Love your Life

What is life if it is not meant to be loved and cherished? There are a lot of things to do with your life; some things you will love and some not so much. Obviously the ideal life would be filled with doing things you love, but life just isn’t that straightforward. We do a lot of things just for the sake of doing it.

A common example is with jobs or studying. Of course there are some people who do not have a choice but to find any sort of work in order to provide for themselves and maybe their family. School is also compulsory up to a certain age, and I am sure that there are quite a few students who would rather not have to study. There are also people who are lucky enough to be able to choose what career they want and also whether they want to continue studying or not, however not all these people will be content with what they are doing.

I think if someone lives in an environment where the choices of careers and education are widely available, i.e. in a developed country, then forward planning is required to avoid being stuck doing something for the sake of it. An example I have witnessed quite often is with education. Many people go through the standard route of education: nursery, primary, secondary, university/college. However once it gets to the end of secondary, the choice to continue studying goes into the hands of the student. In grammar schools, most people will go on to further education, and so there’s increased pressure for everyone to follow the same route even if it is not right for them. I have seen this lead to some people choosing the wrong course at university, because they never really knew which course to take but just went to university for the sake of getting the degree. They might get the degree in the end, but they might also feel that it was not worth the couple of years at university and the tens of thousands of pounds spent on tuition fees.

This is why forward planning is required: so that you always know what you want to happen next instead of dealing with the next stage when it is right at your doorstep, as it might be too late and result in a regretful decision. I think that living a controlled life will result in a happier life than if it was just left to ‘fate’; if such thing even exists. Of course this mainly applies to those lucky enough to be able to choose what career and education they want to pursue, and so such an opportunity should never be wasted. For those who have no choice or are too late to change their current course, there is always hope by creating your own opportunities or ‘fate’. There will still be many obstacles (if only life was so simple) but this is why we need to set ourselves seemingly impossible goals: in order to reach higher and be better.

Trapped by Technology

I love technology. I think that it has improved modern day life tremendously, however I also think that it is able to control our lives if used too much. Technology can now be found in almost every single aspect of our lives, so it is very difficult to get away from it, but if the right balance is found then there is no need to do so.

feature-goesbeyondabook._V357575428_Book-Recommendations

I think a good example of how technology has changed things is with fitting multiple physical objects into one compact device. This can be seen with music players, mobile phones, books and many other things. I usually like the fact that I no longer have to carry CDs, DVDs or a camera around anymore, however with books I do not feel the same way. I still prefer to read the physical copy of a book, even though it is more inconvenient than an ebook and possibly less environmentally friendly. Ebooks can also be more informative than books in the respect that there are sometimes many features such as a built-in dictionary, as shown in the image above. However as much as I love technology, I don’t think anything can beat being able to hold and own a physical book with physical pages to flick through. Even though some ebooks have very realistic effects that make the experience of using it very similar to a physical book, I still always feel that there is something missing. Therefore if I want to read a book then I would get the physical copy, but I don’t totally oppose reading things electronically. For example for articles or relatively short passages of text, I think it is very convenient to be able to read them on a thin and light device.

In my opinion, the biggest way technology can now entrap us is with social networking. There are so many social networking sites nowadays and most people will be part of more than one site. This means that we will have to dedicate more time on social networking in order to check and update each site. I have recently read that people are now spending too much time on social networking, and spending more time with other people virtually than in reality. This is where the correct balance has to be found. I think social networking offers free and easy access to almost everyone I know no matter where they are in the world. However, if possible, I think that is always better to meet and talk face to face than over the internet.

There is now also fear with some people that future generations could forget how to write now most things are typed up, as it is much easier, and also normally provides a more professional appearance. In addition, instead of writing letters nowadays, contacting someone can be as easy as sending a text or message over the internet, which takes a couple of seconds to reach the recipient rather than a few days. These things take away the need for writing with pen and paper. I know people who refuse to use technology for this reason and I also know people who have actually told me that they are forgetting how to write due to this reason. I think these people are extreme cases, but it can be easy to fall into the category that relies on technology too much. As with everything else, I think a balance should be found so that technology can be used to make our lives easier and better, but we should not rely on it to an extent that we would not be able to function properly without it.

Taking Things for Granted

I had never thought that I was the type of person who took things for granted. After all, I was happy with what I had. Recently however, many things that I had taken for granted was taken away from me; only temporarily but it was enough to show me that life isn’t always as joyful and simple as I had previously thought.

The part of my life that I am now most grateful for are the people I have around me. I had previously had the impression that I would always have people that are very close to me; I had taken them for granted. Recently, I have realised that these people can be lost quite easily if I continue to take them for granted, and even how easily a life can be taken away. Therefore, I’ve learnt that time spent with the people around us should be savoured, because we have a lifetime with ourselves but not necessarily with others.

