Who do you see in the mirror? Is it you?

This morning I looked at myself in the mirror…and thought:

Woah. That’s me”.

This is who I am. Then I’ll make a silly face and move on to something else.

It’s amazing to realise that you are yourself, right? Like, you are unique and irreplaceable and all. Except there are some days when you might not like yourself.

Not that amazing after all…

From time to time, I wish I could be someone else. A less insecure person. A less lazy person. A more beautiful person with less acne (no acne at all would be pretty good as well).

But then you notice that…oh well…you are you. You can’t be the cool popular classmate, or your intelligent friend, or your sister. You can only be…you.

What does it mean to be you?

After reading this super post from Wait But Why (about Neuralink, a neurotechnology founded by Elon Musk), I won’t look at the mirror the same way.

Because…forget your clothes, your body, your face, everything “external”. Take them off. Travel through the layers one by one, until you reach your brain.

I really like this metaphor from the blog post:

You look in the mirror and see your body and your face and you think that’s you—but that’s really just the machine you’re riding in. What you actually are is a zany-looking ball of jello. I hope that’s okay.

Yes, you read it right: jello. That’s because putting your brain on a table would flatten it out (like a jellyfish). This thought made me a bit confused, because we don’t normally think of our brain of something so, um…jellylike.

It’s kinda creepy that we live inside ourselves, but we don’t even see ourselves!

We only fixate on what’s covering it, though. But what about the real, real you?


Neuralink and the Brain’s Magical Future: amazing (very) long post about the mind blowing future that is about to happen. Imagine inserting micro chips into our brains, so that we could access information instantly and communicate by telepathy. How would you feel about it?

Looking Down, Looking Up

There’s this expression: “Watch where you’re walking“.

The floor

  • Mind your step
  • Watch out. There’s a dog poop.
  • Be careful, the floor is wet.

I often walk looking at the floor, to be careful. Or when I’m too embarrassed to look into people’s eyes.

You can feel the floor with your shoes. You can touch it.

But can you feel what is above you?

You gazed on the floor for a little while. But then your eyes shift slowly to the top. Up and up and up. And you see this:

Blue Sky

Woah.

It’s a very peaceful sky. Unlike the floor, there’s not a reminder like “Watch where you’re wal…” wait

Wouldn’t it be fun to walk in the sky? 

Wouldn’t it cool to touch the sky? 

But maybe looking up is already feeling the sky?

When life is too hard

running child

I’ve come across this blog post from Paid To Exist: The Best Way to Solve a Problem: Give Up

I would say it’s one of the most helpful articles I’ve read.

This is not about motivation. This is not about positivity. “Giving up” is viewed as quite negative indeed.

After reading it I became more thoughtful about my own life. Now I realise there are things I’m doing for the wrong reasons.

I am trying too hard

To satisfy an external image

That I am not.

Maybe life would be simple if we didn’t create problems. If there wasn’t a need to satisfy friends, parents, classmates, colleagues. If you didn’t have to prove to everyone that you were good enough, not even yourself.

Annabelle and her Passion Charming (a love story)

flower

This is a story of a princess called Annabelle. She lived happily until she discovered that…well, she needed a passion.

Prince Charming was not her sole dream anymore. No.

Nowadays, having a Passion Charming was way more trendy.

At age 16, she went to her father the King and said:

Dad, do you know how long I’ve been waiting for Passion Charming? 4 years !!! I’m tired of sitting in my room doing nothing. And all the girls in my class have found theirs.

The King looked at her sarcastically, and replied:
My dear, nothing will happen if you keep waiting. You need to PURSUE IT. FIND IT. JUST GO OUT AND FIND YOUR PASSION, FOR GOODNESS SAKE!

So Annabelle left the castle and ran for her new mission. The journey wasn’t long: the Prairie of Passion Charmings was only five minutes away from where she lived.

The field was wonderful. There were so many flowers waiting for her. But Annabelle’s real quest was to find THE ONE.

Her father’s shouting words were stuck in her head: “Find your passion, for goodness sake!

So Annabelle went and looked at each flower in the eye, mumbling remarks like:
“Hmm…not shiny enough”.

“Well, this one’s kinda nice, but I prefer blue flowers”.

“This one’s blue, but there’s not enough swag”.

