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Rick's Journal

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rick-amateur
Posts: 96
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:43 am

Re: Rick's Journal

Postby rick-amateur » Sun Feb 04, 2018 1:54 am

-Decisions 2-

In our lives, we'll make the good and poor decisions. There's no way of avoiding the poor decisions because the only way for us to improve the skill is through experience. It's true we will stumble along the way but we will become stronger if we learned why we stumbled and don't make the same mistakes a second or third time. Poor decisions, however, can be a double edged sword.

Poor decisions can teach us what not to do the next time. It shows us what doesn't work so we can change our approach the next time and achieve a better result. Yet, it can also paralyze us by clouding our judgement because we felt too much pain or suffering. The negative emotions like sadness, anger and helplessness tend to linger longer than the positive emotions. As a result, we get reminded regularly whenever we make poor decisions, especially those with large impact on our lives.

I like to use the example of marriage. Let's say I met a woman who I thought was perfect. I saw this person as my other half and she believed the same. We got married a month later and, a year later, we had our first children. Then, things went downhill as we got into fight regularly since we possess flaws the other person couldn't tolerate. I might also be struggling financial with the birth of the child so my temper is getting worse. Things got so bad that we got divorced.

Divorce brings a lot of emotions in our lives. I'd likely feel emptiness in losing both a wife and a child who's most likely been given custody to the mother. I'm also financially worse with the divorce. At this point in life, I could easily develop a view where I oppose anymore serious relationships from that point. Whenever I had decisions regarding relationship, I'll also decide on the option opposing it regardless if it's good or not. This might see me truly miss out on the woman who I needed in my life.

The negative emotions and pain can cloud our judgement. It's true we must learn from our past but, when making serious decisions, we must give all the options a fair overview. Whenever we jump to a certain conclusion without thought, we are hurting ourselves by denying things and people that could change our live positively in a big way. Poor decisions should make us wiser, not more impulsive on certain matters.

rick-amateur
Posts: 96
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:43 am

Re: Rick's Journal

Postby rick-amateur » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:10 am

-Decisions 3-

In the last entry, I talked about how negative emotions and pain can cloud our judgement. To avoid these happening again, we choose to run away. If we ever have to make a decision similar to the one that brought us suffering, we choose to avoid it altogether. After all, no one likes getting hurt and it's seen from a simple example of us staying away from a hot stove after getting burned once.

Still, we must learn from our past experiences and the poor decisions usually teach us the best life lessons we need to get ahead. We should be learning these lessons so, next time we take a similar route, we know what to avoid. When we avoid these opportunities altogether, we might regret later on when we learned someone else found success taking a path we wanted but was too afraid to tread.

Let's use the example I used last entry where I met this perfect woman and got married after a month. For this scenario, a month is way too short. We didn't know each other well enough and marriage is a long-term commitment, something the two of us failed to realize until a kid was given birth and cracks showed in the marriage. I was quite likely to be worse off financially which might see me oppose relationships altogether.

I shouldn't let this experience stop me from starting a family that will remain intact for decades. I probably would have realized that one month of dating is too soon. A few years would be a better alternative as we learn more about each other. We have strengths and weaknesses and it's usually the weaknesses we must tolerate to keep the divorce at bay. By learning this important lesson, my odds of another failed marriage would drop drastically, though there's still risk as life is still unpredictable.

This is the case for everything in life. We must dig deeper than the surface to uncover what went wrong. A failed business might have us look at our cash flow and business plan. Failing a course might have us look at our routines, habits and our attitude towards learning. When we can dig deeper and find out the real reasons as to why the unfavorable outcome happened, we become better suited to tackle future challenges. That's how we learn in life and how we can strive to reach the stars!

rick-amateur
Posts: 96
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:43 am

Re: Rick's Journal

Postby rick-amateur » Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:03 am

-Decisions 4-

This entry, I want to discuss about making our own decisions. This might seem a little odd so I want to explain what I meant by this. In our lives, we are either too busy pleasing other people or trying to reach certain expectations placed on us. The expectations can be from those we love like parents or from society as whole. What's happening is essentially us shaping our decisions to match these outside influences.

I myself had this situation happened to me when I decided to go to university. My parents had wanted me to go to university since I was very young. They never even considered alternatives like colleges or trade school so, for them, university was the only option. Trying my best to meet their expectations, I made the decision thinking that I was in control and this was what I truly wanted.

For my life before that decision, I was very much not in control of my life. My decisions were heavily influenced by my parents and, while it seems like I had choices in life, I was limited to the few my parents decided for me. Considering that their advice haven't really cost me much other than a few minor setbacks, I kept going expecting things to continue being alright.

