Thus Far

Some things, as some believed, are better left unsaid.

And I say, it is good that some things are not etched on your brain for like, forever. It is sometimes good that you forget certain things. Especially things that you do want them to wash away together with the time, like the stain on your shirt washed away after spinning in the washing machine.

It is unfortunate that we tend to remember things we do not want to, and forget things we want to remember of.

I do not anticipate public holidays and weekends because they make me think of things that I wish I do not remember. Works put wonders away. Works put undesired reminiscings away.

Thus far, I enjoy my internee life. I spend less time scrambling my archives involuntarily, smiling over the past, mourning over the future. All I want is to just live the present, enjoy every irreversible second doing things that I have always wanted to.

I want to forget a few things that I cannot get rid of. Because it makes the little heart rots, stinks like it has been wrapped in a plastic bag of expired red beans with worms all over it.

So what do I do? I keep myself busy. I am more than happy to spend most of my time at the office and as little time as possible at my rented room. Literally dealing with the past on a daily basis in the present is yet another thing to be handled. It is like running in circle – to just meet the same point all over again. It is just whether I will fall for the same acts or I improvise. Time will tell.

Balls In The Mouth

Few weeks ago, I decided to take a break from chirping. When asked why, I would just reply “going out, looking for some peace.” True, what? You all should try quitting your drugs lah; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram all that and feel the solace.

I quit FB long time ago. Because I was fed up with buggers whose their head were always in my kain pelikat. To say I quit Twitter because I took an arrow in my knee, that is some bullshit I can sell you all but no I do not.

Until few days ago, one friend said, “loser sia. Everytime got problem, always escape. Deactivate this, deactivate that. Quit this, quit that.” A bitter fact that I have to actually agree with. Because I am a gentleman liddat. But gentleman with no balls to get through problems like the little friend said lah. Got balls actually but kinda putting them in the mouth and sucking them like Dequadin lozenges.

I ignored him because I did not quit chirping because I ran from problems though I did quit from a post last February because I could not handle the problems that we faced at the time. There was just something that kept bugging me and after months of struggle, I said “heck. I am out. Looking for peace.”

And so did I. I found what I looked for. I was happy. It felt great. Until the same things kinda got to Whatsapp. Mind-boggling meh? It was just some pics lah, and status,  to make things understandable for you. So I asked myself, “where now? Where to run?”

If I keep running like this ah, then later how? Everytime got things I dislike, must run away ah? Why not face it one to one like a male grizzly bear does when it comes to mating season? Like how Patrick Teoh decided to stay instead of emigrating when got so many unpleasure things he was not satisfied with, to contribute and help make things better? To make the country better?

Sometimes it takes simple, minor things to shake our head, kick our ass and poke our eyes hard to take us back onto the seat and think rationally. A bit lah, if not that many. And repetitive. Like collapsing roofs. Happens once, okay lah. Isolated case only. Later got another one. Then we go “aiya. Another roof ah? How come?” wait until we get another roof collapsing, and another, and another….. Only then we feel like the walls have collapsed on our head and finally realize something needs to be done. And we start pointing fingers…..

Sounds childish? Get a mirror, see at your big nostrils lah. After clash, go ranting at Facebook. Go tweeting, unleashing your anger like your brain got a screw missing. Go GooglePlus-ing, put up a 800-word long status bellyaching things your ex had done to you. Wait. Got people use Google+ meh? (I do. So what?)

We all have that little things that will trigger our immature behaviours. Like soft spots lah. Everyone has ten to be least.

And so I come up with near-mid-year resolution although I never made one even on new year to show how serious I am about this. Resolution is a big deal what? Thinking of one is a pupil-dilating task, you know? For me lah to be least. Think of one first, later only lah think of how to accomplish it. Truly a Malaysian isn’t it? Get the systems work first only then think and see what are the benefits and disbenefits. Drain people’s money first only then think how effective the systems are, if any.

If like this, until I go down 6 feet below the ground, I am still a so called gentleman with balls in the mouth.

