Category Archives: Musings

Why Change is Scary

Yeah, I’m still fascinated by the concept of change. And mulling over the topic in my mind, I realized something else about change; it can be scary. I asked myself why people do not want change a lot of the time, and other than the inconvenience that change drags with it wherever it goes, there is uncertainty. And if there is a truth, it is that uncertainty can be pretty scary. Here’s why:

Uncertainty is, well, uncertain.
Human beings love security. It’s why we always have the question “so, what’s the plan?”, asked in heists, coz we always want to know the plan. Taking it further, we always want to know the future. I talked about how we as humans are fascinated by the technology of cloning because we inherently wish we could duplicate ourselves in a previous post, but now I’m saying that this need to be secure, this need to know the plan, this need to know the future, culminates in a wish to be clairvoyant. If I were to ask if you had ever wished you could see into your future, what would your answer be? Mhm, I thought as much.

Change means new experiences, and new experiences means learning.
New experiences can be fun…until we have to learn again how to adjust to that new experience. And it goes without saying that learning is the ultimate position of humility, where you convince yourself that you are really just an ignorant, newbie void of the requisite knowledge in the area of life change has hauled you mercilessly into.

These are just two reasons why change is frightening. Two reasons why we always try to grab pain by the nape of its neck to squeeze the life out of it, before we realize that even that is futile; Change has another attribute we humans wish we had — immortality. Change lives forever. And life is nothing but constant change.

@chosenmich

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You can’t Change People…so, What Can?

I think one of the technologies that have fascinated the human race the most is Cloning. Not the kind of cloning we have in top-notch labs around the world today where they use simple DNA to create a baby version of whatever animal they are trying to clone, but the sort of cloning that plagued Sci-Fi movies of the 80s and 90s where they place the star of the movie in a tube filled with water, and out comes a carbon copy of the star.

S1e7_clones_lined_up

 

 

 

Judging from my last post Chameleon Nature, you probably know that I am fascinated by the concept of change right now. The first thing anyone learns about change is, of course, its inevitability. As they say, “the only constant thing in this world is change.” But one of the other things I’ve learned about change is that you can’t change people. I think this is a hard reality many do not want to admit. We all want to see our friends dress like us, speak like us, love the kinds of movies we love, and so on. So, when we hear that we can’t change people, we get disappointed.

If we can’t change people, then what can? ‘Coz we all want those around us to change so we can finally stop trying to convince them that black coffee is more savory than milked. Or that the PS4 is a better game console than the X-box One. Here are two things I know that change people:

Environment

This is a primary factor especially when we are in our formative years. We are influenced by the people who are around us, the kind of schools we attend, and even the kind of programs we watch on TV. If we are raised among gorillas (like Tarzan), chances are we tree surf as a means of transportation (thank you, Disney, for selling us that impossible concept), and beat our chests like an ape, screaming “ah-ah-ah-ahhhh!” But if you are reading this blog, chances are you aren’t in your “formative years,” and that’s where the next change factor comes in…

Experiences

I normally disagree with this concept that the grass is greener at the other side of the fence (I’ll blog on that soon), but for contextual purposes I’m gonna use it here. Let’s assume that the saying is true. We know how comfortable we get in our comfort zones…until we have a brand new experience outside our comfort zone that proves our comfort zone was nothing but a boring zone. Personal testimony; I hated readers because they always buried their noses in those boring, text-filled pages, and found it difficult to speak a word to me when they were reading. As a result, I promised myself I would NEVER read…that was, of course, before I read Ted Dekker’s THR3E. And now I write.

You can’t people. But environments and experiences will. You have no control over these factors, but it’s good to know that under the right condition, that loved one—or hated one, depending—can, and will change.

@chosenmich


Chameleon Nature

Photo by: Chiswick Chap under Creative Commons License Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Photo by: Chiswick Chap under Creative Commons License Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

 

The chameleon, to me, is one of the most fascinating creatures in existence. And while my lady followers do not think there can be anything fascinating about a scaly reptilian creature with weird eyes that could see all the way to its back or look in opposite directions (yikes), even they can’t help but be amazed, or at least intrigued, by the chameleon’s ability to change color, and or texture.

