Archive for the ‘mind’ Category

Lost & Found

Posted: January 22, 2011 in mind, what makes us tick

[tweetmeme source= “unmaskd” only_single=false]Wouldn’t it be cool if lost & found service worked not only for umbrellas and shirts? Sometimes we lose things that are way more important…

– …It seems that I have lost my confidence.
– Let me see sir. We have a special bin for those. Anything distinctive about yours?
– Don’t know. I’m not sure. Not sure about anything actually… It’s nothing special. Just your average everyday confidence.
– Slightly used, but in good condition? This one?
– Yes!
– Here you go, sir.
….
– I think I lost my conscience. Can’t find it anywhere.
– Sorry, sir, but allow me to disagree.
– How come?
– If you’re looking for your conscience, you haven’t really lost it.

– Hey! I lost my patience! I mean I REALLY need it! As in NOW! RIGHT NOW!
– No worries, sir, here it is. Please… allow me… Ouch!
– Thank you. You’ve been so helpful. Why are you so pale?
– It’s ok sir… It’s ok… The important thing is you have your patience back.
….
– You know… last night… I’m not sure how to say it… I lost my… Well… my… my virginity. I mean I think I lost it… Do you have it by any chance?…
– Sorry, mam. Never seen one of these turned in. But it’s ok. You’ll get used to it.
….
– My mind! It’s lost! I lost it! I’m doomed! I’m doomed!!
– Let me check, sir. We had several turned in last night. It’s the season, you know. Overall in a decent shape, higher than average IQ, with a tendency to be pessimistic?
– Yes! Yes! Yes!
….
– I lost sleep…
– Could it be this one, mam?
– Oh, thank you!
– My pleasure. It looks like it’s wrapped up in some groundless doubts, so let me unwrap it for you.
….
– Yo, dude! I lost my cool. It’s gone. Just gone. Can you help me, bro?
– Certainly, Mr. Dude. Certainly. Here it is. We knew you’d stop by.
….
– I lost my appetite. Has anyone–
– Please take it! it’s been smelling like pizza for two days here.
….
– I lost my soul.
– Unfortunately, sir, no one brings here items that were sold to them voluntarily.
….
– I lost my youth. Been searching for it for a while. Can you check if–
– I’m sorry, sir. I’m certain we don’t have it. People never turn these in. Finders – keepers.
….
– Last month I lost my heart.
– You should be more careful wearing it on your sleeve. But let me check…
….
– I lost hope.
– No you didn’t, sir.
– Huh? I’m telling you I lost hope. Isn’t it your job to help me find it?
– No sir. No one can help you find hope.
– Why?
– Because it’s impossible to lose it. You live – you hope.

For a guy whose identity has remained unknown for nearly a year, I surely haven’t been blogging much about masks. Well, I haven’t been blogging much recently, period. With this post I’m addressing both gaps. This is not a return to a regular posting schedule, but then again I haven’t been really gone, as those of you who read my tweets and tumbls know. Now let’s cut the introduction and get to the point.

Have you ever thought that you wear a mask every day? Of course you have. Everybody has. And have you thought that you wear multiple masks every day? One at work, another at home, one more with friends, yet another one with strangers, and so on and so forth. Another familiar thought, isn’t it? So here comes the interesting part, has it occurred to you that by wearing some mask pretty much every minute of your life, you get used to wearing masks so much that you don’t know what it is like not to wear one? It’s like having a name — we all associate ourselves with one, yet this is only a label that helps others identify us. But even trying to imagine a life without a name is hard.

So what if you were to take these masks off one by one? First would go the most familiar ones, those we wear at work and with strangers. Then will come the turn of those that we don’t really count as masks… those that our families and friends see. Then the “I’m alone” mask would come off. Yes, it’s a mask too, since even alone we keep thinking thoughts we’re used to think, makes gestures we’re used to make and seek things we’re used to seek.

And the real question is, what would remain once there are no masks left to take off? What — or maybe who — is hiding behind them?

[tweetmeme source= “unmaskd” only_single=false] When authors run out of ideas they publish reprints. In my case, the recent lack of new content is caused by the lack of time. Luckily for me, internet offers wide variety of options to reuse existing content to create something new. Sort of. Worldle.net is one of these services and here’s its take on the key words I’ve been using on on this blog.

