Sunday, 13 December 2009

Letting yourself off the hook

I was once told by a man a few years my senior, that you should never let yourself off the hook.
I took this to heart. Not because it was the words from his mouth. Not because he had more experience than me, more years under his belt. It was because it rang true in a world of faux reasons and excuses.
You can make all the excuses as to why you are still where you were, how God made you who you are, how all your problems are beyond your control. However once you strip away these layers of excuses in the ever changing world the only constant is you. You are the one making the excuses and using them to justify your failing. Your inability to do what needs to be done to make a difference.
It is fair to say that it is incredibly easy to make up these reasons as it is never something that people like to admit when you have failed. I have certainly taken the easy road. Said, 'no one else does it, so why should I?'
Now I try and look at every situation and judge it against this mantra. 'Am I just letting myself off the hook? Or have I really tried and failed?'
As you are the only constant in all the bubble of excuses, you are the only one who can really know if you are selling yourself short by making out that everything is OK when it isn't.

This isn't to say that people that don't become famous artists, have big cars and big salaries are hopeless existences and should be removed from the Earth. What I mean is so many people justify their actions by comparing them to the next man, or to the world. They shouldn't. It is a basic human need to better oneself and fulfill a purpose, though many don't even give themselves a chance.

Many people have a lot more to give than they do and the only barrier in their way is in their head.

Monday, 25 May 2009

A Journey

Dear empty space, empty chair, empty room,

Often-times I talk about how I detest transition. I love the start of things; the initial bright idea and the reward I feel at the end, when an idea is brought through to conclusion, speaks for itself. However, the actual journey... I find myself saying that I hate it.

I crave the feeling of purpose; the excitement of starting a new adventure. The feeling of joy when you are thrust into an opportunity, but the hard bit—the actual travel part. The transition... I tell myself, unilaterally, that I can’t stomach it.

I reach the point in the journey where I can’t see the end past the horizon and I falter. I look for other ways out. Ways that take less effort, ‘the path of least resistance.’ I long for the transitional journey that will give me the energy and reward of inception and completion without the arduous trudge between the two.

Now I just find myself thinking, ‘Why do I hate it? What is so wrong with transition?’ and I surmise that it is just a phobia of the journey itself, an irrational fear of being in the middle of a journey with no sight of the end and no way to retreat to the start. I also start to understand that the journey would not be a journey without the effort required to surmount these difficulties and that the reward at the end would not be so sweet without them either.

Someone once told me to make sure that I never let myself off the hook. Never-the-less; that is what I do. I get to the middle of a journey and try to find ways to avoid it. Tell myself that I will continue on that path another day. Needless to say, I should not do this and neither should you. I should stop making excuses for why I don’t or won’t do something or I will start getting bored of life because isn’t that all it is? Journey upon journey; transition after transition and I should embrace that and so should you. I shouldn’t let myself get bogged down by the fear of the journey and just get on with the hard work of completing it. Once I realise this I could find that I am not that far from the end at all, one more burst and my journey could be complete and I’ll be ready for another.

I’m talking of many journeys here; the everyday journey of learning something new, where the start fills you with purpose and the end fills you with achievement. A journey where neither the start nor the end would feel as triumphant if it was not for the struggle in between. I am talking about the journey of having an idea and having the courage to take it all the way. Everyone is on a journey and they may be nearly done or they may have just begun, either way they are still on their journey and I ask you now, as a closing sentiment, ‘What journey are you on? And are you really charging headlong into it, or are you letting yourself of the hook?’

Yours, on a journey

Victor Blemish

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Perfection; a fluid man-made concept

Perfection is often the goal of everyone's lives, to obtain what they believe to be perfection. How many of these people are actually happy? Surely they will feel like they are always be settling for 'mediocre' instead of perfect. I feel like this pursuit of perfection will only plant seeds of doubt in their minds about everything.
Once a persons perception of perfection has been achieved it will soon start to slip away. They will move the bar higher and need more to think of their situation as perfect.

Most people when asked, "Are you happy in your job?" will respond negatively (searching for a statistic...) because they have set themselves a perfect job in their head which is unobtainable and subjective.
A man with no money and no job imagines having any job being perfection, nevertheless when he gets a job his idea of perfection changes to having a job with a higher salary, or one with a smaller work load, or one with more time outside, or one with less manual labour...

I guess what I am trying to say is that perfection is a dangerous goal and the fact that it doesn't exist naturally makes it even more so.

In summary the idea of perfection can be dangerous if it is an end goal. Perfection should be in things like making mistakes and learning from them. Not an environment where no one makes mistakes, there is now bad, you can never do wrong, everyone is happy.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Fixing; Why doesn't the mind just scab over?

I was thinking today, how does the mind heal? I'm sure there is a text book answer that a psychologist could give me but I'm not interested in that.

The body fixes itself in a very complicated and involved way in which is in fact so complicated that it doesn't even let us know its doing it and actually prefers us to be asleep during the process. So how does that work with the mind? Sure the subconscious or whatever plays through the events of the day and sorts them out all neat and in order. However if you think of it like this, 'an incorrect exam paper answer is still incorrect whether written in perfect cursive handwriting or illegible scribble.'
So how does it work? You cant just switch off and then suddenly be better.

Some people say that 'time is a great healer' though to me all time does is makes this a little fuzzier, all the finer details are a little bit blurred. From a different perspective our subconscious mind is 'sorting' the more painful memories further back into the dark corners of your mind. This isn't going to stop you stumbling onto the memory again at some point and thinking, 'Oh yeah, that still hurts...'

It seems strange to me that an incredibly complex machine that is the human body can fix itself without quivering, but if you through in heartbreak, the loss of loved ones and you throw a spanner in the works. There is no set routine it can run through to fix the mind.
Built to fight off infections, fix cuts, just don't go getting yourself into emotional trouble. Then you're really screwed.

I just find the correlation between physical pain and mental interesting. It takes conscious effort to decide you aren't going to let the emotion control you. It takes a lot be strong.
Cuts just scab over and fall away subconsciously healed, mental anguish stabs stings and wrestles with your conscious mind and it is so important to kill it when it's young or it will just keep coming back to haunt you.

Yours in contemplation

Victor Blemish