But hold on, ladies, before you leave, this blog post isn’t about Chameleons; it’s about CHANGE. I spent the better part of Sunday evening trying to figure out reasons why we change, and here’s what I found out; most people change because of another person.

So is there really anything wrong with wanting to change for another person? Well that would depend on a few things. You see, I’m up for change, but only if you are changing into the person that you really want to be. Spruce up your wardrobe, get a new hairdo after all these years, grow some muscles, grow a moustache, change your accent if you want to. There’s nothing wrong with Change as long as, at the end of the day, you are becoming the person you dream of being.

Where the problem is, is in changing because we want another person’s approval. Am I saying you won’t get the person’s approval even after you change because, as Economists put it, “Human wants are insatiable”? No…though that could happen, but that’s a blog post for another day. What I am saying is, changing the way you speak, eat, live, and, most popularly, talk misleads not only the person you wanna impress, but everyone that comes in contact with you. Not only would your friends (colleagues and acquaintances inclusive) think you’re faking coz they already know the real you, it greatly misleads the people that meet you for the first time. You will attract people who are attracted to the person you are becoming (or have already become if it’s too late), and when you get tired of faking (coz faking is as exhausting as driving from one end of the country to the other with manual transmission), the real you will come out, and the approval will fade away…and so will the friends you thought you made. Meanwhile, the friends that loved the original you are now in your past.

To change, or not to change? That is the question.

Change if and only if you are changing into the you of your dreams, or a better you. But stay the same if you are only looking for approval. The best approval is self approval, and if you approve of yourself, pretty soon someone who approves of you will come along.

@chosenmich


To Fear or Not to Fear

That is the question. We’ve heard all sorts of bad things about fear; it’s crippling, it hinders, it halts progress etc. And all these things are true. Very true, at that. My question, though, is; if we know that fear cripples, hinders, halts progress etc, then why do we fear?

Here’s what I think about fear.

#1 Fear Gives Us Security

In itself, fear is insecurity. But in our insecurity, we often find security. Don’t be confused. What I’m saying is, take someone who is afraid of heights for example. Such person would most likely be afraid to stand at the balcony of the third floor of a building, or fly in an airplane. The solution? Remain on the ground. As long as the person stays away from high platforms, they are safe. Now take my fear of elevators for example. Because of this fear, I am compelled to find security (and fatigue) on the staircase.

#2 Fear Breeds Caution

In essence, there will be no “thinking twice” if it wasn’t for fear. Most times, I find that to think twice is to have a fear of failure. Without a healthy dose of fear, there would be no caution. We would take on challenges head on, without even foresight or anticipation. Chaos will ensue, and failure will abound. In order to prevent this, we fear.

But there’s a flipside.

#1 Fear Gives Us Insecurity

As mentioned above, fear is insecurity, and insecurity often affects anything from boldness to self esteem. Fear makes our endeavours arduous and laborious tasks. Instead of standing on a spot and ascending the floors of a multi storey building, we take the stairs and get a good muscle-hardening job on our legs—trust me, I know. A journey that should take 40 minutes by air, takes almost a day by road. It slows us down, if ever allowing us reach our goal or destination.

#2 Fear Breeds Paranoia

It’s more than caution, really. It’s an acute distrust. One so bad, that it doesn’t just make us “think twice” as I pointed out above, but think thrice, and keep on thinking, without ever acting. We keep on mulling, wishing, hoping we could achieve this impossible goal of ours, which frankly speaking, are only impossible because of fear.

Fear is a battle. Fear is a dilemma. One the one hand, it could feel like we are keeping safe, and being cautious by giving in to fear. But on the other hand, it could be that we are insecure and paranoid because we gave in to fear. So, which is it?

To fear, or not to fear? That is the question.

@chosenmich


Get Real?