Well, she couldn’t follow her father’s advice. Find passion? But how in the world could she find her passion when there were a hundred thousand flowers in the field? It would take her decades to marry the RIGHT ONE! Moreover, she has been searching for hours and still didn’t find satisfaction.

Come on, Annabelle” she thought. “People find love at first sight, don’t they?

That’s when she saw Princess Gabriela, her classmate, wandering around. Annabelle didn’t like her; she was too talented and too smart. Everybody envied her. But this time, Annabelle wanted to know her secret:

“Hey Gabriela” she exclaimed. “What are you doing?

“Me?” said Gabriela. “I’m watering the flowers”.

“But…which flower is your Passion Charming?”

She pointed to the plants that have just been watered: “These three. I thought that having many passions was as cool as just having one, so yeah”.

Annabelle became even more envious. But she did her best not to show it.

“Well, how…how lucky you are to have found love at first sight…and with three flowers that are so close to each other! You didn’t have to look very far.”

Gabriela was confused for a second. Then she hit her classmate in the shoulder with her watering can.

“You idiot!” she laughed. “So you really believed I was love-struck the first time I saw these flowers? Like a sudden illumination rushing through my veins or something?”

“Um…yes. I mean you’re talented and all…” replied Annabelle, looking shyly at the grass.

“Girl, that’s what everyone says about me. But I’ll tell you something: I’m not talented at searching for THE perfect Passion Charming. I’m talented at…gardening”.

“Ehhh? Gardening?”

Gabriela had a habit of ruffling her blonde hair when she felt proud; that’s exactly what she did now. Annabelle couldn’t stand it, but she kept quiet.

“Well, I didn’t have to search for anything. All I had to do was to water here and there. Everyday morning, I came with my watering can. In time, I was able to deduce which flowers I wanted to marry. Those were the ones that bloomed the most.”

“Uh…?” muttered Annabelle.

“Try it for yourself” replied Gabriela. “I’ll let you use my watering can, because I’m so kind”.

Annabelle began to water some flowers, the ones she thought were beautiful. The yellow one. The pink one. The orange one.

Tomorrow morning she came to the prairie. None of the flowers grew up. Annabelle kept watering them.

One week later, the orange flower stood out from the others. It blossomed a bit. Just a bit. This was enough to make Annabelle smile. She kept talking to the flower and taking care of her. Month after month. Year after year.

The tiny fragile flower became a huge flower filled with love from the sun and the water.

Annabelle found her Passion Charming. Well, actually no; she didn’t really find it, because it was there, in front of her eyes. Sometimes, she wonders how her life would have become if she didn’t take care of it. If she didn’t embrace it. If she didn’t give it a chance.

It would have stayed there, frail and delicate until someone else waters it. Or it would have died. Nobody would have cared. However, Annabelle discovered that THIS orange flower, THIS was her reason to live. Still, there are a hundred thousand flowers that remain thirsty of love. Who knows what they would become if they were taken care of, day by day for a little while…

The awkward process of starting a blog

Startup Stock Photos

As a “new” member of the blogging community, I’m feeling a bit awkward about what I write. Here’s why.

1- I know nothing

There are many awesome blogs out there, that have an area of expertise. You can immediately trust the information because the author is a master of the topic.

I don’t consider myself an expert. Although the first aim of my blog was to discuss about self-improvement, I just realised that I’m not a good example. I still suck at productivity, and I’m not much of a doer type. Therefore I can’t find satisfaction in my posts because I feel a bit like I’m lying to myself. I wouldn’t want to give advice for something I didn’t even try.

2- I can’t find my voice

When starting a blog, there’s a little pressure about having something original to show. This can be a particular way of writing, or the pictures you post, or the general theme and design of your website. We want our blogs to be unique.

I can’t really find my own style yet. I prefer to follow the advice of experimenting day by day, instead of waiting for inspiration to strike. This leads to point three:

3- I will keep experimenting (and being weird and all…)

Sounds cool. But that’s when it becomes awkward. You do realise that you’re writing IN PUBLIC. But I think it’s worth it, because failure might inevitably come anyway. Do I want to write a perfect blog? No.

