SAY ‘NO’ – The Way to Establish Boundaries

Let’s get something straightened out. For those of you who aren’t liberal enough, you’re not going to get it. Some of you may think you get it; you want to get it. You claim that you could relate to others with what you’ve personally been through, but you could never understand what it means to live someone else’s life. To be a has-been, you need to actually “have been”.

Telling someone off with the two-letter word can be a powerful statement in and of itself. You’re setting a boundary between them and you; a mark of how far you’d go for them. Of course it is only natural that anyone being told off “no” would like to hear a reason for it. There is that suggest of genuinely wanting to know. For the most part, you’re almost tempted to give them your excuses. You hope that they could be persuaded to see things through your eyes, too.

I’m going to break it to you: they don’t need it. You don’t have to do the persuasion bit. All that’s left after saying a firm, comprehensible “no” is to proceed with your own programme. As for the other person; so long as you’ve fulfilled your end of your responsibilities, then they just have to respect that decision. It’s entirely up to them as to how they’d want to make peace with it.

Giving a succinct “no” for an answer; without any further justifications can bring about an important change in how others see you. You’re giving off the impression that you are not one to be taken lightly, or to be taken advantage of. Your generosity is not to be mistaken for subservience.

Here are some things I wished I had known for the longest time; growing up. Knowing when to say no at the appropriate time can be tricky, but it’s not so mind-boggling as you might think.

“People think focus means saying yes to the things you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.”

Steve Jobs
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Announcing The Twenty-Eight Days Of Haiku !

Hey there ! It’s me, Jack.

First of all, welcome to Esse Duo ! Thank you for coming, and enjoy your stay.

When we arrive at a new month, we may ask ourselves what changes we can commit to in order to improve ourselves. Sometimes, we bite off more than we can chew, which can leave us feeling dissatisfied.

Change, I find, is something best implemented over time in small, consistent doses. Commitment, reliability and punctuality are all important qualities that I admittedly should be working on.

Thinking as such, I have decided to commit to a month of daily Haiku poetry publishing !

Haikus are short, three line poems. They consist of a rigid meter of five syllables, followed by seven, and finally another five. They originated in Japan, and have since become popular in the West.

Traditionally, Haiku were intended to portray the beauty of natural phenomena, and provide human metaphorical insight into those processes. Since then, Haiku have evolved to cover a more general subject matter.

For me, as long as a poem adheres to the 5-7-5 syllable structure, its a Haiku. I’m no expert, but I’m sure I’ll cover a lot of different topics that way.

So, here we are; the twenty-eight days of Haiku ! Neither of us know what exactly to expect from the result, but I’m certain something nice will come out of it.

I hope you enjoy the this month of poetry.

Jack.

Artist: Katsushika Hokusai; Publisher: Moriya Jihei; Source: Minneapolis Institute of Art;

8 Things Twenty-Somethings Should Know About Future Planning

Reaching your 20 years’ checkpoint is a huge deal. It’s crucial. It is the time where it’s possible to celebrate your life and choose to walk down the paths that will mould you. This chapter of your life will determine the way you’d live your upcoming decades.

The truth is: not many people give enough emphasis on the importance of the so-called ‘defining decade’. That’s because not many people walked into their twenties knowing what they’d want for themselves. In many ways, people take their youth for granted.

Chances are that if you are fresh in your 20s, or somewhere within that age range, it isn’t too late. Your life hasn’t yet begun. Your past; regrets and failures hold no merit. Take lessons from your story in all its wonder, and let the next chapter continue.

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The Dynamic Of A Pram – A Poem

Innocent, you looked up
At the world that walks and talks,
And you tried to sit up
To absorb the wonder of it all

Yet you yourself were restrained
By harsh black Velcro that had you framed
Like a crayon picture for motherly inspection.

Restrained, thus detached,
From your mother and the world:
One only needs logic
To systematise the effect of this cause.

It was a shame when you looked up
And saw your gentle mother
Looking not at you, but the same
Talking-walking world that you were watching

So you winced, and cried, not just for yourself
But for the family unit as it manifests
In today’s absent world.

In short, we are out of touch; asynchronous
With not only the present, but our identities:
The days when mother held child
Like monkey held infant are receding
Like rainforests in the new age.

Infancy encapsulates
The most formative of days,
So every position, every situation
And every sigh of early morning air
Can alter the course of your toy-box ship.

Who Are You ? – A Poem

Who is it you are beneath your mask ?
What task could ever crack its curse ?
Your persona;
Faceted as a chiseled diamond,
Distorting any glaring light
That could expose the essence below;
I long to scratch it’s stony surface,
I long to see it’s final end,
To put its tired smile to rest.
I wonder, if I tore off your mask
Would it be one of many layers ?
Layers, that work together,
Like soldiers in an army,
Prepared to be replaced ?
Let me catch a glimpse of You,
And see at last what is true.
On the meadow, let us lie
And let us dance until we die.
Show me every shade of blue,
That makes your sky so beautiful. 

High-Speed Rail – A Poem

A high-speed rail connects
The distant north
To the distant south.
We all are close;
Closer than ever.
Too close, in fact,
That it’s impossible
To get
Away.
Maybe we’d
Have been better off
With simple roads...
But why stop there ?
Let’s just walk everywhere !
But what
Would that change ?
The flaws in life 
Are fundamental;
Restrain them 
As we may
They’re here to stay
Forever
And a lifetime. 