Have you ever been told that in the past? When you have a varying opinion from another’s, and the person wants you to see things the way they do, they say, “get real.”

But have you ever thought about what this means? I just did, and then I got inspired to write my first post since the release of my latest novella, Eyes (see the Free Books page).

In a world where everyone has their own interpretation of reality, what is “real”? One man’s reality is nothing but fiction to his neighbor, and the neighbor’s reality is nothing but fiction to one man. This suggests to me that the statement, “get real”, seeks to make one unreal just so they could be won over to our own thoughts, our own reality. But if they first of all have to be made unreal, can we truly say they are “getting real?”

Let’s face it. Each person’s life is their own reality. And everyone’s reality differs from the other.

So if everyone’s reality differs, how can there ever be common ground?

That’s where the only force that overrides reality comes in; Truth.

You see, to any given situation there can only be one truth. It doesn’t matter if the truth is not visible; it remains truth. It doesn’t matter if the stubborn try to reject it; truth is truth, and will always be truth.

Hate it. But it’s true.

Dispute it. But it’s still true.

Even deny it. It yet remains true.

If this is true (pun most definitely intended), how about this; instead of trying to make others to, ‘get real’, how about we make them, ‘get true’?

@chosenmich


Who am I?

That agelong question that seems to be farther away from an answer with every passing generation. The longer the world remains, it seems, the less we know who we really are. And no, before you preempt this writer, I’m not insinuating that we now identify ourselves by what we do, I mean that we think we know ourselves, but really, we don’t.

We wake up in the morning and decide what we want to wear based on how we feel others will react to it.

We pick up habits and quirks opposite to our character just to gain recognition in the eyes of our friends (and sometimes enemies).

We hide our real traits not because we know they may be inappropriate, but because we are embarrassed to tell people, “Hey, this is who I really am!”

Peer pressure never really stops at school, I find. It graduated with you, took an interview at that firm with you, even got the same job you applied for. It’s an unwanted companion you can’t get away from. It’s really a subtle, yet strong, suggestion. One that could come from the people around you, the music you listen to, the movies you watch.

I’ve got to ask myself though: if I always dress because of what you’ll say (or think), talk a certain way because of you, change my habits, and pick up some few ones utterly dissimilar to those inherent in me simply because of you, you, you…

…then who am I? Am I me? Am I you? Am I all of you?

Am I even a person?

Or just a walking embodiment of several people’s opinions…


The Same Difference

It seems to me that human beings were wired to be different. Everyone has their own strengths, and everyone has their own weaknesses. But here is where it gets interesting; in our differences, we find our identities. Perhaps this is why we struggle to be different. We fight hard, with each waking moment, to be something that sets us apart from others. Perhaps that’s why the term “Tom, Dick, and Harry” is never used to reference oneself. It’s a separation technique.

Our differences make us. Our differences define us.

We have a certain way we walk. We have a certain way we talk. The shy and timid among us exhibit these differences only when we are in a crowd. We simply cannot imagine existing without a difference; it’ll be tantamount to existing without an identity.

But here’s my question: if every single person is struggling to be different, wouldn’t that really mean that we are, in truth, doing the same thing?

While you are making up your mind that you’ll be identified by your casual dressing, someone out there is making up their mind that they’ll be known for their formal dressing, but ultimately, you both are making up your minds that you’ll be known for your dress sense, thus doing the same darn thing. We think we are being different, without knowing that we are conforming to the same image.

In our differences, we are the same.


Words on Marble?

They’ve been around a while. Age-old quotes and sayings that represent truths. Or do they?

Blatant Lies

1. “The devil you know is better than the angel you don’t.”

Impossible, to say the least. A devil can never be better than an angel. It doesn’t matter whether you know one or not. It just can’t be.

2. “Rules were meant to be broken.”

Rules were meant to instill order. If they were meant to be broken, we simply wouldn’t have them, therefore there’ll be no rules to break. Where do we get all this stuff?

3. “To be a Christian is not to be a fool.

