Reverse engineering

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The world has never appeased me but in texts; books, quotes, articles. Anything in its raw form where I can put together my own meaning. I hate everything that’s manufactured or put together towards an end result in mind. Don’t think on my behalf! Thinking is my life. I like to pick stuff apart. I like to figure out how they work. And whenever I’m rushed or find myself in the midst of way too many moving parts that I’m pressured to accomplish a certain task with, I shut down. I retreat into my shell where I have to make sense of where I’m going, why I’m going, what I’m going to do once I’m there. I’m not an organized person by nature, but because of the anxiety caused by a very busy world, I have to keep tabs on everything before I venture out. So I run the risk of procrastinating life if I’m averse to taking a certain trajectory and I don’t have an immediate alternative. Intrinsic motivation is not easy to find. It requires a lot of introspection, a lot of risk, a lot of uprooting whatever truths you’ve taken for granted.

It seems like it’s easier to be pushed through the cracks and submit to gravity. But so is death. Life is a struggle against returning to non-existence. As long as I have a soul, I’m constantly pulled and pushed to bigger and greater things and in my resistance and reluctance I shall find my torment. If I abdicate my power to grow, I’ll be left with the pain that accompanies growth but with no actual result.
Like a phantom pregnancy.

I don’t want to discover on my deathbed that my life was empty, in vain. I don’t want to spend my life staring at it, expecting it to take the shape of some deeper meaning or legacy only to die staring at a blank canvas because it wasn’t a canvas, it was a beautiful painting that I didn’t unwrap.

A radical idea

For a long time I’ve suffered from an odd problem. I find myself bursting with enthusiasm over a certain task, but when it comes to doing it, I freeze. It feels like there’s an invisible rock preventing my first step. No matter how much I try to overcome it, go around it, remove it – it doesn’t work. I stopped struggling because I knew that there was more to this than meets the eye. I knew that there was an inner disparity between my motivation and my feelings. In the past, I’d pressurize myself and berate myself for my ‘laziness’, ending up depleted and defeated. But as I’ve come to understand the workings of myself and my feelings, I understood that inner resistance wasn’t a sign of laziness but a sign of incongruity. Instead of killing the messenger, I developed the practice of looking for the underlying message.

Today I thought I had to get to the bottom of things. I started researching on intrinsic motivation and pored over the articles I found, trying to draw parallels to personal experience. Dan Pink’s talk on motivation did it for me. He mentioned the building blocks for intrinsic motivation as being autonomy, mastery, and purpose ; and when I took a hard look at my approach, I found a glaring absence of these intricate qualities.

I was forcing myself to comply to a certain regimen as opposed to just doing what I can, how I can. I’d stifle my erratic reading habits because I ‘had’ to focus on one book at a time, and read it to completion. I had to work out in a certain way for x amount of time because that was the way established– you know those fitness freaks with toned muscles up to their eyes– did their stuff, so they must know better. This was the invisible block I felt; I was limiting myself severely by insisting on doing things by the book and hence I lost the little enthusiasm I had. This was a very cheeky bout of perfectionism that had meddled in my affairs for a long time undetected. Uncovering this was very relieving, albeit a bit unsettling. I mean, the notion of reading a book as little or as much I wanted to then move over to the next title that interested me, was very unconventional and felt a bit wrong. But I am no stranger to doing things in odd ways, and what’s more important to me is to develop my self-efficacy no matter the outcomes. It’s not about reading X amount of books to completion, or losing X amount of weight. It’s about regaining my self-confidence that has been long lost to the decaying nature of perfectionism. It’s about having enjoying myself for once without that constant chatter in my mind pecking at me with a titanium beak. I need to do things my way, no matter how radical it appears because at the end of it all, if I feel good about myself I’d most likely continue something far longer than if I’d shackle myself to inconvenient methods.

25 Thought Provoking Questions

Yo ! I just found these thought provoking questions tag on Pinterest, and I thought (already !) that it would be such a refreshing spin to the usual tags. Feel free to do the same on your blog as it’s a great mind exercise.


1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
34 or 35.

2. Which is worse, failing or never trying? What are you most grateful for?
Never trying. I’m most grateful for my resilience.

3. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?
I would have thought more than I’ve done XD

4. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?
Passivity. I’d like to see more proactive thinking.

5. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?
The kind of work that you choose due to intrinsic passion, and for which you’d do for free.

6. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?
I’m definitely doing what I believe in.

7. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?
I’d face fears in a bolder fashion.

8.To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?
The past 3 and something years have been very proactive. I’d say that in 75% of that time I lived with a conscious goal.

9. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?
I try to focus more on doing the right things, but as a recovering perfectionist, I do slip up and obsess about trivial details.

10. Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?
This is something I’ve thought about lately, and I’d say no. I just can’t figure out what’s missing, but there’s definitely a blind spot on how I view friendships.

11. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Nobody knows what they are doing so follow your heart and don’t fear failure.

12. Would you break the law to save a loved one?
No. That would enable them. I’d try to support them morally, but I believe that everyone should be free to make their own choices and bear the brunt of the consequences.

13.Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity?
I often teeter on that fine line ! XD

14. What’s something you know you do differently than most people?
I dare myself to make a fool out of myself and really be vulnerable. I expose my flaws in order to find my way to authenticity.

15. How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy?
Because it’s not about the object, it’s about the person involved. Happiness isn’t something you receive, it’s something that follows as a natural consequence to brave and authentic choices one makes. So different choices lead to different outcomes,  but the end result of bliss is pretty much the same across the spectra. 

16. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do?
Take up strength training so that I can outrun zombies and climb mountains 😀

17. What’s holding you back?
Procrastination…?

18. Are you holding onto something you need to let go of?
Does a glass of coke count? XD

19. What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
Being alive is by passive living where you let things happen, and let days go by. True living involves the spirit where you are spurred by intrinsic motivation to seek whatever your heart is yearning for.

20. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
Try to find out why I let others limit me before.

21. Why do religions that support love cause so many wars?
Religions don’t cause war. Humans do, and humans aren’t programmed robots – they think and choose. Some choose to escape their inner pain by  inflicting it on others, others choose to face their pain and thus make the world a better place to live in.

22. At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?
A couple of hours ago.

23. When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right?
Yesterday. Calculating risk and rewards does nothing but appease inner fears. Learn to trust yourself and slay it!

24. Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous?
Gosh, no. Even if my life expectancy wouldn’t change, it’s not something that interests me.

25. If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?
Because the lesson lies in facing our fears.

the real deal

I know when something is true, real. It doesn’t have a reason for being, no ‘because‘  or ‘ so that’. I don’t have reasons for it. If I have to convince myself with incentives, then it’s not the real deal. It might be ok, but it’s not the fiery stuff Bukowski spoke about;

unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don’t do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don’t do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.

I know it’s the real deal when no fear can come near me. When I’m ready to defy death, slay dragons, find my way to the moon – when something bigger takes over me and will not have me stop. When I lose track of time and forget to eat. When I refuse to live until I live with it. Feels so damn good, let me tell you.

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