Tuesday, 13 November 2018

The real value is in the experience

I've been listening to some of Jordan Peterson's motivational talks to college students and something he said, just reminded me of something I have always thought about but never quite so clearly. He said something like "be the person that you want to be, and I'm not talking about what you should be". I was thinking about this and it sort of tied in with a lot of stuff that I've been thinking about so, bear with me; while I sort out my thinking process.

I think whilst growing up, we sort of have an idea of what we want in life, or at least what we do not want. I've always wanted a simple life, living by a river and listening to the sound of the flowing water and just appreciating simple things. I never imagined myself being a doctor or a lecturer or a professor. Yet, this is my life but despite becoming all these things, I cannot say that I am not living the life that I always wanted because, we choose who we want to be, and we choose how we want to live our lives. Unless things happen to us, that we have no control over, like war or disease; I am talking about in normal circumstances, we choose what we want to be and in that sense, I am living the life I've always wanted because, as I said, I've always wanted a simple life and what I appreciate more than anything is EXPERIENCES. 

In that senses, me and my husband we are very similar because what matters to us is not so much of wealth or positions or any of these things but what matters most are the experiences we share; and I love him for that, because he has further enrich my life with so many new things, and old things like rekindling old interest such as football, planes, and drawings.

Like I said, I never imagined myself being a doctor or a lecturer, but it has actually provided me with that ability to gain experiences and not just my own but also the experiences of others. Today, for example, I was involved in a health screening and I met some of the most amazing people who shared their experiences with me, there was a lady who survived not one, but two types of cancer and honestly, she looked so well you wouldn't have imagined all the treatment she went through. She is a survivor and there are many people out there like her, survivors and I felt privileged that she shared her story with me. When experience is the most valuable thing in life, you cherish every moment, every sound, every word, every feeling, every taste.

When Mr Peterson says "be the person that you want to be, and I'm not talking about what you should be", it just made me realize something that has been playing in my mind. I remember being a teenager and it is a special time when I was just finding myself, and thinking about life, and what kind of person do I want to be; thinking back I had no restrictions. Of course, to a certain extend we are all 'brainwashed' and told what we should aspire to become; from our parents, teachers, society but the difference is simply to WHAT LEVEL? but essentially, I felt free to choose who I wanted to be. My parents, apart from telling me I had to study and do well in my exams, never told me what kind of person I should be. I had the pleasure of exploring that by myself, with my friends, to develop my own hobbies, I went through study phase, wild teenage phase, religious phase, conceptual phase; I was a free spirit who never wanted to confine myself to simply one thing, because I think even at that point experiences was important to me, to explore everything and to understand, different people and different environments.

I think some people never got to be who they want to be (and I'm talking about normal people, not crazy psychopaths here) because they were told what they should be. For example, a lot of people were told that to be successful they have to end up with a certain type of job, have a certain type of house, a certain type of husband or wife, a certain type of car and then, they work so hard to get all that and when they do achieve it at the age of 35 then they start to look back and wonder what they were missing; and then suddenly realized, they have all these things but they do not have themselves; and then perhaps (I don't know, this is just a theory) that is what people call mid-life crisis.

I always tell people that I am not ambitious and I am not particularly bothered about having a career; but here I am, with a career and Alhamdulillah, a very fulfilling one; and what is fulfilling is not the title or position; but the experiences. I enjoy developing new skills, like writing for example. I started writing since I was 10 years old. I just used to write my thoughts and then, I started writing stories, and blogs and then I started writing about history and general knowledge and now, I am writing manuscripts and research proposals. It is different because of the topics and writing style but it is still all about writing. It is like with music, when I was little, I was exposed to classical music because of my dad and then my brother got me interested in new wave and then, when I was a teenager, I was exposed to rock and metal. That wasn't such a big deal to me because, I love music and I was open to all genres. I mean music has only eight notes with 12 semitones but you can produce so many different tunes and in so many different ways, each piece is an experience and why do we restrict ourselves to only a few types of music when we can experience the entire range; and I have collected all of these experiences since the day I was born and so, it is easier for me to say 'been there and done that; and never wanna do it again.' kinda thing inshaAllah.

Hence, each sound, each word, each senses, each feeling, each time, each place, each moment is an experience; and if we value experience, we will always be rich.

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The real value is in the experience

I've been listening to some of Jordan Peterson's motivational talks to college students and something he said, just reminded me of s...