2011: Choose and Change

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This year has not ended yet but I can proudly claim how good 2011 has been to me.

Setting goals for the upcoming year wasn’t a habit, until signs of ageing sank in (including balding). But personally, I find the practice valuable despite realising on December how many of these items were sorely missed!

Eleven goals for 2011 were drafted and, to my surprise (yeah right!), 2011 was a great leap forward from what I had in 2010. Eight goals were achieved, five of which were fulfilled to a large extent. Only three goals were left untouched due to circumstances quite beyond my control.

Not bad!

I won’t go through the eleven items for this post. However, I’d highlight some major achievements for 2011, which were out of my sight a few years back.

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En Route

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Is positive psychology counter-productive?

Psychology is a complex yet interesting discipline, giving us some ideas on how our inner universe works. I have always thought psychologists or even psychology majors are one of the most powerful people because they have the tools and skills to analyse what and how we think.

Back to the question. I’m wandering again.

I just realised no one has told me these advices even once:

Following your heart may not be the best option.
Stop pursuing happiness.
Never do things you are good at.
Stoicism (and not optimism) may lead you to a better life.

On face value, these sound rude and ultimately depressing. Are we really killing somebody else’s dream when we recommend stopping the pursuit of happiness? Does doing things one isn’t good at dwarf potentials to excel? Does stoicism cease us from dreaming and foster contentment in mediocrity? Why not follow our hearts when we only live once?

Although unsurprising, I wonder why I never heard these when talking with family, friends, and colleagues. Perhaps we’ve been too aversive of the negative that we play down its value in any possible transformation, or we’re too timid to state the actual and real.

Or, are we that used to a results-oriented society to the point that even happiness becomes merely a goal/state we must achieve?

Regardless, why don’t we bravely take the non-conventional, uncharted approach? Why don’t we violate and question the mainstream for a meaningful tomorrow? Why not choose the yet-to-be-proven over the proven ones? All at the expense of risking the so-called attainment of happiness.

Once again, I’m full of questions and nothing has been answered. At least I ask.

Waiting for Mraz-zy to Come

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Wake me up when October ends.

Not to celebrate Halloween, definitely. That’s a lame way to make your child unafraid of spirits and zombies. And who cares about pumpkins for Halloween if these can’t even feed the undernourished in this country!

Okay, going back, I simply want  October days to suddenly flip as if stormed, hear some well-thought wordplay, and experience a Mraz-zy (can sound like Jason Mraz’s surname with y or ‘crazy’) night!

Missing many idols in the past have been quite frustrating, especially when these musicians are/were/have been instrumental in forming our taste in music. Plus, their songs have led us several times into introspection, realising what we are into, who we are, and what we need to do/be. Those melodies powerful enough to dictate how we feel, the lyrics too compelling to refuse thinking and be inspired.

And then their seemingly once-in-a-generation visit in culturally Westernised Philippines would be missed?

I know hearing them live when their songs peak in the charts could have been better. Admittedly, some do not sound as charming as they were at the height of their career a few years back.

But sometimes, those things never or highly appreciated must be reserved for reminiscing. Watch a concert when you’ve grown up. Laugh at all the foolishness when you fell in love and got discouraged to be yourself. Then cry and sing with a community who has been moved, too.

Thrilling! I should ran out of words or mix them up as I sing on the 30th.

Words Are Words

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Today is one of those days I wish negative things about me were unsaid.

Some say,

Actions speak louder than words.

But I believe otherwise; it’s still louder when you directly hear it.

Actions, no matter how spontaneous or natural, are always subject to the speculation of the observer. Speculating on the implicit leads to nothing but speculation itself, not verification. No one has a hold on what was not stated; the only way to validate something is to hear it.

A word said is like a hand which slapped someone; one has to establish it on your face, to prove how stupid/insensitive you were, to wake you up from madness.

Words extinguish speculation of the act; words prompt us to reflect on what was said, why something was done, and why something was explicitly stated.

That explains why I’m more sensitive with words I hear from other people. Because of high self-expectations, many times, my ego cannot handle criticisms.

Particularly when something was expressed bluntly.

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Pandas for World Peace

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I guess this is a fact everyone recognises, but I just want to emphasise how the world has become so distracted and been filled with every type of distraction possible!

Very stressful. I know there had been other types of distractions we humans faced but now these have increased exponentially in the advent of technology getting more sophisticated. That’s quite ironic (and expected) since technology must present better ways to perform our daily headaches. However, reality says worse complications will inevitably arise along the way as previous issues come and go.

And when you have sown one complication with another (and another and another), many times we forget to be at peace with ourselves.

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Trying Hard Techie’s Tips on Customising Devices

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I admit I’m a trying-hard techie. If you think I just read tech articles on the Web, you’re wrong because I experiment! Uninstall this, install that. Alter software though logic of the programming language isn’t fully understood. Open the device using screw driver and check physical problems. And gadgets at home usually fall prey to these illicit activities, becoming at risk of being bricked or totally damaged.

Two weeks ago, I upgraded my phone after almost losing it in Greenhills. Being my first Android phone, I’m contented with the unit except with Éclair (Android 2.1), the unit’s OS version. Samsung promised the update’s release this quarter but unsurprisingly they do not prioritise low-end Android units. Thus, I searched for available cracked firmware versions to upgrade it to Froyo (Android 2.2).

To be honest, I was quite nervous of that spontaneous decision. I once bricked my PlayStation Portable due to inappropriate firmware and it left me crying for weeks!

Fast-forward: I successfully updated my phone from Éclair to Froyo! I’m not technical, mind you.

I know this story isn’t too inspiring for you to risk. But if you want pulsing adventure at your fingertips, try available customisations for your device and keep these words in mind: Believe, Read, Prepare, Follow and Seek.

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Delineation

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Today I suddenly remembered a hypothetical question from my Philosophy 171 (Ethics) class last year.

Suppose that you were privileged to choose the manner in which you will live. You could just continue with everything you have started and experience the ‘normal’, conventional life. On the other hand, a virtual world awaits you, where everything you want to obtain and experience can be found.

Definitely I’m not a philosopher, not even close to becoming a Philosophy geek. I find it a bit hard to explain it in such light or approach. An enthusiast might be more appropriate.

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