- Mohamad Kalaaji
This blog post is based on the reflections that I have written in both of my second and third journals, the intentions of writing this very blog post are not to show that I had a good year but rather to show the lessons that I have learned throughout this journey.
This blogpost is not here to write about what are my goals for 2021 nor talk about the good stuff that I have done in 2020 but rather the things that I have learned in between, those hard lessons that really left an impact. If you are expecting some goals or plans then I am sorry, you can ask about them privately in a direct message or talk about them on a cup of coffee at Starbucks then I would have the honors to do so otherwise you can skip this blog post all together since it might/might not serve you any benefits.
My intentions on this blogpost
I didn't write this blog post as a method of lecturing people or any of that sort, but rather as a note to myself to live and meditate on. I don't have an audience in mind plus I don't intend on having one in the first place.
This blog post and the upcoming ones are not here to lecture you and tell you that the path I am on is the right path, but rather as a guide that you may or may not consider. As we all have different points of view and different ideas of life itself, you might see it in a different direction. Some might see these points as informative and helpful while some might think that it is a direct attack on them or conflicts with their morals and ego, it is your responsibility on how you see it since you are the judge of that.
It was tough writing this, to be honest
I was and still hesitant about writing this blog post. Unlike the things I have written before from previously deleted blog posts along with the words and sentences that live in my journal, I am taking a new approach to everything: I am not going to write any of that.
I usually write about the good stuff in life that I have accomplished like reading 52 books, earning a certain certification, or getting lucky in life. Although the intentions are to share the good things and make a good impression/motivation for others yet I realized that I haven't taken into consideration the people around me and how they view it. Upon reflection and realization that I saw myself as a showoff, a self-centered asshole who only cared about himself, and I was trying really hard to impress the people around me without knowing that I have been doing it in an egoistic way or sometimes trying to prove that I am better than the people around me.
Hence I'll take a different route and just move on in life, those milestones are to prove to myself that I am moving on and progressing in life but not as a mechanism of showing off. It seemed that it doesn't bring any benefits but rather problems and pain.
Yes, I still read 52 books in a year.
Yes, I still fill my fountain pens using an ink bottle that I carry around in my bag.
Yes, I still stay at night writing code and do weird stuff.
Yes, I still journal and starting a new journal in these upcoming days.
Yes, I still organize my day in a separate notebook and structure my day, week, month, and year in sprints.
Those are not going to change but you probably don't care about them anyway so why sharing them in the first place?
Trust me to ditch social media, it is not the real world
That world that you see online is not what you think it is, everyone is trying to show you the good parts of their lives but not the bad ones. We all have problems that we face on a day-to-day basis but we don't talk about them either it is forbidden/taboo or fearing that someone might mock/envy us.
The problem is that social media gives every single human on the planet a voice, but the issue is that not every voice is worth listening to. If you ever read The Odyssey by Homer, it explains the story of Ulysses who almost got killed by sea witches known as "The Sirens"
The Sirens pretend to be beautiful women with amazing voices, try to assure sailors, who pass their island, that they just want to entertain them with beautiful melodies. What they really want, however, is to kill them. Although Ulysses gave beeswax to his sailors to soften it and put it in their ears to prevent hearing those melodies as a gift from the goddess Circe, he ordered them to tie him completely to the boat just to see what Circe meant about those melodies. As he got enchanted by their voices, he demanded multiple times from his sailors to untie him so he can swim to them but upon arriving near the island, Ulysses saw two beautiful women combing their long golden hair, calling after him but what the sailors saw were two hungry monsters with crooked claws waiting for their next target.
Ulysses came back to his sense, later on, realized that he got saved from a catastrophe. The point of this story is that not everything you see or listen to is real on social media, and every single day we see more of those "Sirens" popping up.
Keep things to yourself more often and say that you don't know
We all have stories to share and ideas to spread but not everything we talk or share with might bring us any benefits. I have learned this lesson three years later where I shared my perspective about something three years ago with someone yet to find out that I got reminded by this person about it. Ashamed about the fact that this perspective was completely wrong but back then I thought I knew what I am doing, in reality, I wasn't at all.
if you don't know something don't make a hypothesis about it from your perspective nor come up with something completely different just to show that you are right. Say that you don't know, say that you will search for an answer and get back to it but give a genuine and authentic answer, don't bullshit on people.
It might give you a boost of ego for a small while but it will come back to you if things go south with this person, like Russian roulette: there is a 1/6 chance of being hit by a bullet, that doesn't mean that you won't die from it.
It is okay to do some mistakes if you are willing to admit that you did them
We all know this famous sentence of "It is not me man!!! I didn't do it!", I see it on a day to day basis not to forget that I have used it a lot in the past. It works for a while till you cry wolf the third time and find out that nobody will believe you anymore.
The process of growth starts from accepting our mistakes not by blaming others for them. Accept the consequences and move on, it will bring more shame not accepting the mistake than the mistake itself.
