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Have You Ever Undergone a Personality...
Sadhika Pant
 May 05 2024 at 01:13 pm
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Do others ever feel as if a major transformation is on the horizon, even though it hasn't fully revealed itself yet? A transformation in perspective or in character? I can't quite capture it in words, but a fleeting yet recurrent vision intrudes upon the mind—brief, vivid glimpses—of events in my life that are to come, and an urgent sense that there's a gap between who I am now and who I need to become to navigate them with a semblance of success. Surely, I can't be the only one who has experienced this sensation, for I've felt it more than once myself. “Nothing her mother had taught her was of any value whatsoever now and Scarlett's heart was sore and puzzled. It did not occur to her that Ellen could not have foreseen the collapse of the civilization in which she raised her daughters, could not have anticipated the disappearings of the places in society for which she trained them so well. It did not occur to her that Ellen had looked down a vista of placid future years, all like the uneventful years of her own life, when she had taught her to be gentle and gracious, honourable and kind, modest and truthful. Life treated women well when they had learned those lessons, said Ellen. Scarlett thought in despair: "Nothing, no, nothing, she taught me is of any help to me! What good will kindness do me now? What value is gentleness? Better that I'd learned to plow or chop cotton like a darky. Oh, Mother, you were wrong!" She did not stop to think that Ellen's ordered world was gone and a brutal world had taken its place, a world wherein every standard, every value had changed. She only saw, or thought she saw, that her mother had been wrong, and she changed swiftly to meet this new world for which she was not prepared.” - Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell. The First Rebirth A particularly significant moment when I felt this transformation was in 2017. That year, I moved out of my parents' house and relocated to a new city to live on my own. It wasn't just the city and the newfound independence that were new; it felt like my entire life was in transition. In the initial weeks of settling into Bangalore, the city where I resided at the time, I grappled with the stark realisation that I needed to change drastically to thrive in this new environment. Failure to do so seemed tantamount to being consumed by a predator. My existing personality traits fell short of what was required to succeed in my new job, given what was at stake — providing for a dependent parent. Up until then, I had been an agreeable and introverted 22-year-old. But over the course of a few months, my personality changed dramatically, and those changes persist even today, even though my responsibilities have eased. The work itself wasn't the challenge—it was everything else. I had to engage in conversations with colleagues who were 5-6 years older to me, more educated, had more work experience and knew the local language. I needed to offer valuable ideas in a lean startup setting to be included in critical discussions. I had to negotiate my salary and build a niche skill set to secure my place in the industry. None of this was possible with my old laid-back approach. I had to change, and fast. And change I did, and with it came the rewards of professional growth. That year, I stepped far outside my comfort zone. I started talking to people at my office about more than just work, and even strangers in the city. I quickly became more assertive and less agreeable. My posture improved; I stood taller and walked with more poise. I dressed in sharper formal outfits, and my confidence soared. Now, if I'm in a room with ten people working on a project, I naturally take the lead. Many of these changes occurred almost instinctively, but in hindsight, I understand the underlying motivations driving my brain's response. Carl Jung would likely describe this experience of transformation as an instance of his "rebirth" motif. Rebirth, in Jungian terms, refers to a significant psychological transformation or renewal, akin to a death and rebirth of the self. It's not just about changing superficial behaviours, but a deeper restructuring of one's psyche. “Oh some day! When there was security in her world again, then she would sit back and fold her hands and be a great lady as Ellen had been. She would be helpless and sheltered, as a lady should be, and then everyone would approve of her. Oh, how grand she would be when she had money again! Then she could permit herself to be kind and gentle, as Ellen had been, and thoughtful of other people and of the proprieties, to. She would not be driven by fears, day and night, and life would be a placid, unhurried affair. She