The origin of losers

I came up with idea that one day I may write a book titled: the Origin of Losers.

Most of the modern self-help books err in their assumption that everyone is a pure slate and ready for the magic strokes of the life advice to paint beautiful pictures on it. But our life is not a pure slate. It is already tainted, formed or malformed. The assumption that one can always start from the state of zero and live a happy life after faithfully follow the guru’s words is deceiving.

Few books have dealt with the question: what if I have already fucked up? In hindsight, I know I should have read the book earlier and follow your golden advice, but I didn’t and I failed. Now what? If everyone know beforehand what to do with life, then this would become a perfect world, but it isn’t.

The fact that losers are so commonplace in modern society means the very failure of those life-guiding books: they are too good to be true and too promising for the most people to achieve. The book titled the Origin of Losers will answer one simple question: what to do after you mess up your life or someone messes it up for you. In order words, how to find the peace of mind in this imperfect world.

Remedies such as giving oneself to religion, finding consolation in Karma, taking drugs, resorting to extreme measures or coming back with elevated physical or spiritual strength are possible solutions, but is there one simple and powerful solution? Or we need to carry an arsenal of solutions for all sorts of thorns and headaches of our life?

I will leave the answer to my future self if I start to write this book. Or if you know any books which already have the answer, tell me. 

Find the weakest link in the endeavor

Even you rack your brains out, you simply cannot take every aspect of an endeavor into consideration. The successful outcome of your adventure usually does not depend on how comprehensively and thoroughly you have made you plan, but rather on how you are prepared for the unexpected in your journey.

Enough of this abstract gibberish. I will make my point clear with a real life example:

I had carefully studied the procedures and requirements for mailing milk powder from USA to China. As you know, China’s milk products are literally undrinkable or even poisonous. I have checked the mailing cost, called the postal office in China for the weight limit, selected the most optimal combination of milk products and weight, then I ordered them.

My expectation was that the milk powder will arrive smoothly since I have really done my homework. However, I forgot to reckon the weakest link in this plan: the people. It turned out the person who is responsible for sending me the milk powder did not take this matter seriously and did not even bother to go to the post office to mail it. After dropping it in a convenient mailing facility, the person reported an exorbitant mailing cost and I was left with no choice but to pay it.

I thought it would work as I had expected but it didn’t. I did my homework but failed to study and observe people carefully. This failure is a result of the weakest link which happen to be a human factor, and other non-human factors do occur no matter how keenly you heart is willing and how actively your mind is working.

The moral is after making a plan and conducted solid research of it, try to view it from a distance and detect its weakest link as an keen observer. Once the weakest link is detected, make sure you are prepared for them when the link does break.

However, no one can be fully prepared. When you think you are ready or you have to do it, take the plunge, be ready for the difficulties and challenges, and most of all hope for the best. After all, if it is worth doing, then you got to do it with all your heart. If you are scared, remember: the mighty forces will come to your aid.

What if I am the garbage comber, what if I am God?

My daily jogging is now changed into jogging on alternate days. I run at least 3km every other day, sometimes 5km and I plan to extend the route into 6km and keep it that way for a while. Today I did 5km but didn’t feel enough because I didn’t sweat as much as before. Next time I will wear my wrist watch so that I can time my speed.

Now back to the topic of this post.

Many times when I return from my jogging, I saw a middle-aged woman combing through garbage bins. Once I saw her bending her upper body into the trunk of the garbage cart and digging. Obviously she collects recyclable things and sells them to make a living.

I took pity on her because it is such a ghastly job and I cannot imagine how I can endure it if I were her. Imagine the smell and all kinds of nasty things you may find inside piles of garbage contained in plastic bags. What if I am in her position, how would I change my fate? Presumably nobody wants to do such a kind of job, even the most dedicated ascetic would shun away from this way of living.

If I were this woman, would I be tied down to this job forever, busying feeding myself, and never have a chance to escape? Most probably? Would I be able to squeeze out some spare time and learn different skills at the age of 50? Would I quit that nasty job and become a dish washer or street sweeper? Would I so hate myself that I would plunge into the sea in the stormed weather? Or my mind would be so numbed that I don’t even pity myself or care nothing other than the garbage harvesting?

I do not know the answers. I wish I could see the woman’s life to this point on a screen so that I could draw some lessons.

Today, when I entered my neighborhood and saw her again, I suddenly had his idea: what if I am God, what can I do to change her miserable life?

My immediate thought is make her life even worse off and utterly desperate so that she can be galvanized into taking some drastic measures to change her life. Then I can help her and decorate her new path with more opportunities and pleasant surprises. I know giving her more garbage to harvest will not make her life better, and only when she has nothing to lose, she will try to seek a different path and only at that time my help will not become charity.

In one sense, I am no different from the garbage woman. Do I dare to break away from my current and start a new one?

Disclaimer:

My judgement on the woman who collects garbage is merely and completely conjured in my mind, and it does not reflect her true state of mind and living style. She may be a perfectly happy woman with a very fulfilling life. After all, nobody can say guarantee that an emperor lives better than a peasant.

 

Is this comment about Harvard true?

The image of Harvard is subverted in my mind when I watched the documentary The Inside Job. Now I read this comment somewhere on the web:

Harvard is one of most snobbish college that taking applicant’s parents social statusĀ  into consideration in admission process. Harvard has a lot of criminal politician/businessman’s kids.

Is it true that there is a seamy side under all the glamorous images?

Let’s lose some weight

I lost over 10 pounds in the last 40 days or so by following this routine:

  1. Exercise. Alternating jogging (3 kilometers) and walking every other day. I feel I can even do 5 kilometers for the running.
  2. Eat far less. I do not eat a formal lunch, only having some fruit to ease the hunger. I have some meat for dinner but eat as less rice and noodles as possible.
  3. Sleep early. I do not stay up too often as before.

When it gets warmer, I will alternate jogging with swimming.

Strength and determination can only come from the inside. I never dreamed that I suddenly have such a strong will and persistence to exercise and keep fit. You know what? It feels so good to be thinner and energetic again. I do not need so much food to keep myself going with daily life. Actually, eating less means less burden for my stomach and body to handle the carbohydrate I get from rice and noodles.

My plan is to lose 30 pounds and go back to my normal weight.