Advice for fellow humans. Sharing stories and experinces that help us to live more meanigful lives.
So, what is “A Life Worth Living – Advice for Fellow Humans” about, and why did I write it?
It took me, what felt like, forever to start this blog! And that’s the truth. But, after much debate with my inner, more cynical, self-doubting, negative, pessimistic, judgemental self, I finally formed the courage to start.
I toyed with the prospect for this blog for so long that I often wondered whether my time on Earth would expire before I managed to write the first blog post. When I did finally write it, I revised it obsessively in an almost infinite loop, and I am still not content with it!
The idea struck me many years ago whilst embarking on a demanding Bachelor of Science Degree in Network Security and Management. A substantial portion of the degree comprised of Artificial Intelligence, and it was here that I unearthed so much about myself and other people around me, how we function, our behaviours and patterns and what makes us tick, so to speak. When developing a complex artificially intelligent system that could learn and adapt, I instinctively contrasted it with human intelligence. Human intelligence was the only bonafide intelligence I knew of. This gave rise to many profound questions that relentlessly paved the way even to more torturous questions. Exploring another form of intelligence kindled my interest in understanding more about myself, how I think, and how my thoughts impact my life, choices, relationships, reactions, decisions, what is in my control, and what, importantly, is not.
Before this, I viewed learning as a tool to achieve a qualification that would lead to a job or a career if incredibly fortunate. But my attitude towards learning shifted radically. Not only in what I wanted to learn but how I would learn it. I developed a passion for history, philosophy, behavioural psychology, communication, linguistics, anthropology, cognitive functions of the brain, emotional intelligence; and, although I did not know this at the time, it was all in the pursuit of purpose and meaning. As cliched as this all sounds, it was true. The only analogy I could conjure to convince my cynical self was that learning a skill like Computer Science would only facilitate me in getting employment in the gargantuan factory we refer to as “the world” but learning about myself, my mind, my behaviour, other people, cultures, communities, and past civilisations, promises to give me insight into how to live like a human.
Tormented with an annoyingly tenacious disposition, I knew I would not rest until I had gaged these fields in some capacity. Still, formal academic education was categorically out of the question. And for good reason: I had already completed two degrees, neither of which I had any intentions to use to pursue a career. Moreover, I had accumulated a mountain of debt in university fees and failed miserably to forge a fathomable reason to convince my family that I was going back into academia to engage in an entirely different field of science and further us in more financial ruin. Thus, partly for the sake of my sanity but largely to evade persecution from all the caring and rational minds around me, I began my expedition in self-studying, and it revolutionised everything. Not enrolling in a university to study a particular field didn’t mean I couldn’t learn it; it just meant I couldn’t get a qualification in it. And that was fine. I desired merely to quench my curiosity and have a deeper awareness of various subjects that captivated me – I had no plans of becoming a clinical psychologist or a historian – I simply wanted to know more. And I could do that without spending the next three to four years in lecture theatres and amassing more unrepayable debt.
Growing up in the 80s and 90s, self-studying was painfully difficult as there was no internet, well, certainly not the ridiculously highspeed connection we have now, nor was the web amassed with so much data and knowledge. Colleges, universities, and similar institutions had the monopoly on education and, to an extent, still do. But with the drastic technological advancements, we have had for the last twenty-five years, learning has evolved into a completely different beast. A beast that, if tamed correctly, will serve you loyally and perhaps change your life.
However, my excursion into self-study taught me a few crucial lessons: if you are unable to discipline yourself, you will fail. If you lack motivation or rely merely on motivation, you will fail. If you are passive in your approach, you will fail. If you are impatient, you will fail. If you do not believe you can do it, you have already failed.
Along with this, you must be willing to sacrifice time spent socialising with friends and family and binge-watching Netflix. And being a good reader will undoubtedly help!
Why I feel the need to share
Since the beginning of humanity, we have learned worthwhile and even lifesaving lessons by sharing stories and experiences. Humans are not the strongest species on Earth. We can die from an insect bite, we cannot outrun a cheater, and we are not strong enough to overpower a lion, and yet we claim sovereignty over this vast planet. And this is done, indisputably, by way of communication, intelligence, and our willingness to work together.
Institutions provide a certificate of approval – empowering us with a stamp of authority, but they do not teach us about life itself. Instead, we learn about life through historical accounts and the undeniable power of story and experience – and this gives us the knowledge, ability, and strength to survive.
Essentially, we learn to be human. And we learn to be human from other humans.
A toddler, any toddler irrespective of gender or race, is extremely violent and selfish. When a toddler wants something, they will terrorise you physically and emotionally to get it. Therefore, it becomes incumbent on adults to teach the toddler about boundaries and how to conduct themselves and behave like a human.
Regardless of beliefs, race, gender, geographical location, qualifications, position, and even age, all humans have something valuable to offer to their fellow humans. The biggest tragedy would be if people stopped sharing their stories and experiences – it could fundamentally alter our prospects of living fulfilling and meaningful lives.
It is also important not to confuse “fulfilling” and “meaningful” with “happiness”, as happiness is acutely different, and I would never advise chasing such a foolish endeavour.
Here’s my “Why”
I have been writing novels for many years, and I get immense pleasure from doing so, but I wanted to apply my passion for writing to share my ideas, findings, understandings, and perspectives with my fellow humans. I believe that living consequentially qualifies you as a contributor to life. You become an ambassador for humans and a teacher, sometimes reluctantly and sometimes without realising. Through your ideas, words, behaviours, actions, and even your very presence, you teach. Whether you are a willing or unwilling participant, your very being makes you an active and accountable accomplice.
We are in this enigma we call life together, and only together will we prosper. It does not matter who you are or what status you hold in other people’s eyes – you play a significant role in the human experience.
A word of caution before you read this blog
This is a collection of observations, subjective opinions, honest conversations and advice – some aspects you might find helpful, others you may find infuriating, but it is what it is – advice. And the great thing about advice is that you can take it or leave it.
I genuinely hope you find it useful, insightful, or at the very least, mildly entertaining.
All the best