#currentsituation: Memories, the past, the future and true freedom

Living in the past can be defined as continuously re-playing memories and striving to cling to them as present reality. 

This would usually be caused by the constant fear of what the future might bring (the basic fear of the unknown) as well as by some inability to properly cope with the present situation. 

This inability might be a result of some deep longing, unresolved situations or an irrational wish that the present conditions would be completely different (the inability to find satisfaction in anything related to the here and now while wishing things would be different). It's a personal mental construct that creates freedom within the cages of past experience, while feeling completely and unwillingly trapped in the unsatisfying present.

This can only result in poor judgment, or, to say the least, clouded judgment. In order to vanquish the pressure caused by this type of discomfort, the path of lesser resistance is pursued - isolation, taking of refuge in denial of dealing with the current events.  In short term, this might be satisfactory to some extent, while in the long run, it might raise real issues: first, the obvious facing of the consequences of latter acts, then realizing that the  here and now are to be dealt with from a realistic perspective (if this ever occurs). The same thing can be asserted about living for the future.

Living in the present is so difficult because we are use to own things. At the same time, we own the memories and we own our fears and it's really easy to cling to them as opposed to letting ourselves cease the day.

Freedom is possible the moment we let go and stop overthinking the future and re-running the past.

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#currentsituation: Freedom and happiness - hope and fear

I asked a few people who appeared to be struggling what would make them happy, or at least what is their vision regarding a happy life. 

The answers startled my as to how how locked up people are in their current living conditions: jobs, relationships, the everyday life. Meaning that most answers did come in a negative form, i. e. "If I could have less stress at the office", "If I could have more time for myself", "I could stop arguing with my spouse", "If I could cease to procrastinate" and so on.

Very few individuals were able to express an affirmative vision of happiness: "Be my own boss", "Retreat to a quiet place in the nature", "Be with my loved one".

The next questions I asked was about the actions they might want to take in order to achieve happiness. Only a couple of my subjects had a plan or at acted in order to change their current life conditions in order to be happier. The others simply replied that either didn't think about it, or they couldn't do anything due to various reasons, or simply stated that it would only be a goal which would complicate their lives even more.

To sum it up, the core reason people refused to do some change in order to live a better life, to be happier, was quite disturbing, yet basic and predictable at the same time: fear. 

On the side, they all managed to recollect happier times in their lives, times they obviously missed and held dear to themselves. As a result, I noticed that, although they weren't happy with their current lives, they either took refuge in the past or fantasized about some sort of alternate reality, while doing little to nothing to alter their current, distressed situation; they only hoped for the better.

Hope and fear, future and past - these came to notice as the main co-ordinate some live their lives by while, paradoxically, being deeply anchored in the present which overwhelms them.

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#currentsituation: Is freedom possible?

There are two things in life we can never re-conciliate:

First, everything is possible and there is no after-life punishment or even any kind of punishment in this life or any imagined after-life. Our mind is creating all the constructs of action-reaction and redemption, but physics laws do not apply here. Good deeds do not attract good rewards just the same as evil doers get no proper retribution. It's all a game of coincidence, a Russian roulette of the universe. There is no moral code in the universe, only the law of self preservation. This is what drives us, humans, to construct artificial principles and codes of conduct. This is how we limit our personal freedom ourselves.

Secondly, all human beings can only function properly within the bounds created by their own artificial constructs, such as social laws, moral laws, civil laws, personal laws, codes of conduct etc. All these derive from the ancient fear of annihilation, both physical or spiritual, although some are already subdued by some 'higher powers', but this is another discussion. Basically, these laws laid the foundation of punishment and redemption. They create a paradox, the freedom in a cage.

Hence, we live in a constant conflict with our inner nature which is that of an animal in its unaltered state. Education and other constructs we acquire throughout our psychological development pose a direct opposition to our inner nature. Usually, education prevails and we act accordingly to some laws (moral, just, humane), when in fact we would do exactly the opposite if we didn't fear some sort of a punishment.
The day we are able to accept this without creating an inner conflict is the day we may accept real freedom.


How to control employees in 10 easy steps

Freedom in the cubicle

Manipulation 101: How to control employees in 10 steps

There are many scientific methods the HR and management can rely on in order to keep the employees happy. However, we'll go over some unorthodox and cost effective ideas.

Here are a few thoughts about how to control employees at work, while giving them the impression that they are in control and somehow happy with their shitty job.

One approach to fix this would be to offer the employee the illusion of freedom, and it's quite the easy fix.

1. Fake interest in your employees: socialize on a low scale. Do not look smug. Chat with them over drinks after office hours. Try to socialize, even though they're dumb and boring. 

2. Pretend they are invaluable: ask their opinion regarding office related activity: projects, timetables, meetings, etc. Let them take decisions regarding unimportant aspects. Create the illusion that they are in control, that their word weighs in the decision process, then reserve the real decisions for yourself.

3. Take some time and ask them about any difficulty in completing their task. Pretend to collaborate with them instead of

imposing a stiff dead-line with little communication. Then delegate and supervise.