While the picture is hardly surprising, it includes some random word sequences which are rather curious. It sounds a bit like fortune cookies made by Yoda:

  • Life happen always simple
  • Without mind became thoughts
  • Misunderstood people use others

Spooky…


[tweetmeme source= “unmaskd” only_single=false]I have a thing for a good opening line. No matter what I write, I want to grab attention of my reader in first 10 words. But this time I don’t want to be fancy. This time I want to start with simple words:

Thank you!

Thank you everyone who took time to post a comment, to tweet, to send a DM on this topic. My previous post, unlike most others, was way more applicable to me than to anyone else. We all can relate to a procrastination tale, but pondering over “to blog or not to blog” decision is certainly less common. So thank you for sharing your thoughts.

The decision has been made. I’m sticking around. At least for some time. There will be a new home for the Unmaskd journey, and although at the beginning it will look very similar to this one, over time the difference will start showing up. Ironically, many people misunderstood the whole point of “going big”, which I can attribute only to my cryptic way of expressing my thoughts. It’ll all make sense at some point. But to be clear, I have no intention or even desire to be a motivational self-help guru. This is all about a journey. My journey.

This process has started years ago for me, and yet it would always bring more frustration than satisfaction. I would take a step forward only to follow it with two quick steps backward. I would try a bunch of approaches to find my inner strength only to let it slip through my fingers a week later. I would fail more often than succeed. This is no longer the case.

Over the last few months I did more for “becoming one” than I’ve done in my life. Moreover, the depth and density of the effort I went through over the last week is more than anything I’ve done. It feels different. The results are different. My view of the world is different. I know. I’ve been through too many fake awakenings. But you always know the difference between dreaming and reality (no matter what Inception tries to tell us). This time it’s real. I’ve gone through the looking-glass I peered into for years. And the timing is not random at all. Talking about this openly as Unmask has been a major factor in this process. In fact, it the single most important factor. I didn’t expect this to happen, but it did, and now I can only wonder if this is what I was  shooting for subconsciously when I went to Twitter sign up page and typed Unmaskd.

As important as the last few months have been, this is just another stage. The journey is only to become more intense, more fulfilling. So I’m not giving up on my umaskd writings. I need it. But since I’m doing this anyway, I think my impact could be bigger.

I can’t say yet how soon this blog will migrate to its new home. I’m going to be very busy over the next months with a couple of projects, so it may take a week or a month. But it will happen sooner or later. This by far is not my major project, but I’ll be investing enough time into it to make it meaningful.

And let me finish with the same totally unoriginal line. Thank you. I’ll see you around.

[tweetmeme source= “unmaskd” only_single=false]

As I have recently mentioned in my rather spontaneous Tumblr post, my approach to everything in life can be described in three simple words: Feel. Think. Do. I’ve also mentioned that occasionally I skip a step or two before getting to  step 3. Which is why I’m writing this post. At first, I felt like writing it, and without giving it much of a thought, jumped to the final step. Then the thinking part of me woke up and yelled, Whoa!! Are you nuts?? And so the writing process got stopped before it had a chance to begin.

Why? Because unlike other posts it wasn’t going to paint a pretty picture of me. Pretty ugly, maybe, but certainly not pretty. I’m hardly a narcissist, but usuallyI prefer to project an image of someone strong, smart and decisive. This post would do exactly the opposite. So I almost decided to label the whole idea as stupid, when it suddenly hit me. Wait a second, I thought, have I just turned writing as Unmaskd into a PR exercise? Have I just decided not to write a post just because it would make me look bad? The very point of going Unmaskd was to be completely open. Plus, something useful may come out of it. Actually, that’s I wanted to write it in the first place. So here I am, writing this post.

We are all familiar with the dreaded P-word. Procrastination is like sex: even if you have never had it, you have heard about it. So let me share another secret of mine: when it comes to procrastination, I’m not an expert. I’m The Expert. There are so many people who would procrastinate over little things, clean up their desks frantically every time they need to write something simple, postpone chores and do other stuff like that. Amateurs. The real procrastinator is above these petty attempts. I can go on for weeks or months plowing through unpleasant tasks like a bulldozer. The real procrastination is about something else. It’s about hitting the bottom. And a rock bottom it is. I can go on for a very long time. But then one day, one moment I face something I just don’t want to do. It could be the same task I’ve done before, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that I just don’t feel like doing it. And then it happens. All it takes is a single moment of weakness. A single let-me-do-this-thing-first action. And the next moment I’m gliding down the slippery path to hell.

