Superficial . . . one word that describes the perception of success in an egocentric and greed-driven society. Many only see the glamour of Success like a photoshopped poster of a celebrity award’s night. We only see the bright light and seldom the sacrifices backstage.
As if, those people we look up to were born divinely perfect and almighty.
As if, you need to have the demigod genes to achieve or surpass their feat.
We put our heroes and icons to a pedestal in a way that convinces ourselves that their achievements are only for a rare breed of human beings. Truth is, those people that we all look up to are nothing but human beings who have unwavering faith to reach their dreams. What makes them extraordinary is their aspirations, commitment, and dedication to the game.
People fail to understand how the “process” of pursuing success has changed their “heroes” to become a better version of who they used to be. The story behind success is a story of transformation – a journey of Self Mastery. It’s a total paradigm shift, conscientious application of knowledge, and wisdom from experiences. It’s a transformation which only a man with strong resolve can endure. It’s the submission to this process that makes successful people different from the rest of the “unconscious” mass.
It’s about time to free our eyes from our blindness, face ourselves in the mirror, and tell ourselves that today our thoughts, choices, and actions will determine our success. It’s about time to demolish the simplistic perception of success and promote a culture where everyone embraces the responsibility of greatness that one has to bear in order to succeed in life.
And, how do we best build culture? We talk about it, discuss it, share it to everyone, and get feedback; which is exactly the purpose of this blog – making a rich literature out of the culture that we want to build.
This blog is focuses on five themes namely; Applied Lifehacking, Self-Experimentation, Quantified Self, Life Optimization, and Self Mastery. I believe that these themes comprise the “metamorphosis” that all successful people have undergone to reach where they are now. These are the “tricks” that they do behind the arcane black curtain of success.
Do I say that they hide this knowledge from the public and monopolize it?
Absolutely not, in fact, they “generously” (guaranteeing that it’s always a tell-all confession) let the public access the backstage of their lives – but of course, only to those who can generously pay for it.
You have money?
Then, you can access the inner working of their brains and routines that have made them successful by buying their books, autobiography, training programs, and other unbelievable talismans of success. They’ve already made money by achieving their life goals and they WILL also make money by sharing their secret “sauce of success”.
[Tweet “They’ve already made money by achieving their life goals and they WILL also make money by sharing their secret “sauce of success”. “]
Is this wrong?
Absolutely not! In all fairness, it’s a fair price and a price that one should happily pay for, not in order to be successful but in order to fulfill the “process” of success. We all have to make the right and wrong turns. Each of these turns could lead you to that one thing you desire. Be grateful and trust the unseen hands that direct the process. The productivity-training program that you purchased last month could work for you either to make you a better person or help you to find another way to hack the entire program that they’re trying to preach to you. To Thomas Edison’s mind, failing is just another way to find success. Here’s what he said to a colleague after a discouraging remark about his “failed” experiments:
“No results? Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results! I know several thousand things that won’t work.”
Disclaimer: Not a fan of Edison. For sure, Tesla’s kicking some butt in heaven.
Cutting the chase, is this another productivity blog?
Well, it’s both a “Yes” and a “No”. As mentioned, the themes of this blog will focus on Applied Lifehacking, Life Optimization, Self-mastery, Self-Experimentation, and Quantified Self.
If you feel trap to “productivity porn” that consumes most of the time of many freelance yuppies out there, I sympathize with you. I myself had been caught up in this routine of habitually checking and trying new ways to be “productive” but in the end, it led me to nowhere but a good amount of frustration and disappointment. It only demoralized me because of the fact that I keep failing in applying those gurus’ productivity tips or just get no results at all.
You know the reason why?
Productivity (and other Self-Improvement hacks) just like the anatomy of human beings, is unique for each person. A generic prescription of medicine for different types of bodies can never address an ailment effectively. A doctor should examine first the body of his patient to provide a sound prognosis.
[Tweet “Productivity (and other Self-Improvement hacks) just like the anatomy of human beings, is unique for each person.”]
This leads us to the keyword “examine”. After applying all the life and productivity hacks that you’ve learned, you have to examine and see how a body of knowledge affects you when applied in real life. More often than not, judgment by trusting our senses is not enough. Our senses can only give us a qualitative view of many aspects in our life but in order to establish cause and effect (or correlation), we have to make it sure that we quantify the results that we receive from life hacks that we implement. Of course, we cannot improve what we cannot measure. These aspect will then lead us to Self Mastery. This is why the rationale behind the theme of this blog; Applied Lifehacking, Self-Experimentation, Quantified Self, and Self Mastery.
Applied Lifehacking – is my own way of testing lifehacks proliferating in our modern world.
I hope you can pick a lesson or two from my own quests. Let me live you with a thought from Socrates:
[Tweet “An unexamined life is not worth living. – Socrates”]
About Me – You can Skip Reading This
To put things into perspective, I would like to describe how it’s like to be me.
I live in Philippines which is, as euphemism, a “developing country” or a third-world country to put it bluntly. I’m renting a room (which cost me $70/month) in a relatively small city called Naga City and most of my life stories happen here. I am living alone since I took my tertiary education.
While I do have a degree in political science, the first time I used the internet was in 2007 – my first year in college. That would help you imagine how antiquated and dysfunctional our system of education is and how internet has stricken me like a love bug. Most of my break hours in college were spent reading blog posts and books about self-improvement and other techie stuff. I also used to stash a part of my weekly allowance for printing e-books. An e-book reader was a costly investment for me back then.
I came from a broken family and the eldest among my four siblings. It was hellish to live in a house where emotional tumult abounds and commotions were daily routines of your parents. One of the reasons I decided to get my own place.
I consider myself street smart. I used to sell processed meat products and offer my services to my classmates to augment my weekly allowance. I know how to hustle (though I’m a self-confessed introvert). I only paid half of my tuition fee in my four-year stay in college through academic scholarship. That’s how I afforded a diploma from a private university.
Before turning 20, I started my career as a journalist working for two of the largest corporate broadcasting companies in the country. For more than two years of life-sucking career and erratic surges of idealism, I’d finally understood that the ideals of journalism can never go well with the interest of a corporate world. It will always be business. I left the tread wheel to satisfy the urge of adventure.
[Tweet “I’d finally understood that the ideals of journalism can never go well with the interest of a corporate world.”]
So here I am, blogging and living the life that I’ve chosen. It’s a clean slate, which is ready to be filled with my dreams, aspirations, ideals, adventure, and purpose in life.
I would like to be one of the living proofs of this generation that every person in this planet regardless of their economic status, race, family background, and personal history, can make a difference and achieve fulfillment and success in life.