it rains, it pours
  6. Things will get worse before they get better
  7. Mind over matter – you can beat the “bad day”, and you get more frustrated trying

Which makes me wonder, why do bad things always happen all at once? Sometimes it really feels like there’s a higher power at play to have all these horrible things happen all in one day. Then sometimes I think, why would the higher power even bother with something like that, or someone like me?

Why God Why Kitten

Life's a stage

Although what would the alternative be? Spreading all the bad things across a whole year and by that imagine a bad day but lasting for 365 times as long? Nooo… that would be bad. Actually, that might make you immune to bad things. Which would be good…? Bruce sure didn’t like it. Who’s Bruce? (Note: Opens in a new window)

Well some people say it’s all in your head, but I live with my head and sometimes I can’t control where my mind takes me! So that doesn’t really help. Plus my mind always has a really kick-ass comeback for that. For a more scientific breakdown, see this lifehacker article: The Science Behind “Having a Bad Day” (and How to Solve It), if not, read on!

Uber Bad Day

Maybe this is all in my head

My recipe for dealing with bad days if you’re an optimist or even a semi-optimist or just someone who wants to make it better is:

  1. You can choose to sulk  (if you’re around people close to you, then make sure they know you’re sulking) or suck it up (especially if you’re in the bus, nobody wants to sit next to a crazy person).
  2. When you’ve sulked or sucked it up enough, consider venting to someone who will listen, provide a comforting pat and not rebut or laugh at your misfortunes.
  3. Spend some alone time figuring out your thoughts or calming yourself down from the “adrenaline rush” of depression. Trust me it helps, whether or not you like spending time with yourself.
  4. Distract yourself with something mindless. Try not to do anything too challenging as that may add to the frustration. E.g. read a children’s book or play a mindless game that has no room for failure.
  5. If possible, do what you enjoy, be it hanging out with friends virtually or physically, reading, writing etc, but try to avoid any impetuous acts of booking a trip overseas or buying a house or anything of that sort you may regret later.
  6. Otherwise, let time do the healing and when you feel it’s safe for you – mentally, emotionally and physically, slowly “head out into the world” again – ie resume what you were doing and the “Curse of the Bad Day” is lifted!
  7. If the above doesn’t work sometimes consciously trying to make it a better day actually does work.

Now if only I could get myself to remember that…if anyone succeeds, let me know!

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