Thoughts At Dawn

I am writing this at the hour of tiger. Although, I hear more ravens cawing haha the dawn is about to break. I mostly wake up around this time, no matter what time I go to sleep. It’s like a body clock that just wakes me up before dawn. Boy am I glad it does! Some of the most fulfilling moments of life are the hours witnessed at the break of dawn. The still and calming air. It’s almost as if all tranquility descends down at this time. Those who wake up find some of it descend into their hearts. However, waking up is not enough. Once out of the bed, you have to perform your routine rituals to truly feel and witness the moments. One of my habits when I wake up at this hour is to feel and witness the quietest moments, enjoy them, meditate on them.

That said, sometimes I lose the ability to get up of the bed and laziness becomes my companion. I wake up lying in bed, feeling cold and sometimes feeling other emotions. At other times it’s a rush of thoughts in my head that I am trying to calm. This turbulent state of mind sometimes really worries me. How can the mind not be quiet at the break of dawn. When all life is still, why is the mind not still? Why are there thoughts zooming in and out of the head? Pretty sure though, this is probably something a cycle or a period others go through too. When I get to this stage, I am concerned with the ways to return to a state of calm and quiet. Sometimes that is through meditation, other times through prayers, or at time simply accepting the fact that I am feeling lazy and half the reason why my mind is filled with myriad concerns is because of feeling unproductive. The mind is concerned with productivity and perhaps ego. Ego wants to feel valued, ego wants to break laziness, the higher consciousness is rebuking the laziness that is creeping in the self.

Exercise- martial arts, running or some of form of routine is a good way to create a void in mind, where thoughts can be blocked out. This void is quite healthy the way I am. Solitude and finding time alone is something that has always come easy to me. To keep my self in balance though, I have to balance solitude with activities or simply conversations with other humans; friends, family, peers and so on.

Then there are fewer periods where I lose the ability to wake up at the hour of dawn and my body clock stops waking me up. There are also periods of fatigue tied to waking up naturally at this time. No matter what time I go to bed because I wake up just before dawn, which is a blessing to me. My body requires a nap in the afternoon. Lately, these naps had been turning to hour long naps or more. Last few days, I have been so fatigued I guess that I fell asleep during the daytime without realising it. The following few nights were followed with waking up from a sleep paralysis and hypno-whatever the term for that nightmare lol. I am saying this and yet here I am writing at the hour of dawn… this had me worried because when I woke up, my leg muscles felt so weak that it felt like I had no strength in them. I looked this up and all symptoms pointed towards narcolepsy. Yes… taking a long look back I have had few moments here and there where I have fallen asleep and woken up confused. However, knowing my level of activity in those times especially school days and college helps me dismiss these as symptoms of some sort. These last 2 weeks fatigue built up is probably due to some other factor too, lack of consistent exercise, poor blood circulation. The fact is because it has been raining I haven’t ran or exercised at home. Yesterday though after waking up, I exercised till my leg muscles gained their working strength.

What I am saying is human body has limitations. Sometimes the weather, other times poor sleep pattern-(in my case), lack of exercise or psychological or physiological stress can induce fatigue, undue stress in our body which is out of the ordinary. The best thing to do when stuff like this happens is to take extra care of the self.

I didn’t start writing this article today. I have written it over a few different days. More like whenever I felt like dumping my thoughts in my head at the early hour of dawn. Writing at this hour helps me quiet the mind and focus, instead of just scrolling through the internet or YouTube or some other platform. It helps me centre myself so that I can look forward to mediate and exercise at the minimum. After I have done that I am more than grateful and happy to head back and catch up on my sleep.

This is my normal circadian rhythm. I am quite used to the fact that I have to catch up on my sleep via naps. Although there are occasional days when I sleep a whole 12 hours or more. This reminds me of the time when I was around 9, I fell asleep for two weeks. There are just a few things I can recall from that time, I vaguely recall being dragged to go to the toilet, I recall waking up after two weeks and getting up to walk and falling down. My body wasn’t responding, so I had to crawl until I could walk again. Which only took a week at most. The reason given to me at the time was that I was sick and mumps made my body quite weak. Not sure if that was a coma, because I was not hospitalised. Anyhow… that’s just a short trip down memory lane, the last two years has really helped me recall most past memories. Before that I mostly used to think that I have a poor childhood memory. Even though I know that my memory in the present has always been really good. In fact, if anything it has improved a lot more after being able to process and recall many of the past memories.

Chasing dreams

There is a lot of things I can talk about, when talking about fulfilling one’s dreams. The way I have always approached this, even before I began reading all psychology books, self-help books and talks; is through focusing on short-term goals and having the bigger dream etched in your subconscious. This then helps you be flexible no matter how meandering the path you tread upon is, there is always a centre to gravitate back to. When I say meandering, I don’t necessarily mean getting knocked down or falling in pits, I also mean, always seeking alternatives, being flexible and not fixated on a single path that will lead to that eventual success in the future.

