Tuesday, August 30, 2011


A friend of mine recently sent me something that gave me a pause:

Projection is the biggest danger.. seeing what you want instead of what is actually there is what causes us to invest when we shouldn't. Better to take it slowly. I think a lot of these problems occur because we don't value ourselves enough to make the other person take equal risk, then we beat ourselves up for trying.
He was, of course, talking about love and relationship, but I think the general idea also applies to everything else: career, friendship, goal, etc.

As an idealist, I'm guilty of projecting - a lot. Instead of focusing on the moment and taking in what life has to offer, right now, I project. I immediately launch myself far in the future and interpret things according to what I want to see, instead of what is actually there. Facts become signs and signs becomes destiny and destiny becomes action items. And the results are not always good, because when we project, the vision is blurred and skewed, thus the signs are often wrong, and the outcome thusly turns out not as we expect.

There's another thing: expectation, which goes hand in hand with projection. When we see something that may or may not be there because of our projection, we begin to expect something in return, something to happen.  A + B must = C....  The problem is, even if A and B are correct, C may never happen. Worse, A and B might be all wrong because of our projections. The result is a whole bag of disappointment and frustration.

Now, does that mean we should never invest? Of course not. There are things that is worthwhile to pursue. And we know in our heart what is real and important. When we make a connection with someone, we can most likely instinctively tell if it's real or not, instead of just empty infatuation or "daydreaming." Same with our career goals: it's good to fantasize, but deep down we know what is an attainable dream and what is just empty fantasies. The trick is to figure out which is which, and to know the facts and understands what is real and what is not, and then invest thusly.

Take it slow.

Part of my own problem is also that I am impatient. While some people may wait their entire lifetime to find "the right one" or excel in a profession, I tend to want it to happen quickly. 20 years to write a great novel? That's taking too long. And I'm not alone. Many people "settle" for the first person they "fall in love" with even if their instinct tells them something isn't quite right. Many people don't want to invest their time and energy in a long-term goal. In this fast-food nation, everything has to be instant and gratifying or else ... oh shiny....

But there's a saying: "Good things come to those who wait." When we heard of overnight successes, chances are there's nothing "overnight" about them. When we heard about a match made in heaven, chances are it wasn't borne of "love at first sight" (we're all so spoiled and screwed by fairytales). For example, most successful couples I know started off as friends, and their love grew from that simple friendship. Many people I know who "fell in love at first sight" ended up in divorce court. So I think there's merit in "good things come to those who wait."

Alas!  Given that I'm an idealist, a perfectionist, and impatient, I'm doomed.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Heart Is Stoopeed

There's a cliched, old saying: "Follow your heart" which should not taken seriously. Why? Because the heart is stupid.

I say this because I'm a man who has followed his heart all his life, and my heart is stupid. My heart has always led me to places I shouldn't be, or people I shouldn't be with, or situations I shouldn't have to encounter. While my mind is sound (and my intuition is sharp), my heart always comes and screws things up. Why? Because I project.

Projection: how a person sees what he wants to see and feel instead of the facts and what is real.

My heart is the biggest and bestest magician in the world, and it fools me every single time. It twists the facts my mind has collected and the signals my intuition has received, and turns them into something irrational and complex and, often, wrong. Because the idealist in me sees what he wants to see, and his heart starts to make things up in his head. Messes it up. A becomes Z. Red becomes blue. And what's not there becomes a mirage, and what is there becomes a wisp of nothing. The heart fools, and by following my heart, fool becomes me.

And you know what is the greatest accomplice to the crazy heart? Expectations. With great expectations come great disappointments and disillusions. When the mind starts to analyze and criticize, the heart would insist on saying it is right, and the expectations are real and logical and reasonable and right because the heart is always right.

No, it's not.

Some days I wish I weren't so controlled and led by my heart, but instead of mind. I fail to listen to my intuition before I take the leap of faith based on what my heart tells me.

And that, my friend, is a dangerous habit.

You'd have thought that by now, I should have known better and graduated from this "follow my heart" nonsense. Instead, I find myself falling into that trap consistently. The heart is not only a great magician, it's also a dictator. Once it takes control, there's nothing to stop it except for, maybe, heavy sedation and a complete lobotomy.

Be still my heart. Better yet, go somewhere and disappear.