Time Heals Nothing

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor hourglassThe Oxford dictionary has two definitions for time as a noun and three in the category of verbs. Each definition has countless sub definitions. This, to me, just makes it more confusing. What exactly is time? I consider it to be a measurement of the passing of an existence; a sequel of events and movements.

I stopped to think about the idea of time today because I was conversing with a friend. He let me know that a girl he had had his eye on had rejected him. They had gone on a date but she had concluded that they were better off as friends. He felt genuinely sad about this. My first instinct was to tell him that time would heal all wounds. Yet then a small voice in the back of my mind sounded, “Does it?”

My fingers stopped dead in their tracks as I was typing a reply to my friend’s message. Was time really a medicine for all things? It took me a minute to realize that time has little to do with any healing processes.

Of course, there is the obvious notion that time does not cure sickness. Common colds cure from rest and proper nutrition. Other illnesses are cured by antibiotics or other medicine. Some sicknesses, sadly, can not be cured. Yes, it takes time for the measures to take effect, but it is not time itself that heals.

On an emotional level, time is also out of business. I have also spent my time on heartbreak and rejection of some kind. I am a millennial, we all have our love stories so I also have mine. Looking back, time never solved anything for me because it just kept on passing. It did not change my thoughts (or my heart) on anything. I just carried on in the same state. Time never changed that I felt sad or that I missed someone. The simple passing of time only reminded me of all that I could have spent with them.

There have however been things that made the thoughts and emotions pass. Proof of that is myself. I am here still. I am no longer sad. I am not hung up on a past love interest. I too have moved on. What caused me to move on was never time. It was rather the kindness and presence of other people as well as (deliberate) changes in my own life. Sometimes I got so busy with a new hobby or study that all my energy and excitement was raised again. Then I would not feel sad about someone because the time I would’ve liked to spend with them is spent on something else that I am passionate about. Sometimes friends showed me these new things in life or made many little changes to my life to ensure it would be ‘mine’ once more. In that way, it belonged to just me. In the old life, it was common to have a person there with me. In the new life, I was alone and that was okay. There is also the possibility of a new love interest coming into my life or simply new people that amuse me on a platonic level to the point where I no longer feel a need for that former person.

Yes, time drives change. Time allows space (pun intended) for old things to become new. Encounters between persons is enhanced by time. Time itself, however, is not what heals. It is changes. So if you are dealing with heartache or rejection, change something! Even if it is the color of your hair or walls. Change will help change your heart.

May destiny be kind to you.

 

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Culture Shock: The Netherlands

For those of you who are thus far informed, I am a Dutch person. This means I am from the Netherlands (not to be confused with the ‘Deutsch’ from Germany, please). As every culture has their own traditions, habits and assets, so do we. Since I have been lucky enough to compare this culture to those of other places I’ve visited, I’d like to summarize the main cultural aspects of the Dutch. And no, I am not going to talk to you about wooden shoes, tulips and windmills.

Culture shock

  1. Straightforward

Dutch people are very straightforward. They don’t like to waste your time or their own. They are brutally honest and can be very blunt. This might seem rude to some but this is how the Dutch are in their daily dealings. In our minds, it just means we are being honest and sincere. We don’t like to play around or be made fools of or do the same to others. Phony compliments aren’t really a good idea in this country. Just be real with us!

  1. Celebrating a newborn

This one occurred to me when I was on my way to visit my friend and her boyfriend to meet their newborn baby boy. While I traveled I was conversing with an American friend and I told him how we celebrate. Besides cards and bears, we also have a treat for guests. The parents provide the treat. Round biscuits are covered in a layer of butter and then sprinkled with a treat we call ‘muisjes’, which translates to ‘little mice’. The small circular objects are made of sugar and coloring. Packaged muisjes contain either white and blue, white and pink or white, blue and pink substances. The colors of the musijes indicate the gender of the child or children that was/were born. When I visited my friend, I was given a biscuit with white and blue mice.

  1. Koningsdag

In the Netherlands we have an annual day of celebration called Koningsdag (King’s day). Though during some years we had a queen ruler and then it would be called Koninginnendag (Queen’s day).