A few years into university, I found failure and major setbacks. Anxiety and a bit of depression was setting in which had me started wondering what went wrong. Like everyone else, I looked back into my past to search for my answers. In my search, I discovered that many of the decisions were too heavily influenced by my parents. I hardly listened to what I wanted and felt that my parents had led me down this wrong path.

I could've blamed my parents and I did for a short while. Yet, I learned that this was a learning experience for me. From this point onward, I'll make my own decisions and limit the influence of other people and society as a whole. We are in such a need of conform to the standards of society that we neglect to ask us what we truly desire. We are willing to kill our dreams as long as we fit into society, not knowing that the death of our dreams will only send us down a path of endless pain and suffering.

For those still living with parents, I recommend thinking for yourself what you want. I mean asking yourself questions without wondering about the thoughts or advice of other people in your family. We need to come up with a choice that is solely our own. Then, we compare it with what is given to us due to outside influence. Then, it becomes your decision whether or not to follow your own heart and go with what others expect of you. With this approach, you at least have no one to blame if you stray down the wrong path. Then, you can take responsibility later in life and know how to learn from your mistakes.

rick-amateur
Posts: 96
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:43 am

Re: Rick's Journal

Postby rick-amateur » Sun Feb 25, 2018 6:29 am

-Decisions 5-

For this entry, I want to discuss about myself. Not just my thoughts but a bit about the decisions I have made and will make that will have enormous impact on my future. I, like everyone else, have made poor decisions in the past. I regretted those at one point but, currently, I'm grateful of making those decisions. You might think I'm a little crazy to think that way but I'll explain what I mean.

The poor decision that has been very much on my mind is going to university. For many people, this is a no brainer since higher education should open up more doors. Yet, we must remember some important things about education. There are currently a lot of students going to school, whether university or college, and the job opportunities out there is limited.

We are living in a society where there's a lot of competition for job, especially the better jobs. With so much competition, companies will only hire the best candidates they have and, for those fresh from university, grades are the primary comparison. I didn't have the best grades so, when I searched for internship, I was among the few who was out of luck.

With grades dropping steadily and no internment could be found, I was doubting my decision to go to university. I have reason to do so since I learned now that school can only teach certain subjects. Not everyone can thrive in a classroom setting and I'm one of those who stood a better chance with other decisions. Interestingly, these doubts have opened up doors I originally thought a piece of paper from graduating will.

I discovered things I am strong at aren't taught at school, at least not in the university I'm going. This puts me at a rather awkward situation. I have invested a lot into school with plenty of school debt and am somewhat close to finishing. Yet, I no longer have the same desire as I no longer see the piece of paper as my key to unlocking a bright future. I spent a lot of time thinking over my decisions because, this time, I want to pick one that I want.

At a position where the future has much to be desired, it might seem easier to abandon and start anew. That sounds nice but I do want to finish school. I have abandon too many things in the past so I'm worried that, if I do it again, I'll get into a bad habit. As I attend school, I will be pursuing the dream of fighting against mental illness stigma and other things that seem too big to tackle. I know I have big dreams but someone has to make them possible.

This decision hasn't come easy. I never liked school and going back hasn't been especially fun. I just have to tolerate it so I can give it a proper finish. Meanwhile, I can use this to learn time management. School doesn't teach you the best way to manage time until you also have a dream to pursue. I think the lack of dreams had been why I felt so lost and the days at school felt nothing more than torture without an end in sight. At least now, I have something to look forward to each day.

rick-amateur
Posts: 96
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:43 am

Re: Rick's Journal

Postby rick-amateur » Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:54 am

-Knowledge-

We all know the saying about knowledge is power. This is quite true if we understand what knowledge is. By definition, knowledge is information and ideas gained through experience and education. In a world where information is plenty online, we can easily be swamped by too much and not get any benefits, especially in the situation of information overload which seems to occur much more often now.

In the past, people read books to get information. That was mostly the case when I was a kid as internet was still a fledgling. I loved going to the library because there were so many picture books. As internet matured into what it is today, we acquire information differently. Notice that I used the term information, not knowledge, here.

With our ways of acquiring information changed, it's only natural that our ways of gaining knowledge also changed. Someone who has watched a bunch of videos regarding a certain topic might be better informed but they aren't necessarily more knowledgeable on the topic. Unless this person applies the information repetitively in the real world, he or she really only gained more facts to share during conversations.

I see knowledge as information we can make use of to get ourselves further ahead. We all know that we start from not knowing something and only through practice can we master something. Let's use riding a bike as an example. We might have read about bikes and seen others ride it when we are kids. We got the information but that information doesn't translate to us actually knowing to how to do it.