would have time to play with her children and listen to their lessons. There would be long warm afternoons when ladies would call and, amid the rustlings of taffeta petticoats and the rhythmic harsh cracklings of palmetto fans, she would serve tea and delicious sandwiches and cakes and leisurely gossip the hours away. And she would be so kind to those who were suffering misfortune, take baskets to the poor and soup and jelly to the sick and "air" those less fortunate in her fine carriage. She would be a lady in the true Southern manner, as her mother had been. And then, everyone would love her as they had loved Ellen and they would say how unselfish she was and call her "Lady Bountiful."” - Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell. Rebirth 2.0 The irony of the present however, makes me chuckle, which is a relief—I’m glad I didn’t lose my cheerfulness even though much of me became dead wood during this transformation. It’s 2024, and I'm 29 years old. Now I realise that I need to undergo another rebirth, returning to the more agreeable and easygoing version of myself that I sacrificed at the altar of professional advancement. In other words, I must adopt a more flexible and easygoing approach. Once again, my current personality traits fall short of the mark for the path I've chosen. Otherwise, I risk underperforming in my upcoming endeavours of marriage and motherhood, looming on the horizon. I have no idea how long this reversal will take: I can be quite disagreeable, assertive, and prefer to take charge. I struggle with laziness or incompetence, and delegating doesn't come naturally. Over the past seven years, I've been in roles with authority and decision-making power. I act quickly, try to maximise efficiency at every moment and feel uneasy if things move too slowly. However, I’m optimistic about my success because I've answered the call to this adventure. Whenever I lose patience or feel the urge to systematise everything, I remind myself what I need to work on. “"If you are trying to devil me," she said tiredly, "it's no use. I know I'm not as—scrupulous as I should be these days. Not as kind and as pleasant as I was brought up to be. But I can't help it, Rhett. Truly, I can't. What else could I have done? What would have happened to me, to Wade, to Tara and all of us if I'd been— gentle when that Yankee came to Tara? I should have been—but I don't even want to think of that. And when Jonas Wilkerson was going to take the home place, suppose I'd been—kind and scrupulous? Where would we all be now? And if I'd been sweet and simple minded and not nagged Frank about bad debts we'd—oh, well. Maybe I am a rogue, but I won't be a rogue forever, Rhett. But during these past years—and even now—what else could I have done? How else could I have acted? I've felt that I was trying to row a heavily loaded boat in a storm. I've had so much trouble just trying to keep afloat that I couldn't be bothered about things that didn't matter, things I could part with easily and not miss, like good manners and—well, things like that. I've been too afraid my boat would be swamped and so I've dumped overboard the things that seemed least important." "Pride and honor and truth and virtue and kindliness," he enumerated silkily. "You are right, Scarlett. They aren't important when a boat is sinking. But look around you at your friends. Either they are bringing their boats ashore safely with cargoes intact or they are content to go down with all flags flying." "They are a passel of fools," she said shortly. "There's a time for all things. When I've got plenty of money, I'll be nice as you please, too. Butter won't melt in my mouth. I can afford to be then." "You can afford to be—but you won't. It's hard to salvage jettisoned cargo and, if it is retrieved, it's usually irreparably damaged. And I fear that when you can afford to fish up the honor and virtue and kindness you've thrown overboard, you'll find they have suffered a sea change and not, I fear, into something rich and strange…"” - Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell. Many might argue that I don't need to completely revert to an older version of myself to move forward. Perhaps they're right—I may not need a total transformation. The specifics will become clearer as the goals draw nearer. I'm prepared for my career to take a hit as I shift from relentlessness to agreeableness. It might not be a significant hit, since an 8-year reputation in the industry has got to account for something, but a hit all the same. The choice between career and motherhood isn't solely about what a woman must do, but rather, who she should be. Do men face similar calls to change their personalities, or even reverse their transformations? I'd imagine they face the former, but I’m not sure about the latter. However, women undoubtedly do. I am one of those who seeks to answer. Image Source: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)