On Koningsdag, people celebrate the king. Most citizens however use the day as an excuse to drink and party. People can sell their used goods on the street without needing permission for it. As a child I often visited these markets to look for cheap toys.

It is also common for people to dress in orange, as that is our country’s color. Some people dress in symbols of the lion as well. The date of the day corresponds with the birthday of the king (or queen) that is currently in power.

  1. Terraces

The cities in the Netherlands are not prone to parks as you would find them in the United States, for example. We do not have big squares within the centers dedicated to greenery and ponds and benches where old men can feed ducks.

Instead of this, we have terraces. A terrace is basically an outdoor eating place. Restaurants and cafes have tables and chairs set out on the pavement in front of their locations. Guests can enjoy the weather and a nice plate of their favorite food at the same time. This is the ideal place to catch up with friends, in my opinion. I love going out for lunch and/or drinks with friends, weather permitting, of course. Our weather is very bipolar, after all.

  1. Stroopwafels & Hagelslag

Let’s talk some more about foods. First off there are stroopwafels. This treat is the combination of a waffle and a cookie. And yes, they are delicious.

Hagelslag is sprinkles that is eaten on bread. This is a common breakfast and lunch food. My mother still eats two slices of bread for breakfast and two for lunch. The hagelslag she (and I) eat are made from dark chocolate. They can be found in various chocolate types and also some fruit-flavored types.

  1. It’s all flat

The Netherlands has gained the nickname ‘the lowlands’, which is rightly given to it. The reason why it earned this name is that the land itself is located blow sea level, shielded from the waves by dykes (constructions of dirt and grass that are like extensive ‘hills’ around the country). The country itself is very flat, too. If you want a summary of the landscape; it is level, with small creeks dividing off square of grassland. That is basically what the Netherlands is.

  1. Happiness

For some odd reason, it seems the Dutch think everyone needs to be happy. Everyone is trying to enjoy life. Everyone is living the good life and everyone is going on vacations and showing off their pictures. Additionally, this country often scores well on rankings of happy countries; usually accompanied by the Nordic countries, Switzerland and Canada.

  1. Camping

I wasn’t completely aware of this one being typically Dutch until I browsed across the internet a bit. It turns out that the Dutch are quite prone to camping. My family does it every year. Often times when I mention it to friends abroad, their response is, “Oh, I’ve done that once.” or “I’ve always wanted to go camping.” Yet here in my country, nearly everyone has done it before. And why not? Camping is absolutely delightful. In many instances, I prefer the forest and my tent to a luxurious hotel.

  1. Dutch cuisine

Ever wondered what the Dutch restaurants have to offer? Well then, I challenge you to find a Dutch restaurant. They practically do not exist. What comes from my mother’s kitchen is not what you get in any restaurants here. We’ve adopted countless cuisines from abroad and thus relinquished our own. Even in my own kitchen, it can’t be said that I eat Dutch foods.

  1. The G, J and R

Since I am writing in English (to an audience that understands Englih) I am gong to talk about these letters from an Anglophone view. The G, in Dutch, is a very hard and rough sound that has no equal in English nor in other languages I am familiar with.

The J, on the other hand sounds like the letter Y in English. An example is the Y in the words ‘you’ and ‘yard’. That is how our J sounds.

The R works the same as the R in Spanish, if that helps anyone. The R is rolled and thus gets a more vibrant sound to it. Add onto this that we have countless words that sound with ‘gr’ therefore giving them a very hard and lively sound right off the bat.

On a note; the region in the North of the Netherlands known as Friesland (I know that sounds funny) has a more gentle G. The rule for this is quite strange though. When the letter is placed at the start of a word, it is pronounced in the way an English G would be. However if it is found later in the word, it is pronounced in the same hard manner as the rest of the country says it.

Peculiar folk we are.

Many Little Things

Summer is quickly approaching! In theory, that is. It’s been cloudy all week and we’ve even had rain. One sign that summer is here though is that it’s insanely humid. The levels are always above 90%. I don’t like it.

But in such times of ‘darkness and gross moisture in the air’, I must remember to appreciate other things. Instead of once again sitting on my couch and listing off all the things I like (I have done this before) I am going to make a little list here of actual things that I appreciate.

