THE UNDEFINED AND UNKNOWN - Christopher Calvin Govender

Counter Intuitive Speed

Imagine a race with 3 participants: A, B and C. A is being chased by a lion. B is running for a million dollars. C is running because he enjoys running really fast. Who will win?

If you break down the above example, it translates into this:
Running from (A) versus, Running to (B) versus, Running just because (C). A parallel can be made with your past, future and present. Another way to view it: A is being chased by a lion (Fear). B is running for a million dollars (Desire). C is running because he enjoys running really fast (Peace & Fulfillment).

This post started with being about speed but, if you really think about it, it is about life. You are always spending time and, your time equals your life. Why do you spend your time on the things you do? Why do you spend your life on the things you do? “Being effective and investing your time in the right area at the right time is a skill” – Sizhao Yang. So is understanding why you do what you do. It is a skill. So, why develop these skills? Why is it so important? Because in the end we want to win, right? No, that’s desire. We don’t want to be wasting our precious time? No, that’s fear. We value living and we love being alive? I think I’ll go with that.
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Yin

Your darkness is my friend. The black night, my ally. I live in the shadows of your heart. To find me, close your eyes. To feel me, welcome your fear. To know me, know yourself. To love me, reject your notions. For I carry your hate, I hold your pain, and I bear your ugliness, hoping that you’ll accept me. Will you? I’m waiting for you. Waiting patiently. 

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Remember

Bright. Shining. She looked up. The sun staring down. She smiles. She remembers. 
Her eyes now closed. Her lips dry. She breathes in deep. Tied hands and feet. She remembers.
Stretched across a canvas. Naked. She laughs. Her spirit strong. Her mind calm. She remembers.
Her fists clenched. Held tightly. Holding on. Determined. Resolute. Still. She remembers.
Peace, yet pain. Her eyes still closed. Shaking. She cries and takes her last breath. Gone, but we remember.
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Wear Out or Rust Out

The Internet – 1982

The PC – 1970

The Transistor -1947

Electricity – 1600’s

Copper –  8000 BC

Fire – 1 700 000 years ago

Stories – unknown

Curiosity – unknown

 

useful
ˈjuːsfʊl,ˈjuːsf(ə)l/
adjective
  1. able to be used for a practical purpose or in several ways.
    “aspirins are useful for headaches”
    synonyms: functional, practical, handy, neat, convenient, utilitarian, utility, helpful, applicable, serviceable, of use, of service;

 

We as humans survived because some of us built, discovered and did useful things. Those people are the heroes of our civilization. They are the reason we have thrived. They are the tinkerers, the curious, the founders, the inventors, the scientists, the creatives, the brave, and the bold. They were the crazy, the weird, the abnormal, the outcasts, and the ridiculous. Yes, it is ridiculous to think that you can change the world, that you could make it better, that you could make a difference and that you could do something that matters, but will you try anyway? 

An emergent property of revolutionary useful things is that it can be built upon. It can serve as the foundation for something greater, independent of the knowledge of what the greater thing could be. The most common examples are listed at the beginning of this post. They each served/serve as the foundation of something greater. Are you serving as the foundation of something greater?

There is a shift in the way the world works. If you noticed that a degree is no longer necessary to be a software developer, then you have seen an early impact of this shift. If you happened to notice the cryptocurrency hype, look past that. Have you seen it? Concepts like “proof of work” and “value to the network” are hints of this shift. The world is becoming more meritocratic. The ones who provide the most value get the most rewards. And the easiest way to provide more value than others is to start early, that is start now, but will you?

Will there be a time when robots may take your job? Will there be a time where your current skill set may be of no use, and of no economic value? If you project your life out for the next 10 years, will you be obsolete? If you considered your dreams and aspirations against a measure of usefulness, how would they compare? I know it is easier to be ignorant and to not do the hard thinking, but at what cost? One day soon, you may realize that if you are of no use, you might as well be dead.

So what are you going to do? It is survival of the most useful. We no longer have to outrun anyone. We have to provide more value, become more useful, and learn the meta-skills. Growth over comfort. Comfort is for the weak. Only the strong will win in the end.

“We must all either wear out or rust out, every one of us. My choice is to wear out.” -Theodore Roosevelt

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Thoughts on Building Stuff

The Magic of the Small

Small things add up. Zero doesn’t. Big things are made up of small things and even if it stays small, it’s something to build on.

The Only Reason You Need

I can actually live the idea that the effort is all we have, and the results are extra. As it is said in the Bhagavad Gita, “You are only entitled to the action, never to its fruits.” Better, don’t even need the fruits because the action is the only part that doesn’t really suck. 
-Ryan Holiday, The Key to Happiness is to Realize that Everything Sucks
Do an activity for the activity itself. No other reason necessary or required. In fact any other reason and you may not do it or enjoy it because, you have this expectation of it to provide you with something else than what it is meant for. No activity is meant for secondary effects. Learn for the sake of learning. Read for the sake of reading. Practice for the sake of practice. Exercise for the sake of exercise. Eat for the sake of eating. No conditions. No requisites. No further expectations than for the act to be but itself.

“Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work. 

-Chuck Close, American artist who achieved fame as a photorealist through massive-scale portraits

10 years, Really?
What if I told you I had a system to make you X ( X could be anything. A guitar player, or a programmer, or a physicist) but it will only pay off in 10 years? Would you take it? Would you follow that system, and for 10 years? Or would you rather continue to do what you are doing now? Wouldn’t you agree that 10 years is a short time in hindsight of your entire life?
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Pantsless Sarcasm

A dear friend once asked me, how me not wearing pants and sarcasm are related. I have spent much time in thought about this. 

As I write this pantsless, unafraid, knowing full well that my fate is uncertain, my hope is that you see the mystery plain and airy.

And this is the mystery: There’s a link between pantslessness and sarcasm.

Trust me.

I believe in you.

You will believe in me.

You are on a journey with me.

I’m taking you places.

Here we go.

Sarcasm and pantslessness.

They are related through their unrelatedness. You see, that though their bonds are strongly held disconnected, they remain together totally apart. Pantslessness gives one the freedom to understand sarcasm sarcastically. Think Free Willy meets Mona Lisa, Willy Wonka meets Billy Bob, and Santa Claus meets Jesus. I know. It’s deep. Let that float in. The truth will set you free.

Now that you know this and the mystery has been revealed, I charge you. Let go of pants. Embrace the air brace. Rise to the challenge and enter the chasm of sarcasm.

The age of bottomless has begun.

To my friend: May your bottoms be free, and your irony strong 🙂

 

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Why Your F*cks Run Out of Value: The Supply and Demand of F*cks

Warning: the post below contains bad language, poor punctuation, and is mildly egotistical.

Let’s start with some basics.
 
How to give a fuck:
“Fuck left. Fuck right. Fuck down, but never fuck up. Unless you have good back support first. “
 
How not to give a fuck:
“Hey buddy. Look up in the sky. Right over there. Can you see it? Look closer. You see that spec over there? That’s my last fuck, flying away.”
 
And as for what follows? Just don’t go there.
 
Between a jerk and desperation:
“A fucktard or fuck tart, you tell me?”
 
What does a fuck up say to another fuck up? 
“Higher! Come on, higher! You can do it!”
 
(Okay, it’s funnier after some tequila I believe)
 
So what’s the point of this?
Don’t be desperate. Don’t be a douche. Don’t be a fuck up, and yes you can choose not to be. You have a choice right now, but you already knew that, didn’t you? 
 
Did you know this?
Fucks should be valued. Value yourself, your time, and your energy – more than you value whether others give a fuck about you.
 
The most important fucks are the ones not given. The greatest fucks are hard and are full of passion. But you know what’s the worst fucks? The worst fucks are the ones we say to ourselves. 
 
We have a limited amount of fucks. Value it. If you want to give a fuck, take your time and make it count. And remember, the fucks we need desperately are the ones we should give about ourselves. 
So what are you waiting for? Don’t say kum-bah-yah and just continue as usual, say skirrrrrr prrrrrrrr pa pa. 
Fucks given: None. Fucks taken: None. Guess what, Your fucks just went up in value. 
 
 
In conclusion:
If life’s a box of chocolates, then I ate it all. Because fuck you. Does it make sense? Who gives a fuck? I like chocolate. 
 
And a poom poom skiddy ka ka

 

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When you choose to care. When you say I’m all in.

Relationships are a beautiful thing. They make you happy at 2 in the morning when no one’s around, but just your thoughts of a special someone – a friend, a sibling, or a partner. You think about them and you get happy, and then you struggle to go back to sleep. You’re so grateful you found this person and that you have them in your life.
 
On the other end sometimes relationships, or rather trying to build one is difficult. I want to address one of those difficulties here.
 
When they don’t care or not as much as you want them to, you feel pain in your chest. It builds up. It becomes overwhelming. You don’t know what to do. You try to emphasize that you care and that you care deeply. Maybe that might be a good reason for them to care too, or maybe I’m just crazy and I take this way too seriously. I have realized something about that pain.
 
Nobody is making you feel like you’re hard to love. It’s in your head. I’m not saying that you should be free of emotional pain, because then you wouldn’t care for anything and it’s important to care. I’m just saying some things are not worth caring about.

You care about someone. They don’t care about you. You feel the pain and torment of indifference. Should you then continue to care, or should you move on? Should you choose suffering and torment, or should you choose indifference as well?

When I start to care for someone it’s deep, deeper than it should be, but it is what it is. I have a system for people that matter to me. It’s intense, but for me it cuts through the grey stuff. Are you a 0 or a 1? Are you a hell yeah or no? It’s an all or nothing system, because I’m an all or nothing guy. To the people that matter I give my everything. Nothing less. To the people that don’t matter I say goodbye.

There are many attributes a person should have to matter to me, but they are simple things like: being kind and considerate, showing that you care about me, being honest. I usually care first. It’s a risk I’m willing to take. I’m willing to put my heart out on the line, but only in the beginning, and only for so long.

