Tuesday, February 25, 2014

How Facebook Distorts the World

Most of us have Facebook. You probably have one. And many people log onto Facebook multiple times a day. You probably do, or you may know somebody who does.

But paying too much attention to Facebook may not be that healthy.

In an ideal world, people would post their happy moments as well as their problems in life to share with friends. However, many people like to look better than they really feel in life. Therefore, many people only share the best moments in their life. As a result, there are often way too many picture perfect lives in Facebook Land.

Don't feel like you need to live up to those picture perfect lives. They don't exist in reality.

On another note, I wonder what part of human nature has caused this phenomenon? What's the shame in sharing the less glamorous moments of your life, I wonder?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Three Things to Do for Success

Every now and then, we need some motivation to carry on. So here's something my friend and I want to share with you. Success in life doesn't come quickly, but if we do these three things right, it will come eventually.

1) Start Working ASAP
Many dreams and goals in the modern world require complex navigation to achieve. This has meant that some people plan obsessively. But this wastes your time. When you move forward with your project, whatever it is, you will find out more about it. By the time you get some significant progress, things may have changed so much that your plans have become irrelevant. So have rough outline type plans to guide yourself wherever you are going, but never plan obsessively.

2) Stay the Course
As we all know, dreams take long to achieve, and they take even longer in this complex and big modern world of ours. We must keep ourselves motivated enough to stay the course, which can be many years. Or else, we would just have a long list of uncompleted projects and goals.

3) Keep a Firm Eye on the Target
As we come across barrier after barrier and detour after detour, it is easy to lose sight of our actual target and get distracted by other things. We need to remind ourselves to keep a firm eye on our actual target, and brush aside things like irrelevant comments, difficult people and unfair circumstances (as long as not grossly unfair enough to warrant a complaint). These things should not be able to stop us.

Related Posts:

It's a Long Ride: Living the Practical Life whilst Chasing your Dreams

Your Dreams that 'Never Came True'


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Let It Go Through Google Translate!

Disney's Frozen is a major box office success, and Let It Go from its soundtrack has become a major hit.

But how does it sound when you put it through Google translate, cycling through a few very different languages and back to English again?


Monday, February 17, 2014

"I Have a Degree"

By Natalie K

Today I met up with my friend, let's call her Courtney. Courtney and I are in a very similar situation: we are both unemployed, and we both have a degree. And we both know several more people in the same situation too.

Several years ago, we thought this wouldn't happen to us. After all, we both did well enough in college. We knew that some people get unemployed after they graduate, but it wasn't going to happen to us, right? Our parents both went to college (a less common thing back then) and after graduation they all got employed straight away. Surely some things have changed, but it should still be this way for the majority of graduates right? Apparently things have REALLY changed.

Courtney recently applied for a job which did not even require a college degree (she is still waiting for a reply on that one). At the interviews, she told me, there was an applicant who kept saying how the job should be hers because she "got a degree" unlike the other applicants. Besides her obnoxious attitude, the reality is probably that most other applicants also have a degree. You may be applying to be underutilised, but there is nothing special about your plight nowadays.

It's not our fault, really. It's the system's fault. But it doesn't hurt any less.

I guess nowadays everyone in their 20s get underutilised, and we just have to wait it out. Meanwhile, let's forget about how we're being treated by 'the market' because life is too short to worry like that. There are much better things in life to look forward to, like good music and good food, which doesn't have to be expensive either. You get to enjoy these things no matter if you have a job or not, just like you get to experience unemployment no matter if you "have a degree" or not.

Related Posts:

But You ARE Special - Reasons to Remind Yourself

It's a Long Ride: Living the Practical Life whilst Chasing your Dreams


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Ellen Page Comes Out as Gay. So Did My Friend.

So Ellen Page has come out as gay.

News of this is spreading like wildfire out there. But here's our take on it: so what?

Thousands of people come out as gay every day. It isn't as if Ellen Page doing so would make any difference. The world will still go on as usual. We won't magically get marriage equality everywhere, gay people everywhere won't feel safer, and we as a society won't become more tolerant because of it. Life just goes on.

There's no reason to make a big deal out of it. Really.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

When the World will not Accept that 'You are Special'

Unfortunately, even if you believe that you are special, it doesn't follow that everyone will believe the same about you. In fact, it is almost ridiculous to expect the big machine that is 'the system' to believe that anybody is special, when it clearly functions more like robot than human.

Even if you have it resolved that you are special and you are going to embrace it, the world will still pour buckets of cold water onto your flame from time to time.

I believe the best solution to this problem is to continue to do the work you need to do, whilst ignoring this kind of critique. It's like how you dealt with the school teacher who never liked you, who would find opportunities to criticise you whenever he could. I think the best attitude to have to those parts of the world which insist on treating you like nothing special is the same attitude you had to this teacher. You still had to do the assignments and tests in his class, but you knew what he said was usually irrelevant. You did the work in his class well enough, but you avoided letting his critiques get to you.

Some Related Musical Inspiration:

Related Posts:

But You ARE Special - Reasons to Remind Yourself

Why they 'Need' to Kill the 'Special' Idea Off


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Dream Forum: How I Want You to Know Me

The music I make and the books I write are about a vision. Together, they convey a spirit of dreams, love and compassion, family supporting each other, and a hope for a better world.

I want you (the reader, the listener) to experience this spirit when you come across my work. I want you to know me, as a believer in this spirit.

This is how I want people to know me.


Sunday, February 9, 2014

But You ARE Special - Reasons to Remind Yourself

You are special, and you were born to do some special work in this life. You are the way you are because there is some special work out there that requires someone like you to do it. Without you, that piece of the puzzle will be missing.

