Face the music

In living, we often face the good and the bad. The pretty and the ugly. But it just seems easier to look the other way. Because to tell yourself that you must work to remove the bad from your life means doing something about it.

Too vague for you? I agree. Let’s get down in the mud.

Have you ever had a friend who on regular intervals makes you feel terrible about things? In fact, it has gone on for so long that it now feels natural to have them come up to you and comment on something. Do they say something that is hurtful and then justify it in their own twisted way?

Have you ever done something you know you shouldn’t do because it isn’t right? An activity, a habit or even your behaviour towards someone? It might make you feel better, superior even. But in your. heart, you know it’s wrong but no else is affected so it’s your call to make.

These are just two instances but I guarantee you, there are countless more that affect us all everyday. In fact, as I write this today, my mind flashes by everything I ignore to make things painless. It is only natural to not do things that are uncomfortable or even painful. Why take the rocky, twisty road up the jagged mountain when the straight grassy path to the gardens lies just beside it? Simply, because in your heart you know that rocky path is the right way to go. We might not want to confront a friend on their behaviour or want to fix our wrongs but in a way, we allow the worst to keep happening for the sake of convenience.

This is not a call to action to fix your life. Perhaps I am writing this to myself more than anyone else who reads it. But we can’t deny that in the end, we all need to face the music. Our inaction and our ignorance build up. Taking that easier road every time will inevitably lead both you and me to face that ugly monster we birthed by looking the other way every single time.

It will not be easy. It’s never easy. But it is important and it must be done. We can live with the discomfort long enough, that it begins to feel all natural. Or we can workout the kinks, crack the back and see the brighter tomorrow we’re all missing out on.


What really counts

Today as I walked past a house, I saw an old man carrying a big bag full of flyers and sticking them into mailboxes as he went. Honestly, I didn’t know the process could be done so incredibly fast and with such efficiency.

As I walked past him, I couldn’t help but admire this man. It was nothing to do with his work or his age at which he was accomplishing it. It was the skill and efficiency he employed. It was absolutely remarkable. And that brings me to the point of this little post.

Working hard or efficiently has absolutely nothing to do with what you’re doing. One cannot say that he cannot be efficient because he is doing a simple or an ordinary task. The root of efficiency, I have learned, is simply doing something long enough to recognize possible obstacles, and to weed them proactively to get the job done.

As I work for my current coop work term, I act as an intern. And often a lot of work I do has nothing to do with engineering or is just a basic task. But if I do it enough I’m able to figure out better ways to do it. And in the end, I’m better for it.

There is a Latin quote, “Sic Parvis Magna” and it loosely translates to “greatness from small beginnings”. If you’ve ever played Unchartered 4, you probably know of this quote, but hear what I make of it in the context of this post.

Most of us start small. We kick our work lives off with internships, summer jobs or small temp positions. We even kick off semesters with a few classes that are obvious and boring. And a lot of times, we choose not to give our everything because we think of our actions as small or mere transitions to greater and bigger things. But greater and bigger things are built of so many small things. And how are we to ever reach the top of the mountain if we start lazy and hope to pick up our momentum somewhere down a road that only gets harder?

In a single sentence now.

No matter how small the task or your beginning, give it your absolute everything. Everyday. And that’s what really counts.