Do not make the mistake of the ignorant who think that an individualist is a man who says: “I’ll do as I please at everybody else’s expense.” An...”
I recently came across this thought-provoking quote:
“The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it.” – Marcus Aurelius
Four months ago, I had a life-changing epiphany. I finally snapped out of the downward spiral I had been floundering in over the past 18 months following my return to Malaysia. It didn’t happen out of the blue though.
I came to a decision a good 6 months ago to start eliminating the negative elements in my life. It wasn’t a walk in the park, I can tell you that. It involved taking a good look at myself in the mirror and making the conscious decision to stop living in denial. It was time for me to de-clutter my life and to let go of the past. I severed contact with my best friend in the world. The friendship was doing me more harm than good, and I had known for a while that I would have to end it. I sobbed my heart out, felt better, and then I sobbed some more. Then slowly, gradually, I started to heal. I started travelling more and connecting with like-minded people again.
“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.” - Sir Cecil Beaton
They say I’m too idealistic, that I expect too much. In other words, that I’m not realistic. They chastise me for daring to challenge the status quo. They tell me I need to work on my diplomatic skills because I’m upsetting the so-called authority figures with my bold confrontations, even though I’m fully justified in doing so. ‘They’ are terrified of change, of rocking the boat. In short, they fear non-conformity. Well, I have news for them:
“There can be no progress without head-on confrontation.” - Christopher Hitchens
As Chris Guillebeau points out in his book ‘The Art of Non-Conformity’, “The most common criticism of unconventional ideas is that they are unreasonable or impossible to implement.” Without unconventional ideas, we would still be living in a cave, hunting for our own food, Neil Armstrong would never have set foot on the Moon, and the Internet would never have come into being. In short, mankind would never have progressed.
No doubt my unconventional ideas are far less innovative, but that doesn’t render them any less valid. I believe in speaking up and questioning things that don’t make sense to me. Change isn’t easy, but it’s simple. How do you make a difference? You simply decide to do things differently in your daily life. As Gandhi said, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world.’ It couldn’t be simpler. The most difficult part of the process is coming to that decision, and having the conviction to see it through.
“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” – Anonymous
Different people travel for different reasons. For me, travel is about exploring different places and taking in as much as possible about the local sights, culture and people. I recently went on holiday to Cambodia. I went with absolutely no expectations, which was probably the best way to do it, as I ended up having the time of my life! It was by the far one of the best holidays I’d had in a very long time. The whole experience was invigorating, mentally stimulating and an absolute blast.