Memoirs of a Smooth Criminal

Wine and Cheese
For your type
Tell in a fable
And I ll paint it in marble

Tell me your life
And I ll show you a side
The heavenly glow is in your eyes
An angel it seems
With mirrored highs

Melt through the moments
Of honeycomb lies
Wait and see
The age old game
One that’s always around 

Dark and mysterious
But a familiar face
Hold me tight
I am one of a kind 

Never again
Will you meet my type
Prince charming is my child

But…darling…this isn’t a lie..

 

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Failure as a tool

‘I haven’t failed, I just found 10,000 ways it didn’t work’ – Thomas Edison

Our societal definition of failure is quite often associated with the lack of positive outcome or the deviation from our perceived state of success. Not forgetting the other stigmas and negative connotations associated with the word failure that we impose on ourselves and the social implications of being a failure.

Overall, we don’t like failing as it is a state that the human mind protects itself from as it is perceived as demotivating and requires rationalizing to move oneself away from this state. If this were the case and the attitude, a lot of famous inventions and innovations would never occur due to this fear.

‘Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts’
– Winston Churchill

‘Failure is not falling down, but refusing to get up’ – Old Chinese Proverb

These quotes above represent a share of sentiment that has been drummed into us from a young age, the “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” type description of failure. Surely, it is motivating to have an undying attitude towards your final goal and it makes a great speech for motivating others.

Changing Perception

But, how do we sustain this motivation towards our final goal?

Simply, you turn this negative perception of failure into a positive one.

Failure, should be treated in a positive light, it is the opportunity to learn, recalibrate and regroup. An opportunity for any venture to reach it desired goal through a series of recalibration phases for success.

Affordable Losses

Whatever your final destination or measure of success maybe, it is always composed of a series of situations and scenarios. Therefore, it requires a little bit of reflection and evaluation at each of these steps. As such, before such recalibration phases you must be accepting of the fact, that you may encounter losses, and these you have factored as an affordable loss. In other words, a much smaller risk compared to losing everything.

Failure as a Tool

Hence, it could be perceived as a controlled journey of recalibrations and learnings to ensure that the desired outcome is reached through affordable losses, rather than a ‘all or nothing’ approach and a surprise at the end!

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What it all means

In today’s hustle and bustle, our jobs, the bills and the expectations from society, it is quite easy to get caught up in the ‘auto-pilot’ mode just to survive. Before you know it you are burning out and questioning yourself – ‘what is it that you are trying to achieve and who are you doing all this for.’

It is in these moments, that I find myself asking – ‘why are we here and what is the meaning of all of this.’ It is interesting to note that during astronomical events such as eclipses, new planet discoveries, etc, that I get reminded of the greatness of the universe with respect to size and scale. This also gives me perspective and appreciation of how minute the human life is relatively.

Every self aware being will question its existence, its origins and its future. There are many theories and speculations of our existence as human beings. These speculations range from us being in the Matrix to the Earth being an alien experiment to other far fetched theories. There are other theories that we have earned our right as the dominant species through the evolutionary process as such our fundamental purpose is to progress and reproduce to ensure our survival as a species. Furthermore, there are countless explanations of our existence from a religious perspective.

Without delving into the accuracy of these theories and principles with respect to our origins and future, what does all this mean to you and I as we exist today. How do we find meaning in our lives today to influence a better tomorrow? How do we make sense of our existence and the things as a consequence of this rationale? What is this journey represent for us and where do we fit into the big picture?

My moment of epiphany occurred as I was driving on the motorway, taking in the sunny weather, marveling at the roadworks that were creating a new access tunnel that will solve all our traffic problems, and there was also a billboard of a newborn baby advertising nappies. A series of thoughts occurred in a flash, it wasn’t so long ago that we were living in caves, with the first modern humans emerging some 200,000 years ago. In comparison to the age of the Earth which is estimated as 4.5 billion years and the universe at 13.8 billion years, this time frame is so minuscule!

Yet in that period we have managed to create technology, social norms and sciences, religious beliefs and architecture to all the intricate workings of our functioning societies that is unparalleled among any other species on this planet and the known universe. Although, there are various schools of thoughts on the success of the survival of the human race and its life on Earth in comparison to its neighbouring planets, but we are here, today, in this moment.

With all the experimentation and selection to get us successfully to where we are today, perhaps we should appreciate and learn as much as we can of the various fields of study and culture that is available to us today. On reflection, this was perhaps the meaning that I was seeking, the progress of our species from the caves to skyscrapers, the sacrifices and quest for knowledge that has led to the information age today. Even a small cup of coffee would not have not been possible without the furtherance in brewing and ceramic manufacturing techniques.

A polymath has a few definitions, a commonly used one is ‘a person of great learning and knowledge.’ Our time here in the grand scheme of things is limited, however I believe to become a better person and pay homage to our ancestors, learning and knowledge are essential for this betterment. Thus, the Polymath Life explores the human experience and the knowledge that occurs from these learnings. In the words of John Lubbock – “what we see mainly depends on what we look for.”