The answer is obviously to read. There I gave you the answer in the first line. But what I'm about to say next is even more pertinent. I was browsing through Medium when I came across an article about how writing daily could improve my life. While the title sounds extravagant and far-fetched, it pulled me in, nonetheless. After all, who doesn’t want an unfair advantage in life?
One statement made by the author struck me hard. He states that by writing daily, we become more self-aware of our thoughts and ability to articulate it in words. This I find true because in my old writings, I tend to navigate towards the negative. I focus on the bad in good and critique the good.
I used to think that maybe it was because I’m just not a positive person in general. Writing in an enthusiastic tone was difficult.
But then again, it’s all perspective, isn’t it? What do you think?
When we focus on what is only bad, we tend to craft our own reality as such. We excuse ourselves by saying we are dishing out a healthy does of reality and we’re just “keeping it real”. That’s cool if you know how to.
Thing is, I couldn’t. I was spiralling into a whiny, complain queen and I did not like that. Pretty sure no one around me did, either. I couldn’t balance being “real” and being enthusiastic. I do know I'm easily satisfied because just last night, I pulled out an earwax that was at least 2cm long and was overjoyed! I took a picture and shared it to everyone who appreciates long earwax. Then what's with the whining and complaining?
So, middle of this year, I decided to get to know the world around me: who I am, where am I going, what’s out there.
Why getting started with non fiction is the best
I’ve always been fascinated with fiction because it transported me away from what I thought was a bleak, colourless reality. But now that I’ve started exploring the reality that we do have, I’m hooked!
Reading up on scandals, statuses, beliefs and more cannot get any juicier than the ones in fiction. Just the other day, I was waxing lyrical over Khazanah’s report. It was gold being privy to how we are living and the different issues we face despite being in the same landscape.
I think it’s been three years since I shut off learning and planning completely because, you know, YOLO! Things would work out eventually, right?
After running my first workshop for ReactiveDucks, I realised how much I was missing out. How I didn’t know a lot and that I was still blissfully ignorant. Let’s just say, whatever could go wrong, went wrong. I learnt so much.
What to do with all that juicy non fiction knowledge
I have to admit that my knowledge on the economics of basic finances is frighteningly non-existent. I wished the importance of financial literacy was better instilled in my early years. It feels like a game of catch up now to stabilise my bank accounts.
I also wish I had paid more attention to risk management back when I was doing my degree in APIIT. Risk management isn’t just a subject, it’s life!
It feels like a very hard awakening and I thank my Masters study at UKM (and Cup Boi) for that. Without the thrust, I wouldn’t have bothered to soak in subjects like social mobility, equality, empowerment, diversity and, yeah, politics. I find the mechanism of socialism, capitalism, democracy, theology and communism intriguing.
These subjects used to put me to sleep because I didn’t think it affected me. I didn’t understand that these very ideologies are what’s tying me down and yet keeping me afloat in the comfortable M40 class of Malaysia despite being unemployed.
Right now, I feel extremely lucky to have even made it this far in life unscathed. I’ve been having a little bit of anxiety swallowing the hard truths that come with learning social class, but I’ll be fine.
Of course, my bank account took the hardest blow but mentally and physically, I’m psyched. My goal is to be able to write better on these subjects and be brave enough to explore more.
I’ve come to accept that things can only happen when you open up and are ready to receive. For now, I will continue soaking and practising.