  1. Random greetings on the street. A number of days ago, I was on my way to school. It was just an ordinary day and I was traveling to take an exam. The street were fairly empty since it was about 8 in the morning. Someone on a bike passed me by and said, “Good morning to the pretty lady with the white cane!” I resumed my journey smiling and with the feeling that the day was okay.
  2. Cat pictures. Those persons who don’t understand the joy of cat pictures on the internet have not yet indulged enough, I assume. I have over 60 on my phone. I once spent a day incessantly spamming them to a friend since her boyfriend had broken up with her.
  3. Healthy treats. The past few weeks I have done little else but remain cooped up in my home. I had a big project to finish and I wanted to do it correctly (I passed so it paid off). All the while I consumed healthy snacks; tomatoes, carrots and apples are at the top of my list.
  4. Music. I mean both the music that I destroy my speakers or headphones with as well as the chance to play it myself. Now and then I love to go all out when playing my guitar. It is a great method to calm myself down. It is a form of therapy, if you like.
  5. Beautiful words. Is this a strange thing to be appreciative of? In my opinion not. I am a perfectionist. This shines through especially in language. I enjoy learning new words and trying to internalize them into my daily life. My latest love has been the word ‘pedantic’.
  6. A good phone call. During the busy period I experienced the past few weeks, at one point a friend asked if she could call me. I allowed it, half-knowing what she would have to tell me. I was right. She told me that her and a friend of ours were now dating. Beyond this part of the conversation, we continued to talk for hours. After we hung out, I went to sleep feeling pleasant.
  7. Sweatpants and sweaters. How else would I have survived the busy times full of projects and studying?
  8. The comfort of my own home. Even the most beautiful hotels and my best friend’s home can’t compare to my own home. It’s my little castle. I’m the princess of this palace. I can do as I please, dress how I like, eat what I want and schedule anything when I desire. The freedom is endless. Plus, here I have thermostat powers.
  9. Naps. This has been another way for me to survive the busy times. I did not get a great night’s sleep. I had a few hours at night and another few in the afternoon. In between these times, I would work on school-related subjects.
  10. Genuine compliments. Recently I had to defend my project. Afterwards, I received a huge compliment on my report. The teachers said it was very well done. There was a lot of research and details. They also said that it was pleasant to read. One of the teachers said, “I wish I could write like you.” If becoming an author never happens, I can just write business reports for a living to please the eyes of investors.
  11. Time to breath. Now that the schoolyear is coming to a close (for better or worse), I have time to breathe. That is also why I got a chance to think about things and write this piece.
  12. Genuine inspirational quotes. Here’s one; “May destiny be kind to you.”

Retreating

It’s been a while since I wrote anything blog-related. Reports, essays and portfolios have been abundant in the mean time. That is also part of the reason why I haven’t been involved with my own blog much. Yet I noticed a bit of a change in my person as well that relates to it.

Where it came from, I can not say. Why it happened now, I do not know either. When exactly it first happened, I have not a clue about. All that I can say is that it did. I came to the realization that my blog is a hobby and that is all it has to be. Of course, getting comments and views is exciting but I steadily began to realize that I do not need those things. Those moments do not contribute to all-time happiness or success in life.

I think this also falls into the category of my shying away from most social media platforms. For over a year now, I have felt that platforms like Facebook have not contributed to my development at all. All it is nowadays is videos and pictures that people share. Rarely do I still see a nice post about what someone did that day. Everything is pictures of parties or festivals I attended. There are no words.

Instead of aimlessly scrolling through my feed, I have decided to read more. I do not need the social media at all. I look when I have a notification, yes, because often times it is a post that was made in a group that I am a part of for university-related reasons. So those keep me up-to-date on topics concerning my academics. Sometimes I message a teacher through Messenger to ask them a quick question but the extent of my use of the app has become minimal at best.

I know that it has become quite trendy to take days off from social media to diminish people’s dependency on it. The reason I want to retreat from it, however, is that I already lost most of my dependency. I’d rather spend my time reading, learning, writing, doing things I actually enjoy or otherwise being useful. Since I no longer look at my Facebook feed as much, it feels calmer. A notification on my phone is a lot more intriguing now as well. It is often a message from a friend on WhatsApp; something I value a lot more than another viral video.

