Peter’s invitation to Joshua’s wedding, a friend from college, was meant to be fun. He had been looking forward to it for a few months now, something to spice up his otherwise mundane life, with only his job to get himself up every morning.
This wedding was the only exciting event locked in his calendar for the year.
But on the day of the wedding, what was meant to be a getaway for Peter, turned out to be a harsh lesson in inadequacy. His ex-college mates who were also in attendance were already married. Peter ended his marriage a year ago, with his ex-wife taking custody of his daughter and leaving him to start his life over again.
At the age of 39, seeking a new romantic relationship along with his depressing state of financial commitments, wasn’t something Peter was prepared to undergo. Peter didn’t have the energy for this.
Glancing over at Joshua’s handsome physique and perfectly coiffed hair, Peter’s mind wandered to the moment he struggled to fit into his cheap suit which he had bought a month before the wedding. He knew the rule of thumb when buying a suit. Always get a size smaller for the perfect fit, but his belly denied him of this opportunity.
His protruding belly could have been overlooked if he had a gorgeous head of hair, but that to deserted him at the tender age of thirty. At least he still had his patchy beard to prove his manhood, or what was left of it in his own eyes.
The dinner table was a setting for an awkward conversation. Everyone had a story. And a successful one at that. Sharon bragged about her carefully crafted investment portfolios, Michael with his successful software business ventures, Gloria and Steven reliving their luxurious travel destinations because of too much time and money on their hands, with an upcoming pool party in their million-dollar beachside home for their 12-year old’s birthday…Peter excused himself and walked briskly to the hotel’s bathroom. He had about enough.
Locking the cubicle door behind him, Peter sat down with his last stick of cigarette, and with each puff, the affirmation that he was a failure in life became more of a reality to him.
“My life sucks! I work my ass off in a job that I hate, a car I can’t afford, with money that I can’t even spend on myself, and with hardly any time to spend with my daughter! Something’s gotta give!”
Peter’s Story Could Be Your Reality
If you’d made it this far, you’re in exclusive company as you’re fortunate enough to have a wee voice in your head that keeps badgering you with the question, “Is this really what my life is meant to be?”
How many of us have been, or are currently in Peter’s shoes? We’re always looking to lose weight, make more money, find affirmation from our friends and colleagues, search for our freedom to travel, escape the drudgery of a 9-5 day, and bask in luxury whenever and wherever possible.
Yet, the reality is far from what our hearts and minds truly desire. You’re left wanting.
In our world where pandemonium never ceases to startle us and force us to be in fear and to reflect on the true meaning of existence, your wee little voice isn’t wrong. In fact, ignoring that voice in your head can be your biggest mistake.
That wee little voice of yours is nudging you towards metamorphosing into a life of meaning.
Peter’s world as compared to the friends he met at the wedding was a wreck.
For one reason.
And it’s the same reason why both you and I will forever be manacled by our desires, if we aren’t careful, that being – a slave to the social hierarchy.
We, humans, are never satisfied. Our desire to compare ourselves against another is our downfall. The roll of the cosmic dice is always to blame if something doesn’t live up to expectations. We’re never happy and we never seem to reach a place of internal solace. Social media adds to this mess by forcing us to keep up with the Joneses. When does the madness end?
How About Right Now?
How about you tell yourself that from this day forth, you’re going to reclaim your birthright.
That you’re going to demolish the illusion of preconceived notions drilled into us as a child and become a master of your own destiny.
Whether it be health, wealth, or relationships, you’re going to wrestle back control and live a life based on your own terms, without seeking anyone else’s validations.
Probably Mark Manson summed it up best in his bestselling book.
I couldn’t have said it more poignantly. If you’re ready to bet on yourself to live a life of freedom, resilience, and joy, then I’m happy to say that this blog can be your framework for a guaranteed win.
Please don’t get it twisted. I’m not a motivational speaker, a self-help guru, or anything that anyone is so happy to throw a label at when someone offers a bit of guidance. I’m merely like you, seeking my own cocoon of personal freedom to live the life I want to live, based on my terms and my dime.
I’ll be lying if I said that I already found mine. Because it’s a bloody journey. A treacherous one at that, but one nonetheless that I’m more than happy to take. And I want to help you find your cocoon of blissful freedom.
The information that you’ll find in this blog is nothing revelatory. In fact, the keys to the art of living had been known to humans about 300 years before the birth of Christ. Call it ancient wisdom, that has been perhaps forgotten by the majority of today’s electrifyingly quick-paced society, except for a select few who have adopted these principles and defined their own versions of success.
These names might ring a bell: Theodore Roosevelt, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Immanuel Kant, Thomas Jefferson, Adam Smith, George Washington, Napoleon Bonaparte, Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, and Steve Jobs among many other greats who have used these ancient principles to drive their personals version of success.
Over the years, it has adopted many names, self-mastery, or personal mastery, but it stems from a Western civic discipline called Stoicism. In Athens to be precise, in the early 3rd century BC. And the philosophy summed up, in a nutshell, is something along the lines of:
Virtue is happiness and the cause for most of the problems in our lives is our perception of things, rather than the things themselves.
