THE UNDEFINED AND UNKNOWN - Christopher Calvin Govender

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You and Me

I do not seek to convince.
 
I do not seek to prove.
 
I do not seek to explain.
 
You can only take me as I am.
 
My words are not spoken for you.
 
My life is not lived for you.
 
My thoughts are not thought for you.
 
Sincerely is the only way you can become a part of me – a part of my words, a part of my life and, a part of my thoughts.
 
Sincerely is the only way I can truly become a part of you. I write this with my heart.
 
I do not hope. I do not expect. I do not demand.
 
I desire.
 
I desire you as you are.
 
Perfectly imperfect. Sincere. True. You.

 

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The Only

There is good, better and best.

But I choose to be the only.

I do not accept any other.

I demand this of myself.

I have no competition.

I will not compete. 

While everyone else chooses to compete, I will not.

Because that is a source of pain. 

I have no struggle. 

There is no place like being the only.

To be free is to be the only. 

To be the only is to be myself.

Everything I do will show I am the only.

Every time I feel pain I will remind myself of this because I have forgotten.

I have no demands of anyone else.

That is a source of pain.

I have no expectations of anyone else. 

That is a source of pain. 

Everything that I demand that is not in my control is a source of pain. 

The desire for something to be anything other than itself is a source of pain. 

Chasing pleasure is a source of pain. 

I will only embrace necessary pain. 

My demands are only of myself.

I am the only.

Because I choose to be.

Because I choose not to be like anyone else.
 

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Why I hated my birthday

A thought that resonates with me is that one day I’m going to die and so too will my loved ones. It’s amazing that we act as if we have an infinite amount of time. There is no urgency about how limited our lives are. We think that there is so much time left to show our loved ones how much we really care about them that we postpone doing it. We might show them that we care reservedly on special occasions like birthdays or Christmas. We might get them a gift and write them a note. And that’s where it stops for us.

I hated my birthday every year I can remember having one. It’s the one day where everyone is supposed to be celebrated (by default) by everyone that cares for them. And within that sentence lies the very problem I wish to solve. I’m going to change that sentence. Birthdays are the one day where most people are usually celebrated by the ones that love them. Nobody is supposed to be celebrated by others. Nobody is supposed to be loved by others. 

Yet if you love, you are supposed to show it and try to show how much. That’s pretty much all we can do. And so, we should want to do it more often. We should want to show the magnitude of our love every day. But do we? Why do we hold back? Is it because we’re afraid?

Love is given conditionally. We all know that. We may try to give it without any fine print but it’s ours to give and ours to choose who we give it to. Whomever you love, remember it is you who chose to love them. It is you that decided they are so important to you, that you give them something as magical as life itself.

And this brings me to this point: Love is shown unconditionally. There is no reason, no excuse, or justification for not showing love.  Every opportunity you get to show love should be pounced upon and grabbed with both hands and feet tightly with everything. Are you free? Yes? Then say what is in your heart. Say the things you’ve always wanted to say, but didn’t.

I no longer hate my birthday. It’s the day I came into this world. I’m going to celebrate myself. I’m going to show myself how much I love me. Because I do love me. It’s the only love I can give to myself, so I give it liberally and generously. No holding back. 

Maybe take today to do the same for yourself. Show yourself how much you love you. And maybe there’s an opportunity for you to do the same for someone else. Why don’t you take it and embrace it? You never know, it might make a world of a difference. 

PS: My birthday was the best ever! I am so lucky! I am sincerely grateful 🙂

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The Scale of Trying

There are 10 trillion galaxies in this universe. There’s a 100 billion stars in the milky way. That’s 10^24 stars in the universe. Assume the total number of planets are far more than that. It took that magnitude of creation to result in creating the earth – a planet able to sustain life. It took more than 8.7 million species of effort to result in making us sapiens. It took the sacrifice of over 200 billion sperm to ensure you were born. Everything in this universe is a result of 13.8 billion years of trying. This is how nature does things. This is nature’s scale of trying.

Albert Einstein published over 300 scientific works. Mozart composed over 600 musical pieces. Shakespeare wrote 37 plays. Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group controls over 400 companies. Roger Federer has played 377 grand slam matches. Stephen King has written 56 novels. Woody Allen has made 47 movies. Picasso has made 1885 paintings and over 50 000 art works. This is their scale of trying.

What’s yours?

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Showing Up

Usually showing up is enough. If you have a goal, here’s the 80/20 rule to accomplishing it: Show up everyday. Show up at gym. Show up to write. Show up to code. And if you showed up, why not stay there for just a little bit longer?

Let’s deconstruct showing up into what it truly means:
It means build the smallest habit possible. Because if you build that habit then you have a foundation. Then on that habit build other habits. Each time building only the smallest habit possible, and building one habit at a time. Don’t worry about scale. Just build. It could be as simple as putting on shoes, or opening Evernote, or switching your phone off.

Build. Slowly. Steadily.
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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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