‘The Latency Effect’ – Why your life goals won’t align with your life plans

If we had to pin point one major achievement from our generation, it would be the pace at which we have built instant gratification. We post an opinion or an article online & we get likes and shares within seconds. How do you suppose anyone could possibly read, understand and evaluate within seconds? But we don’t care. All we care about is how soon and how many of these gratifiers we ‘earn.’ Earn being used so loosely that it almost loses its true meaning. We have apps and specialised services, all claiming to get us what we need a little bit faster than the other. All of them aimed at reducing our apparent “work load” & put more time in our hands.

To think about it, we now have technology and automation to do most of our menial, mundane work. Heck, there are apps to even automate the aforementioned online posting. So it only makes logical sense to say that we now have more time in our hands, but do we? The answer to that is a resounding NO! No one has any time and everybody wants more of it. This age of instant gratification has made us believe that we can excel at almost anything because 40 people liked that post/comment you made on Bots & 10 others shared it. So now you call yourself a Bot Enthusiast and want to pursue a career in something like Bot Management or Bot Development. You make a 3 year plan on how you will achieve that- online courses, networking with people in the industry, the works. But at the end of those 3 years you still don’t get that dream job in Bot Management. What do you think happened?

In order to ensure that I don’t get carried away with these virtual-pats-on-my-back, I regularly conduct reality checks for myself. These checks are severe and downright mean. I strip down my personality, one layer at a time. Facing all the harsh truths about myself till I cannot do so any more. The night is filled with echoing voices of the harshest kind but when the morning arrives, I wake as a new person. A person only mildly touched by this virtual world and its delusions. With this mindset, I learn again and I learn better. No pretence.

As fool proof as this practice of reality checks might seem, the past few months have been especially challenging for me. The troubles, well they just kept piling on- to such an extent that I felt it in my bones, the pressing physical pressure of my world coming crashing down. Fortunately for me I had spent the time, before I got caught in this personal tornado, reading and studying philosophy. At the risk of sounding a bit loony, this seemed to me almost like it was a test. A test for me to fully explore the depths of my grasp on philosophy and also to realise a school of thought that is most aligned to my personal leanings. Two schools of thought resonated the most with me. They became this life-saving ship that would carry me through the tornado and help me see the proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel.” These two schools of thought were of Zen and of Daoism. Both alike in some ways and extremely distinguished in others. I’ll be writing more on both of these philosophies in some of my upcoming posts.

But today, today I wish to talk to you about how you can definitely get that job in Bot Management by paying attention to a recurrently occurring phenomena that we overlook everyday –

The phenomena of latency and its pervasive presence in all our lives.

I have devoted time to study philosophy, from the Pre-Socratic era to Socrates and beyond. A common theme amongst all ancient philosophers has been to answer the pressing question of What constitutes the universe? Followed by an inquiry into the justification for all our actions. Who decides what is good, what is bad? Is there a God? Is there a supreme authority on what is ethical and what is not? Whilst these inquiries led to their individual streams of discovery, the central theme encompassing all of these inquiries was an undying effort towards grappling this elusive concept of “a larger truth.”

It seems that I have digressed a bit but it was important to set context regarding the history of philosophical inquiries and how there is little to no exploration around the much prevalent latency that exists in all our lives. Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Daosim, Zen, Stoicism and all other religions & spiritual philosophies, in some capacity, propagate the ideology of having patience. That everything happens in its own time. However all of it sounds a bit vague and outside of ourselves. We need a concept that is real to us, to our own inherent lives. From the inception of a dream to its realisation, the road is long and lonely. It’s filled with rejection, disappointment, failure et al. But what we need to be wary of, at all times, is that-

The efforts we put into something right now will reach fruition with a latent effect that is personal to our lives and one that cannot be predicted.

How many times have you set a timeline for achieving something, only to revise it over and over again until it basically just happens at its own time? What do you think is at play here? Is it some mystical law of the universe that you have not aligned yourself to? Or is it some God that you may have possibly angered?

