Hello my fellow creators,
that’s right, this is how I like to call people who have the courage to stand up and follow their dreams and aspirations, people that create and bring something new into this world, whether it is a concept, a product or a work of art. People that have a vision and have the guts to do anything it is required to pursue it.
This is the first in a series of motivational articles in which I’ll try to explain to myself and others why it is so hard to make your dreams come true and why there are so few people around that managed to accomplish this. I strongly believe these ideas apply to any field one is activating in even if some examples will be from my own experience and domains I activate in. I also think that once you get going on the right path with one domain, the know-how accumulated so far will transfer to any other domain you later want to get in, so it is a one time, non-easy learning process.
Throughout the series I will treat many concepts, sometimes with a clear connection to the subject matter, sometimes only having an indirect effect on it. Some of them will only prepare you for the next explanations I’m going to introduce, so please bare with me for a while. I will try to present various cultural and social aspects that shape our personality as individuals and influence our capacity to pursue our visions during our lives.
I can’t write this from the perspective of other persons so I will do it from my perspective, giving examples coming from my own experience and so some introductions are required. The things that I’m going to tell you about me might seem a little bit personal or private, but I consider them having a great influence on my work and my goals in life and excluding them from this introduction will only hurt your understanding of what I’m going to write about next.
Here we go, some things about my life: my name is Mihai, I was born in communist Romania of 1982, I’m married and have two kids. I am a Computer Science University graduate and an Art School – Graphics graduate. I work as a freelance software engineer. I am also an indie game developer since about three years ago. I practice drawing and painting, design, story and blog writing, photography and videos as a hobby, each one to a more or lesser extent. I also “consume” various forms of entertainment, especially visual arts, video and board games, movies and books. And I also socialise with friends in real life and online, spend time with my family, go to events and so on. And last but not least, I also do get some sleep meanwhile all this
If all the above seem a lot for one person, please bare with me and hopefully you’ll get some insights into how one can do all those things, but first I’m going to introduce you to some concepts as I view them, and not by their scientific definition. These might seem boring to read and unrelated, but they are very important, as you will find in the next articles
What is reality? It is a hard to define concept! Each person lives in his own reality which is really defined by the way she perceives the world around her. Each one of us perceives the world a little bit different than another. Some of us very different actually. Each one of us thinks and acts based on his own reality. It is actually a miracle that we can live together and interact with each other at all. We can because there is a common ground, an intersection between people’s perceived realities that most of us can agree upon, and that is our play ground. That is what I call true reality, or simply, reality.
I strongly believe that one can measure success of his endeavours only when those endeavours are based in reality. If something is not based in reality, it cannot be perceived by other people so we cannot measure it’s effects and get feedback upon it. We don’t know if an idea for example is good or not until we present it to others and get feedback upon, or we try to implement it and see how it works out. The idea itself is not based in reality until we do not present it to others or try to implement it. Communicating an idea or implementing it means to anchor it in reality, to make it “real”.
Based on what I described above, I conclude that the more closer to common perceived reality your own reality is, the more successful your ideas will be and your goals will be more attainable. They will be so not because somehow the amount of work needed to attain them is less, but because your brain will establish these goals more realistically, more “doable”. The brain is shaped by the reality around us since we are born and throughout our life. We should try to expose it as much as possible to the reality around us and by doing so to train it. The brain will then start to generate more valid ideas and goals for us to undertake.
Refusing to accept the reality around you will only hurt you in the long run. We must adapt to reality around us, not create our own to escape into. How to get more in-tune with the commonly perceived reality? The answer is pretty simple: socialisation!
I have quite an active online presence. I communicate a lot over socialisation networks, I post in various discussion forums, I write comments, blog articles and what not. I also socialise a lot in real life, hanging out with my family and friends, attending events, travelling and so on. I spam my ideas to anybody that bothers to listen to them. People look at me surprised I’m ready to reveal so much of my personality and my thoughts to the world. What do I get in return? Their feedback on my ideas or their own ideas on the subject matter. By doing this daily and for so many years, I think the reality I live in is pretty close to the common perceived reality.
By socialising I get to meet new and amazing people. People from who I can find out about the world they live in. People that share my interests, my aspirations, my thoughts or people that have completely different opinions than mine. All of them people that I can learn from and in which I can reflect myself into.
Socialisation is what shapes our personality and consciousness as human beings. We cannot live alone and be successful since success has no meaning without other people around us. Our minds do not evolve in isolation, we need others to watch our actions, listen to our thoughts and give us feedback upon them. We are the sum of our reflections into the eyes of others. Our brains are reflex based machines that issue commands to our body, get the results as feedback through our sensors and adjust according to them. It is the only way we can improve ourselves. The more we interact with others, the more feedback we get and the more we improve. Our thoughts and ideas are more streamlined and strongly anchored in reality. It is really a chicken and egg situation in which we have the power to shape others and while doing so we are shaped by others in return. Our social environment makes us who we are. Interacting with others will bring your own perceived reality closer to the actual, commonly perceived reality as described in the previous section, so your ideas and goals will be more closer to becoming real.
If you are not doing it already or if you feel it is pointless, get out there and socialise. Get over your inhibitions and just reach out for other people. You will soon find out there is nothing to be afraid of and the things you’ll get in return will be related to self-confidence, satisfaction and communication skills. You will avoid huge “reality checks” by staying close to reality all the time. A person cannot really have self-confidence by herself, it is given to her by the appreciation of the people she interacts with. You cannot succeed in any of your goals without self-confidence and the ability to communicate your ideas and concepts to others, so get started on that as soon as possible if you are not already on it.
Now that we know how can become anchored into the true reality, you are maybe wondering what is this all good for? The answer is pretty simple: generating achievable goals that have a meaning within the real world. In my next article I will write about Learning, Goals and how our childhood influences our ability to pursue our aspirations when we grow up.
Please let me know your thoughts on the subject matter as well. What do you think about the concepts of Reality and Socialisation?
Cheers and see you next time!