The other day I caught myself thinking about things from an overall perspective, nothing specific, just letting ideas and questions freely flow, with no obligation to find answers or whatsoever.
Somehow this random mind exercise of mine made me think about the things we learn during this period in time when we have this form and this consciousness (we ordinarily call it “my life”). Regardless of the long term utility of these specific subjects and skills we learn, I am pretty sure there is one or two (perhaps three?) we consider ourselves good at.
To say we are good at something has a lot to do with ego. And, consequently, with how we control it. I will explore this later. My point is that the fact that we see ourselves as good at something may be keeping us away from things that we may not be ” as good”, but that could potentially be more pleasant to us and make us happier.
Please do not take me wrong, I am not saying that absorbing knowledge or practicing new skills is a pure waste of time, but I believe it is important to balance the weight we give to those particular items in our life. Being good at something can be satisfying; understanding we are not good at uncountable things can bring an ephemeral thick flavor of that void-fulfilling sensation people seek.
Back to the ego point, how can we solve that? The answer is to shock! It is as if our ego is constantly distorting our thoughts about our true selves and true wishes. So let’s shock our egos, let’s try to make our brain waves vibrate in a brand new syntony, maybe we can find a better tune.
My suggestion is to be bold and pick that one thing you believe you are very good at and do it differently. Turn it upside down. Try your thing while doing a handstand. Because if we mastered something we must understand that we are only masters when it comes to a little tiny activity happening under a set of particularities that will not necessarily be there forever.
It does not have to be something big, it can be a really simple thing. I know it is not clear what I mean at this point, so allow me to use my own case. I always thought I was good at crosswords (in my mother language). I also thought I was good at English. So far so good. Nevertheless, the day I first tried crosswords in English was the day I realized I was light years away from being as good as I thought at both of them. My scores were 3 out of 40 on first page, 3 out of 40 on second page and 4 out of 40 on third page. That was my shock, for a moment it did not make sense, suddenly it did and here I am sharing some thoughts.
I am neither encouraging anyone to lower their self-esteem nor stimulating fail all the time. But a dose of reality over defense layers can do us all some good and hopefully open doors to new standpoints.
Look from above, imagine yourself floating in the sky witnessing someone go through exactly the same situation you are going through right now. What do you see and how do you feel?
Live free. Or as close to it as you can.
Photo source: https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap000130.html