When I was in school and college, I wanted to be an engineer and a pilot. Lol I am far from that path. I am not going to delve into my current path in this moment because I am enjoying the pursuit. However, this is what I will tell you, it has helped me overcome so many of my struggles and has helped instil good habits. It is a combination of good habits, processes and improving every day. I will keep following it as long as there is more room for improvement, which I see no end to 😉. For those of you who know me and are well acquainted know that I can sometimes be too stubborn, doing things on my own. Sure, things can be hard, you get steam rolled many times. That is the whole point, right? Grit, determination, and persistence. Along the road to achieve great things, your character is tested, moulded, and strengthened. You connect with strangers who have the potential to be lifelong friends, coaches, mentors, peers, and people who push you to be your best. You come across strangers who for no apparent reason will show hate- that is because they do not have the ability to either dream or the courage to pursue. They will always have excuses or negativity to discourage and derail you from your path. This is also part of the journey that tests your persistence and character. Your mission is to stay focussed and keep getting back up when knocked down.

It is how you choose to respond to different situations.

There is a false belief held by many people that, successful people are born rich, or they come from privileged backgrounds. They falsely measure success by money, material possessions such as cars and clothing and other indulgences of lavish and luxurious lifestyles.

Furthermore, those who become successful and get rich too, are demonized by those that are not. The class system is like a prison for the minds of the masses. Obviously, there is a whole area of inequality and equal opportunities to address here but right now, I want to talk about reasons why a lot of rich and successful folks should not be demonized. I was writing about this some weeks back but cannot seem to remember where lol.

What most people see is the tip of the iceberg. The peak! They do not see the failures, rejections, broke nights, fear, grit, courage. Either they have a false sense of success and they do not know how to measure it, or they are just hesitant to uncover their own potential and love to stay in their comfort zones. I feel that this deserves more explanation, but I may do the injustice of demonising other parties in the discussion if I go on about it. Personally, I look at individuals and do my best to not be prejudiced. I do not look at what group they are standing behind, what flag are they flying. Those attributes of an individual are pretty irrelevant to me until they prove it so through their tongues and hearts. Even then, perhaps because I believe in mercy and forgiveness more, I always encourage the art of thoughtful disagreement and negotiations instead of divisive actions that can escalate quickly. One such example is what is happening around the world currently. Protests turning into riots. The proponents of protests will say that our cause and agenda was peace, but they must assess the likelihood of mob mentality, individuals and groups that will take the opportune moment for vandalism. Many might not agree and back other evidence that may show that outsiders masquerading are responsible in reality for the riots and damage caused. Heck! I don’t even know why I am talking about this. Perhaps, because I recently read the book on the mind of the crowd. What influences them, what controls them, how they can be a good force and how easy it is to turn the situation into anarchy and chaos. Yeah, I know I said that I will talk about the mind of the crowd in a new blogpost, but that is such a lengthy topic. The blog will get all political because the book is based on revolutionary events and wars that have shaped our world. It discusses other historical events and how leaders emerge and qualities they possess. It is a great read for anyone who is a leader of a country, group, or community. Personally, for me, it is good knowledge to be able to maintain my individuality and not get caught up with the distractions that will divert me away from my personal dreams and goals. If you are interested the book is written by a French Psychologist Gustave Le Bon, I have two of his books. One titled, ‘The Crowd: The Study of the Popular mind’ and the other one which I still have not read despite owning it for nearly a decade, ‘Psychology of Revolution’ but I can assure you both books are rich and very thought provoking.

Sweet dreams are made of this…. who am I to disagree? I travel the world and seven seas; everybody is looking for something… this song just popped in my head while writing this ha-ha

I am planning to finish writing this and the other post that has been laying in my drafts, almost complete.

Being spontaneous sometimes, I cannot explain things the best way, because I am not really researching this particular topic just writing from what I have learnt from life experiences thus far. In one of my previous posts I mentioned that words are powerful, yes sure they are. However, when words are negatively impacting, all you need is a thick skin to deal with them thick skulls, the right kind of thick skills that you need to deal with thick sick folks. You see what I done there lol  

Ok, let’s get back to talking about chasing dreams, there’s many lessons that I can share from personal experiences, not all seem relevant to me right now but what I will share is that, learn from other people’s mistakes and experiences because if you don’t you will be learning the hard way by making all those mistakes yourself. Trial and error approach can be a good thing, it is not for everyone though because if you cannot recover from failures, you will keep falling into chaos. If you are set to learn from your mistakes, you best develop skills to coach yourself, be coach-able by listening to experts, reaching out for help, and accepting help. Synthesizing information. My belief is that knowledge increases when shared, knowledge is an asset unlike any other, if you are stripped away from all worldly possessions, you still possess your knowledge so long as you keep strong mentally. What differentiates those who reach their potential and those who do not with all great ideas is the ability to implement. A human thought! Is it really unique? We all share some connection and there are over 7 billion people in the world and many a generation that have lived on this planet before us. So, think about that again? Is your thought really unique to you? What is unique however, is the ability to act upon them.