Wrong again. If we are God’s chosen, and He has chosen “the foolish things”, I think you see where I’m going with this…

4. “There is no fire without smoke.”

Ever heard of the word “Lies”?

5. “You can do all things.”

No. No you can’t. Really. You can’t.

Words Oh-So-True

1. “Love conquers all.”

The word “Conquer” is associated with ‘conquest’, or battle. Battle only ensues because of enmity. Love extinguishes enmity. Thus, the solution to every battle is love. It’s that simple, yet it isn’t.

2. “Doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result is insanity.”

Need I explain? You can’t keep “having an opinion of you own” and expect to be accepted, be it positively or negatively.

3. “Where there is a will, there is a way.”

Will will pave a dry road through the red sea. It is one of the most powerful forces in existence. He, or she, who will, does. Will is a force that makes impossibilities possible.

4. You can do all things through Christ…

Yes, you absolutely can.

@chosenmich


A New Genre

I would have loved to begin this piece by saying that what defines a writer (personality, style, outlook on life, perspective, thought patterns, etc) is the genre chosen by the writer to major on. And at first glance it seems rightly so. A writer that writes thrillers tends to see the uncanny message hidden in even the simplest things. A writer that writes romance tends to see the drama, or the sweetness, in the littlest things.

But the truth is; the same goes for the readers. Writers box themselves by writing a particular genre, thereby boxing the readers also. Readers won’t exalt any other genre above their favorite, and over time, this begins to shape the way they live, much like the writers whose work they consume. Very shortly, we begin to consider life in genres. Some people live for Adventure. Some live for Love (Romance). Some live for Mystery. Some live for Suspense, not knowing what comes next, taking life, and discovering it one step at a time. Some can’t have life without a little Drama. Some can’t have it without Comedy.

I unveil to us all, today, a new genre. And I call it Life. What writers have been able to do is break life into their favorite categories, but truth be told, Life is all genres. Ever ask yourself what summer and winter have in common. I have the answer; they are both seasons. While we feel comfortable as girls sitting in front of the glowing TV screen watching a chick flick, we cannot deny the fact that at one point or the other in our lives we have faced fear. While we as macho men are all about the whistling bullets peeling through the air, and the bar fights, we cannot deny the butterfly swirling in our tummies over that pretty, little damsel we have been trying to build the courage to talk to.

A genre is nothing but a section of life. When we pick a genre as our favorite, we shut our hearts and minds to the others. But in truth, Life is one big genre. In it we have ups and down, just like a rollercoaster. In it we find tragedies. In it we find joy. In it we find terror. In it we find comedy. In it we find war.

In it we find peace.


Supporter’s Club

My apology goes out to everyone who has been hounding me about the dusty and stale condition of my blog (they used more polite adjectives). The way creative work is, you just gotta withdraw once in a while. While I can promise that I’ll be posting more often, I can’t promise that a hiatus in the distant future isn’t inevitable.

So, we all know that life is the only story in which every character is a/the protagonist—at least in their own eyes. Everyone thinks life is about them, that life is their own story. So last weekend I began pondering this subject, and I realized that life isn’t just the only story in which every character is a protagonist, it is the only story entirely made up of supporting characters. A bit of a contradiction there, huh? Let me explain.

While we are all protagonists in our own eyes, we are all supporting characters in one another’s eyes. A simple concept.

Supporting Characters add flavor to a story (in this case, life) they themselves being fully developed characters. In our eyes, our family and friends are supporting characters in our movie. They spice things up by doing things you will never imagine to do, and seeing things in ways you never will. That’s what makes them interesting and memorable characters in our lives. Ever heard of the statement “opposites attract?” Exactly. It’s the reason a shy and quiet guy is almost always expected to go for a chatty, outspoken female counterpart et vice versa.

No story is ever good without supporting characters. No story exists without supporting characters.

But remember this: while you are out there, seeing everyone as supporting characters in your story, everyone is actually seeing you as a supporting character in theirs. We are equal. We are the same. We are all important…or unimportant, as the case may be.