It is none. The only thing at play here is the underlying PROBABILITY of your life and the time it takes to turn the tide in your favour. The problem with the human consciousness is that we love to complicate things. Because if it’s not as complex as a math problem, we probably won’t take it seriously, right? Well, it doesn’t have to be so complex. Hence, as a fundamental instinct we need to factor this latency effect in our decisions, goals and life plans.

I can see how this could probably be one of the most daunting things to do in today’s day & age of instant gratification. Especially when we are constantly exposed to the superficial achievements & gratification of others. I say superficial because we only see them as they are projected on social media. We don’t see the hard work, the time, the disappointments and the failures behind each achievement. And most importantly we don’t see the difference between the actual time it’s taken someone to achieve their goal vs the projected time. Paying attention to this evermore latency in our lives and being wary of it in the lives of others can propel us to accomplish our goals and not give up in that crucial last mile.

So, keep trying because the moment we stop making these efforts is the moment the manifestation of our dreams stops too.

Now, more than ever I can see with full clarity this latency effect at play in my life. It’s the cause and effect of life that Buddha spoke of – only with a greater emphasis on the non-immediacy of the effects. If you give it a thought, can you observe this pattern in your life too?

The Myth of the Missing Half

With Valentines day approaching, here is a short illustration of Plato’s symposium, which is a philosophical text dated back to 385–370 BC. In this dramatic dialogue Plato explores the various facets that constitute love and it is from this symposium that we see the term “platonic” emerge. If you have ever used platonic to describe your relationship with someone, you need to thank Plato’s deeply evaluative thinking.

The below video gives us a quick recap of where the idea of a “second half” comes from and what makes us yearn them so much. Enjoy!

Video by- BBC Radio

Now if this theory has any truth to it or not and what happens to the hopeless souls that don’t find their supposed “better half” well that’s a matter of contemplation and one the journal of mokita hopes to tackle soon.

Until then, if finding your second half isn’t on your to-do list, read a piece on the state of love today that explores a morose yet very real question – Have we evolved past love?

Dwell further on this topic by reading a debate on the existence and necessity of Monogamy. Do we need be paired in happy couples of two? 

 

A love story

I saw him, I loved him.

We shared our beds and the hopes and dreams that transpired.

Then I left. I had to.

I thought of him ever so often, a heart ache that was all too familiar.

We spoke. But we were not the same.

Seemed like it had been a lifetime since our time together, and maybe it was another life. A happier life.

And now I’m back. But where is he?

He is with her. Is he happy?

It breaks my heart to realize what I wanted with him, he has with her.

What I introduced in his life, he is experiencing with her.

How cruel can heartbreak be? How oblivious can the heartbreaker be?

Now, every morning between being asleep and partially awake, during each of my reveries, I think of him. But more often I think of her.

Did she steal what was mine?

I hope to regain what I have lost, a part of me, some way and some day.

Or maybe this is the only love story I will ever write; it began when our eyes locked, ended when we blinked.

The Hopeless Achiever

“Try and try until you succeed”

This age old proverb drives the young blooded to the old blooded and everyone in between. However its not the idealism expressed by the proverb that drives most people, its the success. So how would you define success? Success is defined as the achievement of an aim or an objective. But are not our aims and objectives so fleeting?

Most people that we might come across are in a perpetual beta mode, changing their hopes and dreams to suit the best of their ability. Their ability, which has been decreasing with every passing year as they get evermore complacent and driven by convenience. So if the goals that drive our success are dictated by convenience then how are we “trying till we succeed?” Well, we are not. What we are doing however is trying not to try too hard.

The phenomena of “trying too hard” is recent but colloquially a lot more popular than it’s idealistic predecessor. Most people are trying not to try too hard or at least appear as such. In today’s world, there is a stigma attached with being an overachiever and the stigma stems from the fear of failure and success of those that rely on chance and some good fortune.

