Hi everyone, I’m back with another compilation of Instagram Stories, since I’ve made quite a few since the last one and I think folks found it useful. Without further ado, here they are:
1. Rule #1 of human nature: Hate and fear that which we do not understand. Depending on what it is, it may be an experience, a culture, a way of life. It may be an identity, a choice, a state of mind. Even though we have not experienced it or have partaken in it, we still feel confident enough to declare it bad. Why? Because someone or something else you think you understand told you to think that way. So, ask yourselves today: Are your opinions and biases really your own? There is nothing inherently good or bad, but thinking makes it so.
2. We should not fear death. Rather, we should fear a life unlived.
3. So, the lottery in Singapore is a record $16 million. Many of us who have bought tickets probably have some idea in mind of what we would spend it on if we win. But if you stop to think about it, why is it that we can think of so many ways to spend money, but we can’t think of so many ways to spend our time? Which is the more important resource to us?
4. We often feel guilty if we find ourselves idle. In today’s fast-paced world, to slow down is to risk falling behind. But is life a race? Do we earn something in the afterlife if we come out ahead of others? Of course not. So take the time to slow down and enjoy things just as they are.
5. The economy of today does not work unless the majority of people have insufficient money to satisfy their wants. How do you ensure this? Step 1: Create new wants for people to desire. Step 2: Reduce the purchasing power of the money earned by most people. We literally need everyone to keep buying and consuming, the more the better, or it will all come crashing down.
6. Many of us want to achieve certain goals to prove something to other people. Some people want to achieve the goals to prove something to themselves. And a small minority just do what they want to do. Period. Which are you?
7. People that derive their happiness from external factors – whether it be money, things or people – tend to be much unhappier than those that derive their happiness from within. Life does not revolve around us and does not exist for our enjoyment. It doesn’t owe us anything. Our minds, on the other hand – control it and you can be happy no matter what, or let it control you instead with fear and stress. The choice is up to you, even if you shirk the responsibility of that choice.
8. Stress is what we feel when we realize we don’t have control over something we want control over, when in fact we never had that control in the first place.
9. Just as it is important to let go of what we cannot control, it is just as important to know what we can control and make sure we utilize that to the fullest. The world is full of people who would rather feel helpless about things they can’t control than take action on the things they can control to make their lives better. Don’t be one of them.
10. One day you’ll leave this world behind, so live a life you will remember. There are many who never got the chance to live until your current age. Would you say you’re making the most of your one life?
11. It is normal to start thinking “I know best” as you get older, because you believe your experiences have taught you as such. But what we often don’t consider is how narrow-minded and closed off to ideas, concepts and values we become as a result. We are only human and humans make mistakes. If you believe you’re infallible, rest assured you aren’t the first and won’t be the last human to make that mistake. You can learn something from everyone. Yes, even if they are younger, of a different class, nationality, skin colour, gender, etc. Whether you learn says more about you than about them.
12. One of the most important concepts to master in this short life of ours is the concept of “enough”. Understand this and life can get a lot simpler and easier. Don’t be swept along by what others are doing/have done. What do you want to do? It’s your life after all.
13. If you take a step back and examine yourself when you feel the urge to buy something, most times it is because you are unhappy in some other aspect of your life, and so you crave the catharsis that retail therapy offers.
14. While it is great that some firms allow their employees to take time off for mental health, it is also a sad state of affairs that work is so soul-killing nowadays that taking such mental health leave is increasingly becoming the norm.
15. We humans only know how to compare with those whom we perceive to have more than us. Never realizing that there are many others who are also comparing with us because we have what they don’t. So if you are going to compare, do it fairly – compare with those who have more and those who have less, and realize it doesn’t matter as long as YOU are content.
16. It is often difficult for a person with depleted energy and morale levels to distinguish between “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves”. Naturally, a person enters this state daily after a long day of work. And so we arrive at the interesting situation where we spend $500 to save $100 (Hint: You just spent $400).
17. One of the quirks of human nature is that we much prefer to base our happiness on things that we don’t control, rather than the things that we do. Happiness is a choice, it’s something determined by internal factors, not external. Just as A and B can see a painting and form vastly different interpretations of it, so too does your brain choose to interpret things one way or another. There is nothing inherently good or bad, but thinking makes it so.
18. One of the possible reasons why humans prefer to be unhappy at things they cannot control is because of responsibility. If a person does as recommended in my last story and bases their happiness on things they can control, then failure can only be blamed on the person themselves. Humans hate feeling guilty or responsible, and so they would rather blame something else – hence the tendency to blame fate, or God, or anything other than themselves. Never mind that they could have been perfectly happy by focusing on what they themselves could control, the path of least resistance is often the most trodden one.
19. I don’t believe in serving others before serving myself. That sounds selfish, but it isn’t. Because how can you expect to serve others in any sustainable manner if you don’t ensure your own well-being first? And if you don’t take care of yourself and break down, then you’re relying on others to serve you. Instead of being a help to others, you’re now a burden. So who’s the more selfish one now?
20. How often do you hear someone expressing a negative opinion about something they never personally experienced? That’s right, all the time. Because of anchoring and cognitive bias, it is ridiculously easy for a person to judge something or someone without ever coming into contact with it/them. All this is because we place a very high value on ourselves being right. So when we have to make a choice between accepting that we might have been wrong with our first impressions, or doubling down on our biases, guess which choice is the easier one?
21. When I was younger, I desired lots of things, from others and in general. I’ve found that as I matured, I reduced my desires and wants from the external environment, in order to lead a more content and happy life. Part of this extends to expectations from others. I used to need people to like, understand and appreciate me. But if you rely on the external environment for your happiness, you will inevitably be disappointed. Therefore it is better to remove that dependency, like a sculptor carving away unwanted parts to create a better work of art. If all you need comes from within, nothing can faze you.
22. There are some remarkable folks who believe it makes sense to make suboptimal decisions to spite another party. It doesn’t.
23. “Are you a drug addict?” “Of course not, how dare you!?” comes the reply. “Do you need a cup of coffee to get going in the morning?” “Yes, what of it?” “And do you need something sweet to cheer yourself up after a bad day?” “…yes, so?” “I rest my case.”
24. When you procrastinate, what you’re really doing is telling yourself, “I very much prefer continuing to feel guilt and stress over the things I should be doing, rather than actually doing them, getting them off my plate and feeling relieved.” Therefore it is logical to conclude that procrastinators are masochists, for who else would desire to suffer any more than necessary?
25. For most people, their dreams will remain just that – dreams. They may fantasize about it, obsess over it night and day, but the one thing you will never see them do is actually sitting down, drawing up a detailed plan on how to get there, and then prioritizing and executing it. The biggest hurdles to achieving dreams are a high tolerance level, a love for comfort and security, and not understanding that the only person standing in the way of their dreams is themselves.
I hope you enjoyed this compilation! If you want to see more, please check out my first compilation here!