This has also led me to realise that something as simple as my life should also not be taken for granted. Although this is a really depressing thought, there is always a chance that I do not wake up one morning, or that I am in involved in an accident that takes my life. Thinking about these things has made me realise that life is precious and due to the fact that we do not get a second chance at life, we should try to make the most out of them. The best way to do that, I think, is to end up having a positive impact on other people, because then not only do we make our own lives better but we also help make the lives of other people just a little bit better as well.

Overall, I have realised that the position we are in at the moment can be completely different within a day or a decade, for better or worst. As we will never be able to predict our exact situation in the future, we should make the most out of what we have now. However in order to do that, we have to see the positive aspects of our lives and make the most out of them. If at this moment there are no positive aspects then we should try our best to turn the negative situations around. In some respects, turning a negative situation around is even better than making the most out of positive situations, and the worse the situation was then the better the feeling is after getting through it. Therefore, having many bad situations in your life isn’t necessarily a negative thing, it could just be your key to happiness.

Why Drunk?

I have been asking myself this question for some time now. I have just never understood why some people have to drink until they are drunk, because I see drinks as being made to quench thirst and so I would normally only drink when I am thirsty; similar to eating when I am hungry.

This means that I usually look at alcohol in the same way as I would look at any drink, which I often simplify to water. No one would normally consider downing a pint of water or drinking several glasses of water in quick succession, unless it is for a good reason. I can just never see a good reason for drinking a large volume of alcohol in a short period of time. The fact that most people admit that some of the alcoholic drinks that they drink in large volumes are not pleasant at all also confuses me. Why force yourself to drink something that you do not enjoy, out of choice? I can relate it back to the food analogy: why would anyone ever force themselves to eat food that they do not like, out of choice? Getting drunk is also not as glamorous as films make it seem and I never think that it is worth vomiting and spending the whole of the next day in bed, yet many people disagree. However I think that I have been able to begin to answer my question after experiencing environments where many people get drunk on a regular basis.

I think the biggest factor why people get drunk is due to peer pressure. This does not always mean that they are forced to drink, but more to the fact that they are in an environment where everyone else is getting drunk and they do not want to miss out or seem abnormal. Of course some people are also forced to drink, and this usually occurs to the most vulnerable person in a group. This is because getting a person who doesn’t normally drink to get drunk is usually quite easy, and the person can then become the group’s source of amusement.

For people who are drinking with the intention of getting drunk, I think that there are times when they say they are drunk and act drunk but are in fact actually not. This could be because they do not want to drink more, so do not want to be forced to drink more until they are actually drunk and so act like they are already drunk. However I think that it could also be due to a sort of placebo effect. When someone drinks with an aim to get drunk, they will be more wary of their state, in anticipation of being drunk, and any slight hints of drunkenness will be exaggerated by their brain. Therefore they usually do not drink a lot of alcohol at all, yet will act like they have drunk immensely over their limit. They will not realise they are in fact not drunk, as their brain will convince them that they are. This means that potentially some of these people could get drunk on water if they were convinced it was alcohol.

For people who drink alcoholic drinks that they do not like, it could be due to peer pressure or they could be doing it to prove a point. A common example would be vodka. I have never heard anyone say that vodka tastes nice, and a normal person would not be able to even drink half a cup of straight vodka in one go. This is why vodka is very commonly mixed with a soft drink or juice. This makes me question: why drink vodka if it has to be mixed with other things in order for it to taste pleasant, and actually allow a person to drink it without having an urge to spit it out or vomit? I think that non-alcoholic drinks are always nicer than alcoholic drinks, as the alcoholic drinks that people usually consider nicest are normally mixed with non-alcoholic drinks to make it bearable.

I am not suggesting that drinking alcohol is wrong, as I do also drink, however I have seen people spend more money on alcohol than food on a daily basis, causing them to ration their food yet drink more than they can handle. This is where I think the line for drinking should be drawn: when it starts to affect your everyday life and cause you to prioritise alcohol ahead of other things that are actually essential for life. I only drink during some social events and drink as much as if I were drinking any non-alcoholic drink. I also don’t understand why people like getting drunk if they cannot remember anything that happened while they were drunk. Do we not want to remember a good time? Surely we do not even need alcohol to have a good time. My experiences of witnessing drunkenness has actually caused me to reduce the amount I drink. I know some people who are not alcoholics, yet they often drink such excessive volumes of alcohol in front of other people that they would drink anything if someone told them it contained alcohol, even if they were not sure what substances it contained and did not know if the solution they were drinking would harm their life.

Of course I have not covered people who get drunk to ease depression or just to get them through their life, as this area is a lot more sensitive and requires much more thought. Maybe I will look into it in a future post, but I hope that no one I know will ever be in such a position for me to look into. As for the most common reasons why people get drunk, I think I have barely touched the surface and everyone will have different reasons as to why they decide to get drunk, most of which I will probably never understand.