Instead, we must get on ourselves and try on our own. We learn by keep going and not let a few bruises and scratches stop us. For those of you who can ride a bike, can you imagine yourself learning by reading a manual on how to ride a bike? It seems crazy but that's apparently how we're expected to learn at school which is something I'll discuss in one of the later entries.

Some people nowadays confuse information with knowledge. They assume that, by knowing more, they are more knowledgeable. Yet, they are fooling themselves as much of the information they have won't get them ahead in life. Those information won't help them overcome their biggest challenges like anxiety or depression. Information alone won't get us through the darkest nights so we can reach that future we always envisioned!

rick-amateur
Posts: 96
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:43 am

Re: Rick's Journal

Postby rick-amateur » Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:41 am

-Knowledge 2-

Do we gain knowledge from school? I used to say yes without hesitation. Now, I wonder about that and will answer yes and no. Schools can fill us with knowledge but this depends on a lot of things. In our society, we often discuss how well a person does depends largely on the student. A hard working student will often get further ahead than those who slack off.

When we are students, I like to see ourselves as sponges. We can only absorb so much before we cannot take anymore in. If we are filled with largely useless facts and information, we lack the space for the knowledge we need in life. It's true a hard working student can do well at school but this doesn't always translate to doing well in life. Life is never linear like school and has a lot more surprises along the way.

There are lots of facts taught at school which we don't necessarily need for the future. It's true some of these classes are meant to prepare us for college or university but, even then, some might just be a waste of time. I, as a student in engineering, didn't need biology or Shakespeare. However, I, like so many others, have to go through the classes forcing us to make room for "useless" information. This not only wastes our time but it can develop this negative attitude towards learning.

Real knowledge stays with us because we know it's going to be useful. We'll be using it over and over until it becomes part of us. When you look at most students at school, they wait until a few days before an exam before they start studying. They might do well but, after a few weeks, they'll forget everything. What was the point of the classes if they aren't going to recall anything?

A school should promote students to learn on their own. There were courses I loved because I enjoyed them so much. I wanted to learn more and, with all the resources with online sources and videos, I can gain so much more than what school offers. The information we seek out based on our interests will become knowledge while those we are forced to uncover will be gone once we can afford to do so.

rick-amateur
Posts: 96
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:43 am

Re: Rick's Journal

Postby rick-amateur » Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:06 am

-Knowledge 3-

Most of our knowledge will come from our own experiences. For most people, they learn much better from doing something than reading about something. Think about the concept of riding a bike. Will you learn it faster by trying after falling a number of times or will you learn faster by reading a book? Yet, people are hurting themselves by limiting how much knowledge they can gain in life.

We can only learn from experience of things we actually try. When dreams are abandoned, people forever deny themselves the knowledge if they can make that dream come true. By trapping ourselves in our comfort zone, our skill sets grow very limited. A limited skill set and limited knowledge sees us poorly prepared for the challenges life no doubt throws our way.

We all know knowledge is powerful and yet we still stop pursuing it. Why? Fear is the first thing that comes to mind. Fear of leaving the comfort zone halts our progress to make ourselves better. After all, we lost more than the knowledge of the world we live in. We also stop ourselves from better understanding the person we are and what we're capable of.

If we ask people if they know themselves, they naturally would answer yes. They would think this is a stupid question. I don't think it's stupid at all. If we ask these people a few very specific questions, we'll see them pause to think. Too often, we are fooling ourselves with this image we want of ourselves. This image is what society promotes so we want to fit into the mold. This mold has nothing to do with who we are.

A lot of people say that, if we know enough of the world, we'd have answers to all our questions. The truth is we just need to know who we are. I believe we each possess incredible amounts of knowledge within us but these are locked behind safe doors that can only be opened with specific keys. It's true that the keys can only be made if we've seen more of the world but the answers we seek has been inside us all along.

rick-amateur
Posts: 96
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:43 am

Re: Rick's Journal

Postby rick-amateur » Sun Mar 25, 2018 3:46 pm

-Knowledge 4-

When I first started discussing knowledge, I agree with it being power. Why? Knowledge is an incredible resource that can get us so far ahead. When we see many people who are unhappy with their lives or struggle with challenges, we have to wonder why that's the case. I believe they simply lost sight on this incredible resource that can be the difference maker between a great life and a mediocre one.

Nowadays, people are so easily blinded by the need for material things. It's easy to be caught up when we have the entertainment industry and so many other aspects of society promoting the idea that money equals happiness. I've even heard an advertisement where someone claims that one can buy happiness if they knew where to shop. Such a notion is so silly but, sadly, many people actually believe that.

The problem with material things is that they come and go. Money can exchange hands very easily, especially with credit cards nowadays where money seem to vanish very quickly as soon as we start paying bills. A large portion of Canadians have enormous credit card debts among with other things so they basically spend much of their lives being slaves to those debts.