Now that I am more in my own reality, engaging with other people has become more valuable. Visiting them or talking to them on WhatsApp now has more elements to them. There are topics to still talk about, rather than everyone just being involved with sharing their life (in the form of pictures) on the internet. Stories can that way stay fresh and conversations have reason.

In short, what I am trying to say is that my blog will remain in existence, but I will not be actively pursuing its success anymore. That does not take away that I enjoy it and that I do not value my readers (I do), I just wish to have it be less of an obligation. It has become just that.

So until next post, dear readers!

May destiny be kind to you.

PS: Less social media means less passwords to remember. Thus there are so many positive effects to this.

Standstill

This weekend I will be spending within the confines of my home and my schoolbooks. Starting Monday I will have another test week; the third one I experience at this course and this school. This module I had the usual language courses (English and Spanish) as well as bookkeeping, marketing and research. The latter was only a report. The first two both have exams and the middle one also had a report connected to it.

I worked together with a very kind girl from another class this time. We had another teammate but he quit halfway through so we were left with just the two of us. We finished our projects approximately a week before the deadline (today, 7th of April). On that note, we’ve been performing well however our grades remain to be seen.

So far, I have already received two grades this module. The first was for the listening part of my Spanish course. I scored 14/20. This is a good start, I’d say. The second grade is an A+ on English Business Communication. An actual grade by number is still unknown but my teacher said it was at least a 9 and I dearly hope it is a bit higher than that. On the written test coming up, I hope to earn another 9 so that would create a grand average for that subject.

I’m willing to say one thing about this course though. Besides the fact that it is extremely amusing and my knowledge has been greatly expanded, I have never worked this hard in my life… I notice that I need extremely large amounts of sleep. I have had multiple instances of oversleeping. I have had evenings that I laid down and my ‘good eye’ felt painful and irritated, which made it even harder to fall asleep. I plan to speak to a study counselor about the situation because it could harm my performance.

A good friend of mine admitted she thinks I work ‘too’ hard. She recognized the effects that it has might be an accurate representation of putting in too much effort. It’s upsetting to think I can’t do this at the same pace as ‘normal’ people can. I recognize that this is truly a path towards my dream so I am very determined to succeeding. Therefore it is troubling to think I might need to slow down. Even if it is the best step, I will find it hard to accept.

Slowing down would mean holding back on the pace I set towards my dreams. I have already looked at the specialization I want to take in my third year (International Sustainability Management) and that I wish to find an internship in Scandinavia; preferably Sweden or Norway. What exactly that internship will entail, I have not planned yet. I wish to speak to a teacher focused on organizing the internships to see what the school offers.

But sometimes, stopping and standing still can actually be the best way to go on, as contradictory as that may sound. I see that too. I have been someone to often advise friends to take a break so they can go on stronger afterwards. Now I might have to face the consequences of my own advice.

Regardless of what might happen, I hope that I will still be able to complete the course and that the people in my life will continue to support me, even if I cannot perform at a ‘normal’ pace. I plan to make these people proud, some day.

What exactly my aim was of this piece, I am not sure myself. I just wish to share what my life has been concerned with and the what wisdom that gave me. There is also the excuse that I do not write often enough anymore. I am trying to get back into it but that too, is at a standstill. Let us hope we make leaps and bounds on all of my paths soon.

May destiny be kind to you.

#GoGL

While sunlight was abundant, many of the citizens of my nation left their homes last week on the 15th to cast their vote for the Second Chamber. The Second Chamber can be compared to congress, roughly. There are a select amount of seats in the Chamber. Every party gains a certain percentage of the seats, depending on how much votes they earn in the national elections.

I spent the day in front of the news. I observed a commercial-free live broadcast of the current votes and other information. Many of the party leaders took time to speak to their party. These speeches were broadcast as well.

Now that all the votes have finally been tallied, we can see that the biggest party is definitely not the extremist party. Many journalists and other forms of media dub this the ‘Trump effect’. The people of the Netherlands saw that an extreme candidate will make such a mess of things and decided that they do not want that. Which is good!

