How mentally ready are you for an idea?
Some ideas are good, but they crop up at the wrong time or in the wrong place.
On the surface, an idea can seem one dimensional. However, it is the perception and its interpretation that gives the multifacetedness that makes up the feeling of depth.
To see something in a different light is to experience an idea in an alternative perspective from the norm.
I’ve recently moved house and a lot of the books I unearthed from my unpacking process were philosophy based. It ranged from contemporaries that weren’t, at the time, YouTube level mainstream cool like Alain de Botton to contemporary classics like Jean Jacques Rousseau.
I remember reading some of these philosophy books but also not quite understanding them. The 20-year-old me at the time was too young to process or appreciate the messages printed in physical paperback ink. I was unable to comprehend the ideas. What I read ended up being just empty words that echoed inside my hollow mind.
And I guess that’s what happens when you’re not ready for certain ideas.
The idea itself may have merit — but the person consuming it may not have the capacity to fully appreciate its potential impact on how one thinks and view the world.
For certain ideas, you have to had experienced the other side first to properly understand and appreciate them.
Somewhere in my early 20s, I stopped buying books in general and forgot about the printed pages I tried so hard to understand but never could.
A new era of me, myself and I
There is a lot of self-help stuff out in the wild. I’ve consumed my fair share of them and over the years, they’ve all started to look the same.
During this time, I also feel like I finally did some growing up. I moved out of my parents’ house, navigated (and still navigating through) different types of relationships, made mistakes in my financial life, failed and achieved at work, balance, and life in general.
And perhaps it is the culmination of these things that I now feel the urge to seek out better self-help — the kind that is more than just surface value instructive.
There are a lot of self-help books out there that make you feel good at the time of reading them but don’t impact you enough to create the change you need. This is because they’re like a packet of chips — a great idea at first until you eat too much and your jeans don’t fit anymore.
The change is not in the direction you need.
It’s easy to crave the quick fixes and go for the path that appears to be the least resistant. However, that is often the long way towards anything significant, if significance is to even achieved at all.
What is meaning?
Perhaps it has something to do with sitting on the edge of being 29. There are about three months left of it and as I come out from the other end of burnout, I’m finding myself asking life’s bigger questions — what is the point of existence? what is knowledge? what is value? what is ethics? what is reason? what is the mind?
The world is a chaotic place. It is also the most vocal it’s ever been.
There is a lot of noise. Everyone has an opinion. Everyone wants to be heard. Everyone wants something from someone. But not everyone appears to understand themselves or their actual place in the world.
The idea of existence is bigger than that of our locality and ability to create impact. This realization can also be overwhelming.
Religion used to give us an anchor and a sense of security over the things we cannot understand. Religion gave us purpose, reason and a sort of blueprint on how to function as a human. But as the world moves towards secularism, this gap leaves a gaping hole where the hysteria of madness can develop.
Am I grown now?
When we were children, our ability to process ideas and concepts measured our developmental and emotional growth. Most places stop measuring this once you hit junior high.
There is an assumption that once you hit a certain age, you should be mentally mature enough to process everything you need. However, this isn’t always the case. Some fail to figure out how to accept reality as it is and deal with it.
I am probably one of them.
While we may appear to have the capacity to function as a decent human in society, we are stricken by a deeper struggle to make sense of the world we inhabit. Some of us are struck with misfortune of needing to understand and a yearning for more.
Finding personal peace and balance is the task of finding fulfillment in the task of existing. It is also a task of growing up on a mental level and re-exposing oneself to deeper thoughts and discussions about reality.
And that’s where my stacks of old paperbacks come in.
Over the past few months, I’ve been trying to find something to read but failing to find anything that would hold my interest long enough.
We read things for different reasons. For me, I want to read in order to learn and grow.
Consuming ideas is like watering plants — however, if the soil is not quite right or already too saturated, the water will have little impact. Sometimes, too much water can drown a plant.
In my early 20s, a lot of other life things were happening. I was still growing. I was still learning other things. I was still too preoccupied with trying to figure out how to get the right credits for University and find a job.
Life in the finals of my 20s is a bit different. In the current state that I’m in, I feel that the soil of my mind is in the right conditions to be watered again. It’s had time to dry a little from all the other clutter of life-related things.