But such people have it easy, I’d assume. Would it not be great to be so aware of your limits that you cause no harm to your inherent self by trying to overachieve? When your ego remains unscathed by the momentary but ever so crippling feeling of rejection.

The idealists however, for them a world where the ego takes precedence over aspiration is rather glim and leaves much to be desired.

However with this attitude, the Idealists can wind up with a string of regrets. Resulting from no faults of their own but as a function of external factors playing mayhem in their aspirations. External factors, they elude me the most. They are not mine to control and not mine to dictate. They have a mind of their own and this mind till date remains to be one that I cannot read.

I would assume, a life where you don’t try to achieve at all would be a lot easier to live with as opposed to a life where you reach for the stars only to realise that you perpetually have a broken hand. How long till my broken hand becomes the extent of my ability? How long till my hopes and dreams become as fleeting as the next biggest internet phenomena?

I feel my resolute to be strong but slightly shaken, tipping over an inch at a time to the want of “not trying too hard”

And if not, then I remain for the rest of my life, a hopeless achiever.

Image courtesy : http://bit.ly/1DWQftX

Have we evolved past love?

Love, the eternal promise of togetherness. Or should I say, Love was the eternal promise of togetherness. I’ve always dreamt of the kind of love that would last beyond me and him. When I cease to exist our love would continue to live on through our memories and our children and our sweet shared innocence. But that reverie grows increasingly elusive day after day.

I have been dating roughly since the age of 13, and now after more than 10 years of in-numerous relationships I fret to say that I may have experienced all forms of love. I started from believing there was just one form of love, to understanding that the closest I will get to having a soul mate is my best friend and finally onto accepting that the universe always seems to have a plan of its own. So being a hopeless romantic, I loved tirelessly from one boy to another almost forming an unbreakable string, which I could only liken to a butterfly going from one flower to another in the search of sweet nectar. But each relationship turned out to be a different form of love and a different form of disappointment. All of them started with the promise of free spirited love and culminated into a desire, driven by deep seated insecurities, of owning the person.

Why can’t love be a choice? Of choosing one another each day, or not. It’s the alternative of “or not” that seems to scare most people resulting in a need to posses the other person. But where is love in all this? Shouldn’t love emerge from a strong admiration, an immense respect, a complete awe of that individual’s personality? And if you feel all of those things then why would you want to limit that person by projecting your own insecurities onto them?

Well this is only one part of the problem, the second part of the problem is the options! With travel and communication not being a barrier we are faced with the problem of an excessive number of options. Picture yourself in a supermarket buying a jar of jam. Imagine there are 100 different types of jams to choose from, what do you do? Most often than not you would get overwhelmed and decide to think about it and make the choice later or make a choice clouded by unsurety.

This is the situation for love in today’s world. We have so many options to choose from and so many ways to reach those options that how do we really choose? And hence comes the dreaded question, have we evolved past love?  I ask myself this question a lot and I feel this almost panic grapple my soul. What if we have evolved past love? What if I have evolved past love?

Rationalising everything does not leave much room for romance and knowing the exact motive behind a lover’s actions takes away his prerogative of controlling a situation. But that is a direct result of having experienced way too much, too soon coupled with the curse of being perceptive, of letting your emotional intelligence grow. But how can I stop this? How can any of us unknow what we already know? All those experiences, all those different types of love, can we ever really forget them?

Well, for my sanity I’m still hoping for the eternal sunshine of my very spotted mind.

Dwell further on this topic by reading a debate on the existence and necessity of Monogamy. Do we need be paired in happy couples of two?

Image courtesy: http://bit.ly/1Gsx6u6

The Proof of Evolution

What is the proof of evolution? Is it just how our physical bodies have evolved, which is similar to any other animal or living being, or is it also how our conscience that has grown so beautifully over time?

