Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Reflections at 30

"Imagine an actor must feel, after years of commitment to a particular dream, after years of waiting tables between auditions, he realises that he has gone just about as far as talent or fortune will take him. The dream will not happen, and he now faces a choice of accepting this fact like a grown-up and moving on to more sensible pursuits, or refusing the truth and ending up bitter, quarrelsome, and slightly pathetic."

Obama - Audacity of Hope. 

Sound just like me. Perhaps it is reaching 30 and realising that you are not anyone special, not having done something memorable. As my sister said, I seems to having PMS nowadays – perpetually in a bad mood, and impatient to answer questions which I think are non interesting. 

It wasn't supposed to be like this, it was clear that I needed to leave because I felt that I am in a position where I don't feel that I am making much of a difference.  I felt I was stuck in this pool where I was swimming in one direction but everyone else is swimming in different directions. There was no focus, or what I have learnt – nebulous.

Still, there was no wavering of faith that I still wanted to do something green with my life. 

Till of course, I came across " The fault in our stars" and perhaps, very much coupled with the book "Environmental Problems and Human Behaviours" .

Of course, in many books, such as Bill Bryson “A Short History of Everything”, we all learnt that the earth will be swallowed by the expanding sun in 5 billion years. Still it didn't struck me as strongly until “ The Fault in our stars” and as it is put: No human being will be around to remember what  another human being has done.  And perhaps, this portion of   留芳百世 is an important motivation for me. 

Reading “Environmental Problems and Human Behaviours” made it worse I guess, learning upon that curtailment behaviours for energy conservation amounts to little as compared to hardware changes like energy efficiency.  Which is what I wanted to do as part of my volunteer work.

What is then worth doing? To both create and impact and yet meaningful.
Repeatedly, many entrepreneurs have said that money is not their main motivation. And as Benjamin Wallace covered in this TED talk, many of the expensive things out there may not really be worth the experience.

I still don't really have an answer to what is the life worth living. On the other hand, when you look at mom and that on her day off, she doesn't know what to do, THAT is a real torture by itself too.

All that happens is that really in this modern society, all of us have our basic needs met,and now we look for a higher reason of existence as dictated by Maslow.

Something I do know for sure now that I am approaching 30:
·      I enjoy minimising the things I owe. Decluttering. It is quite true that anything that you haven't used in a year, you probably don’t need them.
·      As compared to my hiatus back in 2008 where I read a lot on line and subscribe a lot, now I try to unsubscribe, unsubscribe, unsubscribe. I am still hooked on to Pocket and Flipboard, but I am killing subscriptions on my emails, cutting down on twitter and maybe even facebook friends. Choose what you want and get only what is useful. Even for my emails, social media on handphone and Ipad, as much as possible as I can fix in the settings, it will be Fetch and not push.  I choose when I want to be notified and disturbed on what I am doing.
·      I am getting more disinterested in what many others have to say, especially people like my mom.  We know to listen IS to care, yet sadly many things fail to raise my interest.  
·      While some of the most comfortable people I can be around with are my trekking friends, somehow I am not that keen on travelling. I ceased to want to see as much as possible around the world or each trip that I am on, but now, not so.  Maybe cause I feel that mountains around the world are the same, or that I have seen quite some little bit.  Also, though many life purpose articles/books all encourage travelling, I feel that there are already so much that can be learnt from books. Perhaps, though the bottom is that I feel that travelling doesn't contribute anything else to the world?  Of course, it is for one self growth and enjoyment.
·      Not that I have been depriving myself materialistically horribly since I devoted my life to a green cause, but now perhaps, it can be said that I can be bored of admin work even in things like coastal cleanup.  But it is really this mindset that often I will disallow myself to relax or that I must feel that my form of relaxation must be productive - that perhaps I have to admit is part of the reasons for all of my interests in sports?
·      Now that I am so uncertain of the worthiness to leave a legacy, I am more inclined to pursue Activities that provide me with pleasure.

By that I not only mean just our sensory pleasure, but REALLY activities that get me into that state of FLOW where I will just lose the sense of time. Just like how Pico Iyer can get lost in writing for 4 hours, that is such a pleasure.

I can get lost in reading too but as this article says accurately : reading does not count cause it doesn't produce.

What gets me into flow?

  • Preparing for my toastmasters speeches, 
  • learning the lessons in NUDGE and applying it for an environment poster, 
  • writing a poem on the sofa outside my house when I was Sec 2, 
  • sharing the stories of jared diamond's "why is sex fun"  in the mountains in Anhui.

What thrill activities forces me to focus and enter “flow” as well?

Thrill Cycling, open sea swimming.Nope. Not climbing, not trekking.

The good thing is that I have ticked off my bucket list throughout these years on all the outdoor activities.

Perhaps, after one more blog post. I will be ready to move on after 3 weeks of rest.

My life: to listen to my heart and take the steps to do the things that I really want to do as much as possible.

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