There’s more to it of course, but I’m simplifying.
Far be it from me to say that I’m a proponent of this philosophy, for I was from the school of thought that held the belief of philosophy being designed to confuse the masses. I mean Archimedes mentioned that if he had a lever long enough, he would be able to lift the world, and with one hand at that!
WTF was he smokin’! There are folks who have been institutionalized for merely saying, “I think I’m going batty.” Anyways, this school of thought from where I’m from could comprise of just one individual though, that being me alone.
But a quick search on Google on what Stoicism is, and you’ll quickly discover that CEOs, artists, professional athletes, bank executives, and even LL Cool J have vouched for the effectiveness of this ancient civil discipline. Even, Mr. 4-Hour Work Week himself, Tim Ferriss attributes his success to Stoicism. And just to sound a little bit smarter than I make me out to be, I’m even privy to the fact that the U.S. military infuses Stoicism into their training methods. And how sure am I about his? Because I read dammit. A lovely book called Stoic Warriors.
I’ve always been a non-conformist, and challenge everything put before me. And I can safely say that this branch of ancient wisdom has its merits and when applied, you’ll see results. Think of it as a template that takes your mental game to the next level. It trains you to handle your emotions in order to navigate the difficulties of life. Once you have this down, nothing in life will ever seem like a problem that is unmanageable.
Woah, I sound pretty confident of how well this works, and honestly, I know it will work for you.
As I said, I’m not big on philosophy and its philosophers, and I promise you that this blog is not about the tenets of philosophy. There are genuinely good blogs out there solely dedicated to such branches of knowledge if you’re ever so keen.
Rather, my objective with this blog is to arm you with weapons of mental clarity so that you may thrive in a world that is far beyond our control. This will be the same set of tools that the Roman Emperors had at their disposal, that George Washington used to his benefit, and now you. You truly are in esteemed company and best of all, these weapons of the art of living are free to be capitalized on.
So the question you have to ask yourself now is, are you ready to go to war on your old self and unlock your powers to self-mastery for the ultimate art of living experience?
Who The Hell Are You and Should I Trust You?
You ask tough questions. And that’s why I already like you. You’ve got me thinking and I try not to do that too often for fear of what I might actually find out. But, I’ll attempt the first part of your question with some trepidation.
Fine. I’ll expound.
That name in the URL, well, that belongs to me. As in the name. Literally. Kevin Singarayar. Well, it’s actually a little longer than that, but nobody deserves to be friends with someone with more than 6 syllables in a name. And to save what friends I have left, I’m sticking to that.
I’m an audio engineer, a musician, educator, entrepreneurship slash technology evangelist, and writer with a passion for helping people fall in love with themselves, not in a narcissistic kinda way, rather in a way that they can’t imagine themselves swiping left when they see themselves in a mirror. Basically, helping them realize that small wins matter for a fulfilling lifestyle.
I started Technopreneur and Chalktalk in 2006, culminating in a blog called BurningBoats.com which is now undergoing its own metamorphosis. Evidence of its past existence can still be conveniently retrieved from the aptly named WayBackMachine, like a time machine for websites, only that it takes you back into the past and not the future. Some of my past articles mainly written in 2008 can be deciphered here:
But I started writing back in 1997 as a freelance ghostwriter and copywriter for major printed publications before the Internet became a ‘thing’; while juggling uni and live and studio work as an audio engineer in a foreign country at the tender age of 24. It was a struggle, but little did I realize that I was utilizing stoic principles even without me realizing it to pummel through the day.
I’ve been around the block for a while now, not as long as Jenny, but long enough to understand this stageplay called life.
And I’m so blessed to know that you took precious time out of your life to read till this point. I will honour you by sharing the kind of information on this blog to brighten up your life. To quote NSYNC, “This I promise you.”
And now to answer the second part of your question, a big Flippin’ NO!
Even I don’t trust myself and here’s why. I consider myself a serial failure. I don’t know enough to be an expert in any one particular subject matter, even the subjects I studied academically for. Because just like the universe, knowledge is forever expanding. I’m too big a fool to claim I’m an expert in anything. And I just prefer it this way, because it has made me curious about everything. Curious enough to have the courage to keep failing and discover yet another method that doesn’t work.
American cross-cultural researcher and anthropologist Edward Hall once asked this question,
“What is the difference between learning motivation and sexual motivation? Learning motivation starts earlier and lasts longer.”
I truly believe in that, although…ahem…back in my younger days, I’d the enviable distinction of being a galloping stee…I’ll just shut my gaping maw now.
Where was I? Right. A serial failure because I’m a lifelong learner. The more I learn, the less I realize I know anything about something.
So, don’t trust me.
And having said, do read my blog, because as much as I said I cannot be trusted, I will share enough of what I know to get you to a place of success you deserve to be at.
Trust me. For this, I’m confident about. And this is why I hate philosophy.