I feel not enough number of people spend time dwelling in introspection and really knowing themselves. Whilst we are taught about the whole world, we aren’t taught enough about ourselves.

This differentiates great men from mediocre men. If you find yourself bucketed into a certain type of personality then that is your proof of not being evolved. It’s primitive to be too aggressive, too polite, too shy and any other extreme emotion. One should be able to find a balance and be a mirror to the other person. But the key to mirroring another person is not letting their characteristics override your own but to show them who they really are through yourself. This is truly an art and one very few have mastered. The caveat however to learning this art is truly being one with yourself because it is only when we are devoid of insecurities that we can start to be someone who’s evolved past others.

So how do you do this? Or more importantly why would you do this? The human mind and its potential is so vast that it seems a pity to restrict it to being just one person when you can be so many. The challenge however is in the transition, the seamless transition between all those reflections that you have mirrored as well as your own unique renditions of a personality basis your personal experiences. Maybe its only with the combination of these reflections and renditions that we can become one whole person, the most perfect and unique version of our own selves.

To only think about the kind of world humans would then exist in, where there would be no extremism but just shades. Millions and millions of shades of personalities having formed from absorbing various cultures and mind-sets and continuing to form various more. That would be a state of Utopia, well at least for me anyway.

It troubles me to see such limited personalities, highly intelligent people with the least amount of emotional intelligence. When someone says to me “I don’t know why..” it makes my skin crawl. How can a person not know why? Because in fact we all do know why but its deep-seated under denial and excuses and insecurities.

I don’t know if I’ve mastered this art but i am aware of it and that for me is a step in the right direction.

In conclusion, I think

The human mind has evolved far more than the human body and its only by truly knowing one’s self can we tap into its infinite potential. 

Image courtesy: http://bit.ly/1DWQftX

Passion and Your True Calling

By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.” – Franz Kafka

Growing up, we are passionate about more things than we can probably count on our fingers. But what happens when that childlike belief of conquering the world wears off and we realize the true enormity of the world we live in?
Each one of us has that distinct moment wherein, for the very first time, we are faced with a true existential crisis. The moment we realize being a cosmetic surgeon or the CEO of an MNC is much more than just talking the talk. The worst is when you realize that you have spent too much time “day dreaming” and not enough trying to actively achieve that day dream. This is when your day dream turns into a full-fledged daymare and you’re launched into a tizzy of thoughts that are so alien to your prior happy being that you’re convinced of your insanity.
Being a 20 something I have gone through all of the above and worse. I know that there is a large percentage of people out there who have it all figured out and probably never have to go through this turmoil of a realization. However I am also convinced that there are many more like me out there, struggling to get a grasp on their reality.
So what happens to the likes of us? Do we meander aimlessly through life devoid of a passion or calling? For the sake of my sanity I surely hope not. I like to believe that in my shortcomings lays my victory. All of us are not cut out the same and some of us may have a more profound calling. This may be rooted in the struggle to have a more content family life; it may be a personal struggle to overcome your own limitations or like me, it may be a struggle caused by the overwhelming number of opportunities presented to an individual in this day and age.
Back in the day things were much simpler. The world as we knew it had a few things to offer & not too many things to delve into it. However now, every function has a sub function, every department has innumerous specializations. Gone are the days when writers were just writers. Now there are long form/short form writers, bloggers, copywriters, social media specialists, content producers, curators and the list just goes on. So how does one chose? How does one decide that they are a curator and not a social media specialist?

Well, the key as per me is in the non-selection. Choosing between being a curator and a social media specialist is hardly a choice at all, so rather be a person of multiple traits. It takes as much amount of intellect and strength to be able to master multiple skills as it does to single heartedly master one. At least for me knowing that my mind has the capacity to excel & accept various schools of thought provides to me a great deal of strength.
So my advice to all the lost souls out there would be, don’t lose hope! As the quote above mentions, desire everything you can and much more. Its only when you stop desiring that you truly are lost.