About Me

My name is Spencer. I'm 23 years old, and I'm a junior at Princeton. So far college has taken me five years. I've taken time off to work, transferred to USC and come back, and learned a lot along the way.

I like to think about life and what I'm going to do with mine.

I've met a lot of people my age with the same sorts of thoughts so feel free to read, take surveys, and comment.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Listen and learn: Pandora's box

In my last post, The metaphorical hump, Kevin and I "concluded... that there are a number of people who choose to ignore deep thoughts, fearing what ultimate truths they may find buried within their minds." I then said that many people will push these thoughts away while some will continue to think ever more deeply about their lives and whether or not they are truly happy. I call the latter: opening Pandora's box.

If someone quickly pushes those unhappy or "dangerous" thoughts away, on purpose or subconsciously, they avoid any immediate and serious contemplation of their lives or current situations. Now, why do I stress immediate? I think that once someone has thought, even for a split second, of an idea on his or her own, the idea will continue to grow just like in the movie Inception. That person may suppress the thought, but he or she will always be aware of it. It's simply a matter of time before that person starts to really contemplate his or her life. Thus, the seeds for one's so-called "mid-life crisis (or crises)" have been sewn. For the visual learners, here's the graph from The metaphorical hump:

As you can see, each person that begins to deviate even the slightest bit upwards will eventually reach that metaphorical hump, but Person C (the epitome of Ignorance is bliss) never has those first seedling thoughts. C never doubts his or her happiness in the slightest, and C will continue on in life the same as always, for better or worse.

Others, however, will not be able to stop focusing on those doubts. They have opened Pandora's box, and it cannot be closed until they face those scary and, most likely, life-altering thoughts.

To me, it seems only natural to attempt to break away from thoughts that make you unhappy; however, I think the best and most beneficial (in the long run) choice of action would be to embrace the thoughts and challenge them head on. See if there's any reason or truth to them instead of simply dismissing them. Are they simply doubts? Or are you actually unhappy? There is no right or wrong answer. It simply comes down to what you think. If you truly believe yourself to be happy, then nobody can rightly challenge your beliefs.

Some of you may now think, based on what I just said about beliefs, why bother to give any credence to those thoughts in the first place? That's a very good observation, but keep in mind that unless you've faced those doubts and/or truths, you'll never know if you've taken the road that made you happiest. You'll never know if things could have been better. Don't be afraid to let those doubts in; the worst they can do is show you something you already know deep down.

In the end, whatever gives you peace of mind will make you happier than before.

No comments:

Post a Comment