4. Buy respect and appreciation by rewarding your employees with small things for their accomplishments: food, beer, small appliances, gadgets, things that wouldn't drain your budget, yet will make them feel appreciated. 

5. Build confidence by faking respect, competency and integrity, even when you have no idea how to accomplish a certain task you've just delegated. Learn a few things using any search engine, so that you can relate to the employee. Use few words, mostly encouragements. Again, fake interest. Ask them if they need help. If so, delegate again. 

6. Make it personal. Any average employee knows at some level that they are there to make money for the company, while they receive a small part of their contribution (their income). In case you present your company as a machinery functioning on rules, regulations and failure punishment, you might give the employee to start wondering what's beyond those 8-12 hours of hard, de-moralizing work. Humanize the job experience. Make people feel part of a group, even if in the end it's all about meeting KPIs and maximizing company profit. 

7. How to control employees in 10 steps - step 7 - Come up with unplanned short breaks and let them enjoy them without your presence, while monitoring their conversation topics, when possible. When possible, use a mole.

8. Don't micro-manage visibly. Give your team the illusion that they work independently, while you secretly but closely follow their progress (using surveillance techniques or other means of obtaining information).

9. Build yourself an image of responsibility and accountability regarding the team's progress or failures, but be prepared to quickly find a scapegoat in case things go south. Then, create the impression that you went out of your way to help your him/her. Be prepared for damage control at all times.

10. Delegate as much as you can to team leaders, shorten those boring meetings and ask your employees to translate the pile of Excel files and reports into human language.  

Control your employees by acting aloof and inducing the sense of freedom at work and the result may become quite satisfactory. Employees are no more than a human herd. They need to be controlled, steered and handled at all times, of course, without being aware that they're being manipulated. In order to bring out the best in any human being, make them feel special and keep them under your control. 'How to control employees in 10 easy steps' might not be nice or respectful, but it may prove useful at some point.

Thought of the day: Fear

Experience, create, live!

The thing that saddens me the most is how much people are afraid of themselves and of life. 

Where's your freedom when you try your best to encircle yourself with a wall you create and you believe you cannot break? Oh, it's the fear, again.... That's why one can't live in the present, so lives get fucked up for the past's sake or future projections.

#currentsituation: Freedom vs possibility

Solitary street

As individuals, we are micro-cosmoses living in a universe of possibilities. 

Unless we die, which is the only things we are ever compelled to accept as inevitable, we hold the freedom of choice, the free will. Whether it's influenced by external or internal stimuli, whether we find ourselves confused at times, whether we feel there's not enough data in order to take an informed decision, the ultimate act of deciding and acting upon it is ours - free-will is real.

Within us, we carry years of education/conditioning, upon which we've created patterns of functioning as individuals. Apart from this, we've accumulated our own experiences and filtered them through our consciousness in order to constantly adapt to our coping with the environment.

In short, a human being is a unique construct, but that's already been known for quite a while. We all live in separate universes, colliding into each other 
within reasonable, antagonist or even ridiculous or absurd reasons.

Although we communicate with others in so many ways, we are alone. We can relate to what we perceive from external sources such as other individuals, but we cannot re-live their experience, we can not replicate their exact lives. What we call understanding is merely a convenient phrasing of the fact that "I am trying to match that to a former experience of mine or imagine the thing".

Hence, the solitude we dwell in, more or less unconsciously, is actually the freedom we were born into, yet we've forgotten about it somehow. We are born alone into this world, we live alone and we die alone. What we make out of relating to the surrounding environment or other individuals should only be a way of learning to exercise our freedom, and free-will helps us achieve that.


#currentsituation: Freedom vs feelings

Snowy road at night

People have the innate nature of not being able to handle/realize their own feelings. 

By nature, humans are judgmental beings, attributing labels to things that cross their path: good, bad, right, wrong, nice, ugly. From an utilitarian point of view, this is the birth of raw morals: what is helpful is good, what is damaging is bad.

Freedom is to let go, to navigate the worlds as it is: the world is neither good, nor bad. It simply exists around people. What they make of it, on the other hand, is the world as they describe it, seen and filtered through their eyes and expectations. Freedom means to cope with the environment, work with it, adapt and evolve.

There is no such thing as good or bad freedom. Freedom does exists merely as an abstract concept. What it matters is how people relate to the surrounding environment as well to others, and, most of the times, is a matter of attitude.


#currentsituation: Technical self-suficiency

I am what you see

The new wave of smart and portable gadgets/social media websites have taken the communication gaps, when we attend social events, to a whole new level.

We have collapsed within our inner selves to such an extent that, when we sink into an artificial world and segregate from the real one, we actually imagine 
we are more connected to the surrounding reality. At the same time, paradoxically, we experience an artificial communication breakdown.

Of course, the digital world can be more fulfilling due to the fact that when in search for self-validation, this is easy o be found compared to real life. Nobody likes to be called a self centered and insecure human being, do they?

So, those who prefer not to be crossed give up their freedom for the cozy feeling of being liked or, at least, not disliked.