Success? Depends on who you ask…

Successful is me in my mother’s eyes. Successful is, almost, everyone else that surrounds me, but me – in my eyes.

Success means almost everything and nothing to me at the same time. I don’t even know how to measure it nor to understand it.

Does success also mean happiness? Or maybe happiness by itself means that one is successful? Is money or a good job considered success? And what if it means being enslaved to it, does it still count? And if it makes you unhappy, does it still count? Is achieving goals enough to be successful? And if my goals are just to do nothing and “survive” life without doing anything remarkable – Will I still be counted as successful if I will achieve it? Can one be a successful loser? Can success be replaced with value and quality?

What makes one successful? who can really tell? Is there a right answer? Probably not. And again, everything is being measured and judged with tools such as interpretation and relativity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Privacy – Can we really define it?

Privacy, such a strong meaningful word. Such a vague and omnibus word. What do we really know about privacy? How much do we really understand it? And how can we define and set the boundaries of breaching one’s privacy?

Many law systems around the world consider privacy as one of the most important values and rights that a person is eligible for. Breaching this right might be accompanied with a penalty, which can vary from a fine, as an “easy” punishment, through administrative limitations and up to, actual, jail time – Depending on the severity of the breaching act.

But, really, how can we even define what privacy is? Of course, Law systems must create a set of “dry” rules in order to enforce the prohibition to breach it. But we, as individuals, are not bound to a certain interpretation of privacy. We come from different cultures, with different educational systems and with different points of view on the world, and therefore on privacy as well.

When would we feel that our privacy was breached? When having sex while our baby or dog or even another adult is in the room? When reading the paper in our living room while the neighbor can see us from the window? Maybe when someone is listening to us talking on the phone or peeking on us texting or “facebooking”? Even being asked types of different questions might be interpreted as a breach of one’s privacy.

We see different examples from different cultures which interpret privacy in different ways. For instance, in Germany, it is costumed to sunbathe or use the sauna naked, whether in different countries people would consider this offensive and would feel violated if another person will see them naked.

I don’t have any major conclusions on this topic but we can understand that there is no right answer. Each answer stems from different views and different interpretations which are related, maybe directly, to where we come from. Interpretation is a powerful tool and using it on such important words, values and rights, such as privacy, can have broad and varied consequences.

I think my mind overworked

via Daily Prompt: Overworkedconfusion_11

When I saw that the daily one-word prompt is ‘overworked’ I thought to myself “well, this is nothing that I can work with”. So, I moved on to the next thought, which wasn’t even related to the prior.

It took only a little while until I finally understood – my mind is overworking all the time. He is re-thinking the same thoughts over and over again, and if that is not enough he is doing so in circles.

So, it looks like this: “mmm, I have no job… I must find a job. But what do I want to do? Mmm, I don’t know, maybe something that would make me happy. Mmm, makes sense. But, my English isn’t good enough and I am kind of embarrassed to use it in “official” situations. O.K., so let’s work on it! Great idea!”

And a few minutes later “mmm, I can’t keep sitting here all day long. I must find a job. Yep! Mmm, but my English is not good enough… mmm right, right… so, let’s work on it. Great Idea”.

I admit it, sometimes I do have different thoughts but this is how my life looks like right now, in general. And the consequence is – my mind is overworked and I cannot make it think of something new.

Self-Invitation

via Daily Prompt: Invitation

Through life, we are being, continuously, invited. We get to be invited to social events, we get to be invited, for instance, to the principal’s office when we misbehave at school and, of course, to other kinds of activities and places. And as part of the invitation, we get the opportunity to choose to accept, or decline, those invitations.

In my opinion, most of the invitations we get are self-invitations – we invite ourselves to participate in a specific situation. Either we like it or not, the choices that we make are responses to these kinds of invitations. For example, if I chose to go to law school, I invited myself to participate in the activity of studying law, in law school – and I chose to accept it.

Sometimes we choose to decline these invitations. But why?

I would like to think that if I, myself, invited me to participate in a certain situation it was for the simple reason that I wanted to participate in it. And, if we keep in mind the fact that I wanted to be a part of something, and therefore I invited myself to it, what motivates me to decline the invitation?

I recently experienced a big change in my life. I had the opportunity to start all over again, from scratch. I invited myself to the big city, the biggest – New York. It’s so big that it made me feel that I’m small. Not small sized, but as a being – small, weak. It made me feel like I don’t have the strengths and the skills to be big, to achieve goals. It made me feel as if I should not have gotten the invitation from the start, at all. Not even from myself. That I’m not worth it.

So, if you think about it for a moment, I invited myself to be a part of a situation that I’m not feeling invited to. For some reason, I don’t have the courage to accept the invitation, to use it – to make the most out of it. In my heart, I believe, and I know, that I’m good enough. I know that I do have the skills. And I also know that it won’t be easy, I always knew it, and I don’t expect it to be.

So, the question remains – If I already accepted the invitation why do I simultaneously decline it?

 

Radical Is Me

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Radical? Well, I’m radical. At least I used to be radical. You will judge.

Growing up in this world can sometimes makes you face weird situations that, probably, if things were going exactly as they should have, you wouldn’t even dream of (maybe they are going as they should?).

When I was young I felt that my parents really wanted me to be successful in everything I did and in every activity I’ve participated in. I guess that this is their right to want stuff like that, they made me. And I won’t lie, I liked the benefits that came along with it.

At some point, I’ve became a teenager, it stopped being fun for me. All of a sudden every encouragement to excel became so stressful and instead of trying to reason with me and to show me the benefits they started showing me the downsides of not doing things. For example, if you won’t study, or even not study hard enough, you won’t be able to find a good (“respectable”) job. There is some logic to it, it isn’t necessary but mostly it’s stressful.

