Every second of your life is a conscious choice

You have a choice, you always do. In fact recently I realized that every second of everyday is a choice – a decision – you – decide how things in your life is going to be and what is going to enter your stream of conscious.

Don’t believe me?

Take this for example, say you absolutely cannot stand your job and you absolutely hate it to the core – and there’s no compromise that’ll make you hate the job any less – well, why are you still working there this second? Well, you might say, I need the money. This is the best option I have right now. And if those are the circumstances, then of course it’s understandable – however, what are you doing outside of the job you hate determines how successful you’re going to be in leaving that job in the near future for something you despise less.

Are you going to learn some new skills that’ll get you out of your predicament, or are you going to blow off steam with buddies over the evenings and weekends?

It’s all about conscious choices.

Sounds simple does it?

But it isn’t as I’ve also realized recently.

There’s only so many things you could possibly focus on at once, in my case: work, learn a complex foreign language while mastering computer programming languages, mathematics, algorithms and photography!? Where do these things even intersect? And on top of it maintain an active lifestyle and see friends from time to time…

It’s a bit nuts to keep up with myself lately to say the least, and I realized I can’t do “everything” at once. I cannot “improve” everything all at once. I have to prioritize the most important tasks – which currently are career related: programming. Then foreign language: for future use, fitness to keep myself sane, then if I have time, I’ll make time for the ‘arts’ and social activities.

It’s not a fun thing to do per se, but it’s systematic and it’s honestly the best conscious choice I could make with my time all things considered.

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Limit your own choices for clarity

I was recently somewhere without open internet and I had also previously broken my very fast, very capable phone.

Opps.

I had to get a new phone with only factory installed apps.

Meaning: I could not access the usual social media accounts (facebook, instagram, wordpress, you name it) without a successful connection via VPN. At first, like many addicted to ‘the internet’ or rather ‘social media’ I was in a bit of a panic, but then after a couple of days, I’d forgotten all about it and now that I have access to ‘free internet’ again, I’m thinking twice about going back to using my social media.

I was forced into an uncomfortable place. Not being hyperconnected to the world for 2 weeks, but then I realized that even without being connected, I was alright. I didn’t miss much on facebook, nor on instagram as I had my important contacts on other forms of communication. It was alright and my life was much more simpler as I was not distracting myself with a pull down refresh on one of the apps every 5 minutes or so.

I was living in the present.

Now that I’m back home, I don’t see myself going back to my old ways (which I’d come to realize was a huge time waster and a fast ticket to nowhere.)

So the point of this post:

Have you ever been forced to do something you didn’t want to but come out with more clarity than before?

When you realize life is beautiful.

Ok, as promised, here’s the longer post on the trip thus far.

What can I say: everytime I’m away from home it’s an adventure, an exploration. I always discover new things I would’ve never discovered if I stayed home. I would of course go explore new places, but sometimes, I go back to places where I’ve already been but still discover new things about the place and of course within myself.

As everything stands, each second in this city (and this continent) in general is making every cell in my body alive. I can only say that staring at the cityscapes I’ve missed so much makes all those 12 plus hours working a day worth it. I can’t say much about anything else in life that makes me this happy, being around people I love and in a city that reminds me of my actual home.

Now with that said, I also noticed a harsh truth: no matter where you are, the struggle will be the struggle. The struggle is universal. I can say this from visiting my friends whom more or less are all around my age (millennials) and contrary to popular belief we’re all busy either working or studying or doing both or juggling with our own business ventures – yeah, we’re all busy bettering ourselves and our situations, no matter which city in the world we reside in.

The work is never done. And quite frankly, I find the friends that I’m with would agree with me. There’s always something to do, something to improve upon. And therefore, life might be challenging, but it would never get boring for us.

I would also like to remind myself and those that find themselves in my shoes (because I know this is also common), if you ever wake up angry, frustrated, depressed or just unmotivated – remember that every second of the day that you spend angry or resentful or in a negative state is a second wasted. Sure, I get it. There are times when it’s hard to turn off those emotions – but you must remember and laser focus on your journey and your goal. Remember where you want to be, rather than be distracted by the right now – live for the vision that you have in your mind rather than the circumstances you find yourself in currently. I know I’ll need that reminder for when I get back to my current ‘homebase’ (which I absolutely despise). Make it possible for yourself to find peace, with your vision in mind, push for the reality that you’d imagined. 

