3 June 2016
Here we are in the sixth month of the year. This significantly represents our waking into the second half of the year 2016.
At the beginning, we sure had resolutions and goals stuck to the year’s board that we constantly remind ourselves of. While it might not have been a gleeful ride so far, there is always space to try again always.
To get you recalibrated, or just augment your goals and resolutions for the year, here are five habits of the mind, character philosophy borrowed from some of humanity’s finest and rewarded thinkers.
Adrienne Rich, a female poet of the 21st century. Her insight on cultivating a honourable relationship is definitely one to infuse. As we all know, humans were not exactly built to exist alone, echoing the famous “no man is an island” saying.
She mused on what she considers a honourable relationship to be one that gives a genuine allowance to express love, leaving them the right to use the word – this cultivates a delicate process, however terrifying it may be, embraces a process of refining the truths they tell each other.
She considers one of such relevant because it breaks down the human self-delusion and isolation we often feel so drawn to wander into. A honourable relationship will be a grounding for when all seems to be sinking.
Resist the urge of perfectionism. Ursula K. Le Guin details this in view of perfectionism being an ever shifting ideal. What’s perfect to one might not seem perfect to the other.
It is important to give good, give your best even, to everything. But she advised that trailing on the road of impulsive perfectionism only causes a shrinkage of ourselves. In pursuit of fulfilling an ideal – an illusion, we constrict into an increasingly suffocating smallness. Accept you and your very best. Learn to let go of the pressure.
Maria Popova, a being I so lovingly adore, poignantly takes us through the dangers of comparison and cynicism. In a commencement address delivered at her alma mater, she advised one to resist self-comparison for it sustains the soul.
The disease of comparing our behind the scenes, with someone else’s reality will only leave us embittered, sucking the will to carry on and even the belief in our own self.
She suggested: “Develop an inner barometer for your own value. Resist page-views and likes and retweets and all those silly-sounding quantification metrics that will be obsolete within the decade. Don’t hang the stability of your soul on them. They can’t tell you how much your work counts for and to whom. They can’t tell you who you are and what you’re worth. They are that demoralizing electric bike that makes you feel if only you could pedal faster — if only you could get more page views and likes and retweets — you’d be worthier of your own life. “
James Baldwin reminds us of the power, of what we think of ourselves, for it reflected in the way others treat us. If at any point of failure, you decide to wallow into the dark hole of self-doubt, we often so notice that attitude shifting into parallels, settling into other people.
Because the root isn’t stemmed in a positive belief itself, it can not sprout positive. A planted maize will not sprout mango. Therefore, in the honesty of self, you are what you believe you are.
The rest of the year needs you thinking you can go on to conquer, you will survive the rock-bottom periods, you will rise and learn to fly again. Don’t you think so too?