I am getting things done.

Think Great, Pose Great, Feel Great

*This article has been published in unitybond.com and is republished here after the site has been shut down.

There is no doubt of the fact that our verbals and non-verbals are influenced by what we think. We react according to what our brain processes.

Then there comes ideomotor effect – the influencing of an action by an idea – that we will unconsciously act based on the words, sentences or concepts that have glimpsed through our thoughts.

The other day, I went out to town with a friend of mine and the distance was like 30 minutes from our campus. We took too much time waiting for our food during dinner that we were actually really late for an event that we wanted to attend that night. So the driver – me – who had a thought – of being late and imagining a situation where we went in after almost an hour past the entry time – unconsciously hit 130 km/h mark on the speedometer. There was no pure intention of being that fast though we were in fact rushing. We had normal conversation to fill up the journey back, acted and behaved like we were still on time. And yet I sped.

Or simply notice how you start headbanging your head, stomping your feet on the floor while listening to some pop songs. Or how fast your walking pace is when you think of how hateful you are with those who walk slow. Or notice how the thought of the words FOOD and WASH will prime the word of S_ _P respectively. 

And do our non-verbals govern how we think and feel about ourselves?

In one of the Ted talks that I watched, Amy Cuddy said that how we pose indicate what we feel. And it affect how we think.

Hunchingusually makes one feels less confident, powerless and afraid. Take some time observing how people pose when waiting for their turn to be interviewed for a job. You can notice how one’s facial expression is affected by his/her pose – the indication of how they are feeling.

That is why you can see Usain Bolt spreads his hands high up in the sky when he is the first to cross the finish line of the 100m sprint competition. He wants to feel great of his achievement. He wants to feel proud. And you can pretty easily notice the difference between a confident presenter with a nervous and shaky presenter. See how they move around and control their hand movements. They control their cognitive association through each of the movement made.

When you are feeling nervous or not confident, try to ‘force’ yourself to pose in the way that people – and you yourself – feel comfortable when approached. Try take a pencil and stuck it crosswise in your mouth to make yourself ‘smile’. Try to cross leg, open your chest wide open, put both of your palms in the back of your head and spread your hands wide. Make yourself feel great. You might feel a bit odd and kind of faking but truly speaking, faking is not always bad. It might lead you to actually really feel good.

Fake It?

Don’t fake it ’til you make it, but fake it ’til you become it. – Amy Cuddy

That was from one of the Tedtalks that I watched on YouTube.

I once thought faking was easy. Until I failed to.

Edmund Bon had never spared a dream to become a lawyer until he went oversea and be with a bunch of people who wanted to do law. Sort of conformity. He referred himself as an accidental lawyer in a Popteevee’s interview not long time ago. I guess he managed to fake it ’til he became it. And he is very good at it, up to my point of observation to be very least.

I regret my decision of choosing my today’s path. There is nothing to be ashamed of to say that. Choice has been made. Path has been taken. And I am currently living that life. I can fake it ’til I make it sure, but to become it? Let it be another story at another time.

There is one thing that I cannot fake though. Tried, and failed. Lied, and hurt.

Feeling.

As Daniel Kahneman found out in his researches, cognition is embodied. We think with our body not just with brain.

Memories evoke emotions, and emotions evoke facial expressions and subsequently evoke avoidance tendency. If you have been noticing that I have been avoiding some people, how I have been cutting the conversations short, or my eyes have been moving away from looking at you when you were looking at me, now you know why. The avoidance tendency. It happens.

System 1 provides the impressions that often turn into our beliefs, and is the source of the impulses that often become our choices and actions. – Daniel Kahneman

Sorry but I have to put the blame on my System 1.

Feeling. We cannot fake our feeling. Most of the times.

Being Vulnerable

*This article has been published in unitybond.com and is republished here after the site has been shut down.

One of my good friends once said, people especially women are so vulnerable after they have just clashed that any guys who are at their disposal to console them during their sad days stand hypothetically higher chance of dating the girls.