Like every balloon, if you will put too much air in it will, eventually, explode. I did, and I was only 14 years old. At first my smartest reaction to this situation was… to still do everything they wanted me to do, but in a really bad way.

After a while I just stopped doing stuff, almost, at all except for hanging out with friends, most of them were ‘shady’, coming home late at night with strong smell of cigarettes (on weekends Alcohol as well). I never showed up for classes, never even thought about making homework and most definitely I never even knew when I have to take exams. I was testing, radically, almost every social convention.

It took me a few years, a lot of troubles, small and unmentionable street fights and sleeping for days at friends’s houses until I snapped out of it. Amusingly I found  myself doing exactly the opposite. Since “I came to my senses” I do things properly, sometimes even too properly – perhaps, in a radical way.

I went to law school. I follow rules, I even feel very bad if I break a “small” one. I started putting peoples feelings in front of my own. I really try to be good to my environment, to my friends, my parents and my wife and dog.

So, I guess I’m radical. No matter the direction I choose or the path I’m walking through, I will do it radically.

 

 

Zing!

via Daily Prompt: Zing!

Zing! Here comes the moment that I realize that I’m lazy.

Zing! Here is me trying to study for my bar exams and instead I write a post about Zing.

Zing! “You have to concentrate” I say to myself.

Zing! “In a moment, I must finish this post before I will be able to concentrate again” I respond to myself.

Zing! Just a moment ago I read a post about “DESPERATELY PROCRASTINATING”

https://biaatlas.wordpress.com/2016/09/12/desperately-procrastinating/).

Zing! Zing is every thought that runs through my head, not letting me do what I must do.

 

How [The Hell] Did I Quit Smoking?

So… I quit smoking. It has been almost six month since then, though, but still I quit smoking. I don’t mean to sound dramatic but it is a big deal, for me. It took me almost 12 years to do it, if I leave out some attempts that failed pretty fast.

I didn’t try nicotine patches or any nicotine replacement for that matter. I didn’t go to therapy, I didn’t try any meditation methods or calling Allen Carr, I didn’t even read his book. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t consider myself for some kind of a hero and I don’t think that I’m so special. I really don’t, I’m just surprised.

I’m, still, not really sure what made me stop, what was the real reason for me giving up on something that, perhaps, was an integral part of me. Just to make it clear I’ve started smoking when I was 14 years old, I quit at the age of 27. As I was saying, I’m not sure what happened in this exact moment or day, or even month. This is the story as I recall it today.

I was downstairs smoking, during a lunch break at work; it was the last cigarette in the pack. It’s so far now, but I swear that I remember her (this last cigarette) staring at me, while burning slowly and quietly, and I was staring right back at her and in this particular moment, as if we had a silent understanding that it’s the last time we are going to see each other, or any member of her nicotine family, I put it out, crashed the empty box, threw it to the garbage and went back upstairs – never looking back.

Even after six month I’m haunted by the question “Why did I quit?” I always believed that I had (or suffered) a great passion towards smoking. Well not always, as I said, since the age of 14. I really felt that smoking was filling a critical part in my life especially during social events, boredom and as a great way to deal with awkward moments. But the truth is that I believed, genuinely, that I love it – I love it after a good meal, or even just a normal dinner, I love it after a good workout and practically it didn’t matter for what reasons I loved it, I just did.

If we really must find the reason, I would have to say that I did it from fitness reasons and for fitness’ sake. On January I returned to work out (as if there was something to return from), it has been a while since I worked out in a serious manner. The last time was actually almost a year before that, working with the ‘Freeletics’ app, and that was mainly to lose some weight before my wedding (not that I was fat). And before that I tried Crossfit for a few month (really enjoyed it but it was very expensive).

To make a point, you might say that I wasn’t in a good shape so my wife and I decided to register to the gym. In Hebrew there is a common saying that goes like this “To eat with your eyes”, which practically means that you will take something that you don’t really need just because you can, it’s right in front of you. So the day we registered to the gym I “ate with my eyes” buying the double membership, allowing me to enter the swimming pool as well. It’s probably important to mention that I used to swim for 8 years when I was younger. Actually I quit swimming at the age of 14, just a short period of time before I started smoking. So I started working out, at first it was just a few times a week, splitting my time between the gym and the pool, nothing too crazy.

After a short while I felt that I’m having hard time breathing during my swim practices, nothing to be worried about but it wasn’t fun. I wasn’t suffocating, but I felt like I was an anchor trying to float. Every breath was a blessing. So, geniusly, I decided to reduce smoking, to smoke 10 cigarettes a day instead of 20 (I used to smoke a full box per day). You must start at some point, right? I never really made it through those reducing cigarettes drills. Every cigarette that I had was so “heavenly” that I was already waiting for the next one. I started counting time, I became an expert in strategy and in making great excuses. When I was playing this game called “reducing” I really understood how addicted I am. It wasn’t only fun for me anymore, I needed it.

So I had to do something, and I did. I admit that there were moments that I really wanted to smoke a cigarette; there are still moments like that. And yet, I never thought of backing off and to be honest I never even thought that it’s too hard for me and that I must smoke at this very moment. Eventually it went quite easily, easier then I could ever expect it to be or wish it to be.

I actually started to write this 105 days after I quit. Yes, I keep track, I even got an app called ‘Smoke Free’ that shows me how many cigarettes I didn’t smoke since I quit, how much money did I save and how much healthier I am (statistically I guess). Since I quit, I feel much better, I work out better, I live a better life and I get to save some money on the way, so it isn’t too bad uh?

I don’t like to tell people how easy this can be if they will only believe in their selves but I really think that every each one of us can achieve tough goals that we set to ourselves trying our best, not quitting.