I voted for GroenLinks (GreenLeft); the party that is mostly concerned about the environment but is also involved in making education available to everyone, including those who can not afford it too easily at this moment. As of yesterday, March 21st 2017, I am a member of GroenLinks. I will be contributing €10 a month from now on to their cause. I will also willingly campaign for them in another four years when we have new elections or sooner if the current coalition fails.

Coalitions need to be formed here. The biggest party has to add other parties to their coalition to gain a majority of the seats in the Chamber. If the parties an all agree to work together, they form a coalition and will be allowed to rule for the next four years. GL has 14 seats now. This isn’t even half of what the biggest party has but it is a record high in their entire history so there is hope!

Regardless of whether they will be asked to join or not, I have decided that I will start writing letters to the Chamber to ask them to consider our environment. I’m sure they are aware of the situation since my country has joined the Paris agreement but my country is doing worse than every other EU country. That’s quite shameful and I think our government should really be urged to step up their game on this. Unlike Trump, our elected government has shown that they are willing to listen to the people they represent. We have fired them before and are not afraid to do it again. They know this, luckily.

While March is drawing a close, spring is knocking on our door. Let’s hope that the increased amount of sunlight while shine through to our government too.

May destiny be kind to you!

#GoGL

Meanwhile, in Politics…

It has become a daily occurrence that the news broadcasts a ridiculous story about Mr. Trump. In my mind I often compare him to a toddler. He is going about his office and decides what things he doesn’t like. He complains about it and then attempts to throw it out the window. Coincidentally, everything Mr. Trump seeks to destroy is something I highly value.

In Trumpland

He is ridding science of their freedom of speech (censorship of scientific departments). Luckily however, science is fighting back. Rogue accounts have appeared all over Twitter to continue informing the public. Furthermore, scientists and supporters of science have banded together. The March for Science will be a nationwide (if not worldwide) attempt to force Trump to revoke his decision.

Mr. Trump is trying to fight terror. He does this by banning people who have nothing to do with terrorism at all. His so-called ‘Muslim ban’ inconveniences countless people from countries of which the majority are Muslim. It takes the minimum effort to know that Islam is not the same as ISIS. Muslims do not support ISIS. Also, the American President made up an ‘alternative fact’ about Sweden to attempt to gains support for his ban.

On the notice of alternative facts and the two decisions explained above, there is another noticeable problem. Misinformation is one thing the president himself excels at. It seems that he hopes the entire USA will follow in his footsteps by making up lies, changing factual numbers (that can be obtained through one Google search), obscuring reality, changing what people (including himself, most commonly) said and of course the detrimental state of the Department of Education. They too have managed to offend multiple people as well as continuing the stream of vague information.

The environment is something else I am very passionate about. I don’t speak of it often enough on my blog but it is something that is on my mind more often than not. Earth needs us to change. Change will have to be worldwide. If everyone changes their way but the USA does not, it will hardly make a difference. However this is what Mr. Trump seeks to do. He is eager to get rid of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and he wishes to pull out of the Paris Agreement; an agreement made by countless nations to minimize their greenhouse emissions. Then again, Mr. Trump is convinced that climate change is a hoax.

Something else worth mentioning is that Mr. Trump will get rid of Obamacare as soon as he can. We also know he is eager to build his infamous wall. He will tax Mexico’s products so he can afford this wall—all the while ignoring the fact that it will be the US citizens paying these taxes and not Mexico—to keep out the people who are helping him gain these taxes.

There are a lot of things wrong with this man and his decisions. These are but a few I have boiling at the moment. Before the elections, I did not wish to be one of the people to rant about this man’s visions although I had opinions a plenty. I wanted to see how he would play the game before making any written judgements. Hence; here is my post about it.

Meanwhile, in the Netherlands…

In my own country, we don’t have people of such extreme calibers. Yes, we have those who don’t agree with the open borders of the EU. Yes, we have people who want more individual freedom for investors. No one goes much further than that. No one is looking to censor, ban or otherwise inconvenience thousands of people.

On the contrary!

We have a party oriented towards the wellbeing of elder people. There is a party geared towards the protection of animals, as unbelievable as that might sound to most Americans. We have a party that is geared towards the average person; students and laborers. We have a party who focuses on maintaining the environment and expanding on green fuel. Of course we also have the parties geared towards lowering taxes and increasing infrastructure. There is a party who wants to close the border and separate from the EU.