Your are special because you are special to someone. It may be your partner, your parents, or somebody you will meet in the future. It may even be someone you don't know - but they know you, and cherish your existence.

You are special, because no other mind in the world thinks and works in the same way, and has the same material (experiences and memories) to work on. As a result, no other mind will have the same output on a given topic.

You are special, and the world would be missing a unique part of its richness if you did not exist. It would be like a colourful quilt made up of pieces of different colours, but one piece was missing. Wouldn't it be sad?

Even your imperfections are unique, and they make you even more special. Only with your imperfections you could have experienced the world in this particular way, and have the particular memories you have. You can then use that experience to help other people, especially others with the same imperfections.

Some Related Musical Inspiration:

Friday, February 7, 2014

Nostalgia: A style of Pop that Doesn't Exist Anymore?

Listen to these three songs:

Don't you think they have something in common, that is not found in any of today's popular tunes?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Why they 'Need' to Kill the 'Special' Idea Off

The 'everyone is special' revolution may be good for everyone on paper, but as with all revolutions that have come before, there are people who stand to lose out, or feel they stand to lose out. As a result, there are people who are going to push back against it. This time, we do have quite a challenge: part of those pushing back are loaded up with money, and are busily pouring their unlimited buckets of cold water on our generation.

Some old style bosses may feel that if everyone feels special, then nobody is going to be doing the menial jobs that need being done. They feel that our generation has a 'sense of entitlement' and is therefore not willing to do the unglamourous work. But anybody from our generation will recognise this as a straw man. Most of our generation is more than willing to work hard. It is because of our feeling of specialness that we are willing to work harder than previous generations. We do feel we have special work to do in life, but we don't feel particularly 'entitled' to anything.

Another group is those who just fear any major social change and put up their resistance accordingly. But resistance to social change is always futile - think the end of bans on interracial marriage, gender equality, computers, the internet, gay rights. The resisting side has lost every time. And that has been good for us - if they had won we would have missed out on major progress every time. Being on the wrong side of history just because you fear change is always misguided.

Yet another group are those who are sincere about solving the problem of the quarter life crisis, but have gone about it in the wrong way. They think that we must have our high ambitions and endless but yet unfulfilled dreams stripped away from us so that we can live normal lives like generations that came before us. And at the core of our ambitions and dreams is this feeling of specialness. Therefore, they feel that they must undo our 'everyone is special' upbringing.

In conclusion, those who want to kill off the 'everyone is special' revolution are all misguided people. However, that doesn't change the fact that they keep putting out their discouraging messages, blaming the educators for teaching us this way, blaming our parents for bringing us up this way, as if they could put the genie back in the bottle. And since they continue to be misguided and act accordingly, we need to protect the flame of hope that came from our special knowledge - that we are special - from these constant buckets of cold water.

Related Posts:

It's a Long Ride: Living the Practical Life whilst Chasing your Dreams

So What is Causing The QLC Symptoms?


Monday, February 3, 2014

Beating the System: Should I Join a Political Party?

Today I was talking with a friend who recently joined the youth wing of a major political party. She knew that I was passionate about many causes too. Therefore, she encouraged me to join.

I don't know whether to take the advice or not, seriously.

There are branch meetings where you get to talk about issues. You get to meet like minded people. You get to debate things.

But then I don't see how I can change things through doing these things. And another thing you get to do include handing out information and how to vote material for candidates during each election, big and small. I really can't see how I can put my vision into practice by doing things like these.

I know it can be fun, but I just don't have extra time to do free work, really.

Maybe I should just start a political blog. It seems like a better use of my time anyway.

-Amanda J

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Generation who Grew Up 'Special' and a Potential Cultural Change

For many generations, people grew up with the expectation that most people are going to be ordinary in life, and only a selected few are special people. Generation upon generation have lived like this, not knowing what they missed out upon.

But for the generation born after around 1980, this changed. Many of us grew up being told that we were special. That we would all do some special things in life, in the future, when we grew up. It's a way of raising a generation that has never been tried before, that can have major consequences for society. Sort of like when gender equality was first introduced.

Actually, everyone, every human being has been special from day one of history. But until now society has not been evolved enough to allow everyone's specialness to be recognised - just like once upon a time it was not ready to accept ideas equality between men and women. As a result, many generations lived and died believing that they were ordinary, and never achieved the full function of their specialness in life. It's just like how women lived and died in many ages past not knowing how they could be seen as equal to men and have the same rights in law. But once we have moved forward from there, looking back we see how limiting the past paradigm was.

We are the first generation where society has become ready to embrace this idea - hence many of us were taught this idea when we were growing up. Society has become ready because in the First World at least, we have solved the problems of widespread poverty, hunger and disease. Another important recent development is that we have already developed a system where religious, cultural and ideological differences can be settled peacefully and we can be tolerant of each others different beliefs, and there is thus not as much a need for one group to be dominant over another, or to have everyone formed into tribes ruled by tribal leaders. In the First World at least, we have moved beyond all that.

The idea that we are all special is capable of starting a revolution in and of itself. No longer will people just accept that they will live like every generation that has come before them. No longer will people just accept that they are interchangeable with their other colleagues at work, as if everybody was a small, easily replaceable part in a large machine. Everyone will live their life trying to find their life's work, and express and use their specialness in different ways. It's really a very exciting time in society's history. In fact, the phenomena of the quarter life crisis, dreams taking longer to achieve, people taking longer to settle down or no longer even thinking about settling down, these are all society's first steps in adjusting to the new situation.

Some Related Musical Inspiration:

Related Posts:

Symptoms of a Quarter Life Crisis

It's a Long Ride: Living the Practical Life whilst Chasing your Dreams