One by one useless accomplishments fill the time. They take the same time it would’ve taken me to accomplish that task I didn’t feel like doing. Then they take more. Then much more. But that’s not the worst part. The worst part is with every minute I feel my will being taking away from me. It’s like watching sand flowing down the hourglass hole. I can feel it. That sensation is almost physical. It’s almost like feeling your brain being slowly wrapped in soft cotton wool. Round and round. Layer by layer. Until even thinking itself becomes a serious effort. And I although I know I can stop this, in fact I really can’t. It just goes on and on, leaving me with less and less willpower.

Of course, as it happens I’m still functioning. Of course, I can have a conversation and I appear to others just like my normal self. But deep inside I know that my will is almost gone. There’s just small part of it left somewhere in a dark corner of my brain, while it goes on its autopilot. And I let it go. Sometimes for hours. Sometimes for days. And I tell you, I hate these moments.

You already know when happens next. Yes, I find strength to stop this. I always find enough will to get me out of that mental swamp. And I get out it, and I accomplish that stupid task that had sent me into that procrasti-state, and I do whatever I decide to do. Once I hit the bottom and I actually jump pretty high out of the water. But I know that one day, it will hit me again.

The saddest part of all this is that once I find strength to fight off the p-bug, I am really good at whatever I do. I accomplish things that are pretty much off limits for many less fortunate people. And people look at my accomplishments and go, “Wow! This is great, how did you do that?” But I’m hardly proud. I know that had it not been for these moments I could have accomplished things that would make whole world go “Wow!” I’ve known this for a fact since I was a kid. But this doesn’t change anything. Because one way or another I always find way to that swamp. It’s like trying to become the running champion of the world while having concrete blocks chained to your feet.

So that’s my procrastination story. Now if you excuse me I have to get back to a little task I have to accomplish…

Oh, and one last thing. In case you have ever experienced procrastination yourself, here’s a question for you. A question that probably will send an icy chill down your spine, especially if you really think about. When you find yourself procrastinating it’s not you anymore who controls your actions. Right? At least it’s not your consciousness, not what you associate yourself with. Yet, you still take some actions.

So if it’s not you who is in control, then who is it?

[tweetmeme source= “unmaskd” only_single=false]Remember the advice I gave some of you? Be yourself. Yes, that one. You’ve heard it before. You’ve heard is so many times it has become boring. It’s a motto, a cliche, a tagline. It is also a shameless lie. A beautiful lie.

And here’s the truth. Ugly and dirty as usual. You are ALWAYS yourself. It is so nice, so comforting to think that it’s not really you who’s not rising up to the challenge. It is not really you who just was a coward. It is not really you who is talentless, boring, dumb, ugly… whatever it is that you don’t like about yourself. The real you is so much better. The real you just has to wait to show the real beauty or talent or courage. It’s this world around you that you have to fit into, these people who push you around, these circumstances, these wrong choices, these motives, these obligations… But the true you, the real you is going to show ‘em all one day. Because it’s all there, inside. Right? Wrong.

It Is Always You.

Unless you are a victim of war, crime, natural disaster or illness, you’ve got no one else to blame. It is always you. The real you. So when people tell you to be yourself tell them to shut up. Yes, that includes me. You’re always yourself, whether you like it or not — whether you believe it or not. We are who we are, and we either have what it takes to be that better version of ourselves we like to imagine, or not.

So at any point at time either do things you can be proud of — or accept the full responsibility for being a jerk, a coward, an idiot or whatever it is you dont’t like about your behavior and its results. And if you don’t have strength to be better, to improve… well it’s also you. The forever weak you. You don’t have to like the fact, but that doesn’t change anything.

Yet, there’s a catch. Imagine that you’re driving an old car. You’ve been driving it for years. It’s beaten, it’s not a looker, it needs oil change badly. But if you’ve never taken it above 60 you just don’t know how fast it can go. And you may never find out that all along the engine was capable of going way beyond 200… More often then not there are things we just don’t know about ourselves.