In less than a month, everyone who has a Dutch nationality or a legal permit of residency may vote for the Second Chamber. The members of the First Chamber make laws and then send them to the Second Chamber. The Second Chamber may then approve or decline these rules. If one party earns 40% of all the votes after election day, they will have 40% of the seats in the Second Chamber (and no, there is no Electoral College to intervene). The party with the highest percentage of votes will have the head of their party be the prime-minister. This person is a figure-head, a spokesperson. They do not have power. They are but a symbol.

It is obvious that the Dutch government is a lot more diverse than America’s. We do not go by an all-or-nothing principle. This way—no matter who you vote for—your vote will matter. You could cause the difference in that extra percentage that your party earns and thus another seat. Therefore, the ideas the party supports have a bigger chance of being approved. Now isn’t that a delightful idea?

Here’s to hoping

I know Americans are more rooted in traditions. People have always voted Democrat/republican so they will do so again; regardless of the candidate. If anything, I hope that Trump’s extreme attitudes will lead to one thing; that the American people will open a newspaper, a book, a magazine or will turn on the news more often. I hope they will observe the goings-on and make decisions based on their own values and what they think is ethically correct. Here’s to hoping Trump’s terrible ways will lead to wonderful ways.

Through Reading

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Today (or rather yesterday since it’s already Saturday) I spent many hours scanning the internet to increase my stock of physical reading material. There is a ‘gap’ on my bookshelf, you see. I feel it needs to be filled.

I typed a few key words into the search bar of a website I enjoy browsing. I hoped to find new titles that I had not come across before. It began to don on me though; my appeal towards English books has drastically increased. In the past, I have commonly preferred English books if that was the original language. Nowadays I find my tolerance of Dutch writings declining even more. I feel that my education is to take partial responsibility for this yet it remains to be a peculiar change.

I ordered a total of five books. Three out of these five are English titles. One of the novels is about writing my preferred genre. I thought there would be no better way to learn than through the language I like to write in as well. The second novel was a fiction story I had read when I was younger. The final one was a language-oriented book. As I am doing in university at the moment too, I feel comfortable learning a new language from the English point.

English is a rich language. Therefore I think it can expand lushly into the new, foreign language. While in Dutch we have but one word for something, in English there is an abundance of words, phrases and expressions to lead to the same outcome. This means, to me, that the language has a more poetic allure to it. This is also why I prefer its embrace for my own words and stories. It is even commonly the voice of my thoughts. It has been that for well over a decade even before I started my education that is taught strictly in the English language.

Dutch can come across as a very professional language however. It gets to the point very quickly rather than hovering in empty space filled with poetry. This is likely a consequence of Dutch culture. The Dutch are very straightforward people. We enjoy getting to the point. We find it displeasing when people beat about the bush. The Dutch are often thought of as rude or blunt for speaking so openly. It is not seen likewise by fellow Dutch citizens. In our opinion, withholding the truth is rude instead.

Language is a powerful tool. That is why I aim to learn multiples. As I am increasing my understanding of the cultures from which the languages descend, I am starting to make connections. It is interesting to me. It reveals ‘aha’ moments for me and points to facts that I had never thought of before. When I was in high school, I had to analyze novels very intimately. In comparison to my current knowledge, the thoughts I had about the stories then was miniscule.

I am one who lives through the mind. I like to know and understand. It is a path to wisdom, I am willing to believe. That is why I have set myself on the path to understanding the world and its many languages; even if I can only learn but a handful of them. For through the understanding of a language, I can learn all that the natives of that language have uncovered in turn. It is a doorway to an enormous castle of renewed sources and I have found the key. All that is left for me to do is to turn it.

Ego Depletion

I can’t precisely recall when it first came to my attention; the subject of willpower. Science is always looking for answers and one answer it was seeking was the one to the question, “Is willpower limitless?” This question entails if people can persevere on willpower alone for unlimited amounts of time. It implies that willpower is infinite.

Yet various studies suggested that this is not the case. The first was carried out by Roy Baumeister who asked his subjects to eat either radishes or delicious, tempting cookies and then to complete a puzzle. After his experiments, many more followed. From the studies conducted, the scientists concluded that willpower is not limitless.

