“The hardest thing to do is how to unlearn the secrets of your past success.”   Jiro Tokuyama

An extract from Chapter 1 of draft manuscript, tentatively titled “The Age of Stupid”

In every generation, we try to understand the world we live in. For most, that typically revolves around our self-preservation instincts. No one works harder than the people of our culture to stay alive: A habit we learn from our experiences. After we spend years living life a certain way, we may become so self-myopic, we lose sight of the bigger (systemic) picture. As we start believing our own “propaganda,” it blinds us to other people’s perspectives.

Distractions, confusion, fears, beliefs and desires also make it incredibly hard for us to make a sincere attempt to see things as they are or to recognize that our own nature, beliefs and biases inevitably shape our world views.

The norm tends to be that for everything we encounter, it becomes about our own bias, feelings or personal story.

Two people seeing or experiencing the same event usually describe it quite differently.

Often, to make sense of the vast amount of complex information we process daily, most people filter and classify them into simplistic “black or white” categories — like right or wrong, good or evil, rich or poor, winner or loser, success or failure, smart or dumb, pretty or ugly, tall or short, fat or thin, pragmatic or idealistic, civilized or primitive and us or them.

Doing that, we tend to overlook all the different shades of gray in between — unaware these are not the actual characteristics of the world but the conceptual projections of our culture and belief systems. Our mindsets.

So, much like how assembly line work is antiquated, our beliefs may mask our natural ability to recognize:

“Each of us has the perfect gift to give the world. It’s what we were born with …
if we are able to each give what’s so uniquely ours –
won’t we be able to create magic for and with each other?”  Betty Lim, 2001”

Since young, I have a need for people and social norms to make sense, unaware then it is a quirky INTJ (introverted, intuitive, thinking, judging) trait. Long fascinated by what makes people tick, I tend to see many shades of gray, not black or white.

Perhaps that also comes of being an empath. I experience how Carl Jung describes: “The pendulum of the (my) mind alternates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong” , 

During my formative years, I often wondered why success is defined by man-made credentials instead of by our innate passion and talents. Because we’re all different, why must we be money making machines to be seen to be successful? “Where there’s a will, there’s a way” was also a common refrain until the adult me realized the world doesn’t really enable us to succeed. Or, to trust.  

I learn by doing but until the turn of this century, when I embarked on a voyage of self-discovery, I didn’t understand it’s innate of me to see life from a systemic POV. Nor was I aware of such innate gifts: Of empathy (and sensing) and systemic thinking. As I became aware of them, things fell into place and I found my life purpose: My NEED for people at large to be happy. As I self-actualize, I finally realized why my habit to connect dots to enable win wins for all is too often misunderstood.

In today’s world,  “For us” maximization mindset is just odd:

What is self actualization.

Characteristics of self-actualized people.

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