7-24

It’s 9:50. I am on the #16 bus heading home. On the bus, I am currently sitting on the top left seat looking at it lightly rain outside. I am sitting hunched in my seat, with my knees resting in the barrier in front of me. I feel the cool breeze from outside hitting my face. I’m in total comfort and while listening to an audiobook about Sarte, I have an unexplicable sense of peace in my heart.

Damn life is beautiful.

Its definitely htese small moments which make life so valuable. We must learn to cherish the small things in life, because thats what makes life so special and worth living. Things such like the warm and welcoming taste of coffe in the morning, the innocence of a soft peck on the cheeck, or the sweet smell in the air before it rains.

Life doesn’t have to be so damn complicated. We often make it so much more confusing and convoluted than it needs to be. We try to seek all the extravagancies in life rather than enjoying ourselves in the small yet sweet moments. We have an unsatiable desire for wealth, status, and fortune which clouds our mind and judgement makes us ignore everything else.

However we must learn to detach ourselves from these fruitless desires. They never fully satisfy us, regardless if we believe they will or not. Rather, they make us feel even more empty inside.

So don’t live life in terms of everything having to be so big and grand. I rather invite you to live life through a microscope. Think about and cherish all the small things in life that we take for granted.

Next time you are sipping coffee think about it in terms of our time on the earth. Savor life. It’s good to the last drop.

Affirmation

As humans, we always strive to be recognized. We always need others to affirm our existence and that we “matter” in the world. In today’s society, everyone wants to be an individual and differentiate themselves from other people. We all are taught that it is a good thing to be “different” and “unique” and that it is something we should pride ourselves in. Therefore we always try hard to create a certain image of ourselves and maintain it by the way we walk, talk, and even dress. But in today’s world, we even smaller and less important due to the overwhelming force of the internet. We are more miserable than ever before in human history.

Before we talk about the affect of the internet in our every-day lives, let me briefly go over the idea of humans wanting to be different and unique from one another. When we were born, we were all tossed into this world. We didn’t have a choice of where we are born, what race we are, or even what we look like. We look around and for the most part, we all look the same. We all have feet, legs, torsos, arms, fingers, necks, heads, eyes, ear, and hair. Although we have slight variations such as height, weight, and physical attractiveness; all in all we are pretty much the same.

Being born into this world looking like everyone else, we strive to be different. From a young age we are socialized into thinking that being different and being a star is desired. Our society worships celebrities and rockstars. The idea of being on the stage with a million screaming fans is many of our dreams. To have the spotlight on us, and nobody else. For everyone to listen to our needs, desires, and wants. For us to matter in this huge huge world of ours.

There are many ways we can try to differentiate ourselves. Our physical appearances and attributes are unalterable (for the most part) and clothing and fashion is a quick way to “look different” from everywhere else. The clothing industry is a multi-billion dollar industry which profits from individuals trying to create a different self-image. Although people who consider themselves “anti-society” try to push themselves away from “ordinary people” by dressing in all black, with spikes, colored hair, and outrageous fashion, they end up looking like everyone else who tries to do the same. Stores such as Hot Topic thrive in business from young teenagers who try to go “against the grain.” The irony is that Hot Topic is actually owned by Abercrombie and Fitch, which shoppers at Hot Topic are usually trying to combat.

Ever since the introduction of America Online and the Internet, the world as we know it has changed dramatically. Suddenly the internet has suddenly made the huge world a much smaller place, by linking nations from all over the world together in one cyber-domain. And now with the internet, we have the need to please even more people. We try to personalize everything as much on our accounts on Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and even our Google homepages. We pride ourselves in being different, but the internet has made it incredibly difficult to be “unique”.  But regardless, we want to be affirmed and recognized as being different and special, so we constantly try our hardest to stand out and shine.

But this has caused a lot of dissatisfaction and a feeling of emptiness in the world. We constantly try to add people on Myspace to feel more important by having the omst friends. On Facebook, we constantly write on each other’s walls, upload photos, and write witty status updates to hope to get a ton of “notifications” in our inboxes. We constantly twitter every thought that crosses our mind in hopes of getting more and more “followers.” We constantly blog in hoping to get more and more page hits. Through the internet, we measure our self-worth by numbers. The more friends, notifications, comments, followers, or hits we have, the better.

Therefore, we must re-focus our attention on quality, rather than quantity. Who cares if you have 1000 friends on Facebook if none of them knows your birthday without looking at your profile? Who cares if you have 1000 comments on your blog if they are only commenting because you give them a comment? Who cares if you have a 1000 followers on Twitter if you aren’t close to any of them?

So what I am trying to say is simplify your lives. Re-focus your attention on intimate relationships, rather than the very impersonal world of the internet. Trying to get the most Myspace friends is as fruitless as trying to count all the stars in the sky. It is something that you might try your entire life but will never succeed. Sometimes in life, less is more.

The beauty of Single-Tasking

In today’s society, we live in a world in which we are bombarded with responsibilities, things to get done, jobs, tasks, schoolwork, etc etc. We have trained ourselves that multi-tasking is the best way to do things. Especially with computers and the increase of technology, multi-tasking is easier than ever! We can be having five conversations on AIM, surfing the web with 10 tabs open in Firefox, all while texting and watching the tv. Multi-tasking is glamorized, and people brag all the time about how good they are at multitasking and how they can actually write their 10-page paper while watching the newest episode of “Lost.”

Now I will say something that sounds blasphemous by making the assertion that multi-tasking is not the best way to get things done, but rather “single-tasking.” I used to be like every other typical college student trying to do too many things at once. I could be doing five things at any given moment, and by the end of the hour none of them would have significant progress. One second I could be writing my sociology paper, and the next second I would be logged into Facebook checking photos of my friends.

I soon realized that by multi-tasking, I never really got anything done while wasting a whole bunch of time. I figured that I would try to take things on one-at-a-time and figure out how it would work out. After starting to really concentrate on things that I needed to get done without any other distractions, I had an epiphany:

I actually got stuff done.

Not only did I get stuff done, I got it done more efficiently and better. The time it would take me to do an essay while doing 5 other thing would have took me 8 hours, but by really concentrating it took me only 2 hours. By putting all my energy and effort into one task, I would become totally engaged into that one thing; giving it the proper attention it deserved.

When you have too many things open, your mind becomes cluttered and you can’t think straight. When you are on firefox, don’t have 10 gazillion windows open at once. Not only does it slow down your computer, but you never give enough time and attention to one thing because you’re always switching tabs. You only get to skim that fascinating article you found because you are suddenly distracted by paying your bills on Bank of America or having to respond to a message on Gmail.

Try to have only two or three tabs open at one time, and close all unnecessary tabs if you have others open. Once you get that task done, whether it is downloading that song, checking your grades, or even looking at a lolcat photo, close it when you are done. Then you can have time to refocus on anything else you need to do. By keeping it open, it constantly nags at you and demands for your attention, which kills your focus.

I am currently learning about “Getting Things Done,” which is an incredible system that helps you become more productive, while being stressfree. On zenhabits, they have a great FAQ that you can go over to get a gist of it. Or you can check out the book on Amazon. I currently have the audiobook for a seminar the author gave, and am still in the process of listening to it. I plan on ordering the book (Which is only 10 bucks on Amazon) to get a better-read of it.

But anyways, the author talks a lot about getting things done by “single-tasking” which I feel is much more effective. I had always had it as a part of my philosophy, but the author even strengthens my belief in it.

So try to simplify your life and do things one-at-a-time. You will be amazed how much more things you will actually get done, and better.