The drainage of willpower (dubbed ‘ego depletion’ by some) means that you will steadily grow fatigued if you have to use willpower to either resist things or push yourself to do things you do not like. I have personally noticed physical tiredness after a long day of activities that I did not fancy. It drained my willpower to remain dedicated to them and made me tired. There was no energy retrieved from this.

Staying motivated

Then what are we to do? We live in a society where human beings are pushed to follow certain obligations and hold certain responsibilities. These activities can be tedious and we may only commit to them if we push ourselves through willpower. Although willpower can be very powerful at the start, it can easily lose its ground.

It’s common for students to start out a schoolyear with a lot of motivation but as the schoolyear drags on, they lose a lot of this initial motivation. This is likely due to ego depletion. They are losing the willpower to study or do their homework and simply end up dragging themselves along and tiring themselves out.

broken_heart-svgAnother example comes from my personal life. Several years ago, I was in an honest and committed relationship with someone I held quite dear. There was not a shard of doubt in my mind that he felt the same about me as well. He would mention it to me now and then or he would make it obvious through other means.

At one point, I wanted to become a bit more serious with him and take certain steps towards that end. He seemed however reluctant for certain reasons. So it ended up being only me who kept trying and compromising. No matter how much one loves another, even here willpower to commit can run out. Therefore, persons that tell you they will be with you through sheer persistence might want to rethink their love declaration…

You could also think of a tedious project at a job or a paper that is due for a certain class. Towards the end, the person involved might become more tired and annoyed by the subject matter because they have run out of willpower and have hit a wall.

Retrieving ego

I know it all comes off a bit depressing now after all the sad stories, but I assure you that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Below I will mention a few tips on how you can restore ego and remain balanced.

  • Routine – While willpower can be depleted, routine is something that is hard to change once adopted. It takes only a month to incorporate a routine. If you want to walk a certain distance every day or exercise, you will need discipline to start out these changes. This discipline will drag you through the first month. Once this month passes, it will become easier to perform the tasks you want to complete.
  • Obtain balance – In order to cope with the activities you enjoy less, you need to perform actions that will grant you energy. Various professionals have stated that partaking in enjoyable activities has many positive effects. I’ll also tell you, as a former social work student that people dedicated to make you feel happy (social workers and psychologists) will always ask about what activities give you energy and will then suggest you do them more frequently. This subject too can be incorporated into a routine if you do not wish to overdo it. You can limit yourself by setting a certain timeframe.
  • Rewards – Consider rewarding yourself for jobs that you did well. For example, when I study, I tell myself to read a certain section and summarize it. If I complete this, I am allowed to eat a cookie/snack and drink something I enjoy (like chocolate milk).
  • Take time off – No one can continue running forever. Every human being needs a break now and then. Consider taking a day off in between your busy schedule to simple cater to your own needs and desires. On this day, you shouldn’t fret about life or its components. On this day, all you need to worry about is feeling comfortable where you are and with what you’re doing. This will greatly help replenish your ego.

In conclusion, you must try to find what resonates with you best. Some methods might be more effective for one person than for another. I am not very keen on routine so that is not something I’d consider.

Something I found helpful was getting other people involved. This is something I’ve done for a writing project. It’s a long story and though I like to write, it’s easy to get lost in the length of the project itself and the tediousness of rewriting (the less fun and less easy part). When I tell other people about what I am doing and get them interested, it motivates me more to actually write the story so I can present it to the curious eyes that are waiting.

What methods do you use to stay motivated?

Introverts

Are introverts antisocial? Are they shy? Do they dislike people? Are they quiet? These are often assumptions that people make about introverts. I am one and I am not any of those things. I’d like to take this chance to explain what introverts are actually like; both from my own experiences and pieces I found on external websites.

Extroverts, as we often see them, are people that go out and party. Then the introverts are always depicted as bookworms and/or loners. This is how movies make it look. They also often take a party boy and make him fall madly in love with an introvert; making some unlikely love possible. Charming… Honestly, the way movies make the two ‘types’ seem bothers me for two reasons. 1. A love based on opposites is less likely to succeed and 2. Introverts, if not both types, often get misrepresented.