0 or 1 is a question I constantly ask because sometimes people stop caring. So I should stop caring too. They stop mattering. Sometimes I remind them, I give them an opportunity to keep the 1 status, but usually they have made up their mind.

I used to get angry and upset when this happens. I don’t anymore. I don’t have the time for such pain and torment -and yes it is torment. When I give my best and it’s not good enough, then it hurts like hell. It’s not a place you want to spend a long time in.

Here’s how I get out of that torment. I start with journaling (this post started in my journal). I need to know what exactly I am feeling. I take the mess that is my pain and write it down. Unedited and unconstrained.

I re-frame why I cared in the beginning. I didn’t choose to care because I was doing the world a favor. Nor did I choose to care this deeply just to make the other person feel special. I did it for me. I did it because I wanted to. And if it stops being for me, then it must stop all together.

You may have to do this more than once, but eventually the pain will go away. You will move on and accept this fate with no anger or sadness. Not at the world or life, and not at the person. Remember this: desire cannot be deleted just overwritten.

I know that I want genuine relationships. You know, the deep stuff. The stuff that makes your existence here important to someone, and that persons existence important to you. It is a hard thing to find but we should not give up our earnest endeavors, though the bridge is unstable and the waters below vicious.

One day this life won’t matter. It will all be gone and forgotten. So enjoy it. I will. Spend it with people that matter, and go find more people that matter. Don’t hold back on how much you care. Don’t be afraid to care. Learn how to deal with the pain. Learn how to let it go. In the end, there’s nothing more wonderful than when you say,
 
“I’m all in. Are you?” and they say “Yes”.
 
Here’s to the people that matter to us, and to the people we are yet to find. May we care for them with everything and nothing less.
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The Game

There’s a man who wants nothing. Nothing at all. He lives day to day, come what may.

There’s a man who wants something simple, something easily found. Something he has to reach for, but on the ground.
 
There’s also a man who wants something hard and rare. Hard to get, and far from here.
 
And then, there’s a man who wants everything. A little more here, a little more there, a little more everywhere.
 
Do you want something?
 
Really?
 
What is it?
 
Is it simple, or hard and rare, or everything, yet fair?
 
Tell me, are you playing the game or being played by the game, without a care?
 
By the way, have you decided what you want?
***
 
There’s a man who has nothing to lose. Nothing at all, maybe just some booze.
 
And a man who has simple things to lose, things that are easily found. Easy to reach, not beyond the ground.
 
Then there’s a man who has something hard and rare to lose. Something once in lifetime, and to keep, there’s nothing he wouldn’t do.
 
And lastly, a man who has everything to lose. A life of gamble, with no preamble.
 
What do you have?
 
What do you really have?
 
Is it really yours?
 
Is it yours to keep, or yours to lose?
 
Is it simple, or hard and rare, or everything, yet fair?
 
I wonder, are you playing the game or being played by the game, without a care?
 
As they say, if you don’t know who’s the patsy, then it’s…
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Slack System

I have often wondered what I should be great at. It’s a question that I ask myself about most. My version of why am I here. Why am I here? What should I be doing? How can I best use my talents? 

If you are in a similar situation, I’d like to introduce you to something I call a slack system (I got the idea from Kevin Kelly). I call it that to make it sound proficient, but it’s really just messing around and trying things- anything. It’s about looking for adventure and new experiences. It’s about breaking stuff, fixing stuff, and stuffing up. It’s about giving myself more opportunities for failure. It’s about giving myself the permission to explore. 

Why? There’s this focus on being productive that is not so productive.

How to become like Warren Buffet? The top 10 habits of billionaires. How to focus like a monk? The seven steps to being the next Elon Musk. How to beat procrastination with a spoon? The list is endless. Everyone wants to be like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet and Elon Musk and therein lies the problem. 

Copy and paste, not create and invent.

Our irrationality is what makes us as humans so special. We can tell ourselves a story about anything and we’ll believe it. We give that up when we try to be more like computers and robots. There’s no formula for success or good ideas such that they can appear on demand, because there’s no way to factor in irrationality: the ability to do silly and whimsical things because you want to. 

Give yourself the freedom to be. Just be. Try anything. Travel. Don’t get yourself seriously in trouble but other than that, there’s an endless supply of adventures. There are many stories waiting for their main character – you. 

Who cares about being great? Rather look to be original. Rack up the failures and the lessons. Live with the purpose of being alive, and with the knowledge that this will eventually end. Enjoy every second, even the tears and pain. There isn’t any of that after death – well nobody truly knows. If you truly rather be safe than sorry, then you’ll live with fear and trembling as a companion, you’ll love with passion and naked honesty, and you’ll welcome Death as an old friend (Notice how I stole that from Harry Potter. Think about why Ignotus Peverell greeted Death as an old friend? He was the one with the cloak of invisibility).

The clock is ticking. The time is now. The Act is seeking. The answer is not how but why the hell not? 

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