“The world is full of opportunities. You can do anything you want with your life. Your wildest dreams are possible. Just believe in them.” Ever heard this before? I bet you did. But do you actually believe it?
I spent the evening preparing my presentation for young high school students. It is a distillation of lessons I have learned and exciting things I have done in the past six years. The title is “Freedom, uncertainty and dreams.”
The sun has risen only moments ago and Venice Beach is still engulfed in long shadows, but the molten copper sky above the Pacific is promising of a new morning. As you blast your ears away with your own trance mix and hit the concrete path with your marathon skates, you are flooded with that sublime feeling of being back…
“The greatest benefit of my Australian stay is very immaterial: it’s the knowledge of my own freedom and power. That feeling when you realize that your life is in your own hands and almost everything you can think of is attainable. Have you ever experienced this? I guess I had to be torn away from my routine life (not just by traveling to another continent, but by other blows as well, as you know) to reach this enlightenment. I have discovered the power of breaking one’s own limits. When you suddenly find yourself ‘on the other side of the line’ and do something that was impossible for you, you realize the limit existed only in your head. I have always liked to swim and in Melbourne I paid for unlimited access to the University pool. The first two months I could swim three kilometers per week, tops. But then I found out that I can give it more… and now I do fifteen kilometers weekly. I know but few sensations that are better than destroying a long-time I can’t…”
Not many are true to their own selves…
What’s the best way to understand and know a book? Apart from writing it yourself, the second best option is translating it to another language. If you do it mindfully, you will learn a lot along the way.
Many people don’t know what they want from life. And for those who do know, the journey isn’t always simple. If you have ever tried to plan your life, cross out items on To Do lists, force yourself to do “useful” but boring stuff and make decisions against your feelings, you are going to agree that this course of life is neither effective nor pleasant. But I came across a book that takes a radically different approach.
In three weeks, I will be on a plane to Melbourne, Australia. A six-month adventure begins!
For a while I turned up the volume, closed my eyes, and let the music flood my mind. As always, the sound brought with it a stream, a river, a voracious torrent of memories. Memories half-forgotten and vividly remembered, memories of happiness and of pain, memories of love and loss. Memories, rivers of life. Yet rivers never twice entered.
In my personal philosophy, I’m leaning towards determinism: the view that our actions, decisions, and destinies are somehow decided – determined – in advance. However, I am able to differentiate at least between two types of determinism. Both have their issues, both need to be thought through more, and neither of them wins the argument for me. What about you?
While I was sorting through my writings, I found a short text I wrote more than two years ago. Unedited, here is a flashback of my July ‘09.
Imagine you could pause your current life for a year and travel the world. Imagine quitting your job and interrupting your college studies. Imagine packing three sets of clothes, a camera, a laptop, and a book of philosophy, and leaving for the Near East and Asia. For the ancient temples of Turkey, for the veiled women of Iran, for the mountain ranges of Pakistan, for the heat of India, for the monasteries of Tibet, for the wonders of China. Hitchhiking, riding a bike, taking trains, walking. Living on a few dollars a day, enjoying every day to the full and having no definite plans. Meeting people and immersing in their culture.
What have three years of trading securities and studying financial markets given me? I’ve learned to look beyond panicking mobs and welcome dramatic falls.
There’s a great new comic at Spiked Math: It’s a small world (after all). Be sure to check it out even if you are not a mathematician. Using mathematical reasoning, the comic asserts that the number of ways you could lead your life is finite, in other words, there is a limit to what you could do in your life. I strongly disagree, and I can disprove this assertion using the very same tool: mathematics :-)
I had been resisting Twitter’s lure for quite a while, but then I found out that even my more conservative friends already have it…
A few days ago I returned from a four-day skating tour to the German Flaeming. I have traveled 176 kilometers on eight wheels and listened to hours of my favorite music: trance (for me, in-line skating and music form an inseparable symbiosis). I hereby announce that Flaeming is the paradise on earth for skaters…
Oh yeah, that is a parking lot exit :-). Now imagine your own car is parked in the upper lot and you need to leave for your final school-leaving exam…
A high-school teacher once openly derided a pupil for his English pronunciation. “After four years of high school study, I would expect something more worthy of thy education”, saith the teacher. “Many a word have thou utterly transmogrified by thy unbecoming articulation, and thy discourse was not a little difficult to understand and make sense of.” Not content with abasing the pupil thus, he chided him yet more.
Your trusty headphones serve you the familiar rhythms of Armin van Buuren’s brilliant trance. The sun is shining like crazy, the wind is buzzing in your ears, and the eight polyurethane wheels literally sing in contact with the asphalt. You love in-line skating, and you have been missing it for too long. You speed up; the combined noise of wind and wheels nearly drowns out the music. The volume clearly needs to be increased. You do so without slowing down. The outside world is a blur; the houses, the gardens, the parked cars, the occasional pedestrians taking a stroll. Faster, faster! You’re flying, spreading wings, stroking the wind…no, you are the wind. You are Zephyrus.
A picture is worth a thousand words :-)