Monday, September 7, 2015

Why "doing what you love" isn't just self-indulgence

There recently had been backlash towards the "Do What You Love" philosophy, the way of thinking that promotes pursuing your passion instead of financial pursuits or prestige. This way of thinking had been deemed classist and inconsiderate of people who simply cannot live day to day without juggling three jobs to make ends meet, or people who are locked down in their jobs because of loan debt or other crises, among others.

For the most part, I agree. The backlash, as I understand it, targets people who offhandedly attempt to suggest that doing what you love is possible for anyone, and people who don't do what they love are somehow wrong or at fault for having the lives that they do. This is not true at all - it is short-sighted and simply obnoxious to try and prescribe this to everyone and anyone who is unhappy without looking at their particular situation. 

However, for people who do have the ability to choose, I do think that there are colossal merits to trying to pursue this ideal. I feel that too many people feel as if pursuing their passions is somehow self-indulgent, just because not everyone else is given the same opportunity as they are.

I think this way of thinking helps those people just as much as eating all of the food on your plate when you were a child helps all the starving children in the world...

Hint: it does not...

It just makes you guilty, and possibly nauseous.

“I really believe that the world needs more people working on things they love.” 
-Arriane Serafico

When we do something that we love, we simply have more spirit fuel to try and do this thing in the best way we can, and for longer. And we are more likely to be spiritually awake when we do things we love rather than when we do things we feel obliged to do that we dislike. When I say spiritually awake, I mean that state of genuine engagement with your work where you are more likely to think creatively, to think of the moral implications of the work you put out, to feel involved in this work, and to feel like it is something you will be proud of putting forth into the world, when you're at the end of your life. Instead of feeling like a passive cog or gear in a machine that you have no real control over.

Disclaimer: When I say love, I don't mean simple enjoyment, which can fade after your calling becomes your job or when the going gets tough. I mean love as in fierce love - when you believe in your heart of hearts in the value of something, and you treasure it no matter what; much like the love we have for people in our lives.

Of course, it is possible as the intelligent and dynamic beings that we are, to simply choose to have this mindset, to be spiritually awake, in whatever it is that we are already doing. So if you're in a particular occupation or field right now that you don't really particularly despise, but you wouldn't say that it has really been "what you always wanted to do" either, if you're somewhere in between, then give passion a real shot in whatever it is! Get obsessed with it. Learn more about it. Try to see if you can be more passionate in whatever it is that you do everyday, and heighten the experience! And if you are already in there but have lost your passion, try to get it back. Remember, it goes both ways: Do what you love, love what you do.

But if you are, like me, at a place in your life where you're just about to choose what it is that you'll be doing, give yourself a favor and truly consider work that will make this passion occur spontaneously. Skip a step. Get to that place where you can be passionate and therefore make better work that much quicker. It will not only be a favor to you in this way, but clearly, through playing to your passions, (which would then through sheer force of love and will, be your strengths) a favor to whoever it is you would be serving through your work. 

Here is a video from The School of Life (a recent gem I discovered!) that attempts to guide one in one's pursuit of finding fulfilling work. I'm in the process of applying this advice myself, and found it very refreshing and comforting, so I want to share it with you, because I'm grateful that you're here reading my blog, which is currently where my passion is. Haha!

Hope to see you again here soon.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Inside Out and how Empathy lets Joy "Grow Up" (and its parallelisms with Hector and the Search for Happiness)

*slight spoiler warning*
Inside Out reminds me of Hector and the Search for Happiness.

In this film, Simon Pegg's character Hector starts out pretty unhappy even though he is quite well off. He feels very meh about his very comfortable, "tidy" life. He is a psychiatrist and he listens to his clients' stories with emotional detachment. He tries to find meaning in his life and goes traveling, being the privileged individual who can afford it that he is.

I highly recommend this film for good vibes, by the way.

There is a moment in this film that keeps coming back to Hector, when he finds himself under Tibetan prayer flags, and he hears a voice saying that it takes all of the different colors. It takes all colors.

In Inside Out, this concept is illustrated through the five emotions in Riley's head. At first, it seems as though Joy is the only positive, functional emotion. I'll try not to spoil Hector, but at the end of both movies, the lesson is clear: processing, or working with the other seemingly negative emotions is the way to sustain Joy's functionality. We should not suppress "negative" things, but deal with them and let them allow us to empathise with each other, so that happiness can have meaning. 

As children, for us who are privileged enough in terms of where we live, our world is kept small and simple. At this stage, it is easy and natural for Joy to be the only emotion we come across often. But as we grow up, our world becomes bigger. We are made to deal with a lot of uncomfortable changes in our own lives, and we see the state of the rest of humanity. We also hopefully start to understand other people better, and we are pressured more to take other peoples' feelings into account. A lot of people cannot choose to live without these negative feelings as a result of their life's circumstances, or mental/psychological capabilities, or the experiences they've had.
Even though Inside Out and Hector demonstrate the same concept in very different life stages, both stories put Joy in charge, and allow her to work with the others. Joy is in charge, because it motivates us to keep going on so that we can make things better.

 Both stories attempt to teach the lesson that a meaningful life, one we can be happy to look back on, requires us to be open to all emotions and not suppress pain and discomfort when they come. Processing and going through all of them together, "all the colors", and not clinging too much to joy and comfort so much that it loses all meaning. 

Joy in itself is a dead end, if we don't put it in context with the other emotions. We need to use joy to propel us to ease each others' pain, and our own.. But only after we open our eyes and hearts to find out where that pain is.

Movie Rating: 4 STARS. Really cool, but makes me really want a sequel to feel like it's enough.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Post-LDR CaNoodling

Hello blog I've missed you!!! Just passing by to show you this vlog Beardy and I made together. Foodventure Time: Buldak Bokkeum Myeon. It might turn into a series, we'll see. But I do want to start making Youtube videos. Both conceptual stuff and more vlogs like this about our life post-LDR. You know, our life together after being a long-distance couple? Cos yep! We aren't long distance anymore! Beardy has finally arrived (In July) to stay. We're just a regular couple now, making it work.

Today we went to the Immigration Office to extend his Visa and may I just say, what a relief to be done with it! I was so stressed before going, but it all went super smoothly. Our local office was transferred to our huge City Hall and it was really good, fast, friendly service. I feel happy about my city.

We might be leaving it soon, though. It's more than likely that we will move out of the city when we find a place. But Santa Rosa will always be home :) There will just be new adventures to make, new places to discover! And I'll make sure to update you! For 90 days (since the 15th, but I'm only starting the real work today), I'm setting my mind to posting regularly on here and on Youtube. To give it a real shot! I just gave myself a couple of weeks to think about what to do. I haven't figured it out completely, but I set myself to start no matter what when September comes, so here we are!

It's good to be back!