When cliches become real

The Pareto Principle

The value in doing nothing

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Through experience, I have slowly (re)discovered why cliches have become cliches. This has been an observation that has truly confounded me, especially since a lot of them I thought I believed wholeheartedly already. It wasn’t until I had lived experience of the cliche that I finally internalised and understood why and how it came to be so.

A recent re-discovery is the old “variety is the spice of life” trick. Since the onset of intermittent quarantine and lockdown, finding things to do has been a bigger struggle than I imagined especially since I am jobless. I thought I would enjoy it endlessly, watching Netflix, reading whatever I liked, doing online courses, among other things. I quickly exhausted these avenues after only two weeks. I thought I could survive off a diet of the aforementioned activities, but I got so bored (the last thing I thought I would be). Everything I was doing would be relayed as consuming content. On this plateau, I forced myself to pick up new habits, namely writing and being more diverse in the books I read for example. When there was more of a balance in what I was doing, consistently writing, reading, watching varied sorts of material, my boredom subsided. Only when I was put in an extreme situation of being able to do whatever I wanted granted that I stay within the confines of home did I (re)discover this cliche.

The other big one was and is how people are more valuable more than objects, status, or exogenous titles. This is something that I wanted to believe oh so much growing up, but for whatever reason, the allure of prestige in the form of material possessions, positions of authority and general status-seeking behaviour often won the day. Not until I went backpacking solo around Malaysia did this cliche finally sink in. There I was, alone and not necessarily having anything to do but enjoy myself and discover the land I landed in. The most enjoyable days were the ones shared with fast-friends the world over. On the ground, I didn’t care for anything that I had or done in the past, it didn’t matter, the only thing was finding cool people to share the novel experience of backpacking and travelling with.

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