Friday, June 22, 2012

This Is Me

This is me, in a nutshell. "Help, I'm trapped inside a giant nutshell! How did this happen?"

INTP - "Architect". Greatest precision in thought and language. Can readily discern contradictions and inconsistencies. The world exists primarily to be understood. 3.3% of total population.
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Enneagram Test Results
Type 1 Perfectionism |||||||||||||||||| 73%
Type 2 Helpfulness |||||||||||||||||| 73%
Type 3 Image Awareness |||||||||||| 43%
Type 4 Individuality |||||||||||||| 56%
Type 5 Rationality |||||||||||||||| 66%
Type 6 Anxiety |||||| 23%
Type 7 Adventurousness |||||||||||||||| 70%
Type 8 Aggressiveness |||||||||||||| 60%
Type 9 Calmness |||||||||||||||||| 73%
Your main type is 1
Your variant is self pres
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The Necessity of the Dream

I don't think I've ever truly appreciated one of my best friends. I like to pretend that it's not really possible to appreciate a good friend, as if all humanity shared my one flaw, but the truth of the matter is, quite simply, I don't really appreciate the good things and people that I have in my life. It's hard sometimes for me to face that reality. That underneath all of my conscious desires to be a "good" person, there lurks a subconscious that is geared towards the basest of my needs. I don't view relationships as necessary on a subconscious level, and it manifests itself in my thoughts.

A funny thing happens though, in between my thoughts and my actions, my attitudes and the behavior that results. Somewhere in between, I catch myself thinking and trying to be a better person, trying so desperately  to be more than just what my lesser, baser instincts drive me to be. Ultimately, I think being able to distinguish between the drive to survive and the desire to become something more, to better oneself, or one's position, or lot in life, is what makes us successful in our endeavors.

I don't think I'm misspeaking when I say that the majority of us are geared only towards survival. In fact, from the moment we're born, we cry, not because we're struggling with some deep philosophical quandary, but because we're hungry, or we're uncomfortable. As children, we are geared to survive. In a perfect utopian world, we would shed that tendency and grow into well-balanced adults, each bright eyed and seeking the betterment of him or herself and his or her fellow man/woman.

But we don't live in a perfect utopia do we? All of us are affected in some way or another by our own inherited problems, or some fresh batch of issues thrust upon us by experimental parenting, or just plain old circumstance. Therefore, we don't all "grow up" completely. In some key areas, we are very immature, and it may take years for us to grow to a complete level of maturity in every aspect and facet of our adult minds.

This isn't a knock on anyone, per se, and it should be duly noted that I didn't arrive at this conclusion via research, or even by delving into statistics. I would label it "qualitative analysis" if it didn't feel as if I were spitting in the face of every researcher who ever did qualitative analyses by calling it that. No, this is just my grandiose opinion, and the Internet acting as a magnifying glass. There's a solid chance that none of this applies to you or to anyone you know, but indulge me for a second.

I honesty believe that each of us is childish in certain areas. For instance, I'm childish in my consideration of others. I realize that, and I'm working to be more considerate, to be a better friend. I think each of us are immature, or childish on different levels.

But what does this have to do with success? Recognizing that there is a deficiency in part of you, realizing that you aren't perfect is part of that desire to better yourself. Whatever way you choose to improve upon yourself is very much up to you, but knowing really is half the battle.  Once you know, you have the opportunity to spark the desire to better yourself. People who have that desire to improve upon themselves and their lot in life, these are the ones who are successful. Instead of merely squirrelling away nuts to avoid starving the winter, these are the ones who are out chasing their dreams, because for them, survival isn't enough. They're not satisfied to merely eke out a small existence.

They want more, and they're not afraid to do whatever it takes to get more. They'll reach for the stars with no fear of what might happen if they fail, or even what might happen if they manage to catch a star. They are driven to reach. We admire these people, as well we should. They are the dreamers. They are the wishers. They are our inspirations, and they carry with them our dreams.

Don't you want to be one of them? You can. You just have to begin by realizing what's wrong with you. It's that easy.

Thank you for your indulgence.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I Miss English...

I just finished reading someone else's blog belittling writers who "post when they want to" and felt slightly ashamed. Side note: if you're sick of know-it-alls who don't know anything, but are a know-it-all in a world of infinite knowledge, how do you stand yourself? But I digress. I'm very much that type of writer. I fancy myself a bit of an artist, but the real word sounds much closer to lazy. There was also some mention about long rambling posts with no real sections of scannable material and what not. To that I say poppycock.

 Poppycock I say, and I add, rubbish! I'm from a different school of writing, and from a different school of reading. I'm not saying I don't believe in paragraphs, and coherent formation of ideas, or organization, I'm saying that lately, the trend towards making language easier is a bit disturbing to me. Wait, let me back track and catch you up. Google Play Books has become one of my favorite apps on my Samsung Galaxy SII. (Yes I just name dropped my phone) One reason I've grown to love it is the public domain laws. After a copyright runs out, (yes they do that) and the author is no longer alive to care, nor has descendants who care, their works become free for all. This results in many old works being available free of charge to some publisher. Google, in its infinite giving stuff away for free knowledge, has made many of these public domain works available electronically. FOR FREE. I've been delving into many old texts and it has been a veritable delight. It has also resulted in two things.

 First, I say things now like veritable delight. I've rediscovered English words that are slowly but surely going the way of dinosaur. Such as truculent. But the second thing that I've realized is that I've had it with modern books. At least, most of the one's I've read recently. Why? Today's literature feels that scandalous or salacious content is enough to make a piece of literature art. I wholeheartedly disagree. One of my favorite books is Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. It's not without it's scandalous content (there's a vivid account of accident incest) but it doesn't rely on content alone. What pushes Ellison's book into the realm of literary art is the prose contained within his book. It's rich with symbolism, with cleverly chosen words, with vivid descriptions, in short, his book IS art.

 That dedication to writing in it's higher form seems to be lost on many popular books today, at least in my eyes. But what do I know? I'm just a guy who doesn't update his blog regularly.