Knowledge is different in that we cannot exchange it. We can have debates and make videos but none of these guarantee a person will acquire the knowledge. Remember that a person might be great with facts but understanding the facts to the point one can apply it to his or her life is completely different. Too many people, with the false impression their information equals knowledge, think they're ready to tackle the material things in life.

Until people surround themselves with valuable knowledge, they are doomed to fail or, in the best case scenario, achieve mediocrity. Our society is a cruel place and there's a reason why only a small portion become the very wealthy and an equally small portion are truly happy and fulfilled with their lives. Note that not all the very wealthy are necessarily in the second group. Like I said before, money won't bring happiness and that can be seen over and over in life.

One of the biggest examples is lotteries. There are people who win lotteries but their lives didn't change. It didn't take long for them to return to their lives before winning assuming it didn't get worse. These people might have gotten a ton of money but they don't have the knowledge to make effective use of this money. That's why we cannot neglect knowledge as money without knowledge will disappear as quickly as it appears.

rick-amateur
Posts: 96
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:43 am

Re: Rick's Journal

Postby rick-amateur » Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:21 am

-Knowledge 5-

During our darkest days, knowledge might be the only thing we have left. We might lose all our money, our homes and maybe even our family members. Life can be cruel at times so there's no need to sugarcoat it at all. It's only during these cruelest moments of our life that we learn what's truly valuable and what we should treasure for the rest of our lives.

We all heard stories of someone losing some dear and regretting afterwards only to find out it's too late. That's the truth about knowledge. We can gain knowledge when we are relatively comfortable. For most people, they won't choose a book over a meal when they are starving and are homeless. We don't expect them to pursue knowledge, at least not through a book, when they are in a state where they have enough problems in their lives.

Yet, most of us are fortunate enough to not have those issues. We or our family has some sort of income and we can afford things like phones, laptops and books. When we ask most of these people if they buy books or read E-books online, the general answer is either no or very rarely. If we don't take advantage of our luxurious environment to gain knowledge, then we will soon learn the hard way how the lack of knowledge will hurt us.

It's true that tragedies won't happen to all of us but hardships will arrive, often in forms we least expect them too. The economy might fail and the housing bubble burst. A family member might have gotten into severe debt due to dealing with loan sharks. Some terrible illness suddenly struck a loved one and much of one's savings must be spent at the hospital. All of these can have drastic impact on people as they can change people's lives permanently.

In the scenario where a person loses everyone, everything and become homeless. What happens if this person acquired knowledge before this unfortunate development? No one can take away knowledge so, naturally, this person got to keep all of it. The knowledge might take time to be utilized but it will get the person back on his or her feet because he or she have all the tools to get further ahead and only needed more time and hard work to get there.

Being poor is never a crime and many of those who got out of poverty did so through knowledge. They have seen things and experienced things that taught them how the world works. They don't necessarily need to graduate from higher education. Some might have never even finished high school. Yet, they learned what to absorb so they can use it later in life. It's only through knowledge can we get further ahead in life and no knowledge can be gained without sacrifices made along the way.

rick-amateur
Posts: 96
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:43 am

Re: Rick's Journal

Postby rick-amateur » Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:31 am

-Knowledge 6-

One of the biggest mistakes people seem to make is stop pursuing knowledge after a certain age. They believe that they can only pursue knowledge at school and when they're young. Once they reached a certain age, they have gained enough to get through rest of their lives. This is often why many people suddenly find themselves struggling to retire as the ever changing world catches them unaware.

The world can change very rapidly and we have seen this over the last two decades. Amazing progress have been made in all technological advances and, with the improvements of computers and AI, we can only expect the progress forward to speed up more. For people to adapt and thrive in this sort of environment, one must ensure they are up to date and prepare to make changes wherever necessary.

The job markets have changed, especially with automation becoming a norm for certain jobs. This only makes knowledge all the more powerful because manual labor can be done by robots while jobs requiring thoughts and problem solving are still done by humans. In addition, people are needed to repair and maintain robots, tasks we cannot expect someone to know without learning.

While it's true that people learn slower as they age, that doesn't mean they cannot learn at all. It might take longer but it's never a bad idea to be better adapted. Books are probably the best way for the slightly older generations as these are best associated with how they learned before. E-books also make it much easier to acquire information without the need to find and purchase multiple books.

Regardless of what age we are or what situation we are in, knowledge can be exceptionally helpful in getting us to a certain scenario in life. We must never stop pursuing as being ignorant only hinders our progress. Knowledge, of course, isn't information alone but something we can make use of very easily to apply to the respective application. With our technological advances, knowledge only has a greater role to play in our pursuit of success, happiness and fulfillment.


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