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Femininity and “Mastering” the Fool
liberty5300
 April 22 2024 at 09:34 pm
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“I hope she'll be a fool -- that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.". ― F. Scott Fitzgerald It’s not difficult to think of the archetypal fool as a bit of a derogatory term. We tend to discuss this in regard to an apprenticeship. Jordan Peterson states, “If you are not willing to be a fool, you will never become the master.” As an adolescent and in my early twenties, I’m not quite sure I understood the positive and negative aspects of both roles. I made the mistake of assuming the role of master was the more desirable one, and maybe it is, depending on the circumstances. However, there are certainly positive aspects to the alternative. The innocence, the playfulness, the light-heartedness, the “foolishness.” These traits are, actually, quite attractive. Maybe the fool is a stepping stone to mastery, but is it also a role to master returning to? Is “the fool” a primary part of femininity? We often talk about the female fantasy on Thinkspot, right? There are quite a few versions of this. However, what is the male fantasy? Maybe it’s sleeping with hoards of women while saving the world, like in Nateybakes’ comic books (lol). I’m not quite sure about this though. I think there’s a bit more to it, and it’s not fair to reduce men to this level. In addition to attractiveness, there must be a trait in women which allows men to transcend “variety” and commit to one person, at least, temporarily. Beautiful women are everywhere, but why do some seem to have more options? Evolutionary biologists say women are the choosers, but what makes a woman capable of choosing? My theory is that the most desirable trait in women, is “willingness to be a fool.” This very trait may be what many men tend to confuse with “submission” in the red pill community. What do you think, Thinkspot?
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My Conservative Views on Alcohol
Sadhika Pant
 May 10 2024 at 10:17 am
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Last weekend, I was out with some friends when I noticed something interesting that I’ll now write about. As we were about to enter the restaurant where the six of us had planned to have lunch on Sunday, I saw a sign at the entrance that said, “No alcohol will be served to customers below 25 years.” To give a bit of context, I was in New Delhi, where the legal drinking age is 25. This is the case in many Indian states, while in others, the legal age is either 21 or 18. Typically, purchasing alcohol for consumption at home, even if you're under 25, is relatively easy since establishments rarely ask for IDs, and there's always the option to rely on an older acquaintance to be cautious. However, finding a restaurant or bar willing to serve alcohol to individuals under 25 is challenging, making drinking in public settings less convenient. My friends and I are in our twenties or thirties, but we hadn't planned on drinking that day. After we sat down at our table, I asked if anyone felt like having a drink, still thinking about the notice I saw outside. Out of my four friends, one mentioned that she'd like to, but she had to drive back home. Another friend has a two-year-old and hasn't touched alcohol since her child was born. "I'd feel guilty, like I'm setting a bad example," she explained. A third friend thought about it for a moment before saying no; he had a presentation due on Monday and didn't want to risk having a hangover. My fourth friend said, "My parents live alone, and I’d never forgive myself if something happened to them and I wasn't sober enough to drive over or help. So I hardly ever drink now; it's not worth the stress." As for my boyfriend, he's saving up for a new car, so he's only spending on "what's important," and alcohol doesn't make the list. I rarely drink—maybe two or three times a year, usually for a special occasion or on vacation—so my default answer to the question was no. I looked around the table and smiled to myself. I’ve known these people for years, and probably they would have jumped at the opportunity to drink had I asked them the same question about five years back. Of course, back then, most of us would have been under the legal drinking age, so there's that. Many people criticise the government for raising the legal drinking age to 25, pointing out compelling arguments like, "Why can you vote and get married at 18 but not drink?" The government's reasoning is that it aims to discourage alcohol consumption rather than completely prohibiting it (except in dry states like Gujarat and Bihar). Indian society generally has conservative attitudes towards alcohol, and