Making your Own Choices
Today I received a message from a very good friend from Greece. He wanted to ask me what I think about a choice that he had made. My friend is about 5 years younger than me and he has a degree in higher education. However, the economic situation in Greece is terrible and the unemployment high leading some of the young people that haven’t left the country already, to look for alternative directions to their careers than the ones they were expecting to have before the crisis. So typically he is old to attend a new school however due to the circumstances his choice could make sense.
I am going to give you the two most important factors, the way I see it, I wrote him. If you think them thoroughly they may help you decide if it’s a good idea or not.
Of course life is unpredictable and every step unavoidably comes attached to a certain risk, so you can’t control all the variables. But it seems that this is how the game of life is played, this is its beauty and this is how you learn.
First and foremost you need to search very well if it really catches your interest. Do you feel enjoyment when you engage in it? Do you like it so much that you could very well do it without being motivated by money? Do you feel nice to see yourself improving in this sector? Could you be doing it for a very long time? Do you think that it is an appropriate subject for you so that it makes you take out your real self while you offer to others?
These are questions to contemplate much.
Secondly you need to take into account how useful this specific new school can be to you in practice.
Do you think that the lessons are productive and indeed you learn? Do the teaches care to teach you effectively? Does this diploma that you will get help you in the job that you are planning to do? Does it help in your CV if that’s what matters? Does the job require a specific accreditation that can only be gotten by a school like this? Does this school help you get closer to potential employers?
These are the main pylons I think you should be focused on by contemplating on questions such as these. Because in the very end no one can tell you better than you what’s best for you. I can only be a catalyst in your understanding of yourself, I can just point you to the directions I consider most crucial.
Because above all what matters is you to be an active agent and not a passive victim like most people.
To learn to have specific goals based on your own needs that come from a clear analysis of yourself and the circumstances. Not based on every typicality that we commonly hear as advice.
Primarily the one that knows what’s best for him is the person himself.
I wanted to make this clear. Each moment is an inimitable crystallization and life is a series of them. The more present we are and the more we look into ourselves the more we know what is suitable for us in any given situation.
Any authority might have experience, knowledge, may know what very well what they are doing but in the very end it’s our individual intuition that can make the best guess about what’s suitable. Because we have experienced life in our own perception, we have different needs in any given moment. As well we have several different tendencies. Not only any advice has to be fully customized but it can’t be taken as perfect anyway. Because the other person can never know enough about what’s inside us.
And neither can know the future as nobody does. There doesn’t seem to be a way to avoid the vagueness of life in terms of what will happen in the future. This for me is actually its greatest miracle. The more the future would be predictable the more boring it would be. There is definitely a need for challenges. Through them we are taking several lessons if we are attentive and active.
This is an important reason why we want to make our own choices. When we have measured the pros and cons of every decision and taken into account our needs then, as I have seen it, we can’t lose. Whenever I am faced with a decision I am trying to see how I feel about it, how I have understood that myself would be in it, is it suitable? And after I also measure the pros and cons that comes from the information available, I don’t think that there is anything left to be done from my side.
By having control of the decision there are only lessons to be learnt later. First and foremost it’s difficult to fall in the trap of being auto-victimized since the decision was yours. Also, due to the fact that the decision was under your control after your examination you have very good knowledge and any potential outcome is going to teach you what worked, what not, why, if you predicted well, how you feel about it etc
Individuality in the way we manifest ourselves
One of my favorite quotes of Bruce Lee goes about as follows: ”When a person comes to me to be taught martial arts then I don’t teach them how to kick. I don’t make them imitate how I kick. I, instead, try to teach them how they can through martial arts kick in their individual way.”
The unfortunate event the way I see it is that we never learn then to operate this way. We don’t focus on the activities that are really fulfilling but we choose what we believe increases our acceptance in the society, what is perceived as normal and cool. People look what the others “successful” ones are doing and they try to copy them in order to receive the same praise. But this way they keep living in a state of deep disappointment. They are trying to copy methods that maybe made others fulfilled although we are talking about a different person.
We don’t seem to give much importance to activities that we lose the sense of time, that we are looking forward to engage, that are helpful to others, that are meaningful and playful. These seem to be kept on the side and the greatest importance is in what brings immediate results, the acceptance from our parents, from friends, job to satisfy conspicuous consumption etc.
Although, when you lose the sense of time in the process is what could drive you to consciously realise what are the most important things to engage. When you want to do something independently of the results. When you know that even if you lose according to the results you could still be there because it’s one of the best things you could do anyway.
I perfectly realised that fact as years were passing. I sensed that somehow hadn’t cared much about what my real tendencies were. I was mostly doing what was politically correct because this is what a good citizen should be doing. And this mindset, apart from dissatisfying, is also confusing and stressful. There are so many issues that you have to handle. Of course the system is made this way through the propaganda in order to lose our freedoms in practice. We unstoppably try to increase our financial-status and liabilities because everyone does and we have to be competitive. However, in this process we seem to be throwing away life, our adorable sparks of individual creativity in every aspect.
The way I have experienced it is that a reframe to an internal point of view about what really matters can simplify things drastically. As time is passing the useless needs are being identified and dissolved like cosmic dust. The external world can mostly offer to me useful tools, helpful in doing what matters but not many things are always essential. I don’t always seek more but I pause and enjoy the feelings of gratitude about the magnificent elements that already my life consists of. I have identified not many actual needs that I have so it’s easier to focus. The more these are part of my everyday life the happier I go to bed every night. I try to not lose myself in the expectations, I trust in the process. I don’t calculate everything because my feelings during the process can’t be expressed in numbers.
Don’t compare yourselves with others because people can’t be measured. We come from very different points and go towards very different points. We consist of so many different characteristics. Putting ourselves into labels thinking that there is some kind of hierarchy in there is an oversimplified and unrealistic interpretation of reality that only limits us. Not even sports that are supposed to be one of the most objective fields isn’t always objective. Therefore several arguments arise, for example, about which team is best even after a championship has ended. Or people can’t agree who is the best athlete of the decade.
You aren’t the same as anyone else therefore you can’t be compared. In this mystery, what seems to me enough is to be the playful child again, the eager to learn, the explorer, the risk taker, the instantaneous doer and the observer of the present.