 

 

Greetings from Berlin

I’m back in Berlin. Having caught up with a few of my friends in the past three days, it really feels good to be back. The old cobblestones and side street cafés are a nice break from North America’s concrete and franchise chains. I especially love that the cafés play techno music (which is pretty much my workflow music anyways). I have much to update on in the next post and preferably when the laptop isn’t at 16%. This is a quick check in. Greetings from Berlin!

Great things take time

I can’t believe it’s been 1325 days since that one night.

I can’t believe it’s also been 1144 days since I was almost killed by a car.

I’d been living since and sometimes it feels that very little has changed, although, I can’t say I wasted 1000+ days of my life. Things have changed. I like to think if back in October 2013 was the pivot point that signified all else after then I have to say that my 1000 days have been spent trying out different options.

First, I strengthened myself.

Second, I started to try different things to get myself out of my less than ideal situation.

Third, I found out that I had to change course many many times and I did.

Fourth, I am here today wishing that I had started sooner, but at the same time glad that I started at all. I feel like I’m going somewhere, though of course there are tweaks I need to complete and various routes to explore. However, hardwork and despair are no longer feared, instead they are welcome as I am sure they will be my companions for times to come.

Fifth, for all those out there struggling to become better, I encourage you to look back on the past few years, perhaps look back on that point where you decided you could be better, could do better, do be somewhere better, and look at how far you’ve come. I want you to give yourself credit for all of your accomplishments, because only you know the inner struggles the sacrifices you have to gone through. And for that reason, we’re all warriors in our own right.

Sixth, now, with all that in mind, get out there and continue to improve.

You got to go for it.

Late night studying, no, not these language, but rather computer programming languages (I guess I’ll get to that later). I popped onto Facebook and saw 20+ memories. I just had to click. After another sip of my coffee in the dead of night. I scrolled through all those posts I made years ago.

This song popped up: You got to go – Above & Beyond

Yet another sign isn’t it. How did I know so long ago, just by liking the lyrics?

Then I thought back, to earlier this evening, earlier this week and how many friend I counselled with issues similar to mine. They feel that they’re stuck in the wrong place – or perhaps they’re disappointed with where they are at in life – disappointment is a driving force.

Then I remember a quote from a business book that’s mandatory for class:

“A satisfied need is not a motivator; only needs that remain unsatisfied can influence behaviour.”

You’re unsatisfied? Good.

You know what you want? Even better.

Go get it. You got to. Because you know what’s waiting on the other side if you don’t.

Disappointment only leads to more desire.

Don’t disappoint yourself this time.

Life is not a rehearsal.

And yes, I realize I haven’t been posting much. Between a hectic school schedule, I also manage to sneak work in here and there. My final exams are coming up and I fully intend on seizing the moment! Wish me luck!

What is the vision for 2017?

Barcelona, Spain, Travel, Europe

Wow, doesn’t time fly when you’re busy? But does busy equate to productivity? The answer would be no.

March is upon us and I realized I never wrote a plan for this year. I mean, in 2017 I want to achieve quite a few things which I’ve highlighted in how do you know if you’re on the right track. But to make everything more concrete so I know exactly what to finish before summer arrives:

March:

  • Use Spring Break wisely and catch up on school work.
  • Decide on a personal project you’re going to do / could put into your portfolio.
  • Finish 1 extracurricular book outside of reading material.
  • Hit the gym 5 days / 7 days.
  • Duolingo everyday!
  • Blog once a week, review progress.

April

  • Ace those finals!
  • Have the basics down for personal project be 10% complete.
  • Finish 1 extracurricular book outside of reading material.
  • Hit the gym 5 days / 7 days.
  • Duolingo everyday!
  • Blog once a week, review progress.

May

  • Wrap up on final school project.
  • Have personal project be 20% complete, and set up for further offline work.
  • Finish 1 extracurricular book outside of reading material.
  • Hit the gym 5 days / 7 days.
  • Duolingo everyday!
  • Blog once a week, review progress.

How do you know you’re on the right track?

Ever since I’ve been back at school, I haven’t had much time to myself. My program is compact and intensive. It takes up my 9-5 hours from Monday to Friday, on top of that, I have a myriad of assignments to complete, group members to meet-up with, and needless to say, I have no idea how I made it through the first month of it while still working on the weekends…

Alas, I survived the ordeal and now I’m here.

Midterm season is upon me and I thought why not take the time to recap and reflect?