higher drinking ages align with those views, encouraging responsible behaviour and reinforcing family and community values. This trend is precisely what I've noticed among my group of friends, and probably among many 30-year-olds. The responsibility of caring for children or dependent parents, increased work commitments, more mindful spending, a reduced appetite for risk, and a growing preference for healthier lifestyles have all led to a drop in alcohol consumption. These factors seem to become especially significant once you pass the age of 25. It seems like that's exactly what the government was aiming for when it set the legal drinking age at 25. We now have the freedom and the means to drink, but we find ourselves wanting it less and less. Maybe it's our middle-class upbringing that prevents us from splurging on late-night drinking sessions every weekend or during the week, wandering around the city intoxicated with a child on one’s hip until the early hours. By the time you're 30, the stakes are much higher, and it just doesn't seem appropriate. It's better to make reckless choices, take unnecessary risks, and break some rules in your 20s, so that by the time you hit 30, you want to grow up instead of trying too hard to convince yourself you’re still young. What is a good quality life? It depends on who you ask. If you ask me and some of my friends, we’d say: No screens after 8 pm, going to sleep at 10, waking at 5, morning swims, evening walks with your dog, three home-cooked meals a day, time with family, and time to read and pray. But among most other Indian corporate employees, it seems to have been redefined as endless Bloody Marys on the beach. Too many young people have bought into the idea that life is short so one is entitled to have as much “fun” as one can while it lasts, when they can focus on changes to make life long. It is not alcohol itself that is the problem. It is the unpredictability of the variables that ensues when one is tipsy. Especially when one drinks with one’s colleagues at an office party, or with a group of people one may not know too well. Or even on a first date (I often advise my friends to never go on first dates that involve alcohol). Boundaries start to blur, touches become more suggestive, and anything can trigger violence, profanity, or public misbehaviour. And it's usually the person who isn't drinking who ends up dealing with the police, mediating arguments, driving everyone home, or cleaning up the mess. Alcohol erodes respect and reliability—qualities that should matter more as people get older. Although I don't believe that all alcohol consumption should be banned by law or custom (who can predict what happens with too much rigidity?), I also think it's wrong to gloss over the negative effects on health and society just for the sake of tolerance. None of my friends waited until 25 to have our first drink. However, the higher age limit certainly made it more difficult for us to drink wherever and whenever we wanted. We approach drinking as if it's a guilty pleasure—discreetly, quietly, and with caution. It might sound harsh, but perhaps some things are better done with a bit of shame rather than fanfare. In the state where I grew up, liquor stores were generally so shabby and unappealing that you'd rather avoid them altogether. But in the state where I live now, alcohol is half the price, and liquor stores are on nearly every corner. These stores are as sleek and modern as a supermarket, complete with shopping carts, as if they're selling something as harmless as cookies. I come from a progressive family (by Indian standards), and some of the older members occasionally enjoy a drink or two. However, I have to admit that I lose a bit of respect when I see them drinking in front of me or around their children. I’d prefer they drank in secret, so I can keep my illusions about them alive. I prefer responsible adults to cool adults and I find 30-40 year old frat boys a rather ugly sight. Abstaining from alcohol on religious holidays and wedding days is a tradition in India, and I hope it remains that way. I find myself pondering the deep-rooted sense of inferiority among Indians as a cultural collective. It's disconcerting to witness the rush to blindly ape Western customs such as bachelor parties and strip clubs, particularly in a country as beautiful and culturally rich as mine. It's time we valued our unique traditions and embraced the wisdom they offer, rather than chasing after trends that might not truly serve us. It's important to appreciate the values and traditions that shape our identity, rather than chasing a superficial sense of modernity. After all, true progress must borrow from the outside, but it also must find strength in the wealth of its own roots.
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When you’re trying something new, some...