Over the years, what I have realised is that it sometimes feels as if you cannot remember anything, all learnt knowledge has been lost. It is very easy to retrieve and access blurred information and memories if you apply the right methods in doing so. That is a whole different area where I may possess some practical skills, but my understanding and knowledge is not sufficient to even try explaining how that happens. How are those neurons wired? How do they get rewired? How do you connect old pathways again? What is the link between different compartments of the brain? Short-term memory (RAM) long-term memory (hard drive), then there are different methods like being able to recall through picturing and imagining. I don’t have a clue how to explain this but what I know about myself is this, my auditory memory is better, I absorb more information and understand better when I listen, I learn by doing, learning theory is good but application-less knowledge is easiest to forget.  Then for some other things I have a photographic memory, it is not the best photographic memory because perhaps I realised at a much older age that I have one. So, I am working on it slowly to improve it again. Neuroplasticity or what I refer to it in simple terms how malleable is your brain? Malleable materials can be hammered into sheets, ductile are used to make rods and wires. That is where I get this word from, it may save you a google search if you have never studied physics. I have never studied biology. I used to hate rote memorisation when I was younger. Even though I had a really good memory, it is just that at that age I did not know which methods worked better for me. I have always understood concepts better. I had some teachers who saw that in me.

Anyway my main point and why I am sharing this is so you can work out for yourself, no matter at which stage in life you are, what your age is, find out how your brain works, how you learn best, this information is crucial if you want to go after your dreams, it will help shorten learning curves by uncovering your potential and lighting things up for you that make the most sense to you.

I do not even know how much of all that I have written makes sense right now Ha-ha, I have been just jumping around trying to connect dots in my head.

Anyhow I have gone on long enough I reckon, I have to get back at chasing my dreams, currently that will be watching a particular video because it explained stuff in detail and at an advanced level that can help me get to that next stage. That said, remember you can get better every day. 1% improvement, marginal gains, compound on good habits and good processes.  I don’t talk about all my endeavours because that’s probably my introverted side, soon perhaps I will share it or maybe I won’t at all, because I want to blog about stuff, other than those endeavours because If I mix up everything then I won’t be able to find a niche that I am looking for in my writing outside of those endeavours, and probably blur the line between two different passions that I lose the spark in one of them. I do not want to eat, sleep and drink on a single passion alone ha-ha. I think that is what I am trying to say here.  This is why I mostly relate it to martial arts because that is what truly helped me understand first principles and power of synthesizing information and knowledge. A period of different growth started then. A journey within….

You must find balance within yourself before you set out to bring balance to the world.

This ☝️being the reason why I am extra wary of mob mentality, groupthink, social conformity, and trend following. Basically, anything that can turn you into a sheep. You do not want to lose your uniqueness and individuality on your path to achieving greatness, rather embrace it, accept it. Proactively building on your strengths and eliminating weaknesses. When I say eliminate, I do not necessarily mean cut out completely because that is impossible because we are humans, fallible and make mistakes continually. There are many methods- minimising, being systematic and setting rules, following a principles-based approach, leveraging- getting help from good people in areas where you are weak, triangulating with believable others.

I was supposed to stop writing lol because I still got to edit this blog. Remember to share this if it helps you, not for my sake but to help others whom you would like to help and benefit. Obviously if you find it helpful yourself ha-ha because I know a lot of people reading this will know a lot of this already.

If my mumbo jumbo made sense in this blog, leave a comment ha-ha. In the coming blog, I might pick few key words and concepts and expand on them. One of the reasons why I am writing all of this is also because these streams of thoughts that come, often help me find clarity in my goals, objectives, and dreams. I really write to help myself 🤣😂🤗 ha-ha but share in hope it helps you too.

Until next time,

Enjoy the weather while it is beautiful and lockdown coming to an end.

I want to learn at least one new tricking move that I do not know this summer. Going to go do that. Looking to learn aerial or 540 tornado kick.

Deep Reflections

It’s the last 10 blessed nights of Ramadan. I want to take this opportunity to reflect upon my life, goals and dreams.

The meandering path that I have tread upon, the struggle against the heavy currents, the deep desire to constantly improve, learn more about myself and increase in knowledge. Through the practise of martial arts the main lesson that I have learnt is that by going to the first principles, we can see how different paths in life are similar. Through reflection I have been able to seek these similarities in many different fields and sciences, the principles hold through time. Principles are universal and those who deny it, they are deluded within the realm of their ego and self-esteem. Humility and open-mindedness are traits to possess when seeking knowledge, it will help develop critical thinking, analytical thinking and a mindset that questions before you start following anything blindly.

