I read a column the other day; it was about teaching people how to design their lives.
It suggested that we first write down our good thoughts on a piece of paper, which would enable us to know ourselves better, which would then motivate us to develop and improve ourselves, and we would ultimately find a partner/spouse with similar intentions.
The article also included a quote from Stanford University Design Director Bill Burnett. According to this gentleman, we are supposed to connect the dots in our lives, make three five-year plans and generate a prototype using this information.
Just add a dash of tomato sauce, a pinch of salt and pepper, and voila, our lives are complete.
Is this a joke?
It reminded me of an old book titled, Secret.
In short, this book was telling readers how to invoke the good by thinking of the good; how to achieve what we want by invoking the good, and essentially how we could do whatever we aspired to.
Then came out a counter book in response, which embraced the humor that we Turks love, and that book was titled, Hassecret.
I had read a quote by the author of this second book somewhere, he said, “I wrote this book because it gave me a bad feeling to witness the disappearance or transformation of the people around me, whom I know and love, due to this epidemic disease called spiritualism”.
I digress. Anyway, you get my drift.
Two years ago, the pandemic entered our lives and I wonder what it did to those dreams written down neatly. Did it not turn all these carefully designed and precisely prototyped lives upside down?
For a realistic and result-oriented person like me, both the article and the book are quite loopy.
The deception that people will achieve success or the things they desire through their to-do lists and wishes written down on paper.
Let me explain…
It all begins with knowing what one wants (And you don’t need to write that down on paper).
Call it desire or passion or something else.
Passion is an important factor. The issue of self-motivation and effort.
Oh and also, discipline; discipline is also an important factor.
When these things are there, you focus on the task at hand, day and night, full on and head first. Days merge into nights and nights merge into days. No days have enough hours, and you have no time for sleep, meals are skipped, priorities are shifted, and there is a raw excitement 24/7.
So, I think there are no designs, notes or prototypes when it comes to desires and achievements. There are only people themselves.
Sometimes there are mysterious factors, too. Some call these luck, and some call them destiny. But I don’t think these have anything to do with supernatural powers, if anything we could maybe call them at best, “the flow of the world and our lives”.
Of course, not knowing what one wants is an all too common human condition, but I consider this a very natural phenomenon.
People can feel stuck at times, that’s quite normal, and I’ve felt it hundreds of times. But then again, these feelings became guiding lights for me in finding out about “things that I don’t want”. Not sure what you would think about that.
I laughed out loud at the bit about “attracting an equally good person into your life” in the article. Do you need a person to be equally good in order to love them? I don’t think so. I think you can still love someone if they are not as good as you.
Loving does not involve such deep thought processes; one just loves. And I don’t think love is something that can happen through planning or making lists.
As for making lists…
I only make lists so that I don’t forget or miss out on things I ought to do.
Don’t you think trying to list our lives would spoil the joy of living?
The topic at hand was writing, look where that took us…
If one has to really write something, then here, this is my reality. Having read that article I wanted to write about these.
Speaking of writing, did you know that it has been over a year since I started writing for Diken.
Thanks to Erdal (Güven), and thanks to Harun (Simavi), I now have another “pleasure item” included in my life.
Although quite rare, Erdal sometimes stops by for lunch; we have a nice chat, have a good staff meal and drink good wines together. Thanks to him, I enjoy the pleasure of drinking wine at lunch, which I usually find time when I am abroad, in Turkey.
I was with him the other day, and in the middle of our chat, he said, “you know what, these articles of yours are the types articles that we call “timeless pieces”, let’s compile them into a book one day.”
I was really flattered.
For the time being, I don’t know whether my pieces have what it takes to make a book, I would love for them to be worthy of such a thing, I strive for that in each article I write, but whether they are in the newspaper or are made into a book, one thing I truly want is for people who read them to benefit from the things I write.
I guess that’s one of the things I care about most in life, “for things to be beneficial”.
I take care when I write. It takes me about half a day to a day to write each article. My favorite time for writing is on flights.
Even after saying that the text is complete, I read it over and over again dozens of times for some changes, emphasis or minor spelling mistakes.
Even after going, OK this is done; I reread what I have written a dozen more times for typos or to emphasize some parts and to make changes.
Maybe what I do would sound stupid to someone, whose actual profession is writing, but I am not a professional and I don’t know how to do this, and thus, this is the only way I know to make it work.
Although rarely, when I’m writing about a specific subject, there are sometimes things for which I consult and learn from my acquaintances who have the know-how on that particular subject, just so that I don’t mislead.
I also have two-three friends who have the privilege of reading my pieces before they go up as well as the privilege to scold me.
Sometimes I have a hard time deciding on what to write, but sometimes it just comes out of nowhere, like the need to “pee”.
Because I’m this crazy person who has a million things going on in his mind at any given moment, I often end up getting hung up on one of those, which I then want to write about.
From time to time, something beautiful that I experience during the day (or even that moment) says, “share me, come on, share me”, and sometimes my terrible, horrible, unpleasant experience on a particular day says, “If you don’t write about me, I will bug you forever”.
And sometimes my friends suggest a topic and tell me “why don’t you write” about it, but since I don’t know what is going through their minds at that moment and why, I ask them to summarize the main idea of the topic they want me to write about in an e-mail. Once I read about their suggestion and understand it, if I am intrigued—and of course if I have interest-information on that subject and if I feel like I can explain my ideas or solutions by putting forward my own viewpoint on that subject—then I write about it, and with pleasure.
Since I started writing, there is something that my relatives and friends find strange.
Some are uncomfortable with me writing about my private life, family, work and relationships. (Let’s not say they are uncomfortable; let’s just say they find it odd).
I, on the other hand, don’t think so.
I sometimes mention in my articles that I don’t have a specialized field in which I was trained in, I do not have a profession for which I was trained; what I have is what I have done in the past, what I do today, and my thoughts for the future. What I am trying to achieve through writing is to share my experiences, ideas, perspectives and thoughts for the future, which have been developed through my past experiences, with readers.
For now, I have three wishes about writing.
– I hope I find many more topics to write about,
– I hope that I won’t write something that would be embarrassing for me,
– I hope that the things I write will be of some use to someone in this lifetime.
But not by imposing my ideas, by use of force or by giving silly advice, obviously.
In short, with reference to the example I gave from myself, I can suggest that if you are going to write something, you can write about something that could benefit others. (The upside is, such writing also teaches the person who is writing.)
Do you know how I started writing?
Some friends of mine had asked me to talk about my successes and failures, my disappointments and bankruptcies in my business and sports life in the form of informal talks during work or friend meetings.
In a nutshell, my notes for these talks, on which I worked meticulously for days, were the foundation for my writings.
There were also those who offered me money to speak at corporate events, but I secretly laughed and thanked them; of course I didn’t agree to that. (We like to exaggerate everything.)
If I’m going to give a talk, I prefer it to be free and often at schools.
Whether in writing or speaking, I aim to inspire others with my inner world and experiences.
Sometimes I write about my business life so that my mistakes can be lessons to others.
Sometimes I write about education in order to pin the very need I have felt in every field throughout my life.
And this time, I wanted to tell you why I write the things I write and how I write them based on that article, which I found ridiculous.
Who knows, maybe it will activate some butterflies in your stomach and you will write, too.