Companionship

Every human being feels the need to belong. No human being is likely to choose for absolute solitude. Every human being likes companionship to some extent. Some of us (extroverts) like the company of big groups. The presence of a lot of people gives them happiness.

On the other hand, introverts too enjoy company. But introverts are more common to establish a few deep bonds with people rather than surrounding themselves with a large group of people. They also don’t need company as much as extroverts.

So introverts aren’t antisocial. If anything, they could have social anxiety. This is common for introverts. This does not mean they don’t want to be around people, it just means they have difficulty doing it.

Because introverts struggle a bit more with the pressures of large groups of people, many of them prefer the company of animals; especially cats. Dogs require them to go out and be around other people. Cats allow them to stay in their ‘safe spaces’ and just do their thing. I mentioned this before in my Cat Lady post.

Analyzing

Take a leap of faith? Just do it ‘just because’? Do things you never did before without really thinking about it? Ideas like these are called impulsiveness and are often associated with extroverts. Extroverts are usually considered to be bigger risk-takers and more adventurous.

While the extroverts are having a ball just doing whatever they feel like doing, the introverts sit and think about it. They analyze and strategize. What will be the consequences of doing this? How can I best achieve this? Introverts are planners.

Peer pressure, where a group will attempt to egg on an individual into doing something, could be problematic for an introvert. The group will say it is nice to do the particular thing but that might not be true for the introvert. That isn’t the introvert’s fault, either! It is about brain processes. Risky or impulsive acts give extroverts more satisfaction through the release of dopamine. The same activity will not have the same chemical outcome for the introvert.

Isn’t science fascinating, guys?

Utilizing strengths

Here’s a fun fact for you; introverts are commonly better at public speaking than extroverts. Why is this, you might ask? It is a combination of earlier named traits. Sure, extroverts might enjoy the company of the group, but there isn’t necessarily interaction. Introverts, although perhaps anxious, are better planners. Therefore, they will function better in such situations.

I’d like to take myself as an example. I am an introvert. I don’t build deep bonds with many people. There are just a few I let in. But at the same time, I enjoy doing presentations. Things like presentations also allow me to utilize all my creativity. Because introverts tend to think more and use their time on reading or other individual activities, they often come up with creative and new ideas. Many of my introverted friends are avid writers, painters or artists in some other way. I’d like to think I am too. The few compliments now and then that I get are pleasing.

Another reason why introverts might be creative minds could be to allow for an escape from expectations. Many situations nowadays call for close interaction with other people. School projects or work are often executed in teams nowadays. Teamwork is important but it can be difficult to achieve for people who like the comfort of their own company. To avoid the stress that these activities are causing, the introvert will try to express themselves.

I’m not sure if other introverts experience that. It works like that for me, anyways. The more stressed or upset I get with situations, the more creative I become. Counter-intuitive maybe, but true nonetheless.

Ambivert

Now, I’ve never been one to think of the world in a black-and-white pattern. So here I will present to you the ambivert; which is someone who takes traits from both the extrovert and the introvert. Do you have a lot of friends but still like to take a moment to yourself rather than go out to party? Do you analyze an adventure but still get a rush from it? Do you function well in a group as well as individually? You might be what is called an ambivert.

Of course, I’d like to remind everyone that in-between every extreme, there are grey areas. You could still be an extrovert but keep only a few close friends or be an introvert but like to go out.

Personally

I am not shy, I am not quiet. I am someone who will speak up in class when the teacher asks a question, given that the lesson I am attending is with my own class. I know them. They are familiar. Only then do I have the courage to speak up.

I can work in a group but I prefer to work on my own. I like to do presentations. I like to read school books and fiction. I have several friends whose company I enjoy. It just never has to be overly much or I will start to feel tired. I need my own time to write blogposts, stories, music and do all the things that I need to do to regenerate mentally and emotionally.

I like a party now and then and I will fully be present if I am around people I am familiar with. Otherwise I will enjoy it in the company of the people I actually do know. I am not unfriendly but I will have reservations with people I am not close to. Perhaps something like that makes me as black-and-white as the concept of ‘types’.

What do you think about introverts, extroverts and ambiverts?