Q1. Am I happy with my program?

A1. For the most part, yes. Yes it is exhausting, but I’m also learning a lot. The people in my program are awesome! It is really as if we realize we’re in this pressurized cooker together – just trying to get done. I’m happy I went back to school, giving it a second shot. Dare I say, I’m giving myself a short-term purpose, something to focus on other than being constantly reminded how I’m nowhere I want to be.

Q2. What are some of my short-term goals / plans?

A2. Finish this semester and go travel. I’m in need of another break from where I am now in order to be inspired to get to where I want to be eventually. I also need to use my trusty camera more.

Q3. How do you know you’re on the right track?

A3. Gut feeling, or if what you’re doing now beats out all other alternative, then more likely than not you’re on the right track.

Q4. What do I wish I could improve on more?

A4. Better time management skills, having a stable sleep schedule, no more all night cramming (it’s unnecessary) cut down on my 4 cups of coffee a day habit, actually hit the gym, make more time for studying, find a side gig I can do while I’m at school, finding new ways of doing things, better ways of doing things. All sorts of things I could be improving on.

Nevertheless, the progress, the fact that I’m moving towards something gives me momentum to keep on going.

So how do you know if you’re on the right track?

Give yourself the chance to pick up momentum (it won’t be easy, most of the time it’d be hard) but again, if you really want something you will make it happen. After all, if everyone just settled for “what-is” from Day 1 there would’ve never been any inventions or innovation that improves our lives. So rather than accepting everything as “static” start asking “what-if” and then go and make it happen.

 

What have you been up to lately?

We’re already in February?

Geesh, where do the time go?

For me, time has been spent back in school. Yes, school.

While I was skeptical of returning to school at first, now, I can say I’m really glad that I did it regardless of how much I might complain about the workload.  Of course, the reasoning behind everything still hasn’t changed.

“I need to get somewhere. I need to be somewhere else other than here.”

While I’m devoting all my time on acquiring new skill sets, I’m also opening new doors to experiences and modifying a couple of life plans according to new knowledge that I’d acquired.

Take home point though:

“Learning is fun, we should all do more of it.”

What to do if you’re supremely unhappy.

I didn’t mean to start this post.

Nor start the 3AM Coffee with a frozen waffle coming out of the toaster, but the logic behind it is – I needed some way to quiet my mind finally and bridge the gap between my hot coffee and the time that my head hit the pillow again for my coffee nap.

I would be needing to get up very soon for work and frankly I don’t want to.

Yes, yet again, back at it again, in the same loophole.

Everyday I feel like screaming. There’s so much to get done. There’s work, people I answer to, and me asking myself where all the time went (hah, work), and then the uncomfortable google search for flights out, then it loops back all over again.

Yeah. It’s still like this.

And every time I come back, I like it less and less.

And I can tolerate it less and less.

This place never changes, but I have and so much.

So what to do if you’re supremely unhappy, other than “just suck it up” for the moment?

The answer is probably not that sweet waffle with too many coffee sweeteners, or that bottle of wine which went down too quickly. Consuming unnecessary things to make oneself feel better is not a solution to the problem. I’ve done it too many times to count – and afterwards, I feel worse because I never needed those things to begin with.

So you live and you learn right?

But how to stop the thoughts from coming when you turn off the light? And how to stop this post from getting longer, especially now that it is 3:30AM? Maybe I just don’t want to be awake for my job tomorrow because I think my job deserves 1% of my brain power and 99% of me could be sleeping at work – do you ever feel this way? I guess my job satisfaction scores are non-existent.

Am I excited to go back to school though? Hell yes.

Am I excited to lose my freedom and pay the fees though? Hell NO!

But I am excited because it is as of finally I have something to prove rather than just going through the motions – that’s what I hate.

Going through the motion with no emotion.

Going through the motion with no meaning.

It is all meaningless.

I’d rather be leaning on the window sill of some apartment in Berlin and smoking my lungs out.

Oh the things I would like to do at this very moment right now.

But they’re elusive and only just a wish.

But then I remember, I wonder if I’m truly alone in this state.

The situation could always be worse off.

Thinking about it, if my acceptance letter back into University didn’t show up in my inbox the night I was returning home from Europe, I wouldn’t even know what to do next. What to do now.

When I saw that email I really thought, “wow…this must be a sign of some sort.”

A chance and at least I have that to look forward to.

A way out of here, finally.