I promised myself to write everyday. But it’s a mental challenge, and I do want to give up sometimes. This question often pops in my head: Why do you want to blog, anyway? Is it ego driven? I hope not. Of course, I do wish my articles to be read, which is why I’m writing in public. But at the same time, I wouldn’t want my text to be taken so seriously, and there’s still so much to learn. Another reason is that I really like to write, but…sometimes I don’t feel confident. Having a blog makes me more aware of my sentences, and helps me to progress in writing. Therefore I want to keep going.

Why social media is good at distracting us

26_shyrious_socialmedia

Not that there’s something wrong with social media. But why is it becoming an addiction?

1- The No Ending Scroll Button

Glorify UX design, for making things so simple.

Now there’s no need to click on a thousand links to have information.

You just need to swipe your thumb. And that’s it: the power of scrolling.

A cute song called “Scroll”: 

Scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll

Oh wait it’s 2 AM

Scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll

Oh no, this will never end. 

2- Envy

As human beings, it’s easy to compare ourselves to others. Social media is not doing much to help us out of this situation.

He went on vacation. Wow. She posted a sublime profile picture. Wow. They’re living the good life. Wow. But what about m…m…me?

Pictures are just a façade, and we do not get to enter the behind-the-scenes. No one’s life can be absolutely perfect.

3- Cling Cling Notifications

Let’s assume the sound of a notification is “cling”.

And one day your phone suddenly goes crazy with all its “cling cling cling cling”.

Someone has tagged you in a picture! 

Someone has commented your profile!

There’s a form of reward, the so-called Instant Gratification. We want surprise and we want to feel good about ourselves.

4- FOMO

Fear Of Missing Out. Maybe everyone is aware of something you don’t.

I want to know what is going on !!!!!!!!!!

Twitter: check me.

5- Just boredom

You have your phone. You’re tired of Candy Crush. But the Instagram app is shining and waiting for you. Yeah, it wants you to click on it. If you didn’t, what would you do? Stare at the ceiling? Do nothing? That’s so old-fashioned nowadays.

Instagram: come on, I’ll help you to procrastinate!

These are the main reasons why I don’t go so often on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter anymore (i don’t have Snapchat). Not that I hate social media. I even wanted to be a community manager once in my life. But I found out I could waste my time in more useful ways than just scrolling pictures forever and ever (…and ever).

The Paradox of Getting Motivated

25_shyrious_motivationI used to solely rely on motivation.

I feel like writing today. Let’s write. Hope I’ll get motivated to write again tomorrow“.

Later, I discovered this strategy was fragile, because motivation doesn’t stay forever. So I switched to developing habits instead.

Everyday after taking my shower, I’ll write at least one paragraph“.

This worked for me. But there are still times when I feel like giving up. Times when anxiety and negative thoughts pop up.

I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m feeling lost. I’m afraid I won’t persevere“.

Ironically, these thoughts helped me to get back up again.


I’ll call this: The Paradox of Getting Motivated

An experiment: next time you feel unmotivated, just lay down on the couch doing nothing. No smartphone, no TV, just your body and your consciousness.

Boredom will probably let your thoughts flow and you may ask yourself:

What I’m I even doing here? lol

What am I? What do I want?

What is the meaning of life?

Doing nothing lets you reflect on deep thoughts. 

You also have self-help books and inspirational quotes. They can give you optimism. But can they pull you by the hand to get you up? No. The only person who can command your brain to do it, is yourself.


I used to consider these “I’m not feeling it” moments as bad.

But actually, these pauses can be quite helpful.

That is, if you use them to reflect.

This is a signal to consider your goal (what do I really want?), your skills (am I getting better?) and your strategy (how am I gonna get it?). 

Revaluing is an important part of the process, if you want to achieve something.

What if you didn’t revalue?

  • You would blindly follow your destination without knowing you’re headed the way you want: Why am I doing this?
  • There will eventually be times when you feel like giving up, but you wouldn’t ask yourself: Why am I not feeling like it?

In other words, improvement would be slower.

Therefore my aim is to accept INFI (I’m Not Feeling It), because I want to understand it. We’ll take a slow walk together, hand in hand. We’ll discuss the matter. Then we’ll make a deal.

Me: See you later.

INFI (I’m Not Feeling It): Ok, let’s see if your new strategy works.