I do not know if that is true enough. I firmly believe that is his personal observation. And if that makes any sense at all. I did not ask him back. I remembered I said he was right about it but I also remembered that I agreed without actually think more about it.

He was right about one thing for sure; being vulnerable. Everyone does when dealing with failure and sadness. Genders do not make any difference. You can be a tough guy with a stone cold heart but there is still that soft spot that will somehow make you feel so lost of your own feeling after being dumped, for an instance. There is suddenly a big dark hole in your heart. A hole that was once filled with unconditional love. The spot that has been your source of inspiration, courage and happiness.

At the times we are so in need of people who can comfort us, these people come in. We allow them to. They patch the hole little by little. We cannot afford to let the hole gets bigger. We are so prone.

We give them too much space to them that to some extent we feel like they can replace those who have gone leaving us drown in our sadness. We feel like they are our ultimate saviors that can lift us up again, seeing the other bright side. We somehow let emotion empowers us. We despise our brain’s capability of making wise decision.

Our heart is now like Walmart’s front door wide open on Black Friday. Anyone can dash in.

I see the question of “how vulnerable are we?” depends on how we control our emotion. To what degree do these events impact us emotionally? I never come across a case where people have emotional epilepsy. Emotions are triggered by events. Predictable events, non-predictable events. How much space do we give those people – the ones at our sides – to venture into our heart and exploit it? Questions that we need to constantly pose to ourselves.

Some believe that girls are not good decision makers simply because they tend to make decisions based on emotion rather than logical thinking. That somehow  sounds pretty correct yet debatable. We are not going to debate it here now though. I guess that is why my friend said so earlier.

My words?

Happiness is best to be unleashed. Spread the positive vibes around. But anger is best to be contained and disposed properly. Yoga, perhaps? Sadness is best cured with patience and rationality. Sadness can be expressed physically. You can cry out but you should not let emotion to empower you and say or do silly things that can show how weak you are at that point of time.

“I just knew you had a bad day.” That’s intuitive ability

I just have started my slow adventure with Daniel Kahneman’s “Thinking, Fast and Slow” book. Basically, the book explains how the brain works in which it has two systems; System 1 and System 2.

Quick summary, here it goes.

System 1: Operates voluntarily and quickly. Relates to quick decision, impression, and anything that usually consumes little if no effort.

System 2: Relates to effortful mental activities eg.: complex computation, deep thinking.

I just finished the 15-page introduction and is about 2,3 pages into the first part of the book which makes it not even 2% of the total information comprised in this factual-pack compilation of Kahneman’s works. I just want to pick two most interesting things:

Simplifying heuristic and availability heuristic.

Simplifying heuristic is a situation where we imply resemblance and ignore facts in making decision. One simple example. Someone mentions the word “the traitor of the nation”. And the first thing or the first group of people that come across your mind is the Opposition since these are the things that our mainstream media perpetuate everyday when in fact, government servants who take bribery and mismanage country’s wealth are also considered the nation’s traitors. Your mind has indirectly poisoned to resemble ‘traitor’ to ‘the Opposition’, without actually broadening your scope and include statistical considerations.

Availability heuristic. Let’s say you are a member of Parliament. General election is just around the corner and you have suddenly received an amount of money to be distributed among the needy of your place. You start to categorize these group of people into a few categories by the ease with which come to mind; family gross income, number of kids, et al. Any simple, first-strike categories that you can think of. This is called the reliance on the ease of memory.

The end. Not.

There is also one thing called intuitive abilities. You know, things like when you mom called you out of blue and asked “where are you now? Are you somewhere out of your campus?” at the moment you just arrived at a beach with your boyfriend. Or something like, when your mum knows you had a bad day at the first instance she hears your voice on the phone. Or a lecturer comes to an 8am-lecture preparing a quiz beforehand because he has the feeling that students will be mostly absent since it the first day after a long break. AND it is an early morning class.