Writing is, personally, extremely difficult. One reason would be that the articulation of words is in itself a form of art. It expresses your capacity to put what you feel and think into words in a way that relates to people. It is also arduous because consistency is not human; we’d be fools to think we can be consistent.
To write well is to be consistent, which is why writing typically takes up an enormous amount of time. It is relatively easy to bring across an idea in one sentence. It is another thing to deliver an entire story and an even harder thing to deliver it well. Even then, you’d be subjected to your own bias. I’ve easily spent a day writing this article because I wanted to write something well, to identify my biases in the way I construct my opinions, to reconstruct them, and then express them.
I wanted to put into writing what I felt was a form of change – I think I’ve grown to become less of a cynic. I admit that I was one of those people who compared people based on intellect and the values they convey. You can get a basis of a person’s intellectual prowess from the way they speak, the opinions they express,and the way they weave conversations. I would size them up in my head and I’ve been quite right most of the time. I truly only made a real effort to start a conversation with people who seemed intelligent. That was my cognitive bias, and I only learned about it recently.
What I’ve recently realized is that the majority of us are limiting and underestimating ourselves without us knowing it. To quickly begin, I would put the question across to anyone who reads this:
What are your biases? (or, what are you ignorant to?)
How are you identifying your biases, and what are you doing about them?
The thing about old age is that to realize you have a bias then is to learn that you have lived your life with a flaw in mental construct. The longer you’ve lived, the longer your actions have in one way or another been influenced by this bias and the harder it becomes to reject it. For example, if I told you that you are intelligent, would you believe me? Would it have mattered had you been told this 20 years ago? And if you do believe that you’re intelligent, how are you intelligent?
In the pursuit of academic success and a brighter future we have discarded real intelligence. Most of us would be familiar with academic discrimination. I can tell you now that the world is a better place to live in now than it was decades ago. One of the reasons is that the average IQ of people has gone up significantly. Yet despite this fact, our lives are governed by the things we read and are told. We don’t even question some of the things we are told anymore.We seek validation from what others think of us more than what we think of ourselves. Get someone to insult you or talk behind your back – how much you care about it is exactly how insecure you are. It doesn’t matter if you mask it or tell yourself it doesn’t matter; what you feel is what’s real.
We’d probably have a rough picture of what we’d like to do in our lives. We have a dream to pursue but never reach. We believe that our current pursuits in life will lead us to a brighter future than those less fortunate and less educated than us. We know what jobs to apply for, what type of person to meet and fall in love with, how we want to bring our families up. We know how we want to treat our family and our loved ones. We want to do great things. Just not now, because we’re not ready. And some day we will be.
Well I say fuck that.
Fuck that, because we will never be ready. Fuck that, because if you KNEW what was good for you, you would be in a better place right now. I thought I did. Fuck that, because we will not be competing with the people we choose not to be like. And fuck that, because you cannot be smarter than the system by learning from the system.
What I’ve learned in the past 2 weeks is that we are all waiting for a good opportunity to come, and we think we’d be able to identify one when it came. Although, chances are, we’d be too busy chasing our own tails to see the opportunity when it comes.
Last week, two great opportunities came knocking on my door. One came in the form of a Ryde driver who offered me to sit in on a private trading session. Another came in the form of someone who offered a chance to make passive income.
I procrastinated taking up the trading session because I thought that having 6 years of relevant Forex trading experience should set me apart from people. I also got offered an opportunity to start creating passive income. For a great deal of time, I despised the people who offered me this opportunity before. My reasons were simple: I either despised their values, despised the things they said, felt that my time was worth more doing something else, or that it was simply too inconvenient for me.
But for some reason I went for both. I spent an enormous amount of time on research up till the point that there was literally nothing stopping me from doing it. It made sense and it had great values, values that I align myself with. That was when I realize that opportunities come to you in all forms of crap, and you really can’t see it sometimes. It has often been said that we will always be too busy to see it what’s good for us when it’s offered by someone else, and I hope that my sharing of this reason would give you a better perspective to your own bias. The reason I didn’t see it is because of my cognitive bias.
We live our lives through colored lenses; we see and perceive and feel and think as we choose to. We think that things happen for a reason, and everything that has happened to us is, to put it easily, because of fate. But what we fail to understand is that our biases were not created by us; it was given to us through our interactions with people as we were growing up because we needed it to learn about the world. All those arguments, abandonment issues, family problems mattered because one way or another, those things taught us how to see the world.
In other words, there is no real need to be thankful or think yourself fortunate for the people in your life; you designed your life in a way that allowed these people to walk in, and you have, by extension, allowed yourself to be where you are now. By the same logic, you will continue to design your life up till your last breath.
Everyone is intelligent, and everyone is capable of something. Our world is no longer about being intelligent and succeeding – it is about using our God given talents to do some good while we are alive. It seems that the only way to do this is to change the way we think, and I hope you now have an idea of how hard it is.
For me, it’s harder than getting an A for Econometrics.