The Naked Mind Series : Doing What Feels Good or Right

My friend just came back from her travel and she told me she met a girl that really inspires her. This girl she met doesn’t really have any plan in life she said. She will continue to do the things she is currently doing as long as it still feels “right” to her (my friend literally put the quotation mark). She wants to be able to exit if something doesn’t feel good to her anymore. It sounds like such a great idea, living life with the flow. I imagine myself constantly feeling happy and content doing what she is doing at the moment. As much as I want my life to be always rainbows and butterflies, the reality is not always the case. However, this conversation sparks an interesting thought in my mind.

 I made a promise with myself 2 years go (2018) that I would do all the things I ‘want’ within the next 5 years so my future self wont regret anything from my past. I want to be able to say “I have done all the things I wanted to do”. I imagine it would make me feel good fulfilling the things that feels good to me and it felt so right to at that time. Nonetheless, 1.5 years forwards, if there is any takeaway from my life so far is decisions based only on emotions doesn’t really do me any good or take me to forward in my life. I personally think the emotion or “feeling” good or right  is based on a perception in our mind and thoughts, that are already influenced with biases from other people thoughts, past experiences and even the content we consume. Based on that, we build our idealistic concept of ‘what is right’ according to our thought process. In fact, that concept also has input in our decision making process.

Instead of purely taking the feeling good or right as the primary decision maker, I have learnt to take it as a signal for me to investigate further of why is a particular thing feels right to me. The reason why I don’t want to decide solely based on emotion is because emotion and what I feel changes all the time. In fact, I don’t think at this point in my life I would consider my emotion is stable enough to be the decision maker. This might be different with you though.

On the other hand, having assessment about what we want to do gives us a more logical perspective and understanding of ourselves. For me, just solely decide on what feels right without any understanding what is the definition of “right” for me can lead me into the wrong direction.  In fact, the idea of what is right for you and for me are different. I personally believe that the idea of what is right doesn’t come from our feeling but from a long thought process. It takes system 2 or a longer and more hardworking thought process to process and probably justify the inputs in your mind. Eventually, that becomes what I consider as what feels right on my thought process. The template becomes the system 1 or the simpler thought process on my thought process when I am faced with decisions and the output is “I feel this is right for me”.  

PS: The term System 1 and System 2 on thought process is based on Daniel Kahneman’s book, “Thinking Fast and Slow”

This might or might not be relatable to you. We have our own values and thought process that affect our own decision making. We might agree or disagree on each other about this but that’s completely okay! I think that is the beauty of being human, the diversity in interpreting the world around us. I never intend this post to be a recommendation or self-development related or even how-to-do-life kind of thing. I just want to convey another perspective on this specific topic based on my own thought process along with all its biases and influences.

This is my Naked Mind

Thoughts of Sustainable Shopping

As a kid I used to buy a lot of stuffs. 97% might be something that I don’t really need but I am privilege to have parents that can afford the silly consumerism side of me when I was little. Then, I went to study in Australia and had to move every 6 months for 2 years. It was a pain in the arse, especially when you have a lot of stuffs. Ever since I never overbought. I just use what I can use at home and shop basic for fashion.

Living in Australia doesn’t only teach me how to buy less, but also to live sustainably. Most of people in Australia, in my opinion, have higher awareness for sustainability and climate change compare to the people in Indonesia. Hence, eco-friendly becomes a lifestyle that almost everyone tries to implement in every aspect of their daily lives, including me. I became so excited with the amount of businesses that incorporate sustainability and eco practices in their company in Australia. I can now support sustainability and be a responsible shopper. However, as I dig deeper into sustainability and eco-friendly businesses, I realize there is another problem than just shop sustainably. Once an substance, a tangible product or an item is produced, they have nowhere to go but planet earth, the planet that we are living in at the moment (unless they finally find another planet for us to migrate to). Unless they are recycled or repurposed, they are just going to be junk, filling our space on the earth.

Ok, buying natural product I agree is a better option compare to plastic that takes forever to decompose. But unless we eventually re-purpose it when it’s no longer usable it’s gonna be a junk. In fact, it also creates emission to produce this items that often larger than disposable plastic. Take a look on how many metal straws are bought and by the end of x month, we forget to bring it all the time and accept the plastic straw instead (I’m talking about ya Jakartans). Cloth shopping bag too or goodies bag. It releases more emission to produce compared to a single used plastic bag. Another example is paper bag. Unless it’s made from recycled paper, we’re killing our oxygen provider (re: trees). Although paper company have their ‘conservation’ policy, the reality often doesn’t seem as they promised. Read: Indonesian Paper Industry Destroys More Trees Than Planting Trees (Bahasa).

Although buying less and minimalism lifestyle seems to be the key to reduce production of things, there are a lot at stake if that happens, especially the economy cycle. But I think it’s important to say that consumerism is not going to save the world either. I am not saying that I have stopped shopping at all, and neither do you. I think what matters is how and why we shop. It’s about perceiving values rather than solely about possessions.