Inaction is a slow death
We all have things that we want to do in our lives but sometimes we might get distracted like a moth to a light bulb chanting "OHHHH SHINY OBJECT!" or we might be in a very bad position that anything that looks and seems good might be a trap or not worth it.
A lot of people approach me with their million-dollar idea, a plan for settling in Amsterdam if they have 10K$ in their pockets, and how bad and underpaying their current job is. But ironically we might have encountered some opportunities that might have helped in achieving this goal or task but we were afraid to do so.
We are so afraid that we call the people who did it lucky or plain bullshitters (depending on your perspective of life, you will be the judge of that). But if we took that extra risk then it might have yielded something better later on even if the current benefit might not yield much.
I am not the kind of person who expects an "end of the road" in a tunnel in fact I am the kind of guy who doesn't expect an end in the first place, but I am a firm believer that one of those roads might lead to somewhere. It doesn't matter where but I would say that it is better than staying in the same place. You might not reach the end but at least the adventures are worth talking about.
So it is more about working on something to get it and not sitting on your butt expecting it to come to you on a plate of gold then I would encourage you and wish you luck on your long journey, and if you think about the law of attraction that this thing will come to you if you sat on your butt and thought about it all day long then good luck buddy.
"Most real failures are due to limitations which men set up in their own minds" - Napoleon Hill, Outwitting the devil
Stay humble, not foolish
You don't have to buy expensive stuff to show everyone that you are rich, life is not about how many cars you have in your garage nor the furniture in your triplex apartment. You can live in a decent apartment and have a Honda Civic while being rich with seven figures and all.
Being rich is the ability to see the people you care about safe and sound, work on yourself by learning new things constantly, and stay on the morals and believes that you are raised on. It sickens my heart seeing the poor fooling themselves and others into buying things they can't afford to please people that don't care about them, because they know deep inside that they will never be those kinds of people and not in a million years.
The world doesn't owe you anything, so stop chasing things that were not meant for you. If you had everything that you truly need from the beginning then there shouldn't be a reason to go after the things that weren't meant for you, just to show and impress others that we have it.
Reflection on paper
Two years ago, I started journaling on a day to day basis. Sure, there are some days that I have missed but I sure wrote the hell out of those other days. Some were a couple of sentences while others are pages of ongoing events. Upon rereading those pages, I became more aware of myself and more conscious of my actions, I reached a position that I have done psychoanalysis on myself in full details which low key kinda interesting yet frightening.
Those pages grew to several books and as I am starting my fourth journal in the upcoming days, I realized a lot of things that I wasn't aware of myself. One of the things that I have discovered about myself is that I have what is called Hypergraphia which is a behavioral condition characterized by the intense desire to write constantly and on a day to day basis, the good thing about it is that it is the complete opposite of writer's block where I always have material to write about but it does have a bad part where it might go out of hand, and some notable people that have this condition are the likes of Vincent van Gogh, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and Lewis Carroll.
I can see myself in the third person when reading those journal entries, replaying those moments that I have lived before as if it is a simulation, and predict what to do next. In other words, I became aware of myself to a position that I am self-conscious (or some people say "being woke") of almost everything.
Identifying your strength and weak points is crucial to self-mastery, and when you are able to find out how the way your brain process ideas, you can use this to your advantage to learn almost anything in ease.
People with lies and ego leave, people with honesty and integrity stay
This will create some misunderstanding that I might be specifying a certain individual, but in reality, I am taking a more general approach to this. If you got triggered or affected by this then it might be something that you might have or have not done before with someone.
Lately, I have been canceling all my plans hanging out with others, even reaching a position of ditching those talkative yet annoying people with their useless gossip/conversations. I have obligations and work that I have to do in my life plus a real-life and career to focus on not to mention that lockdown is closing a lot of places hence there aren't that many options really. This canceling and ditching triggered certain people to a position of stopped talking with you altogether, unfollowing you/ blocking you/ ghosting you on social media to create a stand that they no longer care about you then talk behind your back as if they are the right ones.
Remember the part that I mentioned previously about social media that it gives voices to people but not all voices are right, well you know where I am heading on this.
The moral of this short paragraph is to show how ego takes over a human in unexpected ways, if they did this to you then they go "tough luck buddy! good luck finding someone like me!" mode but in reality, they did you a favor.
It is annoying to find some people in life disappear all the sudden but what really matters are the people that stay even if you don't talk/interact that much, they have already earned that friendship long ago so there is no reason for them to fight about it even if it means being with just three people, for it is better to have three people whom you trust than a thousand whom you don't.
There is more to the story
There is still more to talk about but these are the lessons that I have learned throughout this journey, they might not be a lot but worth talking about. My journey is still at its beginning and there is so much to talk about later on.
I don't know where I might head towards but at least where I stand right now is in a better position than I was a couple of years before.