I am reading a psychology book which talks about the minds of masses. Throughout history we can delve into this study and see how many events of the past have been shaped because of these factors, perhaps I will write all of this in another blog post. For now, let me stick to discussing my reflections, goals and dreams.

One of my dreams in life is to eradicate poverty and child abuse. I know it’s idealistic to believe that all vices can be eliminated completely. However, I want to do what I can within my capacity and I want to achieve this through education. Hence, one of my main dreams from a younger age has been to establish an educational institution which is self-sustaining and once set-up it can function with minimum injection of additional capital- be that through any public or private means.

What I want that educational institution to be like? I have spent many hours in the past years thinking over it and I can say that the more I think and visualise it, the clearer the image of this institution becomes. It’s just an idea that I have shared on many other platforms before, not yet implemented on my part. However, there are many institutions around that have implemented many aspects similar to my thinking. I have learnt a lot by looking at these different institutions and how they function. One such institution is Zaytuna. If you read my blog, I would suggest you donate to them because for 1) educating and teaching others is an ongoing charity unlike other forms of charity which once given gets a set reward and 2) Zaytuna is one of those institutions that instil the principles in its pupils that help them succeed in whatever field they want to pursue afterwards. How do they do that? Through teaching the first principles, by developing the minds of the pupils enabling them to think for themselves; it grants them the ability to make sound judgement, utilising good morals and values. Through teaching them rhetoric and grammar, through teaching them the skills of effective communication, through eloquence.

I haven’t had the opportunity to study there and hence my words cannot describe their system the best way. However, what I would like to add to this is that, if you’d like to get to know the Islamic teachings through traditional way, not what the Mainstream media portrays what Islam is. E.g. Islam was the first religion to grant women equal rights, the first wife of Prophet pbuh, was a businesswoman, a source of comfort for him, a friend, who shared the responsibility of the household together. By getting to the correct teachings you can perhaps come to change your views about Islam, whether you follow its teachings or you don’t. The best way to remove animosity towards one another is by taking interest in others. Real interest that shows the real morals and values of the community, the people, the nation, the society.

I think prejudice, judging others and forming opinions without properly knowing others is the wrong way to get to know someone. It is an easy way for closed-minded people to stay within their comfort zones and live inside the bubble of their ego. We should especially be bursting these bubbles in these times, we have so much free time. Let’s take this opportunity to learn about ourselves and others. Reflect within and learn to see the goodness in others. If we look at others with faults, that’s all we will ever find. To expand on this, when we look at others with faults, we really are just extending our own subconscious on others. That’s a deep thing to ponder over.

For those of you who know me personally or are at least acquainted with me, I would like to request that you kindly donate what you can towards Zaytuna. If you wish to see more helpful muslims as your neighbours, as your friends, as community leaders who lead as good role models, as loving and caring members of the society then please donate. The institution runs with the help of donors and you can be part of providing good education, which becomes a means of an ongoing reward for yourself and anyone on whose behalf you donate, be they your deceased loved ones or those who are alive and close to you.

In my next few posts, I will perhaps talk a bit more about the educational institution that I want to build. It’s my long-term goal, if and when I have the capacity to follow this path. I will also talk about the mind of the masses and how to understand it. I perhaps being one of those deep thinkers, and who isn’t easily swayed by trends and someone who likes to call themselves a non-conformist (as in my name as the author), you can understand why I would lean towards reading such deep books. Anyhow, to end this blog, I would like to say, don’t fall into the trap of knowing-it-all and don’t fall into the trap that you’re worthless. Rather have a balanced approach, stay humble, stay curious, curiosity towards learning, not being nosy in other people’s matters or curiosity that leads to hate and envy. To create a harmonious society, I firmly believe that we all should strive to better ourselves individually, and then, only then extend that help forward. That said, this tells me that it is time for me to stop writing and look within myself to better myself. Look within, what’s within is what’s reflected outwards. See the funny thing about delusional people is that, they themselves don’t ever realise that they are deluded. The irony! Hmm, I still have the habit of being spontaneous when I write, just typing my mind out loud, perhaps it is my strength. With time, I will start writing articles with better research process. I am fairly new with this blog so I focus on consistency because I love writing. I started loving it more by sharing more and writing more often. You develop a passion by engaging in the arts. The art of writing has now become my passion, I know there is always room for improvement. The grammar, the sentence structure, how I articulate my thoughts, so much more to improve on. With time and years to come, I will seek to improve. I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback. Feel free to share this and help raise funds for a good cause.

Until next time,

Keep safe