danielwisniewski
 April 24 2024 at 04:22 am
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When you’re trying something newDo you remember the first time you drove somewhere new? Especially if you were moving somewhere else. Every sight, sound and every other sense was new and foreign. You might’ve felt alien. It was unmapped territory. You did not have a mental image of how far the road went, how many buildings were on it, who else was around, etc. You might have even imagined your surroundings based on clues you observed but nothing yet was fully explored, verified or memorized. There are so many details we take for granted typically and simply allow to fade into the background. Of course, much of this is simply because we have limits on how much we can readily absorb. Our attention span might not have the strength to simultaneously execute navigating unfamiliar territory, executing our daily tasks, our daily needs and then say, also mentally note how many trees line your block. We let a lot blur into the background. If we tried to study every single thing we encountered we would overwhelm ourselves and not get anything done. Of course, filtering is necessary on some level. It has some utility to see certain things in the mode of archetypes with less detail and we do need to utilize our energy effectively towards our goals and agenda. We might note a shopping center on a drive but not find knowing each store as relevant. If we did not discard some of what we observed, we would dilute our sense of meaning oddly enough. A book holds the words, sentences and ideas it holds, not every word, sentence and idea, if it held them all it would cease to have its own story. A story is also defined by what it does not have, what is missing often says just as much as what it does say. Even if some filtering is necessary, it seems wise to try to map out surroundings on an as needed basis. As there are relevant landmarks to your specific daily tasks, long term goals and simple navigation of your surroundings. One might widen the net thoroughly for their own neighborhood so they have a home turf advantage. The irony here is when we first arrive and everything seems new, we are highly observant but feel like we know nothing. On the flipside as we become accustomed to going about our day, staying true to the minimum we need to observe to get through said day, we tend to mark our immediate surroundings as “known” when truly they are often a blur on the roadside of our tunnel vision view. Do you know the types of trees growing in your neighborhood? What is the color of each house to your right and left and across the street? Do you know how many steps up to your apartment? Do you know your neighbors? As this is a martial arts website, of course the implication is “beware of your surroundings, stay observant”. While this is true, it’s not just about safety. It’s an even more hardwired human need than safety; community, friends and love. We should reach out and meet our neighbors not just as a tactical solution to clear security risks and have a communication network. We should do so because we are better off when we hide alone in our homes less. When we see each other face to face and try to connect, even if all we might seem to share in common is geography, it is vitally important to meet diverse groups of people for our learning and growing. On a side note, if you ever need to make an emergency call, being able to describe landmarks, know adjacent roads and describe neighbors houses is vital information to receive aid faster when seconds really count. If there is ever a burglary or worse, well, first of all you might prevent it to start with simply by knowing what your neighbors look like. Otherwise some stranger suspiciously lurking your neighbors home stands out a lot more when you know them. It’s important also to not simply trust someone wearing a uniform or holding tools. This is a common scam. The other method is to hide in plain sight. If we form a network with our neighbors we can ask them to keep a lookout and inform them if someone is coming by to do some work. We can provide the age old example of a cup of sugar, we can do favors for each other. We are able to form trust, build more of a traditional community where we help each other. Another factor I was thinking about while writing this is comfort zones. I think a lot of minimizing our scope comes down to either 1. Specializing our view, 2. Succumbing to tunnel vision, or 3. Adhering to a comfort zone. We get really clingy with our comfort. Even if most people seem to say they want to travel and they want adventure, sometimes it is more of an image they are seeking or an ideal because the actual reality is not the same. Ever heard of someone saying they hate their hometown but they also never leave? It occurred to me, thinking of it as a comfort zone or lack thereof is incomplete. Don’t we want a relative level of comfort even as we are challenged by a goal? We want some level of soreness when we leave the gym, sure, otherwise we might question if we worked hard enough, but we don’t want injury. We are “comfortable” with the soreness. Soreness even releases feel good chemicals in the body. So it is not so much I am asking you to abandon your comfort zone. I’m asking you to expand it. I’m also saying if we mark things as “known” mentally be it our surroundings, a subject, a skill, or anything else we do, it limits our view. It heightens our risk for danger through lack of awareness of our surroundings but also of our own ignorance. Even more vital, we do not appreciate the novel things if we need them to jostle us out of a haze before we notice anything. Even what might seem mundane is beautiful and amazing if you apply attention to it. When we open our eyes to our surroundings it allows us to appreciate the grand mystery of this world and this universe. It allows us to see the stories of those around us and make connections and hopefully grow those connections into new friendships to heal a world divided by too much screen time, too much social media and media generally. We are able to appreciate our world and aim to achieve more than just survival. We are able to strive for more than the road of least resistance, deciding to accept challenges, seek out the horizon, imagine what is out there and go see for ourselves.

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