Live or Die
Author: Mohammed Nazari
A logical way to structure a better life
This writing is my opinion in reference to my research and personal experience. I believe the more logical and practical we are the better life becomes.
Logic and practicality is the structure and foundation of a house, while emotions and feelings are the furniture and the decor.
From my understanding depression is more frequent among realistic people compared to optimistic individuals. Perhaps this is because depressed people use the dark parts of the reality to justify their depression or as one gets to be more realistic, gets depressed. I believe that I am very realistic and far from depressed:). Maybe because I don’t have high expectations or more likely because I am moving towards a more important goal in my life. That is my reason to wake up every morning and not having extra time to focus and mourn on the dark part of the past.
I am too busy to get depressed or angry
My personal history: I was born into an average to poor family in Iran. During my teenage years I lost hope, could not see a bright future and I contemplated suicide for a few years. Both my religion and family prevented me from doing so. In Islam like most religions committing suicide is very bad and results in going to hell. As well our family had lost three young men (two to the war between Iran and Iraq and one was executed by the government for political reasons), and I did not want to add to the count. At that time in Iran we did not have counseling services and my family was not well educated or generally sensitive enough to recognise what I was going through. Due to pride I never discussed my feelings directly or indirectly with anyone and as years passed by I became a very angry man.
I was in Iran during and past the Islamic revolution. I lived through the economic and social fall of Iran. Later on experienced the up rise of United Arab Emirates. I saw and lived the changes in people in both downfall and up rise case scenarios.
Iranian are very proud people, often for no good reason. We take pride in anything we get our hands on, from our hairstyle, the food we eat, where we live or shop, our possessions, colour of our shirt and anything you can imagine. We take pride in our history of 2500 years ago, since we don't have much in the present to take a pride in. We Brag about our thousands of years old culture since we don't want to talk about our delayed civilization. We take pride in our old history while ruining the present.
However this baseless pride makes us self confident. (not recommended)
In United Arab Emirates enjoying prosperity, their people became less religious and more civilized people. On the other and in order to cope with the new miseries, Iranians became more religious and superstitious. They believed stronger than before that the suffering in this world will result in a better life after death.
I observed this very clearly in my mom. After leaving Iran for Dubai in 1993, I did not return till 1995. During this short two years a lot had changed and Iran had become worse socially and economically. I noticed my mom had become more religious and superstitious. This was a way of coping for her, like most others. Believing in "kiss the hand that you can't bite", an old Iranian expression, people tend to become more pro government. I don't know why they thought they should kiss or bite the hand of the government, and not simply shake the hand or don't. probably this was because you had to take an "exaggerated" position and could not be impartial. Like what George Bush said: Either you're with us or with the enemy. people had to make a decision, be Pro government or against. There was no option of agreeing with some and not other parts. Some call this unity I call it dictatorship and radicalism. People became more Opinionated and Black and white, not leaving any room for alternative ideas and freedom of thoughts.
I have been in Canada since 1997 and over these years I have changed a lot. At this time I am enjoying one of the best times in my life. I have never had the clarity as I do now on how can one structure and build his life resulting in happiness as described in this writing. Life is short and worth living.
If one wants to help people to live a better life, they must be living it by example. I am a practical and reasonable individual whose life has been improving as time has passed by. Even while spending hours to prepare this blog, I have been feeling better myself, encouraging me to continue.
I believe we all share one final goal in life, "happiness". However we take different approaches due to our circumstances and/or beliefs, which often ends up in failure.
Question: At this stage of your life, what is the ONE most important and final goal in your life, the one thing that you want the most?
Family and children?
While at different stages of life one of the above become of more value than other, answering to the next question will help in finding the right answer.
Have you had a personal experience, heard or seen people wishing to die or commit suicide when they were confident? Feeling satisfied with their financial wealth? Physical health? or Family? How about when they were feeling satisfied with their level of happiness?
I have not experienced, seen or heard anyone who wished to die or commit suicide when feeling happy.
We all want to be happy. Wealth-health- love, family and self-confidence are all steps towards happiness, but the ultimate goal that we all live for is "happiness".
What is a reasonable amount of wealth, health, love, family and so on?
The amount that you FEEL is enough however at times we may be unrealistic or greedy.
I believe life is made of two portions: 1. the fact of life (objective) 2. Our understanding of these facts (subjective).
While there are some of the factors that we have control of, there are some factors out of our control. Realizing the "out of control factors" will help us have reasonable expectation and save us a lot of frustration and anger.
Objective knowledge is the concrete facts, while Subjective understanding is our perspective of how the facts are.
Subjective understanding is often directly affected by the immediate community we live in, that creates 1. a base for our "expectations" or 2. a source of reference and comparison. Meaning by changing our immediate community or comparing with other communities/standards, to a good extent can change our subjective understanding of our situation. This is one reason helping others in a worse situation than us, helps us have a better appreciation of what we have and makes us happier. I feel really good when I help my family back home. Being a physical therapist by profession, treating injured clients not only makes me feel good but also helps me appreciate my own health.
My personal objective facts are the following;
I have some congenital shoulder and lower back problems. Am I healthy or not? Compared to whom, other males in my age group, my community, city, country or the whole world?
I am worth $x.xx, am I wealthy or not? Compared to whom, people of my age, gender and profession? In my immediate community, the city or country I live in, or the whole world?
I have only one family member in Canada, a teenage son who is busy with his own life, a few close friends, while the rest of my family live in Iran. Do I get enough love and belonging?
I am speaking on this subject "Live or Die", learning from my own research and observation on life. Does this make me qualified to write this blog?
My subjective understanding is that I do ok with the health and wealth portion of life. As well I feel qualified to write this blog as I believe this can help others. However I feel am missing the family love and belonging part. I crave the dynamics of having siblings, a mom, dad, nieces and nephews. I am doing the best I can to improve on this aspect, but the reality is that this is out of my control. Although I cannot disregard this fact in my life, it does not stop me from moving forward and being happy.
I have put myself up for adoption, preferably a big family. You’re interested? If mom is a good cook, I would love that:)
In order to improve, one needs to be objective and realistic. Being objective and genuine identifies your weaknesses that you can work on.
Be yourself and when realising your faults ask for help and improve them. Often our genuine being has a lot faults, don’t cover or justify them, admit and improve them, otherwise you become a politician.
Since some factors for happiness are out of our control eg. one develops a disabling disease, loses family, or lives in a poor and dictatorship country where the person cannot change these circumstances, one might take one of the following actions:
1. Be objective, acknowledging the out of control challenges you face. However celebrate what you have, this is rather difficult.
2. Leave the situation, if applicable, and move to a better place, this is the best option. This is exactly what I did, moved to Canada. The country that I love. Ooooo Ca Na Da :)
3. Making a subjective and imaginary world of our own...a dream. Disregarding the objective world. I believe this is the most common practiced. This is why people in the countries which are or become poor, like Iran, develop a new culture and set of thought. Living a rather more unrealistic life.
Be objective, acknowledging the out of control challenges you face. Celebrate what you have, and stop mourning on what you don't have. Take a safe and realistic action towards making things better for yourself and others.
Education and Feedback from unbiased and reasonable individuals help one to be more objective.
Now let's see if we believe in the final goal in life, "Happiness"?
If I would say RIGHT NOW you can choose one of the following options: 1. receive $50 million dollars 2. have your physical health back (if not healthy) 3. Have the best family you wished for 4. Have the loving spouse you dreamed of 5. Be happy for ever.
which one would you choose?
If you didn't choose the last option, read this again and again and again, till you get it right and start believing it.
Don't make me bring the ruler:)