Drunk – A Drunk Poem

I’m bored
And pissed 
The worst
Combination.
Someone’s talking
About stabilising
The drug economy
Which doesn’t mean
A fucking thing
To me
Because my drug
Is alcohol
And it’s royally
Legal.
There are seven letters
That mean more to me
That stabilising
The economy,
Perhaps,
And they are:
A
L
C
O
H
O
L. 

Affirmations
And opinions
Interject
Like two streams
Of piss.

No, man,
I don’t,
Care,
About
NASA’s droopy flag,
Or owning,
Spacesuits,
That are frankly
Terrifying,
For some abstract reason,
Like how
They look like
The Michelin man
Or something
Equally
Terrifying.

Im willing to bet
Against the man diagonally
Opposite me;
I’m willing to bet,
That he is pulling bullshit facts
Out of his very own
Faecal matter
That he just rocketed
Out of
His Ass.

Fuck this.
I’m done.

Life – A Poem

Life
Is a car crash
Outside of a motel
That you never wanted
To stay in

Life
Is a mattress
Where the sheets
Change their tone
Every day

Life
Is an ashtray
Filled by doctors
By politicians
And sheep

Life
Is a shark
In a tin of tuna
Mislabeled
As squid rings

Life
Is an audition
For a play
But one must guess
The script

Human Errors: The Case Against Yourself

Nobody is perfect and you are not an exception to that rule. We are ridden with flaws, mistakes, guilt, grief, regrets, and insecurities. Heck, the problem could also lie in our dissatisfaction with our own appearances or the way we choose to identify. It’s the parts of us that makes us human. Imperfections are deemed unforgivable, and acceptance goes a long way.

In our minds there exists this image of the ideal person that we all aspire to become. If one could have things their way, they’d want to be that person now. Yet, personal growth is a process. You can’t rush it. Nobody becomes their best selves overnight.

It is something that you’re going to hate to put into practice on a daily basis in order to fit into that expectation. We’ll only get better at it as we grow.

What most people fail to keep in mind, however, is that you can’t always be that person. There are days we get into a slipping up streak and we lose a hold of ourselves. Many of us give into the pressure regardless.

By dwelling on our mistakes, we hinder ourselves from learning effectively from them. Lessons often come from the gravity of the fault itself, and that is to never repeat it again. Denial essentially prevents us from learning a second, more profound lesson: letting go and moving on.

It is easier said than done. It takes a lot of self-actualisation and maturity to putting aside our flaws and that of others to savour the silver linings. Those who get the short end of the stick often spiral into self-hatred.

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Stop Fetishising Your Own Sadness- instead never give in

People make excellent defeatists. Self-doubt, incessant worrying, and having insecurities are not novel to us. The reality is such that for many people, those are their first reactions when it comes to facing problems. We anticipate failure.

Things only get beyond the point of healthy when our expectancy of failure or rejection influences our decision-making. Because we all want to play it safe, now don’t we?

To confine oneself within their comfort zone is no way to keep safe. It prevents a person from progressing in life through developmental learning and getting more exposures. The very components of growth.

It is only through our personal growth do we become more adept at increasing our chances for survival.

Many people wallow in self-pity and defeat without having any kind of intention to move pass beyond it. Admitting to hopelessness is easier for them than it is to putting in the effort to overcome the problem. It is not that they are finding comfort in what they can’t do; it is about them finding comfort in what they aren’t willing to do.

They’d rather end up feeling all sad, complaining with despair than to take initiative.

This behaviour has to stop. It’s not healthy in the long-run. The best way to putting a stop to this problem lies in our perspectives. A readjustment of our perceptions is often the most effective solution to most barriers that are psychology-related.

“Happy is the man who has broken the chains which hurt the mind and has given up worrying once and for all.”

Ovid, Roman poet. Born 43 BC, died 17-18 AD.
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The Peregrine Falcon – A Poem

As flecks of grey against weathered crags,
The pigeon flock glides over foamy sands,
They graze the gaunt, sallow faces of cliffs,
Contoured by eternal moss, untouched by sage hands.
 
The picture of patience, with mercy of man,
From heaven above, the peregrine falcon judges,
Determined, the avian magistrate strikes her gavel,
And so mortal fates are decided; no being grudges.
 
Hayabusa peels away from the clouds,
Guided by instincts, honed and refined,
With streamline speed and precise dexterity,
Prey and gunsights, perfectly aligned.
 
Death; the pigeon's ruffled feathers gently fall,
And sink like warships along the turbid coast,
The falcon feasts on her hard earned prey,
And the falcon's pride, a thing to boast.

Self-esteem: A Motivation or Sabotage?

Many people are modest about their individual levels of self-respect. There are some who will mask their insecurities with great confidence. Then, there are those who openly profess holding a negatively low opinion about themselves. People’s responses could range from anywhere between gestures of humility to self-aggrandising remarks to even cries of self-pity. It’s a sensitive question altogether. At its core, it is more about fulfilment than it is a matter of self-respect. Surely, with the former comes the latter. The more goals you accomplish, the more you see yourself worthy of respect.

The decision is ultimately one of two; either to strive for ‘more’, or to make peace with what assets one already has at their disposal. People are creatures of purpose. Many of us find our sense of identity in affiliation. Those who wish to venture outside the collective, social norm often resort to honing their skills which they and more often than not, higher ups find agreeable and worthy of recognition.

In our attempts for seeking out opportunities, self-esteem becomes a crucial factor. We wonder to how far an extent our chances are at succeeding. To get the full perspective of building one’s self-esteem, there is a suggest of competition among peers, and even within ourselves. “What makes us stand apart from the crowd?” we second-guess ourselves.

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