Complacency Is A Killer

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Something that has been on my mind recently is the concept of complacency. Truth be told, the refusal to be complacent has always been ingrained in me. As one thing ends, I am always looking for the next big thing, the next challenge to sink my teeth into, the next great opportunity. Sometimes I feel like I am physically incapable of sitting still and being unproductive- I need challenges to thrive.

Complacency is a killer. When you allow yourself to be too comfortable without doing anything about it, you stop growing and you stagnate. The moment you feel like the biggest fish in the pond, is the moment you should be taking yourself out of that environment. It’s easy to fall into that trap. It’s safe and familiar, and you know exactly what you are doing.

But instead, aspire to be in a room where everyone is smarter and/or more competent than you. Only then will you learn and grow and push yourself to become even better. Learning doesn’t stop after your formal education, nor does it stop when you’ve reached the top of the hierarchical ladder- there is always something that you can improve on.

Don’t be complacent. You won’t be doing yourself any favours. You owe it to yourself to strive to be the best that you can be. Venturing out into the unknown can be nerve-wracking and scary, but it’s only when you’re uncomfortable that you are able to test your limits, thrive, and realize what you are capable of.

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2014 Is Upon Us! (An Unintentional Partie Deux)

Happy new year to all and especially to the wonderful people who take the time to read my blog!

Your kind words and compliments mean more to me than you know and motivate me to keep writing. My blog is just over half a year old, and it’s been an amazing journey seeing my writing evolve and the wide variety of topics that I am able to share my knowledge about. It is still a work in progress, and I am still somewhat shy about sharing my writing on social media vehicles, but who knows what the new year will bring?

I was putting together a list of New Years Resolutions today and thought that as a follow-up to my last post, it would be interesting to share what I have written for this year.

In the past, I traditionally wrote 10 specific resolutions that I want to accomplish. And even though I did just that with some friends last night, the ones I have drawn up after reflecting a lot on the past year are (mostly) unspecific to an exact part of my life, but rather encompass + apply to many different aspects of my life. This year, I am aiming not to just achieve one specific thing, but to change the way I think, the way I do things, and even the way I live to better my life as a whole. Having a few life lessons to live by has helped me tremendously and will continue to do so this coming year.

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Fingers crossed that my handwriting is actually legible. Even though I love to write, I am not artsy in the least.

Have an amazing new year, everyone! Today is the first day of the year of dreams.

(My friend Negar’s motto for 2014 which I think really says it all.)

Good luck and I am looking forward to what’s to come! It’s going to be an exciting year.

So, It’s Almost 2014… And You Know What That Means

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It means that a sizable portion of the human race will be making New Year’s Resolutions.

A new year is great, isn’t it? It’s like having a fresh start all over again, turning over a new leaf. That explains the influx of people in the gym the first couple weeks in January. You feel all pumped as the new year unfolds, totally committed to stick to your resolutions. But as time wears on, life gets busy, your motivation wears thin, and you slowly revert back to your old ways.

Does that sound familiar? I bet it does to some of you. I, too, am guilty of making resolutions in the past and not sticking to them. But you know what? “New Year’s Resolutions” is a rather artificial concept to begin with. Why should you only make resolutions at the start of the year? The notion of time is created by humans. Thus, years are a man-made concept. Why should you base your goals and ambitions around the beginning and end of something so fleeting and intangible?

I counter the infamous “New Years Resolutions” with the proposal that you can change your life whenever YOU want to. Every day is a chance to change your life for the better. If you’re not happy with something, change it. Do something about it. You don’t need to wait until the end of the year is near to turn over a new leaf. This is your life, and it’s happening right now. At any point in time, you have the power to set a goal, to decide that you will accomplish something, to make a resolution.

Now I am not bashing the idea of setting goals for yourself for the upcoming year- I am doing the same thing myself. It’s a good idea to keep yourself focused and accountable. Just don’t feel pressured by the constraints of “a year”. I hear so many people around me that say they are “so ready for 2013 to end”. But why? There are still a few days left. Don’t waste those days waiting around for them to pass. Make the most out of these days. Why should you wait for the new year to start living a good life? Start now.

To pull an example from my own life, last year at this time everything wasn’t so peachy. I was unhappy with a lot of aspects of my life. And like many others, I was “ready for 2012 to end”. But for what? I was no happier on January 1st, or 2nd, or for quite a while to be honest. Everything was the same- the only thing that had changed was that it was now 2013. It wasn’t until that I decided that it didn’t have to be this way, and there were big dreams to be chased, and I saw an ideal version of myself that I could become if I pushed myself. My resolutions and willingness to drive change were innate and genuine. And guess what? It’s been one hell of a ride since then. I have experienced such exponential growth this year, been blessed with great opportunities, and discovered what I was capable of.

And just because the year changes by one numeric value does not mean that suddenly, you are reborn and angels will descend from the skies and sing joyful hymns of praise. No, you are the same person as you were at 11:59pm- but you are the person that YOU decide that you want to be. Start now. Do it now. The world moves too fast for you to not act now.

Are Humans Conditioned To Toil All Their Lives?

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I write this because it’s a trait I observe in myself and a quite a few others.

I’ve been a student for all my life, so each summer I’ve been blessed with the gift of having time off.

HOWEVER, for as long as I can remember, I do something every summer. When I was in elementary school, I would go to Magee (a nearby high school) and take summer classes. For fun. Anything ranging from cooking to public speaking to photoshop. I always used the summer to learn something new. Also, as you may have picked up by now, I have an immense love of reading, so I participated in Vancouver Public Library’s summer reading club each year, and always completed the entire booklet and more. I have very fond memories of hauling a heavy bag of books to and from the library twice a week, and the excitement I always felt when I borrowed a new batch.

(Slight side track: people often ask me how I develop my writing skills- did I have an English tutor? No. I believe it was because I read so many books and novels when I was young, and that really set the foundation for a lifelong love affair with writing and reading.)

During high school summers, I would work on my RCM diploma (piano, music theory and history), volunteer a ton, work at various jobs, and take summer classes. Not one summer ever did I take fully “off”. I had to be doing something. Part of me always wishes that I could drop everything for two months and just go travel the world, but I know deep down that I would likely go nuts from lack of productivity. I get bored after two days off from work. I may complain about having too much work to do, but it’s so much better off this way than if I were doing nothing at all. I thrive on being busy. I’m currently working at two internships and a part time job, and I hold several different extracurricular positions at school. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

And I’m already a pretty mild case, if you put it into perspective. I know so many others who are hardcore workaholics. They’ll be working hard at many tasks during the school year, come out with top grades and amazing accomplishments, and spend their summers doing incredible things. They can’t go a day without being productive. They have a hard time taking a break or just sitting around doing nothing.

Which leads me to the question: Are humans biologically wired to toil all our lives? What is the meaning of life then, if we are constantly working towards a perfect ideal that we may never reach? We may reach our perfect ideal at the moment, but when we get there, there will be something else that we desire or desire to become. For example, let’s say you graduate and land your dream job at your dream company. But obviously now you’re on a whole different league. You need to climb up that corporate ladder. And hypothetically, let’s say you do, and even make it to CEO one day. As CEO, it’s a whole new ball game. You face so many new challenges you never knew existed before. Even though you think you’ve reached the top, there are yet numerous hurtles to overcome.

It’s a never-ending cycle. A never-ending struggle. And if all that we were meant to do with our time on Earth is work, then will we ever reap the rewards of our toil?