Life

The Sky Isn’t Always Blue and Other Things

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Originally posted; http://ahscribbles.com/sky-isnt-always-blue/

Once in my previous job, one of my colleagues used to complain about the lack of blue skies in the region…He flew from South Africa to the Gulf region, what did he expect in a world where summers get so hot, Alarabiya news once reported a video showing people frying an egg on the road? Of course, the sky isn’t blue because the hot sun dispels the blueness out of it.

But we stereotype for a reason; it makes our lives easier. If we didn’t stereotype, we’d always study a new design of a door knob suspiciously wondering what it was. But we understand that due to its location on a door, that thing is probably a door knob not a door blob.

The danger happens when we extend this stereotyping to people, putting them into tiny, tiny boxes and labeling these tiny, tiny boxes using tiny, tiny words. Because if we look at ourselves, we are very complex beings. Yet we fail to acknowledge the same thing about others. They’re either good or bad, kind or evil. We would like to believe we know how we would behave in a particular situation, and yet the truth is, we don’t know unless we find ourselves in that situation.

The other day I came to the realization that I don’t like overly sweet/friendly/perfect people. My first reaction is, what are they trying to hide? My second reaction is to run the other way. During one of our psychoanalytical sessions, I realized I’ve been burnt by this personality more than once. In front of your face they’re all sweet and friendly. Behind your back, they’re totally different people. And I end up feeling stupid because I ask myself; how did I not see it coming? But that’s blatant stereotyping over there and maybe I need to change that about myself.

In uni, we had a professor who would say this whenever we would complain towards the stressful end of a semester, “Now you’re in the middle of the storm, and your point of view is distorted. You might change your mind about this once you’re out of the storm.”
So here’s a conclusion; As much as we would like to simplify things and pretend to be rational beings, we’re not. We’re complex beings who experience the world in totally unique ways. As I mentioned in “Reflect on Your Defining Moments”, we’re the triple integration of our personal values, experiences and social conditioning.

So celebrate your unique and complex being, and acknowledge that others are unique and complex as well….

And that the sky is not always blue.

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Also, check out my short story collection, “All Bleeding Stops and Other Short Stories from the Kenyan Coast,” and the non-fiction book summarizing a lot of ideas in the personal development field if you want to change your life but don’t know where to start, “Mine your inner resources”.

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Get Your Copy of “Mine Your Inner Resources”

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Do you want to improve your life but don’t have time to read books on productivity and personal development? Get your own copy of “Mine Your Inner Resources” for only 5 USD. This ebook synthesizes ideas from the top books in the field of personal development and presents them in an easily digestible way so you can start taking action immediately. It will help you unearth your values, reprogram your thinking, set goals and achieve them. For the Kindle version, click here.

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For M-Pesa Purchases, send 500 KES to Till Number 121388, send an email to ahechoes@gmail.com with your transaction number and the email address you want to receive the ebook copy and I’ll send the PDF.

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5 Ways To Be Present and Live in The Now

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Half the time, we’re so distracted by so many things, we practically let our lives fly past. Sometimes we’re just in our head, opening the portal to the doors in the space-time continuum labelled “Past” and “Future”. Other times, we’re sucked into the Black Hole of the Internet. It’s like we can’t afford to pay attention to our life anymore, and for some, it takes walking right into a glass door with our head hung over our phone to knock some sense into us. Or not.

So what does being present mean? It’s self-explanatory really. It means being present in the present while you work, eat and hang out with people. While it may sound simple but how many times have we rushed our meals while doing something important? How many times do we multi-task per day? And it seems that people spend more time photographing their dinners than talking to the people they go to those dinners with.  Here are five practical steps to take control of your life and Be Present:

To read the rest of the post, go to http://ahscribbles.com/the-top-skill-in-your-life/

Image via: unsplash.com

Should you Follow Your Passion or Not

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The good thing about living in our age is that the internet is filled with career advice. The bad thing about living in our age is that the internet is filled with contradicting career advice.

The economic crisis happened the year I graduated, which meant I didn’t have to look far and wide to discover that “Go to school, get into a good university, get a good job and you’re set for life” no longer applied. All I had to do was go to work one day and see the empty desks around me. Apparently our peers in the Western world had discovered that a bit earlier but living in the Middle East, someone seemed to have missed the memo. 

So at some point in your life, it’s 6abee3i jiddan (natural) to type into google, “I hate my job wh…” and google totally gets you. The trick is to somehow find your way through the 264,000,000 results that come up.

 

Some people will tell you to follow your passion, and again, if you live in the part of the world where you’re branded an engineer or a doctor from the day you’re born, then there’s a high chance your passion is very much different from what you’ve studied. However, the main risk connected with following your passion is you’ll be broke — for a very, very long time — and following your passion — or doing anything in fact — is pretty difficult when you’re broke and hungry.

“Following your passion – or doing anything in fact – is pretty difficult when you’re broke and hungry.” Tweet this

Then Cal Newport entered the scene with his message, “Why ‘Following your passion’ is bad advice,” in his book So Good they Can’t Ignore YouHis advice focuses on how passion comes after working really, really hard on something, and being really good at it.

Personally, I support the second message, because of a few truths:

  1. Not everybody knows what their passion is
  2. The world might not be willing to pay you for your passion

So let’s say you’re really passionate about counting baby coconuts. The most that someone might pay you for counting coconuts is a free baby coconut drink. But the world might not be ready for your counting-coconut-services, so following your passion happens to be really really really bad advice.

So let’s say you’re one of those people who doesn’t know what their passion is.It’s very easy to read all this stuff on the internet and get pretty pumped up about quitting your job and hitchhiking around the globe to discover what your passion is. It’s easy theoretically, but pretty hard practically (read $$$$).

But here’s one thing to know about those successful ‘follow your passion’ stories on the internet. To each one, there are probably five failure stories that don’t get reported.

So before quitting your job, find out exactly what’s bothering you. You might not be having a passion crisis. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do you get intellectually challenged at your job?
  2. Are you building your skill set?
  3. Do you enter a state of flow while you’re working?
  4. Is the world ready to pay you for your services?

If the first three answers are no, then those might be your reasons for ‘hating your job’ not that you’re not passionate about it. Maybe if you find something else in the field that intellectually challenges you then you might throw those ‘Malaysia, truly Asia’ brochures out the window.

If you do know what your passion is, and really want to make money out of it, then work at monetizing it before you quit your day job. Ask the world if they are ready to pay for it and don’t be like that coconut-counter.

The trick is whatever you do, do not make rash emotional decisions based on one bad day at work. Even people who follow their passions will tell you it’s not always good in the ‘Living My Dream’ world. There are difficult clients, and tasks they hate doing but have to do it anyway. And if you’re not really convinced, read Cal Newport’s “So Good They Can’t Ignore You”. He definitely does a better job convincing than I do.

Image: Google screenshot and unsplash.com

This post previously appeared on my primary blog; http://ahscribbles.com/follow-your-passion-or-not/

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