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What are you fighting for?

I look into this world and all I see is fight. Yes, that’s all I see and nothing more. Let me boil it down what I mean by fight. Fight comes in a variety of ways. There are negative and positive fights. We are all fighting for something. Some people are fighting to be rich, some are fighting to create solutions to problems, some for freedom and justice, some for education, some for land, some for peace, some for love, some for beliefs, some for fame, some for superiority, and some for the sake of fighting. Every fight is important to each fighter, that is, there is a genuine cause to fight in the fighter’s mind. To one fighter, the fight of another fighter is irrational and illogical, and vice versa.

But who is to define whose fight is genuine and rational? Is there a standard scale to measure positive and negative fights? Is there a collective fight that we should all be fighting? If there is, what is it?

I have been thinking in solitude, thinking of solutions to our fights (positive and negative ones) and I couldn’t find any. The solutions to human fights (struggles and whatnot) are beyond human comprehension. Because, human itself, is a complex being. A complex being cannot understand another complex being. The exertion to understanding human beings by philosophers has always been and will continue without any concrete answers whatsoever. Theories upon theories will pile up and as one theory tries to explore the complexity of human and understand it, it becomes void. This has always been the outcome of theories to understanding human.

Enough of philosophizing these questions asked above. So let me ask you, what are you fighting for? Or, what will you fight for? If I were to be asked what I would fight for, my answer would be: I’d fight for love. As simple as the word ‘love’ sounds, it comes with a lot of complicated things and we can philosophize about it forever. It comes with a lot of sacrifices. By love, I mean the love for all human beings regardless of their background, status, race, connections, and whatnot. Because with love there’ll be peace and harmony in the world. In the end, if you’re not fighting for something, you’re not living.

-MOAB © 2015

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The Art of Brevity

When I was asked to give a comment for just one minute in a seminar I attended last month, I remembered the art of brevity and decided to use adjectives for my comment: “Awesome, superb, and eye-opening,” I said.

The audience was stunned. They were wondering how I could be brief and still make sense at the same. The reality is, I’ve been learning the art of brevity for years now. I’ve been learning how to tell long story in a superb short ways. And I’m getting better.

But the key secret is that you must know and understand what you want to discuss or talk about. If you can’t say it in five minutes, you can never say it in fifty minutes. That simply shows that you don’t understand what you’re talking about. You’ll ramble, babble and mumble for most of the time and never get to a substantial conclusion.

The art of brevity is a skill. If you could learn it, it’ll make you stand out among others. Seth Godin​ is a master in this art. I gulp all his content (writings, videos, and so on) just to learn the art of brevity from him.

The only way to master the art of brevity is to understand your niche that if you explain to a five-year-old kid, he’ll understand. Go learn this art today. Stay simple. Go!

-MOAB © 2015

Break Your Silence or Stay Docile Forever

“To choose to write is to reject silence.” -Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie​

I have always used the metaphor of dragons and monsters to describe the enemy of creativity and productivity. But I think dragons and monsters are a bit scary and people might not quickly relate to it because they often don’t see dragons and monsters except on the screen. But there’s something that people can relate with which I believe its metaphor fits the description of creativity’s enemy and I call it SILENCE.

We have heard the word more often than not. Because “keep silent or shut up” isn’t far from us. We’ve been hearing it since our childhood and we’re used to it. Silence is the enemy of creativity and productivity.

Silence comes in different forms—it sometimes shows as an authority, as loved ones, and as one’s society. These are the things that mostly dictate or decide how we should live our life. Most times, they lead us to nothing. Even though sometimes, they have good intentions for us but their intentions never create change.

Silence is a shackle, it stifles one’s freedom to express one’s thought or explore one’s creativity. And in order to break this shackle, one must write, create, explore, and imagine. One must struggle against all odds in order to make things happen.

Yes, silence has its good side and I mean a lot of good when it’s necessary but the bad side is so dominant that it has led many of us to become the play-it-safers and fit-ins who follow the norm.

Those who follow the norm never do things that matter. They’re cowered in the proverbial what-if.

What do we do to overcome this enemy? Break it. Remember I told you it’s a shackle and for one to be free, one needs to break the shackle that’s holding one’s back from exploring one’s creativity. Go break your silence. Go make a ruckus. And go make a difference. The world needs you. Go!

-MOAB © 2015

Curiosity isn’t dead: Ask questions

When I was a kid, I asked so many questions but many of my questions were answered with slaps—which means ‘shut up’—don’t ask anything again. Your questions might not be answered with slaps if you were born in a developed country but I bet you’ll be scolded if you dare ask some questions.

Either being slapped or scolded, my point is your curiosity has been stifled ever since you were a kid. This has also followed you to your adolescent that you believe asking questions is a sin.

If you want to make hay, walk in the path to making a difference, then you must bring back your curiosity. Don’t joke with words like, “Why? Who? How? And When?” These words are question amplifiers. For example, have you asked who named the colors? Why is the color green green and not yellow?

Curiosity isn’t dead. It’s part of us. And it’s there for a reason. To question our existence, to question our purpose, to question things that seemed mystery to us. So, ask questions as many as possible. Because curiosity is alive. Make yours live.

Excerpt from my book: “Make Hay: The Only Path to Making a Difference”
-MOAB © 2015

Writer’s Block Doesn’t Exist

“There’s no such thing as writer’s block. That was invented by people in California who couldn’t write.”

–Terry Pratchett

I was once one of those people who believed that writer’s block exists. I told myself this lie for years thinking it’s normal to be blocked. But I’ve never told myself that I have talker’s block because it doesn’t exist.

Writer’s block is another way of saying I’m lazy and I don’t want to write. Being blocked means you don’t want to write the same way you tell your friends when they asked you about something you’re not comfortable with, then you keep mute. You’re not blocked from talking, are you? You just don’t want to talk.

The same is true for writing. As long as you can still talk, write. As long as the phone rings and you answer the call, write. It doesn’t matter if it’s perfect or not. Most of our talks aren’t perfect either. There are many hmm’s, huh’s, haa’s and ‘I think’ in our talks and they never stopped us from talking. They never stopped us from passing vital information to others because they’re part of communication. And writing itself is communication in written form. Don’t be afraid to say your hmm’s, huh’s, haa’s and ‘I think’ in your writing.

If you believe that you have to be right all the time, you won’t say a word. And this is why many people have writer’s block. Because they wanted to be right; they wanted to write something that makes perfect sense.

I’ve learned that most of the things I write are things I never thought would resonate with people. Many of them have changed people’s lives and I’m proud that I wrote them. Sometimes, a single sentence born out of a random thought can inspire people and create change. So write, write, and write until you feel there’s no more to write. Go!

-MOAB © 2015

Leave the Wrong Story

“If you ever find yourself in the wrong story, leave.” –Mo Willems

Many people find it hard to admit that they’re in the wrong story. By wrong story, I mean the people we associate with. Because, after all, we’re all stories in the first place. Our relatives, friends, colleagues, mates, and acquaintances are stories we can’t live without. But, whenever you find yourself in the wrong story, it’s time to call it quit. It’s time to leave and find a story that suits your aspiration.

Believe me, this is the problem that many people struggle with. And most times, they don’t even know that they’re in the wrong story because of the evanescent benefit and pleasure they gain in the story. It takes self-awareness, courage to recognize that one is in the wrong story.

Don’t neglect the signs of the wrong story if you ever see one. I repeat, leave the wrong story. No matter who the person is, if the story is not adding value to your life, leave. Simple as that. Go!
-MOAB © 2015

Travel Changes One’s Worldview

Photo Credit: Nick Kenrick  via Creative Commons

Photo Credit: Nick Kenrick via Creative Commons

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.”
—Mark Twain

The day I stepped outside of my shore (comfort zone) was the day I started seeing things differently. I’ve been to many places, lived, mixed and played with people of different colors, characters, and attitudes. And I’ve learned that people are people, everywhere. I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. So, I find it difficult to quickly judge or condemn people.

Travel has changed my worldview about people in spite of their race, religion or status. I’ve met awesome people and also the opposite. I’ve been loved by people who are not from my race, I’ve been shown generosity by people whose religion is different from mine, and I’ve been embraced by people of higher status.

All this makes my heart melt. That there are beautiful people everywhere. And when these people tell me their stories, I feel connected that I’m home away from home. Yes, we might have different culture, upbringing, and family background, but the bottom line is—we’re all human beings. We all possess virtues and vices inside us.

Travel has eliminated these words from my dictionary, from my life—prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness. So, I urge you to travel, get out of your comfort zone, go see other places, and live with other people in order to get rid of these words. Travel to a nearby city or country, go learn a new language, and mix with